Trending Now

Top Animation Software for Windows and Mac

Through your search for quality applications, you might have come across certain quality ones and not so quality ones. The market is strange in that manner, and not everybody can deliver what you need. By all means, you need to get your hands on the finest, and that...

Finding Good People

In life, and particularly for me the computer world, you have to absorb all the tips and tricks you can to make smart choices. It takes some consultation, time online, and trial and error to get it all right. I love helping others master the maze of information just...

What the Heck’s a Health Fair?

You have a series of identical fold up booths set up in a large expo hall. Each booth has a specific health topic or test that is being conducted. For example, you can donate blood right next to a booth that will give you a blood pressure reading using either the...

The Latest

Top Animation Software for Windows and Mac

Top Animation Software for Windows and Mac

Through your search for quality applications, you might have come across certain quality ones and not so quality ones. The market is strange in that manner, and not everybody can deliver what you need. By all means, you need to get your hands on the finest, and that is regardless of the purpose. So in this article, we are going to talk...

We Have a Hot Tub Thanks to the Internet

If you used to go to the library or bookstore and would check out the “How To” section, your resource is obsolete. There are faster ways to find out how to do things these days and a lot of knowledge comes from watching online videos and YouTube. There are thousands...

Welcome to my Workshop

Dust is the enemy of computer equipment. So much so that people buy that aerosol spray in a can to clean out the little nooks and crannies. Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t accumulate dust at all in the first place? That seems impossible. Every house on earth gets...

Welcome To My Home

Hello and welcome back to the blog! I was researching some home design software programs for the site over the past week to share with all of you. I was able to recreate the front of my house with the first one I tried so that I could see what the house would look...

Top Animation Software for Windows and Mac

Through your search for quality applications, you might have come across certain quality ones and not so quality ones. The market is strange in that manner, and not everybody can deliver what you...

Finding Good People

In life, and particularly for me the computer world, you have to absorb all the tips and tricks you can to make smart choices. It takes some consultation, time online, and trial and error to get it...

Join the Initiative for Software Choice

Recent Updates

Secure Shopping Sites

Online shopping is easy and efficient, and is becoming more and more of a go-to option for people. I recently was in need of a space heater and I was able to conduct all of the product research, comparison shopping, and complete the purchase online in the span of...

Best Peer-to-Peer File Exchange Sites

This is software specific to Windows that allows users to share files. Here are a few of the better known ones on the web. uTorrent is a site that has had over 100,000,000 downloads. It is successful and popular and the bugs have been worked out. It has received...

On Some of the Best Security Software Out There

A danger that has been multiplying is what is called Ransomware. It is a terrible virus that infects your computer and holds it hostage for lack of better terms, and then demands you to contact the company and pay to have it removed. This can be extremely upsetting...

Reliable Download Sites for Freeware

Software can cost a lot of money and often the computers that are being sold today come with quite a lot of programs already on them or options for free apps to be downloaded upon purchase. Some of these programs can clog up your machine, so keep an eye on how much...

Coolest New Stuff of the Year

New Software Windows 10 is finally here and the time is ripe to start to learn the subtle differences of the new software. You can sign up for the free insiders Windows program to take a look at the new program. Blender is a great site for graphic design students and...

My Favorite Downloaded Games!

There are so many excellent games sites out there that can assist you in getting just about any game you can imagine. I will list a few here for you to investigate for yourself. I will also chime in with a few of the better ones that I have found....

Top Animation Software for Windows and Mac

Through your search for quality applications, you might have come across certain quality ones and not so quality ones. The market is strange in that manner, and not everybody can deliver what you need. By all means, you need to get your hands on the finest, and that...

Finding Good People

In life, and particularly for me the computer world, you have to absorb all the tips and tricks you can to make smart choices. It takes some consultation, time online, and trial and error to get it all right. I love helping others master the maze of information just...

Software Guides

Secure Shopping Sites

Secure Shopping Sites

Online shopping is easy and efficient, and is becoming more and more of a go-to option for people. I recently was in need of a space heater and I...

Best Peer-to-Peer File Exchange Sites

Best Peer-to-Peer File Exchange Sites

This is software specific to Windows that allows users to share files. Here are a few of the better known ones on the web. uTorrent is a site that...

