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Windows Media Player has been a part of the Microsoft operating system through quite a number of versions and it remains in place in Windows 8, almost as a relic from the past. But the app is still relevant, even on modern computers.  The software has quietly moved up to version 12, though it looks little different from the past few iterations.

Microsoft has not changed much in recent updates of the app and, in fact, has lost some functionality, given that the company removed DVD playback from the software — unless you pay the extra $20 for the Media Center Pack, which requires the Pro version of the operating system.

Otherwise, you will need to install a third-party app, such as the free VLC Player, which is my recommendation. But if you wish to pay, then grab something like Power DVD.

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For those who have a Windows Phone handset produced by Nokia, you likely are aware there is a Nokia suite of apps that the device maker has created specifically for its customers. The suite includes Music, Maps, Drive and Transit. Now the Finnish company is starting to make some of its apps available for Windows 8.

Previously, Nokia had supported Windows for backing up your phone via copying your contacts, calendar and photos from existing Nokia phones to the Microsoft SkyDrive service.

Recently Nokia Music rolled into the Windows Store with a brand new Metro, or Modern UI, style app that installs right to the new Windows 8 Start screen. The new app also will work on the Windows RT platform, which is the ARM-based version of the new operating system that powers such devices as the Surface tablet.

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We return for our third segment in the cord-cutter series, this time focusing on how to watch TV without a cable or satellite service. Previously we have looked at Media Center and its alternatives and media servers. This time around we will focus on the actual TV and movie sources available.

All of you likely know the big names in this market, and I will briefly touch on each of those, but there are less well known sources that can be indispensable in this effort. Those we will cover as well. There are so many sources, in fact, that it would be impossible to get them all, but I will hit the ones I have found most useful and rely on you to add others in the comments.

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With a webcam attached to your computer you have many options available to you. You can conduct video chats, set up a simple security system and much more. With Flutter installed, there is something completely different you can do.

When you’re watching a movie, or listening to music on your computer, you may need to quickly pause playback which results in a mad scramble to find your mouse or keyboard and then finding the right control in the media player you’re using. Flutter enables you to use your web cam for simple playback control.

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DVD’s are things of the past and not just on PC’s.  The DVD disks are too fragile and a pain to maintain.

With hard drives being sold at throwaway prices, people started moving away from DVD drives and looking at their PC’s as an convenient alternative. Today, I’m going to show how to turn your PC into a media center.

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If you’re a big consumer of entertainment, then you’re in the right place. I’m going to show you how to set up a home media center, complete with remote viewing capabilities.

Plex is a free, partially open-source, cross-platform app that allows you to manage and play videos, music, photos and more from a local or remote computer.

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In the previous article, I wrote about how to prank your friends using the inbuilt features in Windows 7.

This time, for extra fun, here are some small and harmless applications that will aid you in your quest for mischief.

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It is a boring day and you are at home with nothing to do and you just want to mess with someone. You could do a lot of things. You could take the Fight Night option (find the largest guy out on the streets, go up to him and punch him).

Or if you are a Windows enthusiast, you could try one of these pranks on your friend’s computer.

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