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Believe it or not, MakeUseOf has been in operation since 2006. That’s a relatively long time in terms of websites, and it means we have published more than 30,000 articles over the years.

We add several thousand more articles to the pile every year, and 2014 was no exception A Year in Review and Happy Holidays from MakeUseOf A Year in Review and Happy Holidays from MakeUseOf Those of you who have been with us for a while have likely seen all of the transitions we've gone through. Here are some of the latest changes and our highlights from 2014. Read More . The problem is, with so many websites competing for attention, even our most loyal readers cannot possibly read every single article published on the site.

This is unfortunate, but sadly inevitable. Thankfully, there is an easy solution. Which is for us to point out 10 essential articles published in 2014 that you really cannot afford to miss.

Essential Articles From 2014

This is a small but perfectly formed list of MakeUseOf articles that demand your attention. They’re well-written, interesting, useful, and informative. Some were chosen by your fellow readers, while others are ones which resonated with me personally.

With limited space this is nothing but a brief snapshot capturing some of the best articles published on MakeUseOf over the past 12 months. But there are, of course, plenty more deserving of your attention.

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Build a Cloud Lamp With Sound Reactive Lightning How to Build a Cloud Lamp with Sound Reactive Lightning How to Build a Cloud Lamp with Sound Reactive Lightning A few months back, a $3000 thunder and lightning mood lamp went viral in the maker community. What we'll make today isn't exactly the same - we're making something more practical. Read More

You can now build your own cloud lamp which is triggered when you walk into a room. And we have a step-by-step guide showing you how to make this magical lighting solution from scratch.

5 Chromebooks In The Back-To-School Sale Need A Cheap Laptop? Here Are The 5 Best Chromebooks In The Amazon Back-To-School Sale Need A Cheap Laptop? Here Are The 5 Best Chromebooks In The Amazon Back-To-School Sale The new school term is almost here, and with it, a deluge of Chromebooks at a rock-bottom price, courtesy of Amazon. Here are some of the best. Read More

The back-to-school sale may have ended, but this article still offers a nice introduction to the world of Chromebooks. The five laptops listed should suit all newcomers to the market.

The Internet Arcade Brings Games To Your Browser Internet Archive Brings 900 Classic Arcade Games To Your Browser. Here Are 7 Of The Best Internet Archive Brings 900 Classic Arcade Games To Your Browser. Here Are 7 Of The Best Your town's arcade may have shut down in the mid-90s, but that shouldn't stop you from getting your classic games fix. Read More

The Internet Arcade is a collection of more than 900 classic video games, all available to play in your Web browser completely for free. And we picked out some of the best for you to try.

Simplifying and Securing Your Life with LastPass The Complete Guide to Simplifying and Securing Your Life with LastPass and Xmarks The Complete Guide to Simplifying and Securing Your Life with LastPass and Xmarks While the cloud means you can easily access your important information wherever you are, it also means that you have a lot of passwords to keep track of. That's why LastPass was created. Read More

This is a longform guide covering everything you could ever want to know about using LastPass and Xmarks. This is essential reading for n00bs and veterans alike.

Stay Protected From Every Type Of Malware Stay Protected From Every Type Of Malware With Avast Free Antivirus Stay Protected From Every Type Of Malware With Avast Free Antivirus Comprehensive malware protection doesn't need to cost a fortune. Many reputable free antivirus programs are equally effective as paid ones, and avast! Free Antivirus stands with the best Windows antivirus programs. Read More

Avast! is one of the best antivirus tools available. So, this article offers a comprehensive introduction to Avast!, detailing what it’s capable of, and how to get it up and running on your computer.

Linux Distributions For Windows XP Refugees The Best Linux Distributions For Windows XP Refugees The Best Linux Distributions For Windows XP Refugees Read More

When Microsoft killed Windows XP off Microsoft Kills Windows XP, Hollywood Sues Megaupload, Virus Shield Scam [Tech News Digest] Microsoft Kills Windows XP, Hollywood Sues Megaupload, Virus Shield Scam [Tech News Digest] RIP Windows XP, Hollywood sues Megaupload, Virus Shield scam, Xbox 360 emulation, multiplayer Goat Simulator, and Mario escapes into the real world. Read More in 2014, fans of the aged operating system had several options available to them. One of which was to switch to Linux, but which distro is best?

Why Taylor Swift Is Wrong About Spotify Why Taylor Swift Is Wrong About Spotify Why Taylor Swift Is Wrong About Spotify In the past week Taylor Swift has pulled her music from Spotify, inspired countless song-pun laden headlines and reignited the debate about streaming music services. Read More

Taylor Swift hates Spotify so much she removed her whole back catalog from the service Spotify Offers Swift Defense, WhatsApp Helps Cheaters, & More... [Tech News Digest] Spotify Offers Swift Defense, WhatsApp Helps Cheaters, & More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Microsoft patches security hole, 1080p Netflix on your iPhone, Microsoft's Work & Play bundle, and kids react to old cameras. Read More in November 2014. Harry Guinness thought this was a dumb decision, and wasted no time in countering Swift’s many arguments.

How Cortana Became The “Other Woman” In My Life How Cortana Became The "Other Woman" In My Life How Cortana Became The "Other Woman" In My Life She appeared one day and changed my life. She knows exactly what I need and has a wicked sense of humour. It's little wonder that I've fallen for the charms of Cortana. Read More

Christian Cawley flexed his creative writing muscles in July by talking about Cortana as if she were a real woman. She isn’t, and nor is Siri, but those of us who work at home all day need someone to talk to occasionally.

Consider Switching To Windows Phone Why You Should Consider Switching To Windows Phone [Opinion] Why You Should Consider Switching To Windows Phone [Opinion] I want Windows Phone to succeed. The problem is persuading you Apple fanboys and Google droids to give Windows Phone a chance. Read More

I feel Windows Phone has been treated rather harshly by the general populace. So, in October, I expressed my desire for more people to at least give Microsoft’s mobile operating system a chance to impress.

The True History of Assassin’s Creed The True History of Assassin's Creed The True History of Assassin's Creed Read More

Assassin’s Creed is a beloved franchise. And a series of such epic proportions deserves an article of epic proportions. This is that article, recounting the history of Assassin’s Creed from the personal perspective of one of our newer writers.

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Continue The Conversation

We hope you enjoyed our short list of essential MakeUseOf articles from 2014. We could have included a great many more, because we don’t publish anything unless we feel someone, somewhere will get something out of it. Which is where you come in.

Please continue the conversation in the comments section below, telling us either what you think of the articles we chose to include here, or, even better, suggesting your own essential article from the past 12 months you think anyone else reading this would do well to read.

A Debt Of Gratitude

In order to compile this list of essential MakeUseOf articles from 2014, we received help from the MakeUseOf community. As always, our readers proved to be an invaluable part of the site you’re reading right now.

The readers we need to thank took the time to answer the question, What Was Your Favorite MakeUseOf Article Of 2014?, and their responses helped us compile this article. Noteworthy comments include those from Rafael, KT, Nev, and pete.

Image Credits: Mark Hillary and Emily Tan via Flickr

  1. Irina
    January 8, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Great survey, thank you

    Irina

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      I'm glad you enjoyed it. Have fun reading the articles :)

  2. Harry
    January 7, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    Wow two of mine! Thanks Dave. Glad you liked them. :)

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      No problem. I thoroughly enjoyed them. Keep up the good work :)

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