Reliable Download Sites for Freeware

Reliable Download Sites for Freeware

Software can cost a lot of money and often the computers that are being sold today come with quite a lot of programs already on them or options for...

Most Popular

We Have a Hot Tub Thanks to the Internet

If you used to go to the library or bookstore and would check out the “How To” section, your resource is obsolete. There are faster ways to find out how to do things these days and a lot of knowledge comes from watching online videos and YouTube. There are thousands...

Welcome to my Workshop

Dust is the enemy of computer equipment. So much so that people buy that aerosol spray in a can to clean out the little nooks and crannies. Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t accumulate dust at all in the first place? That seems impossible. Every house on earth gets...

Welcome To My Home

Hello and welcome back to the blog! I was researching some home design software programs for the site over the past week to share with all of you. I was able to recreate the front of my house with the first one I tried so that I could see what the house would look...
Finding Good People

Finding Good People

In life, and particularly for me the computer world, you have to absorb all the tips and tricks you can to make smart choices. It takes some consultation, time online, and trial and error to get it all right. I love helping others master the maze of information just...

What the Heck’s a Health Fair?

What the Heck’s a Health Fair?

You have a series of identical fold up booths set up in a large expo hall. Each booth has a specific health topic or test that is being conducted. For example, you can donate blood right next to a booth that will give you a blood pressure reading using either the...

We Have a Hot Tub Thanks to the Internet

We Have a Hot Tub Thanks to the Internet

If you used to go to the library or bookstore and would check out the “How To” section, your resource is obsolete. There are faster ways to find out how to do things these days and a lot of knowledge comes from watching online videos and YouTube. There are thousands...

What’s New

Finding Good People

Finding Good People

In life, and particularly for me the computer world, you have to absorb all the tips and tricks you can to make smart choices. It takes some consultation, time online, and trial and error to get it all right. I love helping others master the maze of information just on software out there as an example. I am getting faster at finding things and I know most people are pretty adept at Internet research. You can’t live a practical up-to-date life if you are not. I love all the resources at my fingertips. It is so easy sometimes that I am flabbergasted. I buy everything I own and also gifts at the touch of a mouse. If you need help, you can always find good people. Getting the right ones is as easy as a good search with appropriate key words. I am seldom disappointed, especially if I need to hire part-time labor. I have found software specialists and hardware repair people. But it is not always about cyberspace. I have been known to chat with people of a similar bent about their favorite sports team and we share stats. I have commissioned artwork and have found the perfect holiday decorations, so I am buying something seasonal at all times.

Now it is Indian summer and warm weather lingers so am I still interested in water recreation. It is a couple hours’ drive to the shore and I am willing to make it. It is a nice scenic route and I daydream the entire way about finding the best inflatable stand up paddle board. Before the intended day in the water, I searched on line for a suitable expert to teach me the ropes. I don’t have good balance and I need some tips and tricks. I fall off incessantly to my chagrin. I need to learn how to turn and change direction and the best way to use my arms to paddle effectively. I found a couple of people and gave each a call. Two were two far away and one was in the neighborhood, but on vacation. I waited patiently for his return. I hated to delay my outdoor water adventure but there was no choice. He finally came by and demonstrated how to maneuver a paddle board and especially how to stand up and not fall over. It seemed odd to learn a water sport on land so I invited the instructor to accompany me to the beach. He was more than willing and the two deflated paddle boards fit nicely in the van.

It was a gorgeous day and the two of us paddled out past the waves a bit into the distance. Here we talked and he stood on his board. I had a little trouble still, but I kept at it. Then he said we should move closer to where the waves break and we did. We started by facing the shore and then stood up just at the top of a big wave. I planted my feet firmly and held on. Success! What a great idea to learn right on the water. I could go back anytime alone.

What the Heck’s a Health Fair?

What the Heck’s a Health Fair?

You have a series of identical fold up booths set up in a large expo hall. Each booth has a specific health topic or test that is being conducted. For example, you can donate blood right next to a booth that will give you a blood pressure reading using either the wrist or arm cuff model. They have portable units for sale. You keep walking and you will encounter a cardiologist, a dermatologist, a plastic surgeon, a radiologist, a gastrointestinal expert, and no doubt a nutritionist, given how important good eating is to one’s health. We are starting to recognize this more and more as diabetes and overweight are running rampant in our society. It is time to take charge, and if focusing on it at an expo will help, more power to the organizers for including it.

