Microsoft Virtual PC 2007
There's no safer way to surf or to try out new software (including operating systems) than from within a virtual machine - that is, a PC emulator running inside a window. Download Microsoft's free emulation product, Virtual PC 2007, or VMware Server, which is also free.
25 gadgets, gizmos, sites and services we adore
Install your VM host, configure your virtual machine (easy), and then install an operating system. (VMware Server calls the virtual machine a Virtual Appliance, by the way.) With a VM running, my main operating system is safe. If malware attacks or if we don't like the software we installed in the VM, we simply close the VM without saving its state, and the unwanted software will be gone next time we start up.
"Can you print that up for me?" That question is the bane of any wireless laptop users life. It means tethering an otherwise free-spirited portable to a USB printer. Our saviour, a Wi-Fi-based printer. In this case, the Lexmark Z1420 printer.
The Z1420 is almost a bottom-of-the-line model, but who cares - we can use it with all of our Wi-Fi-equipped computers. Now, when we need to print out driving directions, we can feel the full effect of wireless freedom.