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Windows 7 avalanche: Roundup of hacks, tips, downloads, and more!

Now that you can go and pick up Windows 7 just about anywhere (I hear there's a free copy of Starter coming with every Happy Meal*), let's take a look back at some of Download Squad's past articles about the new OS.

After all, we've been covering it since it was just a rumor and using Windows 7 hands-on since...Well, frankly since that first leak appeared on torrent trackers. With our retail copies in hand, let's go back in time and take a look at some of the Windows 7 coolness you can read about right here!

Get Windows 7 installed on your netbook without a DVD drive!
A handy little secret about your Windows 7 DVD is that it's easy to dump onto a USB flash drive - which you can plug in to any DVD-less computer system and boot! It's a hassle free way to install on your netbook.

Got a clean Windows 7 install? Get some great, FREE Open Source program and games!
While these downloads aren't Windows 7-specific, this list has a ton of awesome apps and games that are right at home on your new Windows 7 desktop or laptop. Best of all, they're all free!!

Microsoft shows off Windows 7's touch features

A number of PC makers have started rolling out touchscreen (and multi-touch) laptops and desktops, and Windows 7 takes full advantage of those technologies. Take a look at what the new OS has in store for real hands-on interaction.

Don't like something that comes preinstalled (like Internet Explorer 8) in Windows 7? Turn it off!
Plenty of people out there don't want Internet Explorer in their start menu. Microsoft knows that, and they're happy to let you drop the 16-ton weight on just about anything you want. One little panel gives you access to disable a ton of Windows apps!

Run Windows 7 on two different computers from only one install!
No, you didn't read that wrong. With the installation of a patch file, you can quickly and easily make it possible to run Windows 7 on, say, your media center and a laptop (via Remote Desktop). It's one of the coolest Windows hacks ever.
A look at the kicked-up search features in Windows 7
It's called Federated Search. Sounds nerdy, but you can actually do some pretty cool stuff with it. See how the new magic works, and grab cool connectors for Flickr and DeviantArt!

7 free Windows 7 tweaking utilities
While we don't recommend tweaking utilities to the casual or amateur computer user, power users will find these apps handy. They'll allow you to customize Explorer, your context menu, Internet Explorer 8, and much more.

Music lovers: add Windows 7 taskbar features to Winamp and Foobar
The new and improved taskbar is one of the highlight of Windows 7. Enjoy listening to music on your Windows system but don't like WIndows Media player? No problem. If you use Winamp or Foobar 2000, developers have created plugins that add Windows 7 kung fu to your favorite player!

Web browsers like Firefox 3.6 and Google Chrome love the new Windows 7 taskbar, too!
With slick new features like thumbnail previews, recently browsed pages, and frequent site popping up in your jump list, web browsing in Windows 7 keeps getting better!

Speaking of Jump lists...Why not turn one into a program launcher?
The new taskbar and improved start menu are awesome, but those of you who want to save space - say, on a netbook's tiny screen - may want to check out Jumplist Launcher. It's a handy way to pin multiple items to the same taskbar button for easy access!

Mac style folder stacks on Windows 7? You bet!
You might also want to check out 7stacks, which adds one of the Mac features I love to the Windows desktop. It's a tiny program with some very useful functions!

Pimp out your Internet Explorer 8 with accelerators, slices, plugins, toolbars, and more!

If you plan on sticking with Microsoft's web browser, you're not alone. It's still extremely popular. IE8 adds some pretty cool new features, and our two part customization guide will show you how to trick it out!

Microsoft updates Windows 7 themes gallery for release day
Windows users love to customize their desktop, and Windows 7 makes it easier than ever. Microsoft is offering a slew of new themes on their personalization gallery. Gearheads, gamers, and photography lovers alike can quickly find a new theme at the Personalization Gallery.

Windows 7 can burn .ISO files!

While the average Joe might not ever have need for this, more seasoned users are sure to like this small addition to Windows. Just finished downloading an ISO file? Just right click and burn, baby!

Stupid Windows 7 trick: pin Control Panel to your taskbar
Another one for you tweakers. If you're constantly trying out new apps, changing display resolution, and tinkering with your Windows install, pinning the Control Panel to your taskbar can be a real convenience.

Stupid Windows 7 Trick: easily access every folder on your computer from the taskbar
There's no shortage of ways Windows 7 makes locating and accessing your files easier. Libraries, better, search - heck, it's still got some golden oldies turned on. This tip, for example, which is one Windows power users have been using for ages.

Installing Windows 7 on a Mac
Apple owners have been giving Windows 7 a try, too. Want to know how to get it installed on your shiny new unibody? Check out C-Mac's writeup - she recommends VMWare Fusion as it gave the best results!

*Happy Meal offer is likely to be completely fictitious. This ad from Burger King Japan, however, is no joke. -Lee.

Tags: launch, windows-7, windows7