The hottest 10 Things downloads of 2009

Cool tricks, free tools, and Windows 7 features took top billing in TechRepublic's downloads library this year. Here's a look at the most popular 10 Things lists of 2009.

Cool tricks, free tools, and Windows 7 features took top billing in TechRepublic's downloads library this year. Here's a look at the most popular 10 Things lists of 2009.

Another download-packed year is coming to a close. In 2009, we added several hundred new items to our downloads library, many of which were based on 10 Things lists. Here are the ones TechRepublic members liked the best.

1: 10 cool things you can do with a USB flash drive

Your USB flash drive can do a whole lot more than just move data around. Here's a variety of creative ways to put that drive to good use.

2: 10+ IT pros share the utilities and tools they can't live without

One way to make your job a little easier is to find out which tools other IT pros rely on — and then try them out for yourself. This list features the favorite tools of 13 IT pros, whose roles range from consultant to developer to net admin to DBA.

3: 10 free Microsoft programs worth checking out

If you know where to look, you can find a variety of useful software - free from Microsoft. Greg Shultz introduces a few of his favorites.

4: 10 common issues you can fix with a registry hack

Sometimes, configuring Windows to meet your needs requires a trip to the registry editor. These simple hacks can save you time and prevent a variety of problems.

5: 10 ways techs can make extra cash

If you're searching for opportunities to supplement your income — or you're in between jobs and need some work to tide you over — the tech field offers a number of possibilities.

6: 10 reasons Vista haters will love Windows 7

Disgruntled Vista users, take heart: According to Deb Shinder, Windows 7 addresses many Vista annoyances and offers myriad improvements of its own.

7: 10+ Microsoft Office add-ins to simplify your work

The right add-in can provide helpful features and make existing Office capabilities easier to use. Here's a roundup of handy add-ins for various Office applications.

8: 10 ways to detect computer malware

In the ongoing war against malware threats, you need tools that will baseline your system, detect vulnerabilities, and remove existing malware.

9: 10 cool tools in Windows 7

The changes to the Windows 7 interface have gotten a lot of play, but some of the new built-in tools are just as compelling. Learn about the most impressive enhancements, from the ISO burner to the Biometric Framework to PowerShell v2.

10: 10 seriously annoying default configurations

Into every life, a little stupidity must fall. And sometimes, you just have to vent about it. Rick Vanover shares a few of the default configurations he finds especially frustrating and idiotic.

What about last year?

Revisiting the biggest concerns of years past can be illuminating. The hottest 10 Things download for 2005 was 10+ things you should know about troubleshooting a slow PC. For 2006, it was 10 customization tricks to save you time in Windows XP. And for 2007, it was 10 Windows XP tips and tools to simplify your work.

Here's a look back at the top 10 Things downloads of 2008:

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Jody Gilbert has been writing and editing technical articles for the past 25 years. She was part of the team that launched TechRepublic and is now senior editor for Tech Pro Research.

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