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

This month brings lots of news and goodies to share with all Windows users. We also improved the format of the roundup, to feature more kinds of articles relevant to our readers. If I managed to stir your curiosity, don’t hesitate to read on.

The Best Tech Related News

First, let’s start with some of the most interesting news articles we discovered this month:

The Windows 7 Pagefile And Running Without One - this a great analysis which tries to determine if it is OK to run Windows without a pagefile (as some people recommend). The analysis confirms that there is no performance benefit to running without a pagefile (a file on your hard disk used as virtual memory). Unless you have huge amounts of RAM memory installed (8GB or above), then please allow Windows to work with a pagefile.

If your PC picks up a virus, whose fault is it? - this is an interesting article which tries to answer this question using data from the author’s experience and two recent studies. You should read it!

What Microsoft Can Learn After Choking Off Desktop Gadgets - in case you did not know this, Microsoft killed its support for their Desktop Gadgets, which are used Windows Vista and Windows 7. This article highlights some interesting lessons Microsoft should have learned from the failed experience with gadgets. I hope some of the company’s executives will read it and improve their future approach.
But let’s get back to users - if you want to download and install cool gadgets, you need to look elsewhere than the Microsoft gallery. That’s why we did a bit of research and shared The Best Remaining Desktop Gadgets for Windows 7.

Mozilla blocks McAfee Firefox extension, citing "explosive crashes" - I found this to be a funny read. Apparently, McAfee’s failures continue with free browser extensions. Here’s hoping that the company will wake from their complacent state and develop great security software again.

Hands-on: new Ubuntu One cloud storage client for Windows - if you are using both Linux and Windows on your computers and you want to sync your files and folders across, then Windows Live Mesh from Microsoft is not a viable solution. You should consider the Ubuntu One service which now has a great Windows client.

Tribute Video to Steve Jobs - this month has been dominated by news regarding Steve Jobs’ death and biography. Many things have been written about the man. Out of all, I especially enjoyed the video tribute made by Gizmodo. If you haven’t seen it already, you should view it.

The Best Tech Tips & Guides

We would like to introduce a new section, to highlight great tips & tutorials from our competitors in the world of computing tutorials. Here are a few guides we suggest for reading:

LiveMinutes is an Amazing (and Free) Web Conferencing Solution - if you need to start a quick web conference with a friend or co-worker, you should try this web application. Tried it once myself and it worked great. That’s why I bookmarked it for later use, when the need arises.

How do I browse a hard drive that has viruses? - this is not a tutorial per se but a very interesting discussion which includes some really good recommendations from knowledgeable users. If you find yourself having the same dilemma, you should read the whole conversation.

LikeJournal Saves Your Facebook Likes As Searchable Social Bookmarks - the folks from Guiding Tech suggest a Facebook application which records all the things you like on the web and then organizes them as a bookmark collection, which you can organize further by tagging. Simple and useful!

Facebook security updates – how to make your account more secure - a security specialist from ESET - famous provider of security solutions - covers the latest security updates made by Facebook and shares useful recommendations on how to secure your account and what you are sharing. If you are interested in this subject, don’t hesitate to also read our guide: Security on Facebook - How to Have a Safe & Pleasant Experience.

How to Reinstall Windows Without Having to Reactivate - this tutorial shows how to backup and restore your Windows activation status, prior to making a Windows re-installation. Can be useful if you are trying to save as much time and as many clicks as possible.

The Best of 7 Tutorials

Last but not least, here is a recap of the most popular articles we published this month:

12 Reasons why Windows Explorer in Windows 8 Rocks - as expected, Windows 8 tops the charts. This article is one of the most viral articles we ever published, being featured for a few hours on the home page of Hacker News.

Uncovering Artists Through Windows 7 Themes - Andrei Niculescu - photographer Andrei Niculescu not only proved to be a nice guy to work with, but also a popular professional. His work enjoys the position of the second most read article we published this month.

How to Use the On-Screen Keyboard - when we decided to write this tutorial, we did not expect it to be this popular. It was nice to see it being so popular also because it is the first article written by our new team member - Chad Whitley. Cool stuff to write a popular first article, isn’t it?

I hope you enjoyed this month’s roundup. If you have some cool links to share, don’t hesitate to use the comments form below.

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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.