I have decided to start a page with my Opinion on certain Items.
Spyware (2/2010) Spyware is a continuing and growing problems these days. I have found malwarebytes.org to have an excellent program for removing most all of this. Their free program does an excellent job. I also like the fact that you can install and run it in safe mode which is a plus when you have spyware that is really clogging up your system. Just manually do their update and run this program yourself as often as you need.
Facebook (2/2010) I am not a fan of using facebook and as usual with any application that seems to draw the most amount of users, it is a target for virus' and spyware. So be very careful what you click on as you may not be going to where you thought you were or downloading what you thought. There has been an increase in virus' on computers with the increase usage of this site. Also, remember that anything you put on there is open to everyone in the WORLD. Yes, don't be thinking that only the people on your list will see your stuff as others are hacking in all the time.... and the facebook virus will come from someone you know. Be smart.
Antivirus Software (2/2010) Just recently Microsoft did some updates and it seems the computers running SecureIT did not fare too well. They did not restart. It was easily fixable with my magic CD and about 10 minutes but it still causes distress to the user. I have never been a fan of SecureIT because I have seen computers with so many spyware and virus' on them that were running this program. So I have asked myself, what is it doing if all this spyware is on here? Some are so bad I have to wipe them out and start over and some I just uninstall SecureIT and put on something from my opinion down below and clean them up. This is just my opinion and every person can make up their own minds what is right for them.
Computer Brands: Acer, Gateway, and E-Machines are all the same company. And with all the problems schools have with getting Gateway parts. I would steer clear of these brands.
Backups: I preach backing up your photos always. The easiest way to do this is an external hard drive and/or burn the photos to a cd and make a cd album of your photo cd's. If you would like the backups to be automatic and your external hard drive didn't come with a program, email Kay for a nifty little $30 program that can be used. Jump Drives are great for backing up your bookwork.
Printers: The right printer definitely depends on what you are going to use it for. The Printer/Scanner/Copiers are very popular and what do I like about them and not like? The HP Software isn't my favorite and it seems to consume computer resources BUT if you don't use the Epson's enough then you can have problems with the ink clogging. An Epson you should always shut off when not using for a period of time. If you aren't printing photos, I recommend a color laser now that the prices have come down. And if you only print 4X6 prints, I love my Epson PictureMate and the ability to print photos in my own home. Pictures that brings us to another subject... cameras.
Cameras: I really do not like the software that comes with Kodak and HP cameras. And the docking stations even less. Did you know you can use them without their software? Yep. I personally prefer the cameras that have better names like the Sony, Canon, Olympus, etc... Sometimes it is easier to just put the memory stick into a card reader instead of the camera software. Then I like the Microsoft Digital Imaging program for editing and touching up my photos.
Computer Brands: What brand of computer would I buy? My answer is the best deal of the Dell, HP, Compaq with the specs I need from where ever. Why those brands? I have had good luck with the tech support and that is important to me. Plus they have online drivers. What brands have I had bad luck with tech support? Gateway and eMachines... Then there is IBM and Toshiba and Sony and they are more costly and have been around a very long time. Now Acer is making some headway and becoming more common. I actually almost bought an Acer laptop one day. I checked the computer specs and couldn't figure out why the processor wasn't displaying so I went into the device manager and checked the processor and learned that what was in the laptop and what they were advertising in the laptop were two very different things. Needless to say, that is false advertising and I left without buying the laptop. So, maybe check if you are thinking of an Acer. There is a huge difference between the advertised Turion Processor and the Sempron that was in it! Did I answer your question? Well, as fast as computers become obsolