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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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Recovery: the last step in total data security

In recent issues, I’ve described Windows 7’s four levels of built-in data protection, each with differing capabilities for preserving your data.

Now I’ll tell you how to dig the data out of your backups, whether it’s a single file, a folder — or even your entire drive contents.

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Privacy smackdown: Facebook versus Google+

With Google+ rocketing to millions of users in record time, many people wonder whether the claims are true: is Google+ really that much better at defending your privacy than Facebook?

Facebook’s rocky history with fluctuating privacy settings and a memorable, scummy, mud-slinging attempt to smear Google make it easy to jump to conclusions, warranted or not. Here’s what you need to know.

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The advanced system-recover toolkit

You probably know and use various real-time antivirus tools, but there are also advanced security tools that work under the operating system.

Many of these are based on Linux and help scan, fix, or even reset Windows passwords.

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How to download and save streaming videos

How many times have you wanted to download and store an online streaming video so you could play it back at a different time or on a different machine?

While the basics of downloading YouTube and other videos have been around for a long time, there are tricks to getting the video you want into a format you can use.

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