Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

A “must have” free program

Top rated Anti-spyware Program Is Available From Google

I am a “downloader”. I get a real kick out of downloading cool and/or useful programs — particularly when they’re free. A lot of you are “downloaders” too, and one of this site’s more popular items is the Today’s free download link I post at the end of each article.

I also like the fact that when I am considering spending money on a program, I can (usually) download a “trial”, which I can use to see if it works as I hope it will before I lay out my hard-earned cash.

By taking advantage of these trials, I have avoided spending money on programs which failed to live up to their promise. And I have found some great programs that I would not have found otherwise.

Today I want to tell you about a “package” of downloads put together by Google. This “pack” of download includes some of the programs I have featured in my “Today’s free download”, and a couple that I haven’t yet.

The one (included) program that triggered me to write today’s article is Spyware Doctor. Spyware Doctor is a for-pay anti-spyware tool that has consistently ranked number 1, or number 2, on the Best Anti-Spyware lists. It is well-worth the $30 price IMHO. The full version includes antivirus.
If you are connected to the Internet, you want anti-spyware!

The Google Pack includes an effective, though smaller, non-AV version of Spyware Doctor, (free!) as well as an impressive list of other applications.
One of the truly great features of the Google Pack is that you can pick-and-choose which of these programs to download to your machine. (You could, conceivably, download a “pack” of one.) The default selections are shown here, but I would do a little checking and un-checking before I clicked the “Download Google Pack” button.

First, uncheck the “make Google my Homepage” as you probably have already set your desired “Home” for your browser. Also, uncheck the box for Adobe Reader. If you must have a “reader” to open PDF files, use any other free reader (unless you enjoy being hassled while you compute, and prefer a slow boot), such as Foxit Reader.
Do not check Real Player. Those of you who are security conscious (hopefully all of you) should keep the checks in Norton Security Inspector (which includes antivirus and anti-spyware detection) and Spyware Doctor.
I have mentioned the others before, except for Google Talk, which is an IM, and Google Photos Screensaver. Those of you who want to take advantage of this unique download bundle offered by Google, click here.

Today’s free download: (Yes. Another one!) Those free “trial” programs I mentioned above are not always such a wonderful thing– particularly when they are ‘forced’ upon us against our will. Whenever you buy a new computer, it will come preloaded with all sorts of trialware (as it’s called) that most of us don’t want. If you have just purchased a new PC, download and run the wonderful PC Decrapifier and clean off that stuff.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved. post to jaanix

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March 13, 2009 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, antivirus, computers, performance, software, tech | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

XP users: Service Pack 3 released (finally)

Loyal Friends and True of this series know that I am a big fan of the Service Pack, and so I am pleased to report that SP3 for Windows XP is now available through Microsoft Update.

I look forward to the release of “Service Packs”. (Here is how Microsoft describes a Service Pack: “Service packs are the means by which product updates are distributed. Service packs may contain updates for system reliability, program compatibility, security, and more. All of these updates are conveniently bundled for easy downloading.”) I look forward to SP’s not only because they roll several Updates into one download, but Service Packs also (sometimes) include new products/features — such as, XP SP2 added the Security Center and a firewall.

And besides… I’m a “security guy.” I am all for getting patches (aka “Updates” ) and have written many advice articles urging folks to thwart hacker vulnerability exploits and to keep their software updated; most recently, Learn to love the pop-up. If there’s a patch, I say “get it!”

XP Service Pack 3 is a fairly typical ‘pack’; it has “rolled into one” all of the critical security updates (aka “patches”) into one, as well as some of the optional ones (this is a real time saver if you ever have to re-install XP.. there have been hundreds of Updates released since SP2).
It also adds some new (to XP) “features”, but these are mostly (network) security-related and invisible to the user. While not exactly exciting, thrilling, or “cool”, you do want them.
As a bonus, you’ll find some performance gains as well.

[Note: IE 6– if you’re still using XP, and you’re also still using IE 6, XP SP3 will not force the upgrade to IE 7… though my personal feeling is it should. I will say it once again: IE 6 is the most hacked piece of software ever written, won’t you please, please (with sugar on top) stop using it? IE 8 is already here (in beta)..]

XP Service Pack 3 is also available for download here.
Microsoft’s Knowledge Base on system requirements, steps to take before you install, and troubleshooting the installation can be read here.
[Update 6/12/08: If you are having technical difficulties installing SP3, Microsoft is offering free support at 1-866-234-6020. Click here for more details/options]

[update: Please note that Norton has advised that if you are running a Norton Product, you should turn it off before installing SP3. For details, click here (and scroll down a little bit).]

Today’s free link(s): Kongregate is a Flash-based game portal featuring 4,407 different free games (scroll down to look at the different categories). Over four thousand! Check it out, and try a few.

Also– please read my friend Bill Mullins’ article on infected websites and false Search results. This is a “must read” if you use the Internet.. and, it concisely spells out what you can do about protecting yourself. Loyal Friends and True know that Mr. Mullins and I agree on a lot of things; click here to read the article and find out why.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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May 8, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, IE 7, PC, security, tech, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment