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The cure for your PC's hangover.

This got your attention? Here is my list of invaluable utilities that are a must have and have helped me with a minimal investment of money and time to prevent hangovers of my various PC's.

This is Windows based, as for linux you don't need any they are all in and about MAC's I freely admit that I have absolutely no knowledge.

Firewall - ZoneAlarm

Free for private use pay for professional use. It's a great little tool prevents access to your system allows you to see what is going on and your standard applications can be allowed access automatically.

Find it at http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/home.jsp (free version under direct links)

Clean and manage RegScrub XP

If you like me trial applications and use the PC a lot for surfing, development etc. a lot of junk starts assembling in the Windows Registry. All applications have records in there to allow windows to mange them that's the theory can be used for malicious purposes like the dialler that refuses to go away This application cleans up this registry and also has some tips and immediate tweaks to improve performance of XP

You can download from here with no strings attached : http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=2048

 

Spy-software

Downloading from the Internet can introduce so called spy bots. These will report on what you do e.g. where you surf etc. Some will try to get your e-mail address or you may have given this to get the program in the first place and send them back. Your live confirmed address is worth between 5-10$. This application will inform you which ones are on your system and help you to eliminate the ones you don't want.
The world is more complicated it is now advisable to have a second version of this software installed on parallel.

Lavasoft (Germany) has a scanner that gets rid of the most deceiving spy bots its called Ad-Ware SE and the personal edition is free.. Both together will keep your system clean and can even immunise it.
There are some you may wish to allow this function see next paragraph Toolbar

Find it http://security.kolla.de/news.php?lang=en (top navigation click download but read the page anyway)
Lavasoft - http://www.lavasoft.de/ the personal download guide page is here http://www.lavasoft.de/support/download/

Google or Alexa toolbar - PopUp killer and guidance

You can download lot's of toolbars that are helpful but will encroach on your actual browser window. Start using these selectively by clicking on View Toolbars in your Explorer and where you can switch these on or off. I mainly use either Googel or Alexa. Both not only give you information about the site you are surfing they also prevent the dreaded popup's. Alexa is a bit more aggressive than google but Alexa will ask on new sites if you allow popups. Remember if you want to see these some are by the nature of the site important- just hold down the CTL key and click on the link you require.

Google Shows a PageRank which is an indication of the importance of the site as calculated by Google. If it's grey it's simply very new or not a good choice. It also gives a quick search window so you don't have to switch to Google when you wish to search. If you are concerned that G spies ine can download the basics without allowing G to send info. It's all very clearly labelled.

Alexa which is Amazon.com has a huge collection of sites and gives an Alexa ranking which indicates if this is a high traffic site. It also has a search facility and the interesting bit is the related sites or sites other people using this site have wondered of to or come from. Both toolbars will send information about your surfing behaviour. Google is regarded as inherently safe at least until they float the company (IPO). Alexa reports back to Amazons database and your surfing is used to calculate the overall ranking of sites. I have no problems with this. Both can be switched off if you do not want to leave a too obvious trail.

Find it Google.com and Alexa.com - to switch off Explorer view toolbars and click on or off

Virus scan -prevention

AVG (free) or any of the other names will do just update every now and than. If you want to check upon them, suspect a virus or use an unfamiliar PC HouseCall is an on-line virus checker.

Find it housecall http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ AVG http://www.grisoft.com You may have to hunt for the free version now updated to 7.5 Last time I looked (Nov/2006) it was here http://free.grisoft.com/doc/1

Using an ISP that filters viruses is a good idea (I still use AOL who do a pretty good job) and just ignore e-mails you don't know about or don't have at least a decent header. You may want to use mail washer or if you have community spirit and a couple of minutes use a Report Spam button that some mail clients have these automatically delete the mail and if enough people complain starts bouncing the mail at provider level.

These tools will keep your PC clean and happy and it is basically all you need. They are safe, small, reliable and have never let me down. All are from the Internet and are safe to download and install.

 

Windows XP - System Restore (switch off)

Sometimes to get rid of trojans etc. you will be asked to switch off the automatic system restore XP offers in case things go badly wron. Well where is it? The easiest way is to click control panel - find the system icon - click and you will see a tab labeled system restore - click The first item is a tick box where you can switch it off - You can do this also when you know you have a stable system as it gets rid of any old restore points. - Once all is finished just go back and switch it on again - I always do a full system restart after this just to set a new restore point.

 

Now where did I leave the Aspirin.... Safe and fun computing M@rtin MBGJ.Org Limited serious about e

Set-up standard lonks - This si what I use to set up a basic PC

 

Zonealarm

AWG virus

Email Thunderbird (or not if soley use online)

Google Chrome

VLC player

Skype calls

Gimp-graphic-soft

Open Office

Google Earth

MWsnap window snapper

CDburnerXP - create cds etc

Adobe reader latest

Adobe flash player check

MS power point viewer (OO does not play well with powerpoint)

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