By: Addie Klimek and Crystal Zhao

It is 2015 and sleek, speedy technology has been integrated into every part of our lives. We wake up to the strident pings of smartphone alarms, learn using the newest laptops, and are lulled to sleep by music from the same devices. Despite that fact that we are surrounded by these devices, not many of us know them very well. Technology-induced headaches can usually be solved or prevented easily, and many minor computer annoyances probably already have solutions. Below are some tips and tricks that will hopefully lessen your first-world woes.

General Tips:

  1. The HBBYOD Wi-Fi username does NOT include the domain (
  2. This one seems like a no-brainer, but to stop your computer from overheating do not put it on a soft surface, like a pillow or a couch, for long. It blocks the laptop’s vents.

Mac Shortcuts:

  1. To type a special character for your foreign language class (Ex: tilde, accent mark, etc.) on a mac, use the keyboard shortcut E + HOLD.
  2. To start up your mac silently, hold the power button + F10/volume key + HOLD.
  3. If you are working in an application on a Mac that suddenly begins glitching or freezing, quickly hold down COMMAND + SHIFT + OPTION + ESC to force quit the application.
  4. To quickly close the tab you are working in, press COMMAND + W.
  5. If three is too high, and two is too low, change your computer’s volume in smaller increments by pressing OPTION + SHIFT + the volume keys.
  6. If you want to turn down the volume without the irritating, sticky sounds, press SHIFT + the volume keys.
  7. To quickly dictionary search a word on a mac, select it and press CONTROL + COMMAND + D.
  8. If your paper is growing too dull for your taste, spice it up by adding an emoji by pressing COMMAND + CONTROL + SPACE.
  9. To answer your tricky math problem quicker then switching to dashboard and tapping it out, press COMMAND + SPACE to bring up spotlight, and type your question in there.

PC Shortcuts:

  1. Hold down the windows key + tab to change apps. This does not apply to desktop apps.
  2. Hold down the windows key + Q to open the search charm in any app.
  3. Hold Ctrl  + (plus) or – (minus) to change the zoom.
  4. Hold Ctrl + D to hide the desktop.
  5. To switch keyboards, hold down the windows key + the spacebar.  This is handy for foreign language class.

We hope you find use for these suggestions. If you have problems that are not so easily solved or not listed here, some great tech tutorial websites are for mac users and for PCs. May 2015 be a tech-savvy year for all!