What’s Windows.old, and Can I Delete It?

Windows.old

If you’ve chosen to make the jump to Windows 8 by upgrading an existing Windows installation, you’ll notice that sitting on your hard drive is a large folder named Windows.old. Created to avoid data loss after upgrading, the Windows.old folder contains all the system and user files from before the upgrade. The folder also happens to be a couple gigs in size, and in our case, took up half the hard drive, so we chose to delete it (and promptly regretted the decision). Here’s everything you need to know about the mysterious Windows.old folder to help you decide whether or not to keep it.

Posted in: Guides, Tips, Windows

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Make an MP3 Player Dock Out of Floppy Drives

Custom Zune Dock

In need of a dock for your iPod, Zune, or other portable media player? Instead of emptying my wallet for a premium dock with a built in speaker, external player controls, and other gimmicks, I went to a craft store and paid five dollars for a hot glue gun to assemble a cheap, yet effective Zune HD dock out of some old floppy drives and cardboard. It plugs into any set of speakers that take the standard 3.5mm plug and includes a sync cable for charging and media transfers. Here’s how I assembled the cheapest PMP dock ever – so you can do it too.

Posted in: Hardware
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Samsung Unveils Ativ Tab 3 with Full Windows 8

Samsung Ativ Tab 3

The Windows 8 tablet market hasn’t taken off so well, as Android and iOS tablets continue to dominate in the hands of consumers. Not so fast, said Samsung recently when they unveiled their latest and greatest Windows 8 tablet: the ATIV Tab 3, a 10.1 inch superslim device that runs the full Windows 8 OS. With a competitive price point of around $700 including a keyboard dock and $500 without, Samsung’s new ATIV Tab 3 aims to fill the niche that netbooks were originally designed for: low end specs and a ten hour battery life for portability without giving up the features capabilities found in a desktop or laptop computer.

Posted in: Hardware, News, Windows

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Xbox Music App Redesigned for Windows 8.1

The New Xbox Music

Clunky, slow, and with advertisements front and center, the Xbox Music app for Windows 8 is a huge downgrade to Microsoft’s older Windows Media Player and Zune softwares. With Windows 8.1, the next major update to Windows 8, the Xbox Music app has been revamped to put your music collection first and upfront, instead of all the songs you haven’t purchased. In terms of user interface design, the new app is a huge step forward, where instead of tucking hidden menus and sorting options into corners, they are now easily accessible. In terms of clicks, the amount of button-pressing required to play music has been reduced from six to two.


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Staying Hidden: 3 Quick Ways to Increase Online Privacy

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Google Government Requests

Privacy. That’s the buzzword that’s been popping up all over the Internet after The Guardian acquired documents detailing tracking and surveillance operations performed by the National Security Agency. It’s not just the government that’s been keeping eyes on your browsing history though: popular online services and a majority of the websites you visit are watching where you’re going, too. Here we’ve set up 3 quick ways to help conceal your Internet presence, making it harder for third parties to make a detailed profile of you as you browse the web.

Posted in: Guides, Software

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DEFCON Game Review

DEFCON Review

Blocky vector graphics are normally a thing of the past these days and DEFCON is a beautiful exception. DEFCON is a real time strategy global thermonuclear war simulator heavily inspired by the movie WarGames. You control boats, planes, and missile silos, in a worldwide battle where the goal is is to destroy as many enemy cities as you can while keeping your own citizens as safe as possible. Here’s our review for DEFCON – a game that requires cunning, deception, and skill to defeat enemy players in a global conflict accessible from a netbook computer.


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What’s up with the Windows Phone Sync Tool?

My Windows Phone syncing

Before the advent of Windows Phone 8, nearly all of Microsoft’s mobile devices used the Zune software to sync music, videos, and pictures back and fourth. A common complaint was that without mass storage capabilities, users could not use any alternatives such as iTunes or Winamp to sync media to their devices. Windows Phone 8 now supports traditional ‘drag and drop’ file transfer through Windows Explorer, and works with (most) media managers. The downside? WP8 devices can no longer be synced using the Zune software, and the new official desktop sync tool has less than a quarter of Zune’s features.

Posted in: Windows

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