Such is the nature of a health fair. It should be organized, relevant, and comprehensive. I know since the company I work for hosts one for employees. I hope this is going to be a regular annual event. It may be the only time I get to focus on health issues in one confined space. It makes it easy to compare notes and see what is of interest to others. There is practically a separate room for exercise equipment where you will find bicycles, treadmills, a series of weights, and assorted machines that tone the upper and lower body. I love these things. Each one is a marvel of engineering if you know how to use it and regulate the weights. A demonstration of the newer equipment is conducted round the clock.

Further on down the aisle next to the mock gym a variety of samples of energy bars are given away free as exemplars of what workout addicts might like to get the get up and go to work these machines. There are also representatives from major manufacturers so you can talk about what is new in technological advancements. It is easy to get behind on this subject so I made the rounds once or twice of the expo hall including the blood pressure booth since I was rather surprised, and also impressed, at how low mine was. Most people go the other way. They have high blood pressure for their age and weight and have to battle with different medications to control it. It can be dangerous if you don’t attend to it like anything else.

You can bet the drug reps were there offering their open opinions. Local doctors were also there to listen. Of course no free samples. A health fair is a great idea, especially if it covers the basics and beyond since most employees do not regularly get medical checkups and look after their health. People take it for granted they are fine if they have no symptoms. Such is the luxury of the young. The older employees know better. They stop at the booths that discuss cardiac problems, colonoscopies and other screening tests, and of course diabetes.

We Have a Hot Tub Thanks to the Internet

We Have a Hot Tub Thanks to the Internet

If you used to go to the library or bookstore and would check out the “How To” section, your resource is obsolete. There are faster ways to find out how to do things these days and a lot of knowledge comes from watching online videos and YouTube. There are thousands of explainer videos that show you how to do anything from installing a toilet to repairing a roof. You can learn how to bake a cake, apply makeup, update your wardrobe, use a boogie board, or fly a kite. What would we do without the Internet? We would be a bit helpless to say the least. It is the invention of the millennium and it guides us through life where we would otherwise falter. I don’t use videos just for entertainment like those that go viral and everyone shares on social media. Sure, these are fun and we all love to watch them. But when it comes to pure instruction, there are other kinds of videos to view.

Take my friend’s new hot tub for example. He didn’t want to hire an installer and spend the extra money, but he thought he would prefer the old do it yourself route. The first person he turned to was me. He knew I would have the savvy to research the subject on line and find a couple of ways of doing the installation properly. And he was right. It didn’t take long to find a dozen videos so I could view them all and compare processes. Together, we would get it right. We watched the best video numerous times so that we had it practically memorized. We supplemented what we saw in a step by step explanation with some information from a hot tub website. They had a special section on installation so potential buyers could envision how easy it would be to buy and use their product. Clever marketing if you ask me.

Now my friend and I had everything we needed to proceed. We set aside a Saturday afternoon for the project. We estimated a couple of hours at the most judging from what we read. Our only concern was if we ran into trouble we would have no one to call. We needed an emergency backup so we had better get it right. We set about the task methodically, careful to heed all our printed out instructions. They did suffice. Within the allotted time, we were on our way to some good times in his hot tub. We had to master the heating system and the filter installation. These are critical areas to get right. By nightfall, we were soaking in the tub at the desired temperature which we had learned how to set. We were able to fill the tub efficiently in the afternoon so we had plenty of time to spare. We were certainly proud of our success and celebrated with some cold brew and grilled snacks. The backyard was a veritable recreational oasis now. It was for us to enjoy.

Secure Shopping Sites

Secure Shopping Sites

Online shopping is easy and efficient, and is becoming more and more of a go-to option for people. I recently was in need of a space heater and I was able to conduct all of the product research, comparison shopping, and complete the purchase online in the span of about two hours. No pouring over catalogs or wasting an entire day driving from store to store. I was able to get a high-quality ceramic heater that had a high safety rating and all the features I needed at a really good price. My online experience was typical of how many people do their shopping. But it did remind me of something I wanted to talk to my readers about: shopping safely online.

