The second edition of the Lifehacker book, Upgrade Your Life, is a compilation of the best 116 hacks and downloads from Lifehacker's archives. This dead tree version of the web site transforms dozens of blog posts into comprehensive, edited tutorials, which will be familiar to longtime readers. While an official electronic version of Upgrade Your Life isn't available, today I've pulled together links to all the past posts that informed each book chapter to give you a one-stop preview of what's inside that cover. Consider this post the unedited web version of the book. After the jump, get a ginormous roundup of all the posts that created Upgrade Your Life by chapter. And shhhh, don't tell my book publisher I'm giving this all away.
Upgrade Your Life Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Control Your Email
Hack 1: Empty Your Inbox (and Keep It Empty)
"When you can consistently reduce the contents of your inbox to zero messages, you've reached the ultimate level of email control."
Hack 2: Decrease Your Email Response Time
"Responding to your email in a timely, professional manner is one of the best things you can do for your career."
Hack 3: Craft Effective Messages
"The clearer your email messages are, the more likely you are to get the result you want in a more timely fashion-whether it's a response, a completed task, or an informed recipient."
Hack 4: Highlight Messages Sent Directly to You
"When faced with an inbox full of new, unread email, it's nearly impossible to determine which messages need to be dealt with right away, and which can be put off until later."
- Outlook tip: Colour code messages addressed only to you
- Highlight messages addressed to you in Thunderbird
Hack 5: Use Disposable Email Addresses
"If you hate the idea of giving your email address to any web site that asks for it, and you want to protect your email address from junk mail and spam, use a disposable email address instead."
- Mailinator - public, spam-free email inbox
- Generate unlimited email addresses with Gmail
- Get a Temporary E-mail Address
Hack 6: Master Message Search
"In the physical world you can't throw years worth of letters, cards, and memos into a drawer and then pick out the one Tom sent you about that fabulous rental he got in Key West back in 2003 in seconds. However, that is absolutely possible with an email folder containing thousands of messages."
- Gmail Tip: Search by built-in label
- Gmail search operators work in filters, too
- Email filers versus pilers
Hack 7: Future-Proof Your Email Address
"You've probably got as many email addresses as you do pairs of socks, but you don't want to change them as often. In fact, switching your primary email address can be a big inconvenience that leads to missed messages and lost relationships."
Hack 8: Consolidate Multiple Email Addresses with Gmail (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Gmail is not only an email host, it's an email client that can fetch mail from any number of external services and consolidate it all right there in your Gmail inbox."
Hack 9: Script Repetitive Responses
"To knock down repetitive email quickly, build up a set of scripted email responses that you can drop into emails quickly, personalise if necessary, and send off without spending the time composing the same information every time."
- Knock down repetitive e-mail with Thunderbird's QuickText
- Knock down repetitive email with AutoHotKey
Hack 10: Filter Low-Priority Messages ('Bacn')
"Your spam filter shuttles junk mail out of sight, but what about messages from cc-happy co-workers, Aunt Eunice's forwarded emails, Facebook friend notifications, Google Alerts, and mailing list messages that clutter your inbox with low-priority noise?"
Chapter 2: Organise Your Data
Hack 11: Organise Your Documents Folder
"If you frequently find yourself letting files clutter your computer's desktop, or if you spend time arranging files in a deep, complicated hierarchy of folders, it's time for a revamp."
Hack 12: Instantly Retrieve Files Stored on Your Hard Drive
"Every minute you spend on your computer, you're collecting more and more data, documents, and information to do your job and get on with your life. Instant retrieval of the bit or byte that you need right this very second is an essential requirement in the digital age."
Hack 13: Overhaul Your Filing Cabinet
"One of the main clutter culprits in most offices is the To File pile. Often this heap spontaneously appears right on top of or next to the filing cabinet, which is pretty silly. Instead of adding stuff to the pile, why wouldn't you just file it? The reason is generally an unworkable, messy, overflowing file cabinet."
