The Tech Guy Blog

Reset a Mac User Account Password

If you have an old user account on your Mac that you can no longer access, there's a way you can still get into it as long as you have an "Administrator" account on that Mac. Just get into the System Preferences from the Apple Menu and click "Users & Groups". Then click the lock icon and enter the admin name and password. Select a user, and then click "Reset Password".

Add More Ethernet Ports to Your Router

While Wi-Fi is more popular and prevalent than ever, it's still no match for a hardwired ethernet connection. But many of the new routers, especially mesh routers, don't have many ethernet ports built into them. Fortunately, if you have at least one ethernet port, you can expand that to as many as you need with a "Switch". Netgear makes some quality switches, but any unmanaged networking switch should work just fine. They all are very easy to use, as long as you get an unmanaged Switch.

Use Authy for 2-Factor Authentication

Since many sites now allow (or even require) 2-factor authentication, it's a good idea to use an authentication app on your smartphone to get the security code. This is a much more secure method, because codes texted over SMS could be intercepted. There's also the danger of SIM cards being duplicated or even hijacked with some creative social engineering. The Authy app for iOS or Android is a good option, because it sends a secret number and combines it with the time of day so the code changes after 30 seconds.

Uninstall Nonessential Programs From Mac or PC

If you no longer need a program on your computer, or if it is conflicting with other programs on your system, it's a good idea to uninstall it. Most of the time, the program's uninstaller will be adequate for this. You can find that by looking for the installer file, and then selecting "uninstall." This should remove all of the files associated with that program. There may be many other programs that wound up getting installed on your system that you're not even thinking about, and are just taking up space or resources.

How to Save YouTube Videos to Your Computer

You may have noticed while watching videos on YouTube that Google doesn't offer a 'download' option. This is likely by design, and is most likely a way to give content creators more control over what videos are out there. But in reality, streaming a video and downloading a video are very close to the same thing. In order to stream a video on YouTube, your computer still needs to 'download' the bits in order to play it back. The only difference is that you can't access that file locally, but there are third party tools out there that will make this possible.

Securely Erasing SSDs

If you’re about to sell or give away a computer, it’s important to ensure that all of your personal data is erased first. This is a pretty simple task when it comes to traditional spinning hard drives, and there are plenty of tools to make sure the drive is completely and securely wiped. Solid State Drives, however, are a different story. SSDs use something called “wear leveling,” which ensures that no one cell gets written to too many times. This is to keep the drive from wearing out, but it also means that it isn’t possible to write over (or erase) every part of the drive.

Get Free College Courses Online

The internet has always been an incredible resource for information, but if you're motivated enough, you can take that a step further and get a free or inexpensive college education. MOOCs, or "Massive Open Online Courses," are real classes that have been made available online from schools and universities. Many of these courses are free, but if you decide to pay, you can actually get a certificate of completion or a MicroMasters from it. Here are some of the places you can find these MOOCs:

How to Identify Bootup Problems

Slow bootup times have always plagued many Windows computers, and it can often be tricky to figure out what causes it. Often times, it's as simple as a hard drive going bad. When hard drives start to wear out, the operating system can have difficulty reading all of the sectors on it. If it happens to come across bad sectors during the bootup process, it will have to repeatedly attempt to read that sector until it finally works. This can extend the time it takes to boot the PC up by several minutes.

Get More Out of Live Photos on iPhone

If you have an iPhone, you may already be familiar with the Live Photo feature that it has. When Live Photos are enabled, whenever you take a picture, the iPhone will also capture a few seconds before and after the shot is taken. This gives the photo some motion, almost like a very short video clip. But you may not know that it can actually go beyond just that basic functionality. After you take a photo of something that moves, go to edit the photo and swipe up. This will reveal a few different effects that you can apply.