  • Make sure that your computer (or phone) is up to date with its operating system, firewall, and virus software. It helps to run a virus scan regularly to be sure that you are virus free. The most secure shopping site in the world isn’t going to matter if you have a virus already. I can go into some good programs and the like if you’re interested in another post. If you’re sure that your device is clean and healthy, then read on:
  • Next, check out your internet connection: be sure that it is secure. If you are out in public and you’re using a mobile hotspot or free wifi, anyone can see your connection. Think twice about putting your personal information out there. Having a strong password on your personal modem is a much more secure way to make purchases.
  • Make sure you’re on the right site. If you’re typing the web address into your browser or if you’re clicking on a link from a search engine, verify that the store name is spelled correctly and that it is on the correct domain—in other words, if you’re shopping on Amazon, make sure that your browser says you are on amazon.com, and not ammazon.com or amazon.net. Don’t click on some random store link sent to you via email. Stick to sites that you know and trust.
  • When you have to enter personal information on the site, be sure that the website address has a https: address. The “s” is for secure, as in secure sockets layer, which is a standard format for secure connections. It is usually accompanied by a closed padlock symbol. Some browsers will allow you to click on the lock so that you can get more information about the security measures being taken with your personal information. If you don’t see that “s” in the site address or see that locked padlock, leave the site and make your purchase elsewhere. Beware of any company who asks for extraneous personal information (your social security number or birthday, for example) or who asks for your credit card information or passwords via a non-secure connection such as email.
  • Use a credit card or pay site like paypal whenever possible instead of entering bank information. It is much easier to get a credit card cancelled and have the charges reversed than it is to make money reappear that has already left your accounts. And be sure to check your statements when they arrive. You will be able to spot fraudulent charges much more quickly that way and have more time to dispute them.
  • Be sure to find out what the store’s return policy is. Some places that also have brick-and-mortar stores will allow you to bring them in to return, others will only accept the returns when they have been pre-authorized and are in the original packaging. Knowing ahead of time what the procedure is if you do need to return your purchase for any reason will make things easier.

My ceramic heater arrived the other day and it works perfectly. I am incredibly happy with my purchase and knowing that I follow the above steps every time I buy something online allows me to feel safer making online purchases. Follow my tips and you will be much safer online as well.

Welcome to my Workshop

Welcome to my Workshop

Dust is the enemy of computer equipment. So much so that people buy that aerosol spray in a can to clean out the little nooks and crannies. Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t accumulate dust at all in the first place? That seems impossible. Every house on earth gets dusty, especially if you leave the windows and doors open, as most are wont to do to get fresh air. That fresh air wreaks havoc with your keyboard making letters stick. Who knows what other problems it causes that you don’t even know about. In the long run, you realize there is some kind of culprit lurking about your house when the laptop stops working at all. So why wait until disaster strikes. You don’t have to. Just get an air purifier designed for dust removal and plug it in right near the computer: problem solved.

I have given a lot of attention to my spare room and the computers that populate this empty space. It is the ideal place for me to work not having a designated office in my home. I had to make one. The room isn’t the smallest and I can fit most of what I own easily on the desk and printer stand. I even have storage closets for reams of paper and assorted other supplies. People admire the fact that I have done this computer room in such a compact way. Most of my friends work from a coffee table or if they are lucky a dining table, or even kitchenette. It is a luxury to be able to spread everything out and make the arrangement that best fits my needs. The air purifier was by no means a second thought. I knew it would be necessary day one. I have heard about the siege of dust from friends and colleagues who have seen many a telltale sign. You can manually dust but it just spreads it around. The air purifier was an ingenious idea from someone in my workspace who uses it faithfully. He gave me the price, model, and specifications so I would choose a competent appliance.

I think in the short time that I have owned and operated an air purifier, it has been worth its weight in gold. I don’t see or feel the dust I used to encounter, and the computer virtually purrs in contentment. Okay, maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration, but I suspect there is more than a kernel of truth to it. Logically, it makes perfect sense. Air purifiers are small enough to do a good job in one room as they don’t take up much space. They are easy to use, with an occasional change of filter, and they can be had for a modest price. If you have allergies or detest household odors, they will do double or triple duty for you each and every day. People buy them to clean the air from mold, germs, bacteria, odors, allergens, pollen, and more. They seem to be a very necessary household item, but now they have the added benefit of cleansing airborne dust. Your computer will thank you profusely.