Hack 14: Instantly Recall Any Number of Different Passwords
"Remembering a unique password for the dozens of logins you have may sound impossible, but it's not. You don't need to remember 100 passwords if you have one rule set for generating them."
Hack 15: Securely Track Your Passwords
"Sometimes you just have to write down a password to remember it. Don't do it where others can read it, like on a Post-It note or in an easy-to-read text file or Word document. You can keep a secure and searchable database of those hard-to-remember passwords using free, open source software."
Hack 16: Tag Your Bookmarks
"The web gets bigger every day, and so does your bookmark list. Stores your bookmarks online and associate keywords (called tags) to each for easy retrieval."
Hack 17: Organise Your Digital Photos (New in 2nd Edition!)
"After even just a few months of taking photos, it's easy to wind up with a hard drive cluttered with a bunch of folders filled with images named things like IMG_8394.jpg. Pictures don't mean anything unless someone sees them, and no one will see the photos buried on your computer if you can't find the best ones."
Hack 18: Create Saved Search Folders (New in 2nd Edition!)
"As you begin to file your documents less and depend on searches more, it only makes sense to combine the folder paradigm and search capabilities with saved search folders."
- Tag files and save searches in Windows Vista
- Organise Your Email in Search Folders
- Saved email searches in Thunderbird
- Windows Vista Tip: Save your searches in virtual folders
Hack 19: Create a Password-Protected Disk on Your PC
"Everyone has some files the person would like to protect from intruders or others who have access to one's computer."
Hack 20: Create a Password-Protected Disk on Your Mac (New in 2nd Edition!)
"If you have files and folders you'd like to keep private and secure on your Mac, you can use Mac OS X's built-in Disk Utility to encrypt a disk image."
Hack 21: Design Your Own Planner
"There are lots of good reasons to ditch your expensive, electronic PDA for a paper-based planner system: cost, portability, and maintenance, to name a few. Paper-based planners never run out of battery juice or memory; they never crash or refuse to work the way you expect."
Chapter 3: Trick Yourself into Getting Done
Hack 22: Make Your To-Do List Doable
"Your to-do list can be a tool that guides you through your work, or it can be a big fat pillar of undone time bombs taunting you and your unproductive inadequacy. It all depends on how you write it."
Hack 23: Set Up a Morning Dash
"There is one way to ensure that you'll knock at least one thing off your list: Dedicate the first hour of your day to your most important task-before you check your email, paper inbox, or go to any meetings."
Hack 24: Map Your Time
"The busy person's perennial question is, "Where did the day go?" It's easy to get tossed from one thing to the next like a piece of driftwood caught in the tide of your crazy life."
Hack 25: Quick-Log Your Work Day
"When you start keeping a daily work log, you might be surprised to find out what your workday really consists of."
Hack 26: Dash Through Tasks with a Timer
"Trick yourself into getting going by making a commitment to work on the task for just a handful of minutes-minutes that will end at the beep of a timer in a small, quantifiable amount of time."
Hack 27: Form New Habits with Jerry Seinfeld's Chain (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Once upon a time, Jerry Seinfeld gave a young comic advice."
Hack 28: Control Your Workday
"Getting out of the office on time is tough when there's always another task, project, or drive-by boss request to knock out before you leave. It's easy to lose a day checking email, going to meetings, and putting out fires only to find that at 5 or 6 or 7 p.m., you haven't gotten started on something critical."
Hack 29: Turn Tasks into Gameplay
"Ever wish you could knock down the items on your to-do list with the same gusto you fit blocks together in Tetris or collect gold coins in Super Mario Bros?"
Chapter 4: Clear Your Mind
Hack 30: Send Reminders to Your Future Self
"Every day you've got a lot on your mind and a lot to do. As a result, it can be nearly impossible to remember mundane recurring tasks—like when it's time to change the oil or go to the dentist—or even important yearly events, like friends' and family birthdays."
- Tickle yourself with Yahoo! Calendar
- Ask the Readers: Short term reminders?
