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What you should know about Windows’ Event Viewer

Most of the Windows utilities we talk about in the Windows Secrets Newsletter help you work faster or better or smarter, but Windows Event Viewer doesn’t fall into that category. A powerful diagnostic tool, Event Viewer is now being used by online support scammers who make big bucks preying on people’s fears.

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Making the most of Really Simple Syndication

Almost all sufficiently advanced websites these days use RSS — Really Simple Syndication — to keep you notified of the latest information posted on the site. If you’ve never used an RSS feed — or if you use RSS but don’t know how it works — you’re in for a pleasant surprise.

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Take your PC’s temperature — for free!

Overheating in PCs can cause unexpected hangs and shutdowns — and even shorten the life of your computer. Fortunately, it’s easy to monitor your system’s temperature and to correct the most common causes of overheating.

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Getting the most from Windows Search — Part 2

In my Sept. 22 Woody’s Windows column, I stepped you through the basics of searching in Windows 7 — in particular, Win7′s two undocumented search idiosyncrasies that can cause no end of confusion. In Part 2, I give you the advanced course, including how to search in Win7 the way you used to in Windows XP, Windows 95, or (gulp!) even DOS.

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Using Windows 7′s XP Mode — step by step

Looking for a sure-fire way to keep your oldest Windows applications alive while living in a Windows 7 world? You’ll find it with Win7′s XP Mode, a free and fully functional version of XP Professional SP3 that runs entirely inside Windows 7. And even if you don’t have ancient apps to support, you gotta admit: keeping XP around for those times you want to indulge in a bit of nostalgia is pretty cool.

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The sorry tale of the (un)Secure Sockets Layer

Two brazen Web-server break-ins this year call into question one of the Internet’s fundamental security mechanisms — website security certificates. Because the most recent breach affected only PC users in Iran, most of us assume we’re immune. But we’re not; here’s why — and what we can do to protect ourselves.

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Certificate cleanup for most personal computers

A little Dutch company potentially lets a flood of problems into our Windows machines.

The company manages digital certificates; after its recent break-in by hackers, security certificates for Mozilla, Yahoo, WordPress, and other sites are now suspect.

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Top iPad apps for Windows users: Part II

Getting an iPad to peacefully co-exist with your Windows gear is easier than you think.

With 500,000 or so iOS apps now available in the iTunes App Store — 100,000 of which are just for the iPad — and a whole lot of very smart people working on bridging the interplanetary gaps between Apple’s tablet and Windows, an iPad can be the best peripheral your PC ever had. Or vice-versa.

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Tame a new system’s hard-drive bloat

You just bought that new Windows 7 computer, and the next thing you know — you’re running out of space.

Here are some tips and tricks to show where your hard drive space is going.

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Top iPad apps for Windows users: Part I

Full disclosure: I love my iPad2. Don’t know how I ever lived without it.

On the other hand, I have a complex, love-hate dependency on Windows. Getting the best from both? Not so easy.

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