How to Organize Apps on PC or Mac

How many individual icons appear when you look at your computer apps?

Is it enough that you struggle to find the one you’re looking for right away? Most people have no idea how much time they would save by more efficiently arranging their apps, and they also don’t realize how many apps they’re actually sifting through.

If you’re ready to get your computer organized, your apps are a great place to really sink your teeth into this project.

Understanding Apps

Often, the term “apps” is associated with smartphones. People tend to think of apps as mobile games or social media services. In reality, an app is just a software program that runs on any platform, not specifically cell phones. 

With this knowledge, you can begin to understand just how many apps are on your computer. Your calculator function? That’s an app. Your built in chat system? That’s an app, too. So how can you organize this plethora of software?

Managing The Mess

If you keep your apps on your desktop, an easy way to organize them is obviously to break them down into different categories and store them in folder. It’s more likely, though, that whether you’re using a Mac or a PC your apps are stored in your dock or somewhere else in your system.

On a Windows, go to your “all apps” section and create a pin to start a new tile. Once you’ve created tiles for all of the apps in a specific group, say they’re editing apps, you can drag them upwards until a bar appears, which you can rename to fit the group of apps.

On a Mac, open your launchpad and create folders for your different groups of apps. After that, simply drag the apps to their appropriate folders.

It might seem like a small step toward organizing your digital life, but you’d be surprised just how much clutter managing your apps will cut out.

How to Set Up A Media Server Using Plex

If you’re a true film buff, it’s easy to amass an outlandish digital library.

This is especially true if you do editing work of your own. The problem is that when you collect a large number of multimedia files, they can get messy and become difficult to sift through. 

Services like Plex not only allow you to organize your downloads, but also allow you to stream them to a number of different devices once they’re added to the program. 

Getting Thrifty

If you bought a huge library of movies and TV shows in a physical format like DVDs before playing became standard, you may have a hard time stomaching a monthly fee to stream media that you already paid for once. 

Plex allows you to take the media from those discs, save them to the program, and then stream them like you might from Netflix or Hulu. Once your media is added to your Plex account, all you have to do is make sure you have the app installed on any device from which you want to stream, and setting up the server is simpler than you might imagine.

Simple but Secure

Once you download Plex, you can add media that you’ve downloaded from the Internet, as well as that which you’ve gleaned from CDs and DVDs. Plex will walk you through the process of adding your media once you’ve downloaded the program. 

Next, you can set up a server by finding the “server” section in your settings. Click “general” from there, and choose to add whatever parts of your library you would like to your media server. After that, you’ll be able to stream all of your files from any device with a compatible Plex app. 

The digital age doesn’t mean that you have to leave behind all of your treasures of the past—make them work for you by working with Plex.

How to Guess A Password

If everyone were completely honest, they’d have to admit that they’ve been tempted to guess at someone else’s password a time or two. Curiosity is simply part of human nature, regardless of from where that curiosity stems. Whether you want to take a look at someone else’s account, or even guess a password of your own that you’ve forgotten, there are some easy tips you can utilize to do it. 

Not All That Secure

The reality is that, in general, humans don’t have great memories. This means that they often reuse the same password, or the same few passwords, for practically every account. It also means that guessing someone’s password is quite a bit simpler than you’d imagine. 

Unless someone is seriously dedicated to protecting their cyber security, their password isn’t going to be a random series of keys that’s impossible to crack. Instead, you’ll probably have a fair amount of luck guessing a password with these simple tricks. 

Using Human Nature

Funny enough, people tend to employ the same methods for coming up with passwords, which makes guessing them a fairly standard pursuit. Bear in mind some general facts, like:

  • If a password requires a number, it will probably be a 1 or a 2 located at the end
  • If an uppercase letter is required, it will likely come at the beginning
  • People, especially women, tend to use names in their passwords
  • The more you know about someone the easier it will be to guess their password (birthdays, pets, hobbies, etc.)

Of course, there are more technical ways to acquire passwords, but those are options only worth exploring if your first guesses are unsuccessful and you’re truly bound and determined to gain access to an account. 