- Email your future self with FutureMail
Hack 31: Build Your Personal Wikipedia
"The collaboratively edited Wikipedia is a vast, searchable repository of information, constantly written and re-written by its readers. Don't you wish you or your group could have your own editable encyclopedia of brain dumps and documentation like Wikipedia? You can."
Hack 32: Develop Your (Digital) Photographic Memory
"A ubiquitous capture device can change the way you remember (and forget) things for good. With a photo-sharing service like Flickr, you can capture and file away your digital photographic memory in the internet cloud from wherever you are."
Hack 33: Take Great Notes
"Taking effective notes is a critical skill that moves your projects, your career, and your education forward. This hack covers three practical note-taking methods, as well as how to make your own custom notepaper."
- Take great notes
- Take study-worthy lecture notes
- Make your own personalised notepaper
- Make your own PDF notepaper
Hack 34: Organise Your Life with Remember the Milk (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Now it's more important than ever to consolidate your lists into one, always-accessible place. There are dozens of robust, free online organisers out there, but one of the most stable and mature in the bunch is a web application called Remember the Milk."
Hack 35: Organise Your Life in Text Files
"No matter how many new-fangled personal organiser applications become available, new computer users and veterans alike still turn to the old standby for tracking to-do's: a file called todo.txt."
Chapter 5: Firewall Your Attention
Hack 36: Limit Visits to Time-Wasting Web Sites
"It's too easy to scamper down the rabbit hole of the web when you've got pressing tasks to work on."
- Ban time-wasting web sites
- Invisibility Cloak update
- Netvibes distraction stopper Greasemonkey script
Hack 37: Permanently Block Time-Wasting Web Sites
"Is there a web site that's utterly toxic to your mental state or ability to work? The preceding hack describes how to block time-wasting web sites during certain times of the day and week. Alternatively, you can block sites at all times, until you explicitly release the restriction."
Hack 38: Reduce Email Interruptions
"Unread email is just another shot of the information drug your hungry mind craves. It cries out to you, 'Open me! Open me!' However, when you need to focus, do yourself a favor: actively control when you check your email."
Hack 39: Split Your Work Among Multiple Desktops
"The more space you have to lay out your materials, the easier it is to get a job done."
Hack 40: Build a No-fly Zone
"Many modern office spaces have open layouts to 'promote interaction between departments'—which means they're set up to distract you all day long."
Hack 41: Clear Your Desktop
"It's amazing how fast your computer's desktop can fill up with shortcuts and files and turn into a virtual candy store of colorful icons beckoning your mouse pointer: 'Click me! Click me!'"
- Clear your dashboard
- Keep your desk clean and tidy
- Give your desktop a clean start
- A clutter free desktop
Hack 42: Make Your House a Usable Home
"Your home should be a tool that helps you get things done, a space that's a pleasure to be in and a launch pad for daily tasks as well as your life goals."
Hack 43: Sentence Stuff to Death Row
"Prune your information channels down to the ones most worth your time to keep up a solid attention firewall. One technique for doing so is sentencing certain information streams to a virtual death row."
Hack 44: Drown Out Sound with Pink Noise
"If your co-worker's conversation down the hall is distracting you, or your downstairs neighbour's television is blaring up through your floor, block out the sound with a soft static noise."
Chapter 6: Streamline Common Jobs
Hack 45: Search the Web in Three Keystrokes
"There are dozens of ways to do a web search from your desktop, but the most common method takes the longest."
Hack 46: Command Your Windows PC from the Keyboard (New in 2nd Edition!)
"The graphical user interface revolutionised personal computing because it made using a computer so much more visual. However, using the mouse is one of the most inefficient ways to drive a computer."
Hack 47: Command Your Mac from the Keyboard (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Skip time-wasting point-and-click mouse movement on your Mac using free software called Quicksilver, which is a keyboard interface to an astonishing variety of computing actions."
- Hack Attack: A beginner's guide to Quicksilver
- Screenshot Tour: A look under the hood of Quicksilver
- Hack Attack: Advanced Quicksilver guide - slashes, appends, and proxies, oh my!
