Stories by Rick Broida

Disable a laptop touchpad while you type, Win 7 edition

Many moons ago I wrote about TouchFreeze, a free laptop utility that solves one of life's most maddening problems: accidental swipes of your touchpad while typing. (Why isn't Windows smart enough to do this on its own? Just saying.)

Slow Wi-Fi? Try bypassing it with an Ethernet cable

A reader has noticed that the Wi-Fi at her local library has slowed considerably in recent months, and she's wondering what's causing it: "Is it our computers, bogged down with too much junk, or is it something to do with the library's system?"

Laptop tips: Add RAM, recycle a hard drive

It's been almost a year since I served up some nice, hot laptop tips--and that's inexcusable. I'll make it up to you this week with some useful advice on adding memory to a laptop, turning an old laptop hard disc into an external drive, and using your laptop's power settings effectively.

Keep your keyboard clean and germ-free

Happy Clean-Your-Keyboard Day! Okay, I made that up, but think about it: when was the last time you did anything with your keyboard besides drop cookie crumbs on it?

Troubleshoot sluggish or non-working Wi-Fi

I'm a big fan of working at offsite locations--meaning my local Wi-Fi-equipped coffee shop. In fact, I'll often spend the afternoon hunkered down at Panera Bread, iced tea in one hand and a French Toast bagel in the other. (It's bad form to set up shop without buying something.)

Keep kids safe online with OpenDNS FamilyShield

You wouldn't let your kids walk the streets of Amsterdam's Red Light District, but giving them unrestricted access to the Web is practically the same thing. The problem is, how do you block out all that inappropriate Web content?

Stop frustrating pauses in YouTube videos

In response to some recent posts about YouTube, reader Miles wrote me to ask about YouTube "buffeting" (I think he means buffering, unless YouTube has started generating strong winds in his area).

How to watch Blu-ray movies on your PC

Reader Anibal is looking to outfit his PC with a Blu-ray drive and wants to know if there's any good, low-cost (or free) software for watching Blu-ray movies.

Get a Better View of Your Gmail Inbox

Everybody loves Gmail, right? Wrong. My friend Shelly is so fed up with its "threaded" conversation view, he's ready to jump ship for Hotmail, Yahoo, or another service.

[]