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Dave Parrack

Deputy Editor and Senior News Editor / Joined 2 December, 2011

Dave Parrack is a British writer with a fascination for technology. With over 12 years experience writing online for various publications, he's now a Deputy Editor and Senior News Editor at MakeUseOf.

2597 Articles
2077 Comments
5 Funny Videos Starring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

Web Culture

5 Funny Videos Starring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

A lot of people really don’t like Steve Ballmer. Perhaps because he’s Mr. Microsoft, or because he was (for many years) Bill Gates’ lickspittle underling. Whatever the reason, he’s a figure of fun in a way neither Gates, or his sparring partner Steve Jobs, has ever been. And there are plenty of videos demonstrating why Steve Ballmer is ripe for being laughed at, five of which are embedded below for your pleasure.

14-03-2012
5 Funny Videos Starring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Find Free Music With Freemake Music Box [Windows]

Windows

Find Free Music With Freemake Music Box [Windows]

The Internet has brought plenty of new ways to discover and listen to new music. Some are completely legit, others not so much, and a fair few of these methods are positively illegal. Thankfully there are enough that reside on the right side of the law to mean those of us who don’t want to cross the line don’t have to. One of which is Freemake Music Box.

09-03-2012
Find Free Music With Freemake Music Box [Windows]
5 Reasons Angry Birds Is So Damn Addictive

Gaming

5 Reasons Angry Birds Is So Damn Addictive

My name is Dave Parrack, I’m a 34-year-old freelance writer from England, and I have a problem. I’m addicted to playing Angry Birds. Being hooked on catapulting feathered weapons of mass destruction into smug pigs may not be as bad as addictions to cigarettes, alcohol, or hard drugs, but it’s an addiction nonetheless. I’ve admitted I have a problem. Which is the first sign on the road to recovery, or so they say.

07-03-2012
5 Reasons Angry Birds Is So Damn Addictive
What Would Make You Buy An Apple iPad 3? [You Tell Us]

iPhone and iPad

What Would Make You Buy An Apple iPad 3? [You Tell Us]

Last Wednesday we began a new weekly column here on MakeUseOf. We ask you, the MUO readership, a direct question and invite you to do our work for us let us know what you think about the subject at hand. After a healthy debate we then compile the answers into an easily-digestible summary for your pleasure on the following Tuesday.

07-03-2012
What Would Make You Buy An Apple iPad 3? [You Tell Us]
10 Hilarious Apple Ad Parody Videos for the Non-Fanboys & Fangirls

Web Culture

10 Hilarious Apple Ad Parody Videos for the Non-Fanboys & Fangirls

If you’re an Apple fanboy or fangirl then Apple can do no wrong. And their commercials are perfect slices of marketing genius that border on being works of art. The rest of us find most of them a little pretentious, to say the least. From the PC vs. Mac and iPod ads right through to the MacBook Air and Siri ads, all Apple commercials have a particular look and feel to them.

07-03-2012
10 Hilarious Apple Ad Parody Videos for the Non-Fanboys & Fangirls
Why You Should Never Spend More Than $10 On An HDMI Cable

Product Reviews

Why You Should Never Spend More Than $10 On An HDMI Cable

To get the best out of your HD equipment, be it a nice widescreen television, a Blu-ray player, a PS3, or an HD streaming set-top box, you need at least one HDMI cable. Or more than likely, several HDMI cables. The thing is the pricing of HDMI cables varies wildly, from a few cents on one from the likes of Amazon to $100 or more from big-box retailers and ’boutique’ manufacturers. Why does the pricing vary so wildly?

29-02-2012
Why You Should Never Spend More Than $10 On An HDMI Cable
5 Hilarious Anti-Apple Videos You Must Watch

Web Culture

5 Hilarious Anti-Apple Videos You Must Watch

I don’t have any love for Apple. I don’t have any hate either. In fact, I find it odd that anyone would express such strong emotions, whether positive or negative, for a technology company. Or any company for that matter, whatever business it happens to be in. This means that while I don’t hate Apple, I can’t abide Apple fanboys. Thankfully I’m not alone.

