How to run Windows programs in a browser tab for free

Most of the time we focus on helpful tips for Windows users, but today’s article will also appeal to anyone with a Chromebook. A company named Cameyo is known for its software that lets you run Windows program from a USB stick, but it also offers a virtualization service that lets you run full-blown Windows desktop programs in a browser for free.

Cameyo offers a number of open source programs by default, and if you don’t find what you need you can also upload your own EXE files. Cameyo isn’t perfect. Virtual programs tend to run slowly, some don’t work at all, and using personal files with the apps is not as obvious as it could be.

Nevertheless, Cameyo can come in handy in a pinch when you’re away from your primary PC. Here’s how it works.

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How to enable Chrome's clutter-free experimental reading mode

Other browsers have had it for years, but Chrome is finally adding a “Reader mode” that strips down an online article to its most essential parts—images and text—to make it easier to read. The new feature, dubbed Distill, is currently a work in progress but is still worth trying out for full-time Chrome users.

Here’s how I enabled the Distill feature in Windows 8.1.

First, you’ll need to have Chrome pinned to your taskbar—a desktop shortcut would also work. If you haven’t pinned Chrome to your taskbar open Chrome, right-click the program’s icon and select “Pin this program to the taskbar.”

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How to deal with difficult SD cards that refuse to write data

SD cards rock for easily boosting the storage capabilities of PCs—I like to use them for Raspberry Pi images, among other things. There's just one problem: SD cards can be downright annoying to use with a computer. Most SD cards are write protected, and even when you think write protection is disabled Windows still often won’t recognize the card as writeable.

But there are a few things you can do to correct this situation. Success will vary depending on your hardware, of course, but here are three ways you can try to get SD cards to work with your set up.

Before you do anything, format it.

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View tons of Evernote data at once with CardDesk's digital corkboard

Evernote is a great tool for taking notes, clipping web pages, and saving other scraps of data you need to keep tabs on. But some people may not like its linear nature, where everything is clipped into notes contained in notebooks.

A web app called CardDesk (currently in beta) aims to change that. CardDesk is a digital corkboard that lets you organize your Evernote content as old-school index cards.

carddesk

CardDesk allows you to organize Evernote data as index cards on a corkboard.

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Stop your flash drive from yelling about fake problems every time you plug it in

Windows is full of cryptic error messages, but few are more annoying than seeing a warning every time you plug in a USB drive. You know the one I’m talking about: “There’s a problem with this drive. Scan the drive now and fix it.”

problemdrive

Windows warns you when USB drives may have corrupted data or weren’t ejected properly.

So you go through the motions, scan the stupid drive, fix it, and everything’s fine. Then the next time you connect it to your PC, there’s that darn message again.

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How a new Chrome extension from Dropbox makes Gmail more productive

Google made life a lot easier when it added the ability to include links to Drive documents within Gmail, and now Dropbox is offering the same feature for its service... if you're running Chrome.

Dropbox recently released a Chrome extension—currently in open beta—that adds a Dropbox icon in your Gmail compose window for easily adding sharing links to Dropbox files in email.

Here's how it works.

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Streamus transforms YouTube into a simple, ad-free music streaming service

If you're looking for a great way to stream popular music from your desktop have I got the service for you! It offers no restrictions of any kind, it's totally free, doesn't have ads (at least that I've heard), has one of the largest music libraries in the world, and you probably already have an account.

The name of this magical unicorn? YouTube.

No, I haven't found a way to get YouTube Music Key for free. What I'm talking about is a Chrome extension called Streamus that hooks into YouTube and offers as much music streaming as you can handle. Streamus doesn't play videos and doesn't require you to have a tab open. Instead, the extension just grabs the audio from the videos to let you listen to as much music as you want. If you ever do want to see the video, however, you can right-click any song to view it on Google's video site.

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