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Get Your Windows XP Back

Get Your Windows XP Back

In case you haven’t heard, Windows XP is being phased out. If you love it, like many users do, this is not good news. Windows XP allows users to seamlessly run multiple applications and toggle between them with ease. Also, many software application are dependent upon the use of Windows XP.

While many people feel like Microsoft is doing the right thing by moving away from Windows, there are still many people who like the “feel” and easy-to-use features of Windows XP. There is a “Windows XP mode” in Windows 7, but it is restricted to Professional versions of the hardware. You can, however, get Windows XP with Windows 8, and you do not have to buy any additional products or software keys. You will need to download several free programs (if you do not already have them installed).

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The first step is to download the Windows XP Mode installer file directly from Microsoft. You will then be asked to validate your version of Windows. If you are using a pirated or shareware version of Windows, Microsoft will not let you download this file.  After you have successfully validated your version of Windows, download the file as prompted, but make sure you do not run the installer. At this stage, just download the file. (If you are asked to choose between two files, choose: WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe).

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Next, you will need to extract the files. If you do not currently have extraction software you will need to get one (7-Zip and WinZip are both good programs and are free to download). Once you have extracted the files from the Windows XP Mode installer, you will need to view the files. Locate the file marked “xpm” and drag it to any folder on your computer to extract it. Repeat the same process with the file marked “VirtualXPVHD.”  This file is a virtual hard drive file, so once you extract it (if done correctly) you should now see the .VHD extension. If you do not, right click the file and rename it to “VirtualXPVHD.vhd”. Once you have successfully completed these steps, you can delete the “WindowsXPMode_en-us.exe” and “xpm” files in order to save space on your hard drive.

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Now, you have a .VHD file we can boot in a virtual machine program. If you do not have one already, try VirtualBox because it’s free and runs on all versions of Windows 8. After downloading, click the “new” button to create a new virtual machine and follow the instructions. When asked for the operating system, select “Windows XP (32-bit).” In the next step, you can select as much memory as you like to be allocated to VirtualBox. I would suggest sticking to the recommended 192MB simply because it causes less issues. For the hard drive, select the last option (“use an existing virtual hard drive file”) and select the .VHD file you saved earlier.

You can now boot your Windows XP Mode system by clicking the Start button in VirtualBox. You’ll have to enter a few details to finish setting it up, but you won’t have to go through the entire installation process or enter a product key. From here, the process is about the same as if you had installed Windows XP inside a virtual machine from a Windows XP disc. Install any old software that requires Windows XP inside the virtual machine and you are ready to go! You will now be able to use all of your old programs inside the VirtualBox, while still maintaining the use of Windows 8.

Featured photo credit: Windows XP/Alfred Hermida/Flickr via flickr.com

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Published on January 18, 2019

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Best 5 Language Learning Apps to Easily Master a New Language

Learning a new language is no easy feat. While a language instructor is irreplaceable, language learning apps have come to revolutionize a lot of things and it has made language learning much easier. Compared to language learning websites, apps offer a more interactive experience to learn a new language.

The following language learning apps are the top recommended apps for your language learning needs:

1. Duolingo

    Duolingo is a very successful app that merged gamification and language learning. According to Expanded Ramblings, the app now counts with 300 million users.

    Duolingo offers a unique concept, an easy-to-use app and is a great app to accompany your language acquisition journey. The courses are created by native speakers, so this is not data or algorithm-based.

    The app is free and has the upgrade options with Duolingo Plus for $9.99, which are add free lessons. The mobile app offers 25 languages and is popular for English-speaking learners learning other languages.

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    Download the app

    2. HelloTalk

      HelloTalk aims to facilitate speaking practice and eliminate the stresses of a real-time and life conversation. The app allows users to connect to native speakers and has a WhatsApp like chat that imitates its interface.

      There is a perk to this app. The same native speakers available also want to make an even exchange and learn your target language, so engagement is the name of the game.

      What’s more, the app has integrated translation function that bypasses the difficulties of sending a message with a missing word and instead fills in the gap.

      Download the app

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      3. Mindsnacks

        Remember that Duolingo has integrated gamification in language learning? Well, Mindsnacks takes the concept to another level. There is an extensive list of languages available within the app comes with eight to nine games designed to learn grammar, vocabulary listening.

        You will also be able to visualize your progress since the app integrates monitoring capabilities. The layout and interface is nothing short of enjoyable, cheerful and charming.

        Download the app

        4. Busuu

          Bussu is a social language learning app. It is available on the web, Android, and iOS. It currently supports 12 languages and is free.

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          The functionality allows users to learn words, simple dialogues and questions related to the conversations. In addition, the dialogues are recorded by native speakers, which brings you close to the language learning experience.

          When you upgrade, you unlock important features including course materials. The subscription is $17 a month.

          Download the app

          5. Babbel

            Babbel is a subscription-based service founded in 2008. According to LinguaLift, it is a paid cousing of Duolingo. The free version comes with 40 classes, and does not require you to invest any money.

            Each of the classes starts with with a sequential teaching of vocabulary with the help of pictures. The courses are tailor made and adapted to the students’ level, allowing the learning to be adjusted accordingly.

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            If you started learning a language and stopped, Babbel will help you pick up where you started.

            Download the app

            Takeaways

            All the apps recommended are tailored for different needs, whether you’re beginning to learn a language or trying to pick back up one. All of them are designed by real-life native speakers and so provide you with a more concrete learning experience.

            Since these apps are designed to adapt to different kinds of learning styles, do check out which one is the most suitable for you.

            Featured photo credit: Yura Fresh via unsplash.com

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