Stories by Rick Broida

Turn Amazon Cloud drive into desktop-accessible storage

As you may recall, Amazon recently unveiled its new Cloud Drive service, which provides 5GB of free online storage. (Elsewhere I explained how you could bump your limit to 20GB for under a buck.) The only downside? To access it, you have to use Amazon's Web-based interface. It's not bad, but not nearly as convenient as, say, a local hard drive.

Add a spell-checker to Internet Explorer

Among the many reasons I'm partial to Firefox is that Mozilla's browser has long offered a built-in spell checker. (Not that I need it, of course -- we payd riters learnt gud speling in skool.)

Can your system handle Windows 7?

Much as everyone loves Microsoft's Windows 7, not everyone has made the move yet. Plenty of folks are clinging to Windows XP for dear life, while others just didn't see enough reason to upgrade from Vista. After all, it's not like Microsoft is giving Windows 7 away for free.

Firefox 4 tip: Keep tabs open between sessions

Yesterday I told you how to tweak Firefox 4 so it would allow incompatible add-ons to run. One of my primary motivations for doing so was the PermaTabs Mod add-on, which I use religiously to keep tabs open from one browsing session to the next. (Ironically, that extension came into being because its predecessor, PermaTabs, was incompatible with Firefox 3.)

Firefox 4 tips: Bend the new browser to your will

Mozilla released Firefox 4 last week. I'm trying hard to like the new browser, but it keeps finding ways to annoy me. First, it moved the Reload button for no good reason (same for the Home button, but that's just as easily fixed). Second, it put the tabs at the top of the screen (again, easily fixed). Third, and most important, a bunch of my favorite add-ons stopped working. Luckily, I've come up with a few ways to fix the interface quirks that are driving me nuts and solve the extension compatibility problem.

Firefox tips, plus a warning: Protect those passwords

It's been a while since I've covered tips for my favorite browser, Mozilla Firefox tips (read "Quick Tips for Speeding Up Mozilla Firefox" for my last installment). So this week I thought I'd toss you a couple tips for scrolling through long Web pages in Firefox. But first -- a public service announcement.

Must-have tools and tricks

It's time for another grab bag of hassle killers. This week I tell you how to get a disposable e-mail address to use as a spam magnet, how to turn off Windows 7's automatic window resizing, and how to recover data from a crashed drive.

Get a quick and easy disposable e-mail address

Here's a common hassle: You sign up for some freebie, promotion, or service that requires your e-mail address--and suddenly your inbox is deluged with ads, notifications, and other spam.

Prepare your PC for future data disasters

Reformatting and restoring a PC is not fun--in the way spending 2 hours in the dentist's chair is not fun. You have to back up all your data (and pray that you haven't forgotten anything), reformat the hard drive, install Windows, track down missing drivers, find and reload all your software, restore your data, and pull out clumps of hair over the things you inevitably neglected to save. (Firefox plug-ins, anyone?)

Connect a third monitor to your PC

As I wrote the other day, it's a pretty simple matter to add a second monitor to your PC. But what about a third? That might require a little more doing.

Five reasons to move to Windows 7, plus XP advice

Can we talk? Based on the e-mail I get every day, I know a lot of you are still using Windows XP. I can understand why; it's like a comfortable old shoe. Plus, it's bought and paid for. Windows 7 probably seems stiff and scary, and it's not like Microsoft is handing out free upgrades.