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Microsoft made some bold changes to Windows with its latest release. The latest version of the operating system had garnered a lot of attention and emotions from users tend to run on both the love and hate side with very few middle-of-the-road feelings. But Microsoft is always careful about a couple of things — one is backwards compatibility and the other is user customization.

Windows 8, in those ways, is no different from its predecessors. Programs that ran under Windows 7, Vista and even XP will, for the most part, run in Windows 8. Users can also make the operating system look the way they want, just as they have been able to do in the past. Things that can not be changed under the native OS can be handled by the plethora of -third-party apps that have been pouring into the market.


Many of us have more than one computer and despite how easy it is to multi-task in Windows, there are times when it is easier to use two computers at the same time – particularly if you have a desktop and a laptop.

But this means having to battle with a lot of peripherals – two keyboards and two mice for starters. Synergy is a great free tool that enables you to reduce desk clutter by using a single mouse and keyboard to control two computers.


“Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better.” – Sydney J Harris

I don’t think I am the only one who agrees with the quote above. Windows 7’s successor, Windows 8, was released some while ago and chances are, you either really don’t like the system or you absolutely love it.

Good odds are also that you are having a hard time learning or adapting to the whole new interface. There are so many new features in your new operating system that you might have not discovered or simply didn’t know it existed. This article will mostly consist some essential tips on basic features that you should learn and get used to.


If you are looking for a bit of nostalgic gaming then you do not have any real shortage of options. Nostalgia is big business these days too. Games that many of us grew up playing in arcades and even in our living rooms on consoles like the Atari 2600 (the first console), Sega Genesis and the original Nintendo box, are still popular.

Although I doubt many young children are playing these aging 8-bit classics, those of us who grew up on them still enjoy the trip down memory lane.


Chrome, the popular web browser from search and advertising giant Google, did not invent tabs or add-ons. Both of these were the creation of Mozilla and its Firefox browser. However, Chrome has become the web browser of choice among the tech crowd, and even, perhaps, the more mainstream crowd.

Of course, I can not tell you what extensions you will necessarily like best, or what will fit your needs. However, I can attempt to steer you towards some extensions that you may not be aware of and that you may just find very useful in your day-to-day life on the web. This is a personal list, of course, as all of these sorts of things are. But, it is what has been useful to me and, hopefully, you will find one or two, or even more, that you will find useful as well.

So, with all of that in mind, then let us get on with the list.


I have had enough of talking about video, TV and Media Center-type stuff for the moment. It is time to move to the other side of the spectrum — music. It seems like, for many of us, our music library is in a more or less constant state of disarray. If you are, like me, always looking for a solution to organize it, and prefer free, then there are several options available out there.

However, my favorite over the past few years has proven to be MP3Tag. Over the time I have used this, it has proven to be the simplest, but also the best, solution of the many I have tested and thrown away, some of them I even paid before and then hated!


These things seem to go in cycles. I spent four posts looking at ways you could cut the cord and, while this is not a series, it is still my second post about getting your music library organized. Perhaps it is simply because mine is such a total mess. Regardless of my personal procrastination with music libraries I do sometimes try and fix it up and I have an array of apps I have found over the years to aid me in my quest to accomplish this hopeless task.

The last time around, I talked about MP3Tag (my favorite app by the way), but this time around I wanted to show you an app I found even before that — MP3 Renamer. In fact, this was one of the first ones to become a staple in my armory to combat that dreaded, bloated pile of music that I both love and hate.


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.


Billing by the hour can be both a blessing and a curse for freelancers and contractors. Although not so common in publishing professions such as web development and consulting live and breath this method.

Long term contracts in particular where the freelancer is basically an employee prefer hour-by-hour billing. There’s many different programs to keep track of the time. The most basic offer little more than a jazzed up calendar while other go the whole hog with automatic tracking and analytics.

Time Cockpit offers individual users and teams a middle-of-the-road solution with their new combination of desktop app and web portal. Let’s check it out.


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