29-02-2012
5 Hilarious Anti-Apple Videos You Must Watch
Artweaver: Weaving Art for Free on the PC [Windows]

Windows

Artweaver: Weaving Art for Free on the PC [Windows]

Give me a blank canvas and some pencils, charcoal, or paint, and I’ll rustle something up without a problem. It won’t be worthy of hanging in a gallery but my mum would hang it in her living room. But give me some digital art software and you’ll get a blank look in return. Digital art is most certainly not my forte. Thankfully it doesn’t actually matter when there are programs as good and as free to use as Artweaver available.

24-02-2012
Artweaver: Weaving Art for Free on the PC [Windows]
Is Everyone Ripping Off Apple’s Designs? [Opinion]

Web Culture

Is Everyone Ripping Off Apple’s Designs? [Opinion]

Apple’s products all have a certain look to them. Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive wouldn’t have it any other way. The question is whether everyone is ripping off Apple’s designs at this point in time – and in the most glaring of fashions. It’s a question that is being asked in protracted legal battles around the world, and that’s no exaggeration.

22-02-2012
Is Everyone Ripping Off Apple’s Designs? [Opinion]
Why Websites With Dark Backgrounds Completely Suck [Opinion]

Internet

Why Websites With Dark Backgrounds Completely Suck [Opinion]

You’re reading MakeUseOf right now, a website which primarily uses dark text on a light background. Which is as it should be. That bar across the top with light text on a dark background, and the section at the bottom which hardly anyone reads, are fine because they’re just small parts of the site. Any more and I would have to give my bosses advice on how to improve the look and feel of the site as a whole.

15-02-2012
Why Websites With Dark Backgrounds Completely Suck [Opinion]
What Is The Imbecilic Art Of Vaguebooking?

Internet

What Is The Imbecilic Art Of Vaguebooking?

You may not have heard of the term Vaguebooking, but I can guarantee you will have seen at least one example of it in action. Certainly if you’re active on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or any one of the numerous other social networks open to us all. In fact, you probably see it on a daily basis. If you have those kinds of virtual friends. There was a time when people kept diaries in order to express their innermost thoughts and feelings.

15-02-2012
What Is The Imbecilic Art Of Vaguebooking?
How To Watch TV On The Web With BBC iPlayer [Mainly UK Only]

Internet

How To Watch TV On The Web With BBC iPlayer [Mainly UK Only]

The Internet is becoming an increasingly important source for content of all media. There are legal and not-so-legal ways of listening to music, watching television and movies, playing games, and obtaining software. All via a simple broadband connection. You don’t even need a computer these days thanks to the range of devices which you can hook up to the Web in order to transform them from dumb to smart.

09-02-2012
How To Watch TV On The Web With BBC iPlayer [Mainly UK Only]
10 Websites Where Cool Computer Geeks Reside

Internet

10 Websites Where Cool Computer Geeks Reside

Geeks were once ridiculed and reviled. Or perhaps that was just at my school. Either way, as first computers hit the mainstream, and then the Internet entered into our lives in a big way, geeks became the people to know. In fact, they started being considered cool. The Internet is now awash with places for these geeks to hang out, and they do so in increasing numbers.

08-02-2012
10 Websites Where Cool Computer Geeks Reside
Will Windows 8 Succeed Or Fail? [Opinion]

Windows

Will Windows 8 Succeed Or Fail? [Opinion]

Microsoft is trying to make Windows 8 be all things to all people. Or at least all operating systems to all devices. A risky strategy that has rarely, if ever, worked. This is Microsoft reaching for the future with one hand, while trying to drag the old-school stylings of its Windows operating system from the past along for the ride. Can this possibly work? Is Microsoft doing enough to catch up? Or is it doing too much?

