App and Software News

Speed up Windows XP and Vista startup time

Nothing is more annoying that waiting and watching your PC struggle as your operating system slowly loads. Tom Merritt offers some new tips on how to speed up startup in both Windows XP and Windows Vista.

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Tags: Windows , Windows software , Vista , XP

iTunes updates for DRM-free music

iTunes updates for DRM-free music

After Steve Jobs' open letter to record executives back in February, it was clear that DRM-free music (music without digital rights management technology) wasn't far away for Apple users. Today, the concept became a reality with the release of iTunes 7.2 (download it for Windows or Mac OS X).

As of today, all of the songs from music label EMI on Apple's iTunes Store will be free of DRM via a new service called iTunes Plus. (Note: that link will open... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Apple , iTunes , Windows software

Windows and Linux converge

Windows and Linux converge

The alternative, open-source operating system Linux has been making news recently. Last week, Dell began shipping PCs with the Linux distribution Ubuntu pre-installed, and on Friday I took a look at Wubi, free Windows software that lets you install and run Ubuntu on your Windows machine without creating a boot CD or partitioning your hard drive.

According to recent stats from W3Counter, Linux still holds only a tiny fraction of the personal-computing market share (slightly... Read More »

Tags: Windows , Windows software , Linux

10 years of Lara Croft

10 years of Lara Croft

Back in 1996, Eidos Interactive released the ground-breaking adventure game Tomb Raider from Core Design. Not only did Lara Croft quickly become the most famous female video game character ever, the quiet, exploratory nature of the adventure game was a refreshing change from the other major console titles of the day.

After some successful and not-so-successful sequels, the franchise bounced from one development house to another and finally landed with Crystal Dynamics, which was able to reinvigorate the series with... Read More »

Tags: games , Windows software

Wubi makes Linux on Windows simple

Wubi makes Linux on Windows simple

Computer giant Dell made big news yesterday when it began shipping desktops and laptops pre-installed with Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution. I'm not sure who the heck is going to buy a Linux Dell, but it certainly marks a sea change in retail computing. In terms of prepackaged operating systems, users have basically been stuck for a long time with the solitary choice of Windows vs. Mac. The fact that consumers can now purchase a Linux machine with support from... Read More »

Tags: Windows , Windows software , Linux

Top 5 worst downloads of 2007 (so far)

We get thousands of fantastic software programs submitted to CNET Download.com, but there are always a few that don't live up to their billing. Tom Merritt walks you through a horror show of the worst new software released on CNET Download.com this year.

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Tags: Windows software

Power Downloader's software standbys

Power Downloader's software standbys

In the rapidly changing world of computer technology, the laptop Power Downloader purchased only a couple of years ago has quickly become obsolete. In order to keep up with the most advanced Internet criminals, Power decided that it was time to upgrade his trusty laptop. Once he found the right one with the fastest processor, extra RAM, and the latest features, he brought it back to the Power Lair for the most important part of the process: downloading software!

While it... Read More »

Tags: Windows software , AVG , Trillian , Mozilla Firefox , Ad-aware , Google Earth , ZoneAlarm , Power Downloader

Talk to everybody on your Mac

Talk to everybody on your Mac

Chat clients might be my favorite method for quick communication on my Mac at home or at work. Falling somewhere between the telephone and e-mail programs when it comes to communication, a good chat client offers advantages over both that make them unique and useful for anyone. They're especially helpful at work for sending links and files when the formality of an e-mail is too cumbersome for what you're trying to communicate.

I've used most popular chat clients for the Mac... Read More »

Topics: Mac Software

Tags: Mac , Chat

Echoes of 'Geometry Wars'

Echoes of 'Geometry Wars'

If anyone knows me, they know one thing: I love free PC shooters. The developers at Binary Zoo have made me very happy in recent years with their excellent releases Duo and Mono, and it seems like they've done it yet again. Their new game, Echoes, combines Asteroids and Geometry Wars to create another entertaining and addictive shoot-em-up.

The game menu is very similar to Duo and Mono, and easy for anyone to quickly understand and start playing. If you've never... Read More »

Tags: Windows software

Master your Windows processes

Master your Windows processes

By now, most users know all about antispyware software, antivirus apps, firewalls, and other essential tools for keeping your Windows machine lean and mean. (If you don't, be sure to check out the Security section of our PC Starter Kit.)

However, when your PC slows down and the Windows Task Manager says that a process named lsass.exe or svchost.exe is using 99 percent of your system resources, how do you know whether it's a legitimate task or something more insidious? When in... Read More »

Tags: Windows , Windows software