Living in a Petri Dish

Living in a Petri Dish

We can’t all live in a brand new building or refurbished home. We can and should demand cleanliness and good hygiene, however, wherever we reside. I try to anticipate problems and check out the status of the environment every chance I get, and I require proper maintenance and repair. Sometimes you just overlook the obvious. The big things stand out like broken appliances, windows, and doors. Maybe the A/C is out of whack. A few areas of bathroom mold and mildew go undetected. But not this time!

One day it just struck me as a growing, menacing being. I was totally grossed out by its appearance, having better standards to which I aspire. I felt like I was living in a Petri dish with foreign stuff growing inside. Mold is not always for the betterment of science!

I tried various cleaning products of all types and strengths. The ones labeled “green” were bleach-free and did not do more than fade the color a bit. The ones with bleach worked better, but an obvious residue remained. I tried scrubbing and scraping with steel wool pads, but saw a lingering trace on my tile. Anything stronger was going to kill me from exposure to be sure. I even thought of blasting it off as a last resort.

Mold can be eliminated short term, but guess what, it returns to its habitual place. It takes one more steamy shower to bring this about. There must be a secret to success for other homeowners experiencing the same plight. They either put up with it or resort to less misty baths.

Then I climbed out of the Petri dish and discovered the humble bathroom dehumidifier. This is an entirely different approach to managing the environment in your bathroom. These units come in small sizes suitable for modest bathroom spaces, and they do pack a wallop. Moisture in the air is simply verboten. A little machine has the ability to dry out most any dew-laden environment. They stop the mold from rearing once again its ugly head.

I count the humidifier as an essential of bathroom life along with the electric toothbrush, razor, and nail file (yes I have one of those sets). Here’s how it works: you select the appropriate model for its output size. It comes with a water tank or bucket that collects the moisture unless you use a pump tied to a drain (in which case you will need a connection kit). The machine will have an auto-shut feature to prevent overflow spills. I advocate an energy efficient unit to be green. Some units have an “econo” setting as well as a humidistat and/or hygrometer.

Sounds simple enough from a technical point of view. There isn’t much to know and little maintenance to fear. A console model will sit inconspicuously on any shelf or counter top to do its job. That blackish mold will have met its match in a few days’ time. You will feel the clean permeate your bathroom and your tiles will be pristine.

Welcome To My Home

Welcome To My Home

Hello and welcome back to the blog! I was researching some home design software programs for the site over the past week to share with all of you. I was able to recreate the front of my house with the first one I tried so that I could see what the house would look like if, say, I switched out the existing picture window and put in a bay window instead. It also had lots of color options, so that I could see what would look good on the siding and the trim, stuff like that. As I was experimenting, I accidently colored the door blue. I quickly undid it and moved on to other tweaks and feature testing for this particular program, but that blue door stayed in the back of my mind.

It looked really good. Like, really, really good.

I let it go for a day as I tried to continue my research and I found my brain going back there constantly. A blue door. Seems a weird thing to obsess over but once I get an idea in my head, it’s lodged in there pretty good. So, I hopped online to play with a paint color site where I found the blue I was looking for. I headed over to the store to get some paint mixed up so that I could now get the door painted and free my mind to go wondering about and thinking of other things again. I don’t actually have a ladder, so I asked the guy who mixed the paint for me if there are ladder rentals, and he actually recommended a paint sprayer instead. This sounded promising as I got to play with tools, keep both feet on the ground, AND get the job done faster.

I brought my rented paint sprayer, some paint thinner, and my paint home. I took the door off the frame and prepped it for painting. I had rented the best paint sprayer for latex paint (what I was using to paint the door) that they had in the store, but I did need to put some paint thinner in so that the nozzle wouldn’t clog. It took me a few minutes to figure out how to attach the paint to the gun, as it was a gravity fed paint sprayer and it essentially went on upside-down, but I got it on properly and was able to make two passes on the door fairly quickly.

All that was left was waiting for it to dry and re-hanging it.

Once it was dry, I got it back up in the doorframe and stepped back to admire my handiwork. It really did look just like the software said it would, and I was very impressed. And I know, I spent this whole post talking about my adventure getting my door painted and not the software that inspired it, but I wanted to give a review of a few home design software products and clearly I got a little distracted this time! Maybe next time!

