It’s there right in front of you every time you use GPS navigation: a triangle-shaped cursor representing your location on a GPS display, moving where you move. But did you know the cursor originates from Atari’s 1979 Asteroids arcade game? Here’s how it came to be. Modern in-Car Navigational Systems Began at Etak The triangle-shaped navigational cursor featured in many GPS units and in-car navigation systems originated with the Etak Navigator in 1985. The Navigator was the world’s first computerized in-car navigation system . The Navigator didn’t use GPS, but instead, used another clever method to keep track of your position on a display as you drove around in your car. Here’s a great video of the Navigator in action, in this case, re-branded as the “Travel Pilot” for the U.K. market. To make the Navigator’s display sharp and easily readable with the technology available at the time (and the low memory available due to cost reasons), the Etak team used a vector CRT … [Read more...] about Did You Know? The GPS Triangle Cursor Comes From Atari’s Asteroids
All Windows 10 PCs have “Game Mode” enabled by default. Microsoft once touted this feature, but it’s now faded into the background. Bizarrely, some people report that disabling Game Mode boosts the performance of certain PC games! What Does “Game Mode” Do on Windows 10? First introduced in Windows 10’s Creators Update , which was released back in April 2017, “ Game Mode ” promises to boost the performance of many PC games. Here’s the official description: Microsoft says that Game Mode “helps achieve a more stable frame rate depending on the specific game and system.” Technically, it works by detecting games and giving them priority access to your computer’s resources. The game you’re focused on playing gets more CPU and GPU resources, while other applications and background processes get fewer resources. This only works if Windows 10 detects that you’re playing a game. Microsoft’s limited explanation of Game Mode also says that, in Game Mode, Windows Update won’t … [Read more...] about Did You Know? Windows 10 PCs Have “Game Mode” on by Default
Windows has featured a taskbar at the bottom of the screen since the beginning. That position made sense back in the day, but on modern computers, it doesn’t. I’m here to tell you the taskbar should be on the left. The Origins of the Horizontal Taskbar To understand why the taskbar should be on the left side—or right side—we should first take a look at where it started. Windows 1.0 included a taskbar at the bottom of the screen, but it was only for showing minimized applications. The taskbar we know today first showed up in Windows 95 . RELATED: Windows 95 Turns 25: When Windows Went Mainstream Windows 95 was actually the first version that supported moving the taskbar as well, but it wasn’t really needed at that time. Up until around 2003, computer monitors primarily used a 4:3 aspect ratio, which meant that there was almost as much vertical space as horizontal space. Windows 95 Since the vertical and horizontal sizes were similar, the taskbar spanning … [Read more...] about Why Your Windows Taskbar Should Always Be on the Left Side
Have you ever opened social media and realized that a complicated news story happened while you were away? That’s how it feels to be OOTL, or “out of the loop.” Out of the Loop and in the Loop OOTL and ITL stand for “out of the loop” and “in the loop,” respectively. In both of these phrases, “the loop” generally refers to being knowledgeable or aware of a topic, such as recent events. Being OOTL means that you’re ignorant about a particular subject, while being ITL means that you’re knowledgeable and a part of the conversation. Someone who isn’t ITL would therefore be OOTL. The phrases that these two acronyms come from have been in the English lexicon for a very long time and have generally retained a similar meaning. OOTL is similar to other initialisms like LTTP and ELI5, which stand for “late to the party” and “explain like I’m five,” respectively. All of them indicate that you don’t entirely know or understand something and would like it explained. On the other hand, … [Read more...] about What Do “OOTL” and “ITL” Mean, and How Do You Use Them?
DuckDuckGo is a privacy-focused search engine that’s been online since 2008. Find websites, maps, videos, news, and more—without tracking your searches and serving you targetted ads. Here’s how to make the switch from Google, Bing, or any other search engine. Most Browsers Already Include DuckDuckGo as a Search Option DuckDuckGo has been gaining ground for over a decade, finally breaking through to the “mainstream” in September of 2014 when Apple offered it as a default search engine option in Safari for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. Later, in November of the same year, Mozilla added it to Firefox 33.1. RELATED: What Is DuckDuckGo? Meet the Google Alternative for Privacy Since then, almost every major browser has recognized DuckDuckGo by making it an optional default search engine. This includes Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, and Opera. Google Chrome Launch Chrome, click on the “three dots” menu icon in the top-right corner of the window, and click “Settings.” … [Read more...] about How to Switch to DuckDuckGo, a Private Search Engine
WhatsApp is one of the most popular messaging services on the planet. But it’s not without its problems. If you want to leave because of WhatsApp fatigue or privacy issues, here’s how to delete your WhatsApp account. You can delete your WhatsApp account from the iPhone or Android app within seconds. But before you do that, you should know that this action is irreversible. If you’re simply moving to a new phone , you don’t need to delete your account. RELATED: How to Seamlessly Transfer Your WhatsApp Messages to Your New Phone Once your WhatsApp account is deleted, you will lose access to all your messages and media. In fact, WhatsApp will also delete your backups from iCloud and Google Drive. When you sign up for a WhatsApp account again, your old data won’t be restored. You will lose your account details and profile photo, and WhatsApp will delete you from all WhatsApp groups (though the groups themselves will remain). According to WhatsApp’s policies, it … [Read more...] about How to Delete Your WhatsApp Account