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Get This 170-page Windows 7 E-Book For Free

A couple of weeks ago I told you about a great free e-book of photography tips.  It proved hugely popular, so here's another free e-book that you can download and add to your digital library.

The Windows 7 Power User's Guide is a 170-page book that does what it says.  There are 16 chapters, covering everything you might want to know about making the most of Windows 7.  Whether you're already using Microsoft's latest OS, or you're thinking of switching, this book is definitely worth having.

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A Fascinating Article About Passwords

How do you choose a good password?  And what's meant by "good" anyway?  Is a long password better than a short one?  What about a long one that consists of many short words? 

If you've ever wondered how hackers manage to crack passwords, and why some are more difficult to crack than others, there's a fascinating article at http://www.baekdal.com/tips/password-security-usability which is a very interesting read.

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I'm Impressed With This Open-Source Organizer/Mindmap Tool

I recently wrote about a number of online services that offer a "virtual corkboard" application as an information manager and outliner.  I mentioned at the time that I had been unable to find such a program which runs natively under Windows.  A kind-hearted reader suggested in a comment to my story that I should check out a program called VUE, so I decided to do just that.

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Create .SWF Flash Moves With This Free Windows App

One of the most popular ways to create animation effects on a web site is to use Flash.  The official method for creating a Flash movie, ie a .SWF file, is to use Adobe's software.  But it's difficult to use, and very expensive.

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Reformat PDF Files Into Booklets Etc for Quicker, Cheaper Printing

Gimposition is a small, free Windows utility which alters the internals of a PDF file to change the page sizes, orders, orientations etc.  You can get it from http://www.noliturbare.com/pdf-tools/simple-imposition.  The download is less than 1 MB, though it does require .NET Framework 2.0.

So, why would you want such a program? The most common reason would be for printing a PDF file in booklet format, so that, when the stack of printed sheets is folded, the pages of the document are in the correct order. 

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Microsoft Launches Free On-Demand Virus/Malware Scanner

Microsoft has launched a new, free virus/malware scanner, that's designed to be used if you think your computer might be infected.

The program is called the Microsoft Safety Scanner.  To use it, download the file from http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/en-us/default.aspx and then run it on your PC.  The app is portable, so doesn't need an installer.  When you run it, it will analyze your computer and detect, and remove, many of the most prevalent viruses.

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The Virtual Corkboard. Could This Be The Best Personal Organizer App?

For years, I've been seeking the perfect organiser app for my PC.  My current favourite is probably TreePad, which is basically a tree-structured version of Windows Notepad.

But if you were to organise your thoughts on your real desk, rather than a virtual one, think for a moment about how you'd do it.  Chances are, you'd write things on small pieces of paper, and move them about.  So how come there are so few PC applications that allow you to do such things?

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Create Your Own Portable, Virtual Version Of Any Windows Program

I like the idea of portable applications.  They don't need any installation, so they don't add anything to your registry and they don't install any new services or drivers.  To run the program, just double-click it.  To uninstall the program, just delete the file(s) that make up the application.

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A Great Collection of Science-Oriented Tutorial Videos

The internet provides a great learning environment, and lots of sites offer collections of free videos that you can watch in order to teach yourself about various subjects.  One excellent example, which has been mentioned a couple of times recently in our forums, is the Khan Academy.  It hosts over 2000 short videos, instantly available for you to watch online within your browser for free. 

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Controversial Advertising Program Now Being Embedded in More Software

OpenCandy (OC) is an advertising product that some software developers are bundling with their programs. It can now be found in the installers of dozens of popular programs.

OpenCandy employs some controversial techniques in its operation and this has created some heated discussions in Internet forums and blogs. Some say it is adware or spyware while others say it is just another legitimate form of advertising. Whatever, you need to be aware of this product and its potential pitfalls.

How OpenCandy Works

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