Want to learn how to use Linux? Take the $250 ‘Introduction to Linux’ course for free!

intro-to-linuxIf you’ve been thinking about dipping your toes into the Linux world, now is the perfect time to get started. For a limited time, the Linux Foundation is offering their $250 “Introduction to Linux” course for free!

“Introduction to Linux” covers the basics of the Linux operating system. You’ll learn how to use the GUI (Graphical User Interface) as well as the command line to perform many common Linux tasks. You’ll also get hands-on training in several of the most useful Linux-based applications.

The only prerequisite to taking this course is basic familiarity with computers in general. Experienced Windows and Mac users will do just fine. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Why can’t Internet Explorer load websites after viruses were removed?

ieQuestion from Annika T.:  During the last virus scan Norton found a couple of viruses and removed them. Now Internet Explorer won’t load any websites. All I get is a blank screen and a message saying the site might be down or something.

I know it’s not my Internet connection because Firefox still loads pages just fine. I really need to get IE back working again because I use it and Firefox together to use two Gmail accounts at the same time. Can you help me?

If it matters, my computer is running Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 11.

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

How to replace a laptop hard drive

replace-laptop-hdI have written several posts in the past that discuss either replacing a bad laptop hard drive with a new one or upgrading to a larger drive or an SSD.

Earlier this morning I was answering a reader’s question about a hard drive upgrade when it occurred to me that I’ve never really explained how to physically swap out the drives.

Replacing the hard drive in most laptops is almost as easy as selling popcorn in a movie theater. Just follow the simple steps listed below. [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Can I delete all of my Gmail messages at once?

gmailQuestion from Kenny V.:  I love your site man!! Too cool!! I hope you can help me with a Gmail question.

I have over 7000 messages in my Gmail Inbox and about as many in my “Sent Mail” folder. I’d like to wipe them all out and start fresh, but it would take days to go through there and delete them a page at a time.

My question is do you know of a way to delete all of my Gmail messages at once? Thanks in advance. Kenny

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Q&A: Does the number of cells in a laptop battery matter?

hp-envy-13-batteryQuestion from Anita F.:  Hi Rick. The battery in my HP laptop went bad and I need to order a new one. When I looked up the model number for my laptop on Amazon a thousand of choices came up.

What really confuses me is the number of cells each battery has. Some are 4 cell, some 6 and some are 8. Are more cells better? They seem to be more expensive as the number of cells go up. Is the extra cost worth it?

Rick’s answer:  [Continue Reading]

Bloggers beware: The MailPoet plugin is letting hackers take over thousands of WordPress sites

wordpress-logoIf you’re a blogger and you use the popular MailPoet plugin on your WordPress blog, you need to update it to the latest version immediately.

MailPoet adds several useful features and capabilities to a blog, but an extremely serious issue has arisen for its users.

A previously unknown vulnerability in the plugin allows hackers to access full control over your WordPress installation, including the ability to add malicious code to your WordPress core files, theme files and plugins. They can also alter your posts and pages. [Continue Reading]

ATTN Firefox users: Update your browser now to patch several critical security holes

firefox-logoMozilla has just released a new update to Firefox that patches several critical security holes in the popular browser.

The most critical flaw allows hackers to infect your PC with viruses and install malicious software when you simply visit an infected web page. You don’t even have to click on anything! [Continue Reading]

Call your favorite contacts right from the Home Screen on your Android phone

android-logoTo make a call on your Android phone, you usually have to open the Contacts app, select the person you wish to call from a long list of contacts, then tap the “Call” button.

But if you tend to call just a few people on a regular basis, you can easily set up shortcuts that will let you call them right from the Home Screen with just two quick taps.

It’s a very simple process to create Home Screen shortcuts for your most frequently called contacts. Here’s how to set it up: [Continue Reading]