Invading someone’s privacy is never a good idea, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons to guess at a password, and these tips will help you guess right. 

How to Use A Digital Multimeter

Use A Digital Multimeter

Electricity is an integral part of the modern world that few people understand completely.

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering whether your outlet is bad, or if there’s something wrong with your charging cord, you could have benefited greatly from a digital multimeter. These tools come in handy any time you’re dealing with electricity, but they’re not all that simple to use. 

When A Multimeter Comes in Handy

Imagine it’s Christmas time and you’ve just strung up your tree with lights, but when you go to plug them in, nothing happens. Is the extension cord bad? One of the strands of lights? Perhaps the outlet itself? A digital multimeter can answer those questions easily. 

Whether you’re unsure about the vitality of a device, a battery, or an outlet, a multimeter promptly and accurately measures how much life any of them have to offer. 

Navigating The Learning Curve

If you’re not an electrician, you might not even know what a digital multimeter is, let alone how to use one. The main things that you’ll use a digital multimeter for are measuring resistance, current, and voltage. 

In each of these tests, the black probe will remain in the common terminal whereas the red one will move to the appropriate test terminal. You’ll then just touch the tips of the probe to whatever item you’re wanting to measure, and your multimeter will take care of displaying the reading. 

Make sure to do a little bit of research about what exactly the readings mean, otherwise they’ll just be senseless numbers on a screen.

A sure answer is always preferable to a guess, and that’s precisely what a digital multimeter can give you when it is used correctly.

How to Play Mp4 Videos on A PC

Play Mp4 Videos

A good team member is willing to fill in many different roles, wherever they’re needed.

You could think of Mp4 files as a utility player format—they’re versatile and work across platforms for the most part, but if you find yourself having trouble playing an Mp4 on your computer, there are a few ways you can address it. 

When Will You See An Mp4?

Some of the most common scenarios in which you’ll see an Mp4 are when you rip a DVD onto your computer, or when you download a video from the Internet. Because they are a somewhat compressed file, someone who needs to send you a short video that includes audio will probably use an Mp4 file. 

However you wind up with an Mp4 file, you will obviously need to open it. There are a number of different options for achieving that goal. 

Playing the Videos

The great thing about common file types is that most computers are automatically equipped to support them. If you’re using a relatively new operating system, you should only need to double click on an Mp4 file, then your default software will begin to play it.

If you’re using an older computer, or yours doesn’t want to open the file for some reason, you can also download a third party application like VLC Media Player.  Once you’ve done that, just open the program and import your Mp4 files. You may have to tweak your display settings, but this can easily be done in a few minutes.

Having a video file that you can’t watch is like having a present you can’t open or a car you can’t drive: it’s frustrating. Luckily, there are easy solutions for playing Mp4 videos on your PC.

How to Change The Language on Your Computer

Change The Language on Your Computer

Language is truly one of the largest barriers dividing different parts of the world. To hear someone speak in something other than your native tongue can sound like absolute gibberish, and if you accidentally set your computer up to function in another language, it can feel like trying to navigate a foreign land.

Make sure you familiarize yourself with how to change your computer’s language in case you ever find yourself in that position. 

Benefits and Pitfalls

Everyone makes mistakes, and it can obviously throw a wrench in your computer’s usability if you accidentally set it up to use a language other than your own. There are, however, reasons you might change your computer’s language to another one on purpose. For example, if you’re trying to learn a new language, changing your computer language can be a small and practical way to familiarize yourself. 

Whatever your reason for changing the language on your computer, then entire process shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. 

A Settings Switch

On a Windows device, you can change your language settings by first navigating to Start, then finding the time & language icon. From there, you can select region & language (the middle setting of the three on the left), and input the language you’d like to use. 

On Mac, just find your way to your system preferences, click on the flag icon that houses the language settings, press the + icon on the left, then choose your language from the list that pops up. 

