There’s something just a little bizarre about putting together a 10 Things piece consisting of the year’s Top Ten 10 Things pieces. It seems sort of, I don’t know, recursive, or something. But some excellent, practical, and insightful lists have rolled through TechRepublic during 2007, and this seems like a good time to pull them together for anyone who may have missed them.

#1: 10 Windows XP tips and tools to simplify your work

Whether you’re trying to iron out problems with users’ systems or you just want to optimize your own PC, these tips will help you work more efficiently with Windows XP. Learn how to launch System Restore from a command prompt when XP goes belly up, customize the Start menu’s pinned items list, speed up the Search Companion, and take advantage of tools like BGInfo, Duplicate Finder, and RoboCopy GUI.

#2: 10 tech skills you should develop during the next five years

If you want a job where you can train in a particular skill set and then never have to learn anything new, IT isn’t the field for you. But if you like to be constantly learning new things and developing new skills, you’re in the right business. In the late 80s, NetWare and IPX/SPX administration were the skills to have. Today, it’s all about TCP/IP and the Internet. Deb Shinder looks at some of the skills you should be thinking about developing to keep on top of things in the tech world in the next five years.

#3: 10 tips for remotely administering workstations

Relying on various technologies to remotely administer workstations can save you a significant amount of time and money. Seasoned IT pro Rick Vanover offers these pointers to help you get the most out of remote administration tools and tactics.

#4: Steer clear of these 10 illegal job interview questions

Although HR departments are aware of questions that are illegal to ask prospective employees, some hiring managers aren’t so savvy. Many illegal questions are easy to avoid for just about anyone with elementary social graces, but others might surprise you. Here are 10 questions that you should be sure to strike from your interview repertoire.

#5: Take charge of Windows XP with these 10+ power tips

Everybody likes a good Windows XP tip — something that eliminates an annoyance, streamlines a task, or offers useful customization of a particular feature. Of course, not all tips are ideal for all people, so it’s nice when a bunch of them are pulled together so you can pick and choose.This collection offers tips on everything from disabling XP’s Error Notification message to creating a custom Control Panel to speeding up the Search Companion.

#6: 10 things you should do if you get laid off

When faced with a layoff, you have two kinds of needs. The first is to live within your means until you get a new job. The second is to get that new job. Here are some ways you can pursue both goals.

#7: 10 things you can do to increase performance in Vista

Windows Vista has some great new security and functionality features, as well as a host of graphical tricks. But all this comes with overhead that may lead to a performance hit on anything less than a top-of-the-line supercomputer. If you find Vista’s performance lagging, take heart. Windows expert Deb Shinder has put together this list of steps you can take to make it run faster.

#8: 10 tech certifications that actually mean something

Hundreds of tech certification programs and exams are available, some sponsored by software vendors, some by vendor-neutral organizations, and some by educational institutions. These certs range from easy to obtain to expensive and extremely difficult to earn. So how do you know which certifications really provide a measure of your knowledge and skills in a particular area? And which ones will really help you get a job or promotion? Here’s a look at 10 of the technical certifications that actually mean something in today’s IT job market.

#9: 10 dirty little secrets you should know about working in IT

If you’re preparing for a career in IT or are new to the field, many of the “dirty little secrets” in this list may surprise you because we don’t usually talk about them out loud. But if you’re an IT veteran, you’ve probably encountered most of these issues and even have a few of your own to add. TechRepublic executive editor Jason Hiner put together this list, aimed at network administrators, IT managers, and desktop support professionals. See if these secrets sound familiar — and then jump into the discussion to share some of your own.

#10: 10 annoying Word features (and how to turn them off)

One of the most common complaints about Microsoft Word is its insistence on taking control of the wheel. Many users get completely blindsided by some of Word’s automatic changes, and even the more experienced among them often just live with Word’s shenanigans because they don’t know how to disable them. If you’ve gotten more than your share of support calls from users trying to wrestle Word into submission (or pulled out your own hair on a few occasions), this list will help you quickly cut Word down to size.