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Computer Trouble?

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millipede
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Computer Trouble?

Postby millipede » Sat May 30, 2009 11:51 am

I know most people face computer problems from time to time. So I thought I'd share a few thoughts on it, and say, feel free to ask about computer stuff here. I can't answer everything, but I can point you in the right direction to find an answer, without professional help which costs so much money.

Most important thing for you to do, right now, if you're not already protected, is to protect your computer from viruses and malware. There are quite a few FREE programs out there that really help protect you. There is no need for expensive programs that you have to buy every year. And no single program does it all good enough.

Things you need are:

1. A good firewall. Some antivirus programs come with a firewall, windows XP service pack 2 or better has a firewall. There are several free firewalls out there that are excellent. In the past I used Zone Alarm which was a really good free firewall. These days I've been using the firewall that comes with Windows XP SP3. There are a few others out there that are just as good.

2. A good antivirus program. There are mixed opinions about some of the top antivirus programs out there. Norton is one of the most commonly used, but I don't believe it's the best. And with most paid programs, after a year or so you don't get free updates anymore, leaving your computer vulnerable until you renew your registration, for a fee of course. There are a few good antivirus programs out there that are free. I did use AVG, which is one of the better ones out there. Free updates, email scanner, etc... and it works. These days I'm using Avast. AVG, Avast, and Anti-vir are the best free anti-virus programs out there.

3. spyware removal tools. There are a few ways to end up with spyware on your computer. Spyware is basically something that can track info about you, and your internet habits and such. Programs on your computer will communicate while you're connected to the internet, leaving your computer vulnerable, AND slowing your internet connection. For protection, detection, and removal of spyware I reccomend Spybot Search and Destroy, and AdAware. For stubborn problems I strongly recommend the free version of MalwareBytes

4. Junk files. You'd be surprised how computer performance can change by removing a bit of system junk. Over time your computer stores a LOT of useless information and it can slow your computer down considerably. Uninstalling programs you don't use, monitoring which programs run at startup, and cleaning up old junk files should help keep things running smoothly. For cleaning junk files, I recommend CCleaner, formerly known as Crap Cleaner.

I'm sure I can think of more, but I think that's long enough already. With ALL of those programs or types of programs mentioned above, it is Strongly recommended that you keep them all Up to Date. They often have free updates, and some programs come out with update very often. It's always good to keep up with the latest protection.

All that said, if you have any computer questions you can ask them here, or in your own topic somewhere... I can't answer them all, like not at all... But I should be able to offer some advice, and point you towards the help you need...

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Re: Computer Trouble?

Postby frizzlemomma » Sat May 30, 2009 11:52 am

Where does someone get Crap Cleaner? I think I'm in bad need of it.

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millipede
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Re: Computer Trouble?

Postby millipede » Sat May 30, 2009 11:53 am

HERE
there's a description there, and on the right side of the page it says "download latest version"
When used on a somewhat regular basis, or at least once in a while, it doesn't take long to run... but first time use can take a few minutes if there is a lot of junk files on your computer. A few computers I've set the program up on, I ended up removing over 100Mb of junk files.

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Re: Computer Trouble?

Postby jsebean » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:18 pm

the method I use to prevent computer trouble: dont use windows ;) ... a Linux computer or Mac is so much better, much more secure and ultimately cheaper :P

A paid virus scan is better than a free one, while a free one "gets the job done"... sometimes it doesnt :P ... while I hate Norton myself, its the best paid one out there.

For firewall I refuse to use anything but the Windows Firewall. Most antiVirus programs come with Anti Spyware protection, including the free ones like AVG, so all good there. And a windows Disk Cleanup and Defragment is good to do monthly. In the end you're might even be better off that, in a years time, backup your data and do a factory default (format), you'd be surprised how much faster your computer might go after a format.

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Re: Computer Trouble?

Postby millipede » Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:50 am

up front cost for a Mac, even an old used one, is too high for this poor boy.
There are free versions of Linux that I've considered but haven't messed with. Not everything is compatible though.
I try to keep up with how well my antivirus software performs, or is rated by download sites. AVG, Avast, and Antivir are usually rated REALLY well.
I used to stick with AVG as it was THE best free one for a while. But they made some changes that I didn't completely like so I looked at others and ended up using Avast. The only thing I didn't like about Avast was having to register with my email address. But that hasn't been a big deal. I don't get ANY emails from them.
It updates several times a day and performs well.