- Get to Know Quicksilver from Its Maker
- Nine Time-Saving Quicksilver Triggers
- Top 10 Quicksilver Plug-ins
Hack 48: Reduce Repetitive Typing with Texter for Windows (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Define short abbreviations for phrases you use often, or misspellings you're prone to, and automatically expand those abbreviations to their full, intended form. This hack explains how to do that using the free Windows application, Texter."
Hack 49: Reduce Repetitive Typing with TextExpander for Mac (New in 2nd Edition!)
"In the same vein as Hack 48, Mac users can save thousands of keystrokes daily using the text substitution application TextExpander."Related posts:
Hack 50: Text Message Efficiently
"To the uninitiated, texting can seem inconvenient, but text messages have numerous advantages over voice calls."
Hack 51: Batch Resize Photos
"Everyone likes to email digital photos, but no one likes to receive pictures that are so huge they take forever to download and require you to scroll left and right and up and down to see the entire image."
- Ask Lifehacker: batch resize photos
- Ask Lifehacker: batch resize photos, part II
- Rename your digital photos in bulk
Hack 52: Send and Receive Money on Your Cell Phone
"Popular online payment service PayPal is a quick and easy way to email money to friends and co-workers — to cover your share of the dinner bill or to pitch in on a shared gift or to make a payment for work done."
Hack 53: Bypass Free Site Registration with BugMeNot
"An active web surfer can easily accumulate dozens of logins for various sites across the web. But what about when you don't want to go through the whole rigmarole of registering for a web site—you simply want inside?"
Hack 54: Speed Up Web Pages on a Slow Internet Connection
"When you're surfing the Web on a slow connection, it can seem like grass grows faster than the download progress meter on your web browser turns."
Hack 55: Securely Save Web Site Passwords
"One of the most convenient features in Firefox is its capability to save the passwords you use to log on to web sites—like your web mail and online banking—so you don't have to type them in every time."
Hack 56: Become a Scheduling Black Belt with Google Calendar
"This hack covers more advanced uses for GCal, such as adding and getting events from anywhere, subscribing to multiple calendars, sharing calendars, booking inanimate objects such as a conference room, and inviting multiple people to events."
Hack 57: Scan Text to PDF with Your Camera Phone (New in 2nd Edition!)
"You're looking at a whiteboard full of notes or a paper document you want to copy quickly. Instead of manually transcribing the text, you can "scan" the information using a digital camera, including the one built in to your cell phone. Web application Qipit turns digital photos that contain text into PDF files for you automatically."
Hack 58: Poll Groups of People with Doodle (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Anyone who's had to schedule a meeting or get-together for a large group of people knows how difficult finding a date that works for everyone can be. Whether it's a family reunion or board meeting, when more than five people are involved, everyone's schedule gets in the way."
Chapter 7: Automate Repetitive Tasks
Hack 59: Automatically Back Up Your Files to an External Hard Drive (PC)
"Backing up your data could possibly be the dullest — yet most indispensable — thing you do on your computer. But who remembers to do it? You don't have to."
Hack 60: Automatically Back Up Your Files to an External Hard Drive (Mac) (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Mac users who thumb through Hack 59, which details how to back up your PC's files on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis, have a right to a smug laugh. The most recent version of Mac OS X 10.5, Leopard, ships with a comprehensive backup application called Time Machine that requires only two steps to set up."
Hack 61: Automatically Back Up Your Files Online (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Hurricane Katrina victims can tell you that no matter how diligently you back up your computer to a local hard drive—as detailed in Hacks 59 and 60—you will still lose your photos, documents, and other important files if you don't keep a copy off-site, preferably out of state. "
Hack 62: Automatically Empty Your Digital Junk Drawer (PC)
"You don't want to clean up after yourself every time you work with a set of files you don't need to keep, and you don't have to."