Not Your Typical Frat Party Gear

Not Your Typical Frat Party Gear

Frat boys, listen up. You probably need to get a new kegerator to make sure those parties are well stocked and the brew is always cold. It is not your typical gear, but it should be. Having spent some time on the Internet reviewing them, I am now ready to share. A friend kindly requested some help, and I was happy to oblige. Now I know more than I need to know on the subject. While there are numerous models at various prices, I have narrowed it down to three: base price, mid-range level, and super expensive. Depending upon the state of financial affairs in your frat, you can choose accordingly.

Starting with the basics, you can opt for the Igloo 6.1-cubic foot kegerator and beer dispenser for a modest $350. It will chill and house your mini barrel kegs. Not for huge crowds, it does the job nicely for most occasions. It fits anywhere yet is roomy inside. You get compressor cooling that ensures that beverages stay cold right up to the time of consumption. It is a low-energy unit that won’t tax the utility bills. I like the stainless steel construction as the door seals tight. Plus, it is CFC free and thus eco-friendly. Not the fanciest model, but a good beginning.

In the mid-range, I like the Summit commercial kegerator that comes in basic black. It is a jump up in price to $1,000, but it does so much more. Users attest to the value of automatic defrost operation ensuring minimum user maintenance inside the 5.7 cubic foot interior. They also mention the digital thermostat that sets the perfect temperature for your favorite beer (from 33 to 50 degrees F). When the first keg is installed, you can turn on the deep chill function for fast results. Extras include a stainless floor cover, a removable drip tray, chrome topguard rail, and high-locking casters.

Moving on to the big guns in the field, there is the True TDD-3 direct draw beer dispenser at almost $3,000. While that may seem exorbitant, think about what you get. Above all, it is a three keg unit with two taps. Now we are talking for major events and blowouts at the frat. It runs about 69 x 28 x 52 inches so let’s hope you don’t have to pay for shipping. It may well be worth it however. It is very easy to dispense the beer without excess foam formation. Plus, its factory-balanced refrigeration system is guaranteed for years to come. It is a solid beauty with a stainless steel flor with reinforced lip, heavy gauge galvanized steel walls, insulated beer columns, swing doors, and interior incandescent lighting. With the 1/3 hp compressor, R-134a refrigerant and foamed-in-place polyurethane insulation, this baby can maintain 33 to 38 degrees F.

I have probably given you more information than you care to know, but let’s just say that you can see that I have done my homework. With this simple overview, you can now delve deeper to determine just the right unit for your frat. First set a budget and go from there.

Best Peer-to-Peer File Exchange Sites

Best Peer-to-Peer File Exchange Sites

This is software specific to Windows that allows users to share files. Here are a few of the better known ones on the web.

uTorrent is a site that has had over 100,000,000 downloads. It is successful and popular and the bugs have been worked out. It has received exceptional scores from its users. The positives for uTorrent include an easily navigable interface, a fast setup, extensive information on the software, and a small file on your device. The negative aspects of uTorrent are not having a built-in player and limited browsing ability.

Vuze allows you to download and submit legal video. It is a great movie platform. Some of the best aspects of Vuze are the fast downloads and open source as well as many options. On the other hand, it uses a lot of memory and the files may expire.

Luckywire is designed to replace the old version of Limewire with a similar appearance and function. It is an easy program to use and is intuitive with your concerns. It includes a built in audio file player.

Morpheus, a tried and true P2P program has an automatic antivirus, has access to all P2P files, supports UDP transfers, has parental control, ability to utilize podcasts and can syn files to iTunes. The interface is crowded with ads and there is no longer support for this program. Keep these in mind when deciding to choose this program.

BearFlix is a nice, simple program for the beginner user as it allows you to look around easily. If you are looking to just download television shows and movies this could work really well for you.

Nodezilla is a great way to anonymously share internet files through using nodes. It is great for chatting, video streaming and photo sharing. A nice part of Nodezilla is that you are able to share files in half the time as most P2P files. The trade off is that it slows things down with Java.

Blubster is another free video and music sharing site that is fast and simple. It has a very easy and clean interface, but the connection times can be slow.

Warez is another option that is easy to use and has lots of tools, but may appear to have adware and a slow connection, but it does integrate well with the web.