Years back I used zone alarm firewall as it was supposedly better than windows firewall at the time. Since then things have changed and most people find windows firewall good enough. And, if you already have something that works installed on the computer, why use something else.
Norton, I never liked. Has always seemed to be a resource hog.

I use firefox and within firefox I have a few addons installed for security. One is called NoScript. It doesn't allow scripts to run unless you manually allow it for that site. Most trusted sites I'll go ahead and allow scripts(since they're necessary for so many functions to work) but for sites I'm unfamiliar with, I check them out first to see what I think before using them. This has allowed me to look at sites I think might be bad to get an idea of how bad they are for other people's sake. Like when people post random links on facebook... I can check them out and usually don't get prompted to "update" anything or click anything that would install a virus. So many people get fooled by such messages.

I bought this computer used a few years back and the guy I bought it from didn't know where ANY of the software was. I wanted to reformat and all that back then but haven't had a legit copy of XP to use that would work. I got a couple copies from various people to try and install on other computers but they never worked and wouldn't have worked on this one either.

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Re: Computer Trouble?

Postby jsebean » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:07 am

agreed with the mac... Linux on the other hand I'd suggest Ubuntu. While it doesnt work with all those shooting games and all that stuff, it doesn't bother me since I'm not a gamer. I can get a lot of Windows programs to run on Ubuntu with a program called wine (including MS Office 2003, Internet Explorer, etc), but usually i stick with actual linux programs. All i use the computer for is to work on my website, youtube, browsing the web, typing/printing documents, etc, Ubuntu does that all quite nicely. Ubuntu takes some getting use to, but once you get the hang of it, it actually is better, and easier to use than Windows (or mac) in my opinion.

Browser, I want as fast and simple as possible. Firefox is good, but I like Google Chrome much better. If there was no such thing as Chrome I'd probably be a FireFox user. I still have to have Firefox and IE on my computer so I can make sure my website is compatible, but other than that, Chrome is the way to go IMO.

As for Norton, agreed very much :P I really don't like it but thats just me, it does get the job done but slows you down while doing it :P ... I'm using Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus that came with Google pack on my windows computer. My Linux computer, not using any anti-virus :P

If you want to format it I personally dont see anything wrong with downloading the unhacked version of XP from the internet, as long as you use the key that came with your computer. Maybe they don't like people downloading stuff like that from the internet and say its "illegal", but its the key you buy anyway, the disc is all the same no matter where you go (in general). I actually went and bought mine from acer, cost me about $20 to get them and to ship them. I never did use then since it was Vista :P

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millipede
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Re: Computer Trouble?

Postby millipede » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:29 am

I've been tempted a few times to use chrome... but I'm a little paranoid in general and can't help but wonder about google. They're becoming a super power and I'm a little worried about how much they know about me already. For them to get ANY data from me as soon as I start typing into the address bar. I'm just not sure I like that kind of software. There's not really any such thing as privacy on the internet any more and it seems to be getting worse...

Some day I hope to get a new computer. Not sure, financially, when and if that will happen but it would be nice.
I was proud of myself the day I upgraded to 1 gig of ram... these days, that's nothing. I sure wouldn't mind nicer and newer things. :)
a year or so ago I was at a friend's workplace. These two guys I know shared an office. One is a computer programmer that makes custom software. The other is a photographer. They both had two HUGE monitors(I'm stuck with a 15 inch lcd, sure wouldn't mind 17 or 19)... and the photographer was telling the other guy that he just went from 4 to 28 gigs of memory. I'd be happy with 2 or 3... oh well. I get by with what I have. I'm always a little behind technologically speaking but that's okay. I make do...

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Re: Computer Trouble?

Postby jsebean » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:18 pm

haha doing better than me, this computer has 1/2gb ram :P ... my... 28gb of ram :O I want that :P

there is other browser built upon Chrome (since its open source) that are more "private". And if you really don't want to go the chrome direction, Safari is good too, its origionally for mac but they make a pc version. I'm not too worried about google since they don't share any private info, i know they store up lots and lots of stuff about me, but i don't really worry about it too much. I trust google, and they made a nice browser :P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InFNedaNq6s

they do need to be "notched" down though :P


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