Hack 63: Automatically Clean Up Your Mac (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Just as in the physical world, it's easy to let digital clutter accumulate on your Mac. Chances are, your Downloads folder contains no-longer relevant files, or your Desktop is covered in documents, images, and songs you finished with last week."
Hack 64: Automatically Reboot and Launch Applications
"A PC that's on continuously 24 hours a day—especially when it's hard at work at night, running automated tasks outlined in this chapter—can benefit from a regular reboot to clear out memory and end any hanging software processes."
Hack 65: Make Google Search Results Automatically Come to You (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Keeping up with any news published online about a certain topic used to mean searching the web for it every so often, or checking various online news sites. But not any more. Google now offers free email alerts when certain search terms appear on web pages, as they are published."
Hack 66: Automatically Download Music, Movies, and More
"Your web browser does a good job of fetching web documents and displaying them, but there are times when you need an extra-strength program to get those tougher download jobs done."
Hack 67: Automatically Email Yourself File Backups
"When my sister-in-law asked me how she could back up her master's thesis without any special equipment or software, I had to think for a minute. 'Email it to yourself,' I finally told her."
Hack 68: Automatically Update a Spreadsheet
"A spreadsheet is a great way to track progress on any type of undertaking that involves numbers—like how much weight you've lost, how many widgets you made, how many miles you ran, or how many cigarettes you smoked. But who remembers to update his spreadsheet by hand?"
Chapter 8: Get Your Data To Go
Hack 69: Manage Your Documents in a Web-Based Office Suite (New in 2nd Edition!)
"A profound shift in modern computing is afoot: a move from desktop software to the web. Mature web browsers, always-on broadband Internet connections, and an increase in mobile users has spurred a new breed of web sites that aren't just static pages—they're hosted software applications (web applications, or webapps) that you access from your browser."
Hack 70: Replace Your Laptop with a Portable Drive (New in 2nd Edition!)
"You're headed to your in-laws for the holiday week and you don't want to drag your laptop with you. Instead, take along a small hard drive that you can plug into their PC and get your own custom Windows desktop, applications, and files."
Hack 71: Carry Your Life on a Flash Drive
"Instead of lugging around your laptop, or emailing yourself files, store your favourite software applications and important data on a thumb (flash) drive about the size of a car key."
- Carry your life on a thumb drive (or iPod)
- Build your "PC on a stick" with MojoPac
- Quicklaunch your USB workspace
- Vacation Tips: Ditch your laptop for a thumb drive
Hack 72: Access Web Apps and Search via Text Message
"You're out and about town and you need to call a local cab, find out movie times at theatres nearby, or check the weather forecast. You don't need a laptop or even a tricked-out PDA to search the Web: you can do it directly from any phone that can send text messages."
- 4INFO SMS flight status tracker
- Google SMS
- Power Texting Tips
- Google SMS translation and currency conversion
Hack 73: Create a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with Hamachi (New in 2nd Edition!)
"You can do things between computers on your local network that you can't from out on the Internet, such as listen to a shared iTunes library or access files in shared folders. But using the free, virtual private network application Hamachi, you can access your computer from anywhere on the Internet as if you were home on your local network."
Hack 74: Run a Home Web Server
"Web servers are usually loud, scary, headless machines in cold windowless rooms, but you can run one under your desk at home."
- How to set up a personal home web server
- How to access a home server behind a router/firewall
- Ask Lifehacker: Multiple subdomains (virtual hosts)?
Hack 75: Remotely Control Your Home Computer
"Ever been at a friend's house and wanted to show off a photo you left saved on your home computer? Want to check from the office that your daughter's doing homework and not instant messaging with friends at home? Need to grab a file on your home hard drive when you're miles away? With a relatively old protocol called VNC (Virtual Network Computing) and some free software, you can remotely control your home computer from anywhere."
Hack 76: Give Your Home Computer a Web Address
"Accessing your home computer from the Internet is a lot easier if a memorable, permanent web address such as yourname.com points to it."