On Some of the Best Security Software Out There

On Some of the Best Security Software Out There

Notebook-security

A danger that has been multiplying is what is called Ransomware. It is a terrible virus that infects your computer and holds it hostage for lack of better terms, and then demands you to contact the company and pay to have it removed. This can be extremely upsetting and it is an awful nuisance. It may even be necessary to have this malware removed by a computer tech that specializes in this. It can really tear up your day, so another safeguard is to have a back up computer to be able to use in case something horrible happens to your main machine. This may not be an option, but be prepared for a trip to the library if you are working against a deadline.

There are so many different security software programs available to you, either free or for a small fee. Some examples of the best known, paid programs include Norton and McAfee. My personal favorite is F-Secure and it was installed on my last laptop by my computer guru. He swears by it and after I installed it, I didn’t have any more issues. It was $49.99 for a two year contract for two machines. It had crashed on me twice with Norton. You need to make sure you only have ONE program on your device, as they will work against one another and see each other as viruses and try to remove one another. So, make sure that only one program is set up on your device. There are some good free programs out there and some that give you a short period of time to decide if you like the product enough to purchase.

Bull Guard allows for a 60-day window before committing to purchase. This program is easy to install, has an anti-virus program built in, a spam filter which you can customize, has top malware catch rates as well an innovated layered protection system. If you choose to purchase this security software after the try-out time it costs $29.99.

Then there is Avast, which claims to be the largest free downloadable security system in the world.

AVG is a temporarily free program that allows for a 45-day window to see if you like the program’s design. There is technical support available as well for the AVG covered devices. I have my back up Dell using this product and it is a really great deal. It is easy to install and to understand. There are several levels of security available as well, with different levels of costs. It is a solid and fair program.

Avira is a free program. There isn’t as much information on this product as some of the others but it does have a decent rating from its customers and for a free software it may be a great way for you to safeguard you computer.

Kapersky Windows Unlocker is a program that allows you to clean your PC. It is useful against malware, viruses and adware.

Reliable Download Sites for Freeware

Reliable Download Sites for Freeware

freeware

Software can cost a lot of money and often the computers that are being sold today come with quite a lot of programs already on them or options for free apps to be downloaded upon purchase. Some of these programs can clog up your machine, so keep an eye on how much memory is being used for non-essential programs.

An important aspect to remember when you are looking for freeware is reliability and consistency as well as IT help desks and positive feedback from the users. Most of these sites have these points included. Many of the sites have technical support to assist you in finding the best options for you as well as assisting you through the actual download process.

CNET has a large selection of freeware and a very active editing staff and customer base which is constantly reviewing and critiquing the software. This is a great tool to be able to see what the possible bugs are in certain programs and how to avoid them. CNET has multiple platforms available for you to investigate for your needs and projects.

freewarefiles.com is a great site and it gives quite a bit of information, technical specs and reviews. It also has a good deal of interaction between users to assist you with your downloads. There are thousands of programs available in many areas including audio-visuals, anti-virus programs, and games.

freewarehome.com is a site that allows for free Windows software. It is indexed and well organized to be able to choose easily from the software. There is also an IT help desk available to assist you as well as tutorials. This is a site that can be easily navigated by beginners.

snapfiles.com has a wide range of free downloads available such as malware removal and anti-virus software, file management, desktop tools, image and photo editing and backup software-just to name a few. It is a great site as there is also internet tools, email software, system management, security and privacy software, multimedia, publishing and design, networking, server applications and productivity programs. As you can see, every need you may have can be met with this site and there is a great deal of interaction and support as well.

portablefreeware.com is a Windows based free software download site. There is an IT desk available as well for this site. It also is a platform for VoIP.

nonags.com touts that they are the original freeware site. There are lists and lists of available programs and apps. There is a forum as well with popular questions and answers that may come in handy for your first few tries at downloading. They also have sifted through the software to assure that it isn’t a gimmick to have to purchase another program.

Gizmo’s freeware www.techsupportalert.com is a non-commercial company staffed completely by volunteers to help you download freeware that otherwise would cost you hundreds of dollars. This company has nothing to gain, per se, and they are very willing to steer you in a positive way that matches with your needs.

Coolest New Stuff of the Year

Coolest New Stuff of the Year

New Software

Windows 10 is finally here and the time is ripe to start to learn the subtle differences of the new software. You can sign up for the free insiders Windows program to take a look at the new program.

