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CalendarMarch 26, 2019

Background Updates

Background UpdatesOK, so it has been a few months since my last Editor's Update. Instead of listing a bunch of reasons (a.k.a. excuses), I will simply distract from this fact by saying I've been busy making other updates to the site. I like to call these "background updates."

Notably, I have added several articles to the Help Center. In recent years, this section has become the most popular part of PC.net. I receive several questions a week, and while I wish I could answer all of them, I do answer the ones I can. Every once in a while I post an article based on something I learned, not user feedback. Yes, after all these years of working with computers, I am still learning new things.

One example is an article I posted yesterday about taking screenshots in macOS. When I'm doing graphics editing on my Mac, I often take screenshots of open windows and save them to the clipboard. I don't know how many times I've used the Command+Shift+Control+4 keyboard shortcut, but I'm sure it's in the thousands. The problem is macOS saves this annoying drop shadow around the window, which I often crop out in Photoshop when using the image in an web tutorial, for example.

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CalendarJanuary 1, 2019

PC.net 2019 Tech Stock Pick: WDC

PC.net 2019 Tech Stock Pick: WDCI have been investing ever since I was old enough to open a Datek Online account while I was still in high school. I've learned a lot in the past 20 years. While my early years investing were pretty painful, I eventually developed a strategy that has worked well. Several of my friends ask me for investment advice, which I'm happy to provide, with the qualifier that nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the stock market.

Recently, I've enjoyed making a stock pick at the beginning of each year. I choose a single stock that I think will do well in the next 12 months. Last year, I chose AMD. It started the year at 10.98 and hit a high of 34.14 in September, for a gain of 311%. Like a lot of high-flying tech stocks, AMD came back to earth in the last quarter of 2018, but it still finished at 18.46, a 68% gain.

This year, for the first time, I've decided to share my annual stock pick on PC.net. For 2019, the stock is Western Digital (ticker symbol: WDC). If you're not familiar with Western Digital, its primary business is producing data storage devices, such as HDDs and SSDs.

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CalendarDecember 7, 2018

Switching to Dark Mode? Beware of Glossy Displays

Switching to Dark Mode?  Beware of Glossy DisplaysIn my recent monthly tip, I suggested trying dark mode on your Mac or PC. It's a dramatic change to the user interface, but it can be a great way to reduce eye strain if you sit at your computer for long periods of time.

I switched to dark mode in macOS Mojave recently, and overall, I prefer it. However, there is one downside that has been unexpectedly annoying — reflections. My glossy Thunderbolt displays reflect everything in the room behind me, including my paint trim, doors, artwork, and anything else that is not a dark wall. These things were unnoticeable when I was working with white or light grey backgrounds. But in dark mode, all of these objects are reflect clearly of the glass on my monitors. It can make it difficult to read text at times.

I never understood the "glossy display" trend from a few years ago, but now it is coming to bite those of us who have switched to dark mode. The reflections are bad enough that I plan to buy non-glare screen filters to minimize them. So if you decide to try dark mode – and you have a glossy display – at least now you know what to expect.

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CalendarOctober 27, 2018

Traveling > Remodeling

Traveling > RemodelingPC.net has been around for almost 20 years (including the Sharpened.net days). In that time, I don't know if I have ever gone three months without an Editor's Update, but it has been almost that long. The good news is that I have been continuing to make updates in the background, including additions to the Help Center and Extensions pages. I've been keeping the monthly tips going as well. So don't worry — I haven't completely neglected PC.net the past three months.

So what's the reason for my absence? Primarily, I have been working on my first home renovation project since I moved into my house nearly ten years ago. The entire project was supposed to be done over a month ago. Everything has taken substantially longer and cost significantly more than what I was initially told. And the work that has been done so far has been poor quality with no attention to detail. It has been one of the most frustrating experiences of my life.

But the thing I am most frustrated with is how much time and energy this project has sapped from my life. It has consumed my free time, my work time, and a fair amount of my sleep time. I am constantly on the phone with contractors, designers, and suppliers talking about things I don't even care about. At least not anymore.

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CalendarJuly 28, 2018

How I Lost 1.5 Years of Apple Watch Activity Data

How I Lost 1.5 Years of Apple Watch Activity DataI just lost a year and a half of activity data. Everything I recorded with my Apple Watch from January 7, 2017 to June 15, 2018 is gone. All my daily step counts, stand hours, exercise minutes, and calories burned — gone. All my runs, workouts, and sports played — gone. Everything is gone.

The main reason I bought the Apple Watch at the beginning of 2017 was to record my activity data. So it was devastating to permanently lose all the data I have meticulously recorded the past 18 months. It is hard to justify even wearing my Apple Watch now.

So how did I lose all my activity data?

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- PC (Per Christensson)