Whether you’re fixing a mistake or trying to challenge yourself, these simple steps will have your computer running in the language you prefer in no time. 

How to Convert CDA to MP3

Convert CDA to MP3

How many mix CDs do you have lying around that you burnt ages ago, before you could plug your phone into your car to play music? Wouldn’t you love to hear what’s on those CDs again? The problem is, when you upload CDA files to your computer, you may not be able to listen to them without converting them to MP3 files first. 

Understanding CDA

While it may appear that you have usable files ripped from a CD, they may be in CDA format, which is essentially just a shortcut to the actual disc. Basically, CDA files do not contain any actual audio themselves, they just indicate that a file containing audio does exist. 

As you probably know, MP3 files are some of the most popular audio files in existence, and converting your CDAs to MP3s isn’t all that difficult if you know what to look for. 

The Conversion Process

In order to convert your CDA files, you’ll need some sort of audio software that has this capability. While you can download a third party software if you should do wish, it’s much easier to simply use iTunes or Windows Media Player, one of which your computer is bound to have already. 

For either iTunes or Windows Media Player, you’ll first have to import the CDA files that you’d like to convert. In iTunes, you can simply choose “File” then “Convert” and change all of the selected audio to MP3. In Windows Media Player, just alter your rip settings to convert to MP3 automatically and you’ll be good to go. 

Converting CDA to MP3 isn’t difficult if you know how to do it, and it will allow you to listen to that audio that has been held captive in a less than helpful format.

How to Set The Default Audio Track in VLC

Set The Default Audio Track

There are few programs that can work seamlessly across different platforms all over the world.

Open-source options like VLC work hard to provide users with the best viewing options, but sometimes things get lost in translation—literally. If you don’t know how to set your default audio, you could be watching your favorite show in another language. 

Why Use VLC at All?

Unlike many media players, VLC is compatible will all different operating systems, and it even has a number of filters that allow you to perform unusual functions with video. Plus, it’s free, which is one of the biggest reasons that it’s so popular to be sure. 

Because it doesn’t read region, VLC requires a little bit of legwork on your part to tailor to your needs. Luckily, navigating the software’s audio settings is a relatively simple task. 

Updating Your Preferences

VLC is highly customizable, so there are quite a few settings to wade through in order to find the ones responsible for audio. You’ll want to first find your way to your preferences via your VLC tools. From there, select simple settings and click the audio section on the left. 

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see an option to enter your preferred language. You can also update your subtitle preference to the same language. Once you’ve taken care of these two items, your default audio should be set in your language of choice for all future VLC use, and you’ll know how to find your way to the same settings in the future. 

Even simple software like VLC can feel confusing if you don’t know where to look—updating your audio settings is quick and painless, and will make your viewing experience worlds better.

How to Remove The Password from A Zip File Without Knowing The Password

Remove The Password from A Zip File

Think of your computer as a one bedroom apartment. There’s enough space for you to live comfortably, but if you have an excessive amount of stuff, it might get too crowded.

Extra storage comes at a premium, so you have to find ways to compress, and a Zip file is one of the easiest ways to do that. However, things get tricky when you run into a password that you don’t know protecting one of these files. 

Secure and Space-saving 

Zip files are essentially just like a regular folder, only they’ve been compressed. This not only saves space for storage purposes, it also makes it possible to email someone a larger number of files in a single go. Since Zip files can be secured with a password, it’s possible you might receive one that’s been protected this way when you don’t know the password. 

Whether you cannot or don’t want to get in touch with the person who first established the password, there are ways you can crack the code, but they come with some risks.

Gaining Access

Before you set out to remove the password from a protected Zip file, you should understand that there’s no way to do this without first cracking the current password, and the only sure way to do that is to utilize some sort of software.

You can find a number of free options online, but if you want to ensure your computer won’t get infected, you can also download a version that you pay for. Once you have gained access to the file, you will be able to see the current password and can remove it in the settings if you should so wish.  

Opening a password protected Zip file is bound to take some time, but once you’ve gained access, you don’t have to worry about running into the same issue again.