August 1, 2022
As someone who cares about grammatical accuracy, it took me a while to realize perfect punctuation is not always necessary. While having good grammar is essential in resumes and professional emails, it doesn't matter in casual messages and texts. When texting your friends or posting a reply on social media, it may even be better not to include punctuation.
When sending a quick text like, "Sounds good," adding a period might make you sound upset or old. Neither is great. When texting, the period is implied, so you don't need to add it. If your text has a bunch of sentences, you can separate them with periods, but guess what — you still don't need one at the end of the text.
The same holds true on social media. You don't need to punctuate your post when commenting on Facebook or Instagram. Sure, you can add commas to break up long sentences, an exclamation point for emphasis (usually one will suffice!), or a question mark for clarity, but they aren't always necessary. I remember seeing someone's comment "Why am I reading this" a few years ago, and it was somehow funnier without the question mark.
July 1, 2022
Several software utilities promise to "clean up" your PC - clearing caches, finding duplicates, and deleting unnecessary files. But no software program can physically "clean out" your computer. That's something you'll need to do yourself.
Over time, dust and debris can build up inside your computer - whether it's a laptop or desktop PC. If too much dust covers the components, it will limit heat dissipation, causing your computer to run hotter. A higher temperature means your CPU might not run at its top speed. Significant debris can even cause short circuits, which may prevent your computer from running at all.
For peak performance, it's essential to clean your PC regularly. Simple maintenance involves using a compressed air canister to blow out the vents in your laptop or the motherboard and fans in your desktop computer.
June 1, 2022
In 2013, I published a tip recommending you record video in landscape mode rather than portrait mode. While landscape (horizontal) videos look best on TVs and computer screens, portrait (vertical) videos are sometimes better for smartphones. With the rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts, portrait videos have become increasingly common.
If you're recording a short video for Snapchat, TikTok, or Instagram, portrait mode is probably best. For videos that you plan to watch on a TV, landscape mode remains the best choice.
The video's content can also inform your orientation decision. For example, portrait mode might work well for recording your golf swing. But it's a poor choice for recording a baseball game since it crops out so much of the action.
May 14, 2022
Twenty-three. In website years, PC.net is roughly 207 years old. I'm not sure how many websites have lasted twenty-three years without getting acquired, merging with another company, or simply fading away. But somehow, PC.net hit its twenty-third milestone today.
To be fair, "PC.net" is technically just over 11 years old, since the website was Sharpened.net until May 1, 2012. But the name change was simply a rebranding, and most of the website content remained the same. In fact, the last major redesign of the website was 13 years ago in 2010.
I suppose that's another notable stat — 13 years without a redesign. I remember using cutting-edge HTML5 and CSS 3 to redesign the site in 2010. The process was both exciting and overwhelming since so much of it was new to me. It was also the first time I coded a site completely from scratch. I haven't used a WYSIWYG editor since.
May 1, 2022
"Do you have a pen and paper?"
It's a common question people ask on the phone. Whether it's an appointment reminder, a confirmation code, or something else, the representative might tell you to "write this down."
For many of us, our first instinct is to grab a pen and paper. But if you're already at your computer, it's faster to type the information into a text document. Just open a text editor like Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac) and save a plain text file. It's more efficient than reaching for a pen and paper, and digital files are easier to keep track of than a bunch of notes floating around your desk.
April 1, 2022
The metaverse is off to a rough start.
It was supposed to be an alternate reality — free from the stresses and conflicts of real life. But the virtual world can't seem to escape real-world problems. From gender identity to land disputes, people are already littering the digital landscape with garbage from everyday life.
For one, the metaverse promised to avoid issues of race and gender. After all, an avatar can be any character, from an alx to a zorb. But what pronouns does a zorb use? Certainly not "he" or "she," and the neutral pronoun "ze" is also not acceptable. Just ask Gottlebot-12, a self-identified zorb, who posted on Meta-Twitter:
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