the Best of the Web for Windows 7 Users - August 2011

August had plenty of good stuff published on the web, unexpectedly so for a summer month. There was so much that I had to trim down our list of recommendations. For this month’s episode of the Best of the Web, we have great articles on topics such as: the future of Windows, useful downloads, image editing, building a computer from scratch and the future of games. Check it out!

Best of the Web

Let’s start with interesting articles we found across the web:

Ask Ars: Windows everywhere, or Windows nowhere? What is Microsoft's "single ecosystem"? - Windows 8 is definitely starting to get attention these days. With the Build conference coming next month, Ars Technica published a very interesting piece on Microsoft’s ambitions: having one operating system for all major hardware platforms (PC, tablet, smartphone). If you ask me, that’s one worthwhile goal. But will it work?

Windows 8: Improving our file management basics: copy, move, rename, and delete - Before changing the subject to another operating system, I would like to share some news which will make lots of people happy: Microsoft plans to improve Windows Explorer and all the basics about file management. For details, check out this blog post.

Download the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack - Microsoft launched a codec pack which brings support for RAW files in Windows. Once you install it, you can view RAW image files in Windows Explorer and edit them in Windows Live Photo Gallery. Sounds too good to be true, isn’t it? Check out this video for proof. :)

GT Explains: What is the Difference Between JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP Image Formats? - Speaking of images, the team from Guiding Tech explains the differences between all the popular image formats. An article definitely worth reading.

How to Build a Computer from Scratch, Lesson 1: Hardware Basics - Lifehacker has started a series of articles about building your own computer from scratch. They have five lessons on the topic. The one we like best and recommend to all our readers, is the first, which explains the hardware basics.

Dual Monitor Taskbar Adds Workable Windows 7 Taskbar To Second Monitor - If you have a dual monitor setup, you might want to see the Windows 7 taskbar on both monitors. If you do, check out this free tool recommended by Addictive Tips.

The Future of Gaming: a Portrait of the New Gamers - Even though I play games a lot less than I used to, I still consider myself a gamer. And if there’s one thing I don’t like about gaming, is how the press portrays it as something potentially harmful and bad for your sanity & health. This thought-provoking video, shares interesting perspectives about how gaming has evolved in the last few years and how it will evolve in the future.

The Future of Gaming: a Portrait of the New Gamers from latddotcom on Vimeo.

Webcast: The Complex Anatomy of The Home Network

If you missed attending my first webcast for O’Reilly Media, you can view it’s recording on Youtube.

If you want to skip all the introductory part and get right to viewing the interesting data, go to minute 15:30.

Best of 7 Tutorials

Except the very popular competition we ran together with Kaspersky, we did have a few hit articles this month. In order of their popularity, they are the following:

Uncovering Artists Through Windows 7 Themes - Georgiana Gîrboan - we are happy to see that our interview with Georgiana turned out to be a major hit. Her work really deserves attention and praise. Those of you who have not yet downloaded the Windows 7 theme featuring Georgiana’s work, you should do it now. You will love it!

What is Windows Live Mesh & Why You Should Use It - this month we started covering Windows Live Mesh. It turns out that you actually enjoyed it and read our first article on the topic in quite large numbers. I think you will be happy to learn that we will continue our series of articles about this application.

Security for Everyone - Reviewing BitDefender Internet Security 2012 - BitDefender celebrated their 10-year anniversary with a new version of products and a change of their logo and corporate philosophy. We did our best to review their Internet Security solution as fast as possible and share with you if it is worth the upgrade. Well... is it? Find out for yourself, by reading the review.

I’m hoping you enjoyed browsing through this month’s recommendations as much as I enjoyed putting them together. If you have any recommendations of your own, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

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About the Author: Ciprian Adrian Rusen
I love technology and I work in IT for more than a decade. I am the co-founder of Digital Citizen and its chief editor. Alongside my work as an editor, I am also an author. I have written and published 7 books, most of them about Microsoft products and technologies. They are translated into more than 12 languages. In 2014, I have been recognized by Microsoft for my technical expertise and involvement in the community with the title of Microsoft MVP - Windows Consumer Expert.