Hack 77: Optimise Your Laptop
"More folks than ever are hitting the pavement with a notebook computer under one arm, but any road warrior can tell you that life with a lappie isn't always easy. This hack provides some hints and tips for extending the life of your laptop and easing the pain of the never-ending outlet and hotspot hunt."
Hack 78: Back Up Data to Your iPod
"Your iPod isn't just a music player—it's a giant external hard drive that can store any kind of digital data in addition to music."
Hack 79: Turn Your Cell Phone into a Modem
"You're stuck with the laptop in the land of no internet, but you have unlimited minutes or a great data plan on your cell phone. What to do? Plug that phone into your laptop, of course, and get surfing!"
Hack 80: Use GMail as an Internet Hard Drive
"An easy way to make files available from any internet-connected computer is to simply email them to yourself (at GMail or any other web-based email service.) But a free software application makes keeping your files up in the GMail 'cloud' and accessible from any web browser even easier."
Chapter 9: Master the Web
Hack 81: Google Like a Pro
"Google's single, one-line input box conceals a host of functionality that can narrow your results to exactly what you need."
Hack 82: Subscribe to Web Sites with RSS
"Like a magazine subscription that automatically brings each new issue to your door, you can subscribe to web site feeds that push information to your door."
- RSS for newbies
- 35 (more) things you can do with RSS
- Intro to RSS
- Create email subscriptions with Bloglines
Hack 83: Add Engines to Your Browser's Search Box (New in 2nd Edition!)
"In Hack 45, you learned how to search the Web in three keystrokes using this search box. By default, Firefox now comes with Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, eBay, Answers.com, and Creative Commons installed. But you can add several more useful engines for quick results without visiting individual pages first to run your search."
Hack 84: Quick Search from the URL Bar
"Another keyboard-driven method for searching the web is what Firefox calls Quick Searches—customisable, keyword-based searches from the Firefox address bar."
Hack 85: Extend Your Web Browser
"The best feature of popular open-source web browser Firefox is its openness: the browser was built so that anyone can write a feature-adding extension for it."
Hack 86: Supercharge Your Firefox Downloads with DownThemAll! (New in 2nd Edition!)
"When it comes to heavy-duty download jobs, Firefox's default Downloads manager just doesn't cut the mustard. If you need closer control of multiple, large downloads, you need the DownThemAll! Firefox extension."
Hack 87: Get Ten Must-Have Bookmarklets
"Bookmarklets can enhance web pages, add special functionality, and make your browsing experience a lot more efficient by offering one-click access to useful tools."
Hack 88: Find Reusable Media Online (New in 2nd Edition!)
"You're designing a new brochure, PowerPoint presentation, web site, or flyer and you need the right image to use with it fast. Put your hands in the air and step away from the cheesy clip art, now."
Hack 89: Get Your Data on a Map
"This hack points you to several of the best mashups that can help you adjust your commute home from work for traffic, decide where to live, help you find a nearby used car for sale, and figure out how far your jog across the bridge this morning really was."
Hack 90: Set Multiple Sites as Your Homepage
"You can set several web pages as your homepage in tabbed browsers (like Firefox and Internet Explorer 7) and also bookmark and open sets of tabs."
Hack 91: Access Unavailable Web Sites via Google
"Web sites go offline. They move, occasionally suffer from temporary unavailability or errors, or become slow to respond because of technical difficulties or a period of high user demand. In those cases, when you need the information right away, you need a mirror of that web site's content."
Hack 92: Take Your Browser Configuration with You
"Now that you've tricked out your copy of Firefox with extensions, bookmarklets, sets of bookmarks, and Quick Searches, the last thing you want to do is have to set it all up again at another computer. If you get a new computer, or want to transport your settings at home to the office, a handy utility called MozBackup can help."
Hack 93: Find Out About a Web Site
"When you find information on the web at a site you've never seen before, it's difficult to assess how trustworthy that source is. Although ultimately the decision is yours, there are several services that provide information about other web sites that can help you decide."
