In the late 90s and early 2000s, it was nearly impossible to find a PC that didn’t have Winamp installed on it. The music player with its sparse interface and plethora of plugins was everybody’s favourite. Its simplicity and ease-of-use for a non-techie was an instant sell, while the audiophiles were thrilled with the options it offered.

Since then, there has been no shortage of music players released, and while Foobar comes closest to capturing the glory of Winamp of old, it doesn’t quite match up. Try giving Foobar to someone who isn’t tech-savvy and see them struggle with it.

I’ve long been on the lookout for something that had the simplicity of the old Winamp, but had a modern and easy interface, so that my mom could use it. And it needed to be light so that it can run well on her netbook.

Gom Player still is my favourite movie player, so when they announced an audio player, I just had to take a look. So does Gom Audio match up to the Winamp of old?

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Ever since I first found out that you could run virtualized applications on the internet, I’ve been fascinated by the possibilities it offered. Sure, cloud-based apps themselves are great, but I have used Windows for 20 years now and always find it a bit more reassuring to run a Windows program.

Spoon’s pitch instantly attracted me: running virtualized versions of popular Windows software on any PC. Yes, unfortunately, it’s Windows-only for now, although the developers say other platforms will be supported soon.

There are so many reasons to instantly want to try out an app like Spoon.

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Friend: “Hey, I wanted to borrow some music from you.”

Me: “Sure, what do you need?”

Friend: “Well, what do you have?”

When you have been ripping music CDs since the last millennium and buying digital ever since the iTunes store opened, it gets pretty much impossible to list all the artists or albums you have, let alone those stray songs.

In fact, the need to list a bunch of files comes up quite often. On past occasions, I’ve needed a file stored on my PC at home and couldn’t remember what it was called or where it was saved. Asking my wife to read out every file over the phone would’ve probably resulted in a call from a divorce lawyer. Is there a better way out? Sure there is!

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So you have finally decided to trade in your old desktop or notebook PC for a new model. But before you resell or recycle it, you need to ensure that none of the personal data stored on your PC gets into the hands of whoever uses it next.

The quick way, of course, is to just format your hard drive. But if you are reselling the device, deleting Windows 7 or any older version of the OS will diminish its value; after all, your buyer wants a fully functional PC too.

Don’t worry, you can get rid of all your data with the help of a few apps.

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Perhaps the best part about Windows 8 is that it shares the same core with Windows Phone. This instantly translates into many apps that were made for mobiles coming onto the desktop platform a lot more easily.

Big Duck Games scored a big hit with their game Flow Free for both Android and iOS. And it’s not available on the Windows 8 Store as well as the Windows Phone Store (compatible with 7.5 or higher), ready to be downloaded for free.

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Need For Speed is the most popular racing video game franchise in the world. And Most Wanted is perhaps its most popular sub-franchise. The hit 2005 game garnered a wide fan following and was perhaps the peak of the NFS brand name.

Since then, NFS has stumbled a bit in its last few attempts. Developer Electronic Arts (EA) tried going full-simulation (more realistic car handling), it tried to strike a balance between sim and arcade, but it never quite felt right. And meanwhile, Criterion Games launched its Burnout series and scored a mega-hit with Burnout Paradise, an out-and-out arcade racer (handling is not realistic, but more attuned for easier gameplay and control). EA ended up buying Criterion and put it in charge of reviving the NFS flagship with a remake of the 2005 classic.

But can an old game in new clothing really live up to expectations? Is the second coming all that it was hyped to be? And does it appeal to newcomers who have never been NFS fans? Read on…

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Last year, I found myself in a quandary. With a new, large widescreen monitor, I felt I wasn’t making good use of the space I had available to me. I could so easily have had several windows open at the same time, but there wasn’t an easy way to do that with how Windows treats its, well, windows.

And that real estate space can be quite valuable. You can keep a document open there – perhaps as a reference – while you open other windows on the side. It’s not exactly what the Window Snap function does either, since that evenly divides your screen; the ability to give you control on how to divide your screen can be priceless. And that’s where MaxMax shines.

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NaNoWriMo is upon us, and if you’re a writer, this is one tool you must have in your arsenal. I have been using WordWeb for as long as I can remember and it’s among the first few programs I install on any new PC.

WordWeb is a dictionary and thesaurus tool for Windows, iOS and Android. And if you thought that the new Windows 8’s global dictionary reduces a need for this, think again. WordWeb is infinitely more user-friendly, features several more options and is just as unobtrusive while doing all that.

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