Blender is a great site for graphic design students and integrates with other 3D software well. There is also a large support community to assist you as well as continue its development. It is possible to get somewhat confused with the interface, but there are also tutorials available to assist you with any problems. It can be compared to Maya and takes up less space, so that is another attractive quality of this program.

Braina is a new virtual personal assistant program that has won popularity as Siri and Cortana have.

Secure logon is a technology that uses your webcam for facial recognition to unlock your computer. Equally decent software that does the same thing is KeyLemon Basic. All you have to do is put your face in the right place and the webcam will read it and allow you in to your PC.

Team Fortress 2 is an updated version of Team Fortress. It is a great gaming program and now has additional animation aspects in it.

Dropbox continues to be a wonderful way to connect with your Cloud. It comes with free storage and you can build this up.

Hotspot shield is another new program that allows you to remain anonymous by allowing you to create a VPN. It is not possible to be disconnected from the Internet these days, so this is a great way to hide your identity.

PCMag is still a great program and it has also been updated this year.

My new ASUS

ASUS C201 11.6 Inch Chromebook (Rockchip, 2 GB, 16GB SSD, Navy Blue)

Being in school and in business online, it is incredibly important to have a fast and reliable machine. I have generally at least two laptops in tiptop shape for fear of crashes and viruses. I had been at the library while on vacation at had to use the public router. I have fears of this and of course, my tried and true Gateway crashed. I pulled out my Dell from my backpack and it began running so slow that it wasn’t able to be useful.

Having just launched a product and starting a new class I knew I only had a couple of days and a couple of dollars to get a killer machine that would be able to keep up with my work flow. I jumped online and found a great deal and even though I really do prefer to investigate and touch a hundred machines when purchasing a new item, I took the risk and have been very pleasantly pleased with it.

For the 2GB of Ram it costs $169.99 and for the 4GB unit it is $199.99. It is a great little number. Small and light and easy to carry—it has been serving me well while I locate the next big purchase. The chrome book has some fabulous aspects as you do not have to purchase any additional anti-virus software, which can be irritating, as you need to always have on your schedule when it will need to be renewed. If you are looking for an easy to operate as soon as you plug it in type of model, then this is the one for you. It is quite powerful and offers google docs and chrome operating system. It is easy to save things into .doc as well so if you have a need to present documents then it is simple enough to transfer files into a word document.

Further, the battery life is about 10 hours and as a writer on the run changing locations often it is very handy to be able to unplug and go. There are plenty of ports for your other devices for charging. The two drawbacks for me are the inability to connect to iTunes and the lack of a disc drive. Being a chrome book, you do have access to the Google music search engine and the speakers are decent for it being a smaller machine. The color is also very satisfactory and there is a backlight.

I do plan on seeking out another laptop, but after my good experience with this ASUS I may look at some of their other products that are coming out and getting a lot of good attention such as the Asus Q302LA-BBI5T14 13.3″ Touch-Screen Convertible Laptop – Intel Core i5-4210U 8GB 500GB Windows 8 – Black or even take it to the next level and jump in with both feet and do a Zen Book.

There are just so many great products out there–I look forward to my search for my new best buddy.

My Favorite Downloaded Games!

My Favorite Downloaded Games!

There are so many excellent games sites out there that can assist you in getting just about any game you can imagine. I will list a few here for you to investigate for yourself. I will also chime in with a few of the better ones that I have found.

http://www.myrealgames.com/download-free-games/ includes games such as Jewel Quest, Billiards Masters, 3D Sniper, Biker Vs. Zombies as well as solitaire, mahjong, and different puzzles. There are literally hundreds of games available on this one site.

http://www.gametop.com/category/downloadable.html includes many sim and farm, action, puzzle and hidden object games. It is a nice site to relax with and there are many options that are easy and nice for a calm evening.

http://www.bigfishgames.com/pc-games/ includes match 3, adventure and strategy games along with hundreds of other options.

http://downloads.tomsguide.com/Game,0701-6.html has some of my personal faves such as Minecraft, Angry Birds, Candy Crush, Warcraft III and Criminal Case. These are by far the best games that are available out there these days. You can also download games through Facebook, which many people choose to do in order to interact with their FB friends.

As you can see, there are some fabulous new freeware programs available to us all. There really is no reason to have to purchase anything too expensive, as most of us just need semi-professional programs. Of course there are some professions that need more specific software, but for the average person, we can pretty much find what we need on free sites.