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How to Work Around a Broken Keyboard Key on a Windows 10 PC

If the keyboard on your Windows 10 computer has a broken or missing key (and it’s one you don’t use often), you might be able to work around it until you get a new keyboard. Here are a few ideas you can try in a pinch. Method 1: Remap the Key with Software Using Microsoft’s free PowerToys utility for Windows 10, you can assign the function of a broken key to another you don’t use often, like the Scroll or…

What Does Apple’s T2 “Security Chip” Do in Your Mac?

Apple Apple proudly advertises that its latest and greatest Mac models come with a T2 security chip, but what does it do? And, more importantly, does a T2 chip create more problems than it solves? What Is a T2 Security Chip? The T2 is Apple’s second-generation “security chip.” It combines several hardware controllers into a custom piece of silicon. Such chips have been commonplace in smartphones for some time. However, the T2 isn’t just there for security purposes—it can make…

Why Did the Turbo Button Slow Down Your PC in the ’90s?

Benj Edwards In the 1980s and ’90s, many IBM PC clones included a button on the case labeled “Turbo” that actually slowed down your PC when you pressed it. We explore why it was necessary, what it did, and who put it there in the first place. Attack of the Speedy Clones The first IBM Personal Computer, released in August 1981, included an 8088 CPU that ran at 4.77 MHz. Competitors, like Compaq, soon reverse-engineered the machine, licensed Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating…

Why Am I Connected to Wi-Fi But Not the Internet?

It’s happened to all of us at some point. Your Wi-Fi signal is strong, but there’s no internet connectivity. That’s because Wi-Fi and the internet are two different things, and understanding the difference can help you troubleshoot future network problems. How Is Wi-Fi Different from the Internet? Wi-Fi is a registered trade name for a group of technologies that allow a device, such as a computer, smartphone, or game console, to wirelessly connect to a local area network (LAN) using…

How to Sanitize Your Xbox Controllers

Yuliasis/Shutterstock Xbox controllers of every variety will gather dirt, germs, and much more over time. While certain solutions will work on some controllers, most disinfectant wipes shouldn’t be used on Xbox One and Xbox Elite controllers. You’ll know when your Xbox controllers are in dire need of a good cleaning, as they may begin to malfunction. Buttons can stick, joysticks can degrade, and so much more. Generally speaking, it’s always important to both clean and sanitize all of your controllers…

What to Do If You Spilled Water or Coffee on Your Laptop

mdbildes/Shutterstock.com Laptops and liquids are a bad combination, but accidents happen. If you’re reading this after a spill, the first thing you should do is turn off your machine, and then remove the power cable and battery as soon as possible. Warning: Electricity and water do not mix! You could cause yourself serious harm or further damage your computer. Before touching the laptop, make sure your hands and the area (or button) you’re touching are completely dry. Power Off Now! For…

How the Gravis PC GamePad Transformed PC Gaming in the ’90s

Gravis In 1992, when Nintendo’s Super NES and Sega Genesis ruled home video gaming, Gravis brought console-style controls to the PC with its PC GamePad. It sold well and opened the door to new styles of gameplay on PCs. Here’s what made it so memorable. Why a PC GamePad Was Remarkable Despite the Nintendo mania that’s raged in the U.S. since at least 1988 (thanks to the blockbuster success of the NES), it was several years before for the first…

Decoding CPU Reviews: A Beginner’s Guide to Processor Terms

yishii/Shutterstock CPU reviews are complicated. Before you even get to the performance benchmarks, you have to navigate a maze of terms, like silicon, die, package, IHS, and sTIM. That’s a lot of jargon with little explanation. We’ll define the key parts of a CPU that PC enthusiasts discuss the most. Please note this isn’t intended to be a deep dive, but, rather, an introduction to common terminology for budding CPU geeks. Start with the Silicon More than 10 years ago,…

Intel’s 10th Gen CPUs: What’s New, and Why It Matters

Intel Intel rose to AMD’s Ryzen 3000 challenge with its recent announcement of new 10th generation desktop processors. Dubbed Comet Lake-S, these CPUs bring a slew of improvements and a few surprising new features. Here’s what’s so great about them, and why PC builders, or anyone looking at prebuilt desktops, should consider one for their next rig. Intel announced the new Comet Lake desktop chips on April 30. Earlier that month, it introduced new Comet Lake mobile processors for laptops and…

Do You Need a High Refresh Rate Monitor for Office Work?

neonnextor/Shutterstock High refresh rate monitors have traditionally been aimed at gamers, but they have a broader appeal. Device manufacturers like Apple and Samsung have started including displays with high refresh rates in their tablets and phones. So, should you get one for your office computer, as well? What Is a High Refresh Rate Monitor? A monitor’s refresh rate is the number of times the display updates per second, and it’s measured in hertz (Hz). Most basic displays stick to 60 Hz,…

These “Gamer” PC Products Are Great for Office Work

Ekkaphan Chimpalee/Shutterstock Brands often slap a “gaming” label on products to charge extra for their supposed performance benefits. Skepticism aside, some gamer-focused products can deliver a genuinely superior experience that’s worth paying for. Gamers aren’t the only people who can benefit, either. High-Refresh-Rate Monitors AOC A monitor’s refresh rate, measured in hertz (Hz), is the number of times the display is updated every second. A 60 Hz monitor refreshes 60 times per second, outputting 60 frames per second (fps). If…

Should You Use HDMI, DisplayPort, or USB-C for a 4K Monitor?

DUO Studio/Shutterstock If you’ve bought a new 4K monitor recently, you might have been puzzled by the array of ports on the back. HDMI, DisplayPort, USB-C, and Thunderbolt are all commonplace now, but which is the best, and why? HDMI 2.1: The All-Rounder High Definition Multimedia Interface, or HDMI, is the most common display interface today. It’s used in televisions to connect games consoles and Blu-ray players. It provides a stable digital signal that can be hot-swapped (unplugged and plugged…