Last Week's Best Posts

You wanted hard drive improvements, you wanted cheaper PCs and you wanted better iTunes organisation. Kick off your Lifehacker Monday by making sure you didn't miss any of the biggest posts from last week:

  • Why Your PC Costs So Much (Or So Little)
    There’s a lot of factors that contribute to the price of computers and other tech gadgets. Some new figures from the Australian Taxation Office give an interesting insight into an area you probably don’t think about that often: rent, labour and other retailing costs.
  • Top 10 Hard Drive Upgrades And Fixes You should never feel like your hard drive is holding out on you. Anyone should be able to back up, recover files, boot multiple systems, upgrade or otherwise improve their storage space. These tips explain the possibilities and procedures.
  • iTuner Is The One iTunes Helper To Rule Them All (Windows) If you're an iTunes user with a bunch of helper programs to show what's playing, grab lyrics, export playlists, organise files and sync with your USB device, you might be able to do it all at once with free utility iTuner.
  • HTC Desire Has A GPS Bug
    The HTC Desire is one of the more desirable Android phones on the market. Unfortunately, it turns out that the model released in Australia through Telstra has a bit of a GPS bug. (It's been fixed now).
  • Hangover Cures: Myth, Legend And Fact Hangovers rank right up there with drunk dialing your angry ex as one of the least pleasant drinking-related side effects. Stave off a hangover with these before and after tips-and skip the hangover myths.
  • VidCoder Streamlines HandBrake's UI For Easy Ripping And Converting (Windows) HandBrake is a killer tool for ripping DVDs and converting videos to friendly formats. Its interface, though, is a bit imposing to first-time users, at least on Windows. VidCoder builds on HandBrake's core powers and adds pared-down menus and options.
  • Optus Joins The Unlimited Fray, Sort Of
    Optus has lined up alongside AAPT, Exetel and TPG in offering an “unlimited” broadband package. As with its rivals, the devil is in the detail — “unlimited” in this case is code for “we’ll shape you after you exceed the limit”.
  • Foreign Service Institute's Extensive Language Courses Are Available Free Online The US Foreign Service Institute teaches foreign languages to government diplomats and personnel for duties abroad-and its courses are available online, for free. Which means you can access audio, texts, and tests in 41 different languages.
  • Windows Home Server "Vail" Available For 64-Bit Testing Got a 64-bit PC sitting around, just waiting for a purpose? Dig the idea of automated backups and media streaming in your home? Microsoft is offering up free downloads of its next Windows Home Server, dubbed "Vail," for public testing.
  • The Cleverest Ways To Use Dropbox That You're Not Using Free utility Dropbox is great at syncing files between computers, but it has a lot more potential than just that. Here's a handful of clever ways you can use Dropbox that you may not have thought of.
  • USB Safeguard Encrypts Portable Flash Drives, Securely Deletes Files (Windows) USB Safeguard is a portable program that encrypts files on your flash drive in case you lose it. It also stores your email or phone number or shreds files in case you lose it.
  • Turn Your XBMC Media Centre Into A Video Game Console We love XBMC media centres for watching movies and TV, but if you like video games, they can do so much more. With a simple plug-in, some configuration, and a USB gamepad, you can play video games straight from your set-top box.
  • Granola Scales Your CPU For Energy Savings (Windows/Linux) Your computer's processor may be able to handle 3D shooters and complex rendering, but most of the time, you probably just need it to render Gmail. System utility Granola scales back your processor at such times to save energy and money.
  • See What Facebook Publicly Publishes About You With Facebook's new Open Graph API causing such a stir, many people are questioning what Facebook is publishing to the public. Developer Ka-Ping Yee has created a simple tool that shows you what everyone else can see.
  • UnknownDevices Recognises Your Hardware When Device Manager Can't (Windows) When Windows' Device Manager just can't seem to give you information about a piece of hardware, free, open-source utility UnknownDevices will point you in the right direction, allowing you to find the necessary drivers to get it up and running.
  • Make the Most of Your Multiple Monitors In Windows 7 The price of extra monitors has fallen steadily over the years, quality has risen, and Windows 7 is more multi-monitor friendly than any previous edition of Windows. Here's how to make the most of your multi-monitor setup in Windows 7.
  • Flash 10.1 "Gala" Gives Mac Users Hardware-Accelerated Streaming Video (Mac [Snow Leopard] ) Your Mac's processor can rest a bit easier now. Adobe has release "Gala", a preview release of Flash 10.1 that can utilise graphics hardware to accelerate streaming web videos, reducing the strain on already-hot CPUs.
  • Bluetooth Radar Displays Bluetooth-Enabled Devices for Easy Location and File Transfer (Windows) The Bluetooth interface built into Windows is spartan compared to the feature rich Bluetooth Radar, an open-source application that displays all Bluetooth devices within reach of your computer's radio on a radar-style display.
  • 1Password Beta Now Manages Your Passwords On Windows, Too (Windows) Password manager and form filler 1Password is a pretty popular app for the Mac, and from this week Windows users can get in on the action too.
  • BurnAware Free 3 Beta Improves Burning Performance, Supports Tons Of Formats (Windows) BurnAware Free has one of the most simple interfaces you can find for making a CD or DVD from a computer. A free beta of its upcoming third release converts many formats to usable discs, and won't tax your system's resources.

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