Hack 94: Have a Say in What Google Says About You
"Someone out there's trying to find information about you right now, whether it's a potential employer, date, or a long lost friend. What happens when she Googles you?"
Hack 95: Capture Web Clippings with Google Notebook
"Collecting bookmarks just isn't enough when you're doing serious web research. Web pages disappear, or the information you need is just one paragraph halfway down the page, or you want to annotate a page with your own notes for later reference."
Hack 96: Clear your Web Browsing Tracks
"Your web browser saves a lot of information about where you go and what you do online while you're surfing the web."
Chapter 10: Hone Your Computer Survival Skills
Hack 97: Rescue Your PC from Malware
"The scourge of personal computing in recent years has been malware: malicious software that installs itself without the user's consent and undermines the computer's operation for nefarious purposes, from identity theft to aggressive advertising to common vandalism."
Hack 98: Clean Up Your Startup
"When it comes to computer slowdowns that get worse over time, one of the biggest culprits is software installations that plant themselves in your PC's login sequence and start up automatically with your computer."
- Manage your Mac and PC's startup
- Download of the Day: AutoRuns
- Download of the Day: CCleaner 1.34.407 (Windows)
- Streamline your Windows startup
Hack 99: Undo System Configuration Changes
"You installed unstable software or made a configuration change to your PC that broke things left and right. Don't worry - all is not lost."
Hack 100: Truly Delete Data from Your Hard Drive
"The only sure way to securely and permanently delete sensitive files—like a customer database, secret company documents, or personal photos you don't want the guy who buys your hard drive on Ebay to see—is to overwrite them several times with new data."
Hack 101: Compare and Merge Files and Folders with WinMerge (New in 2nd Edition!)
"When several people work on the same set of files — making changes and copies — multiple versions can blossom out of control. Figuring out what's been updated on which version and merging it all back together can be a gargantuan task, but it doesn't have to be."
Hack 102: Firewall Your PC
"A home PC connected directly to the internet—especially with an always-on broadband connection like cable or DSL—is a prime target for malicious software attacks."
Hack 103: Firewall Your Mac (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Surprisingly, your new Mac doesn't ship with its firewall turned on by default. That's not a problem if your Mac accesses the Internet through another device that has a firewall on, such as a wireless router. But if you connect your Mac to the Internet at public wireless hotspots, or plug it directly into your broadband Internet connection, you should enable the firewall to avoid unwanted connections from other computers."
Hack 104: Speed Up Windows Vista with a Thumb Drive (New in 2nd Edition!)
"The best way to make a computer run faster is to add more system memory, or RAM. But not all computers have expansion slots available for additional memory, and installing internal memory sticks can be an intimidating undertaking for those who've never opened their computer and faced its silicon innards. That's why Microsoft introduced a new feature into Windows Vista called ReadyBoost, which lets you add memory to your PC with a regular USB flash drive."
Hack 105: Free Up Hard Drive Space
"Hard drive space is cheap and plentiful, but you don't have to run out to buy a whole new drive the minute you start pushing your current disk's space limits."
Hack 106: Resurrect Deleted Files
"When you delete files from your computer's hard drive, the data is not actually erased. In reality, the space it occupies is marked as available for your operating system to overwrite with new data."
Hack 107: Hot Image Your PC for Instant Restoration (New in 2nd Edition!)
"Over time and with heavy usage, your PC can become slow and unstable, bogged down with programs you don't use and victim of system changes that make it behave in ways you never intended. If you've ever encountered the "blue screen of death" — that is, had your Windows PC crash entirely — you may know what a tedious job rebuilding your computer can be. Reinstalling the operating system and applications and restoring your documents can take time you don't have."
Hack 108: Recover Files from an Unbootable PC
"Few moments in computing are as heartbreaking as when you turn on your trusty PC only to receive that bone-chilling message: Boot sector corrupt. Config.sys missing. Disk cannot be read."
Turns out there's so much content in the book, our publishing system can't handle it all in one post! Stay tuned for the contents of the all-new, Chapter 11 on managing multiple computers in a future post.