02-02-2012
Will Windows 8 Succeed Or Fail? [Opinion]
Annoy Everyone You Know With Non-Stop Nyan Cat!

Internet

Annoy Everyone You Know With Non-Stop Nyan Cat!

Nyan Cat is one of those memes that the more you try to avoid it, the more likely you are to encounter it. The solution is, of course, to embrace the meme and embrace the cat. That way you’ll get it out of your system and when Nyan Cat next crops up as you trawl your way around the InterWebs you won’t give two Nyan Cats about it.

01-02-2012
Annoy Everyone You Know With Non-Stop Nyan Cat!
Klout – Networking To Increase Your Online “Influence” Score

Internet

Klout – Networking To Increase Your Online “Influence” Score

I wasn’t a fan of Klout when I first heard about it. Even after I signed up and actively started to delve through what Klout is and does, I was underwhelmed. Actually, I’d go as far as to say I hated Klout and all it stood for. And hate is a very strong word that I use sparingly in my life. However, months later, I find myself drawn in to using (or at least checking) Klout on a regular basis.

26-01-2012
Klout – Networking To Increase Your Online “Influence” Score
Discover New Music For Free With The New & Improved Spotify Radio

Internet

Discover New Music For Free With The New & Improved Spotify Radio

Spotify continues to go from strength-to-strength. After becoming a growing presence in Europe over the course of several years, it emigrated across the Atlantic to embrace the U.S. The ultimate goal is to span the globe, and while doing so, founder Daniel Ek and his team of developers are trying to endlessly improve the service to ensure it stays ahead of the competition.

25-01-2012
Discover New Music For Free With The New & Improved Spotify Radio
Make Points Stick With PointerStick For Presentations

Windows

Make Points Stick With PointerStick For Presentations

The problem with the cursor is it’s so tiny that it just doesn’t do the job required of it in certain situations. Think of times when you need to show an individual or group something on your laptop or monitor. Like a formal presentation at work or an informal presentation at home. Thankfully there is a free tool which fills this void and is available for download.

19-01-2012
Make Points Stick With PointerStick For Presentations
Why More People Would Use Mac If It Cost The Same As Windows [Opinion]

Windows Mac

Why More People Would Use Mac If It Cost The Same As Windows [Opinion]

I’m writing this on a Windows PC for one very good reason – Macs are too damn expensive. If only Apple was to lower the price of its full range of Mac computers then everyone could own one. Hell, it could even introduce a new entry-level base model of Mac to bring down the cost of owning a Mac, smashing the price-induced barrier to ownership in the process.

17-01-2012
Why More People Would Use Mac If It Cost The Same As Windows [Opinion]
5 Fantastic Resources on the Web for Ukulele Players

Internet

5 Fantastic Resources on the Web for Ukulele Players

Many people will have a new (or used) ukulele sitting in their house, either received as a gift or bought by themselves. As a proud new owner of a ukulele myself, I straight away headed online to find the best ukulele resources for new owners. Thankfully there are some great destinations on the Web to help new and experienced uke players alike.

12-01-2012
5 Fantastic Resources on the Web for Ukulele Players
Is Apple’s Downward Spiral Inevitable Without Jobs?

Mac

Is Apple’s Downward Spiral Inevitable Without Jobs?

All technology companies experience peaks and troughs. Products come and go, execs get up and leave, consumer tastes change. Just look at RiM and the fortunes of the BlackBerry platform for proof. Apple is just another company, despite the faith shown by the true believers. Which means its fate is one of doom and gloom.

04-01-2012
Is Apple’s Downward Spiral Inevitable Without Jobs?
The Top 10 Video Game Movies Of All Time

Gaming

The Top 10 Video Game Movies Of All Time

Media crossovers can often be highly successful. Books such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Forrest Gump, and It’s A Wonderful Life have found new audiences after being translated into movies. But video games don’t seem to be able to make the transition quite as well. In fact, most video game movie adaptations suck. That’s just a fact.

27-12-2011
The Top 10 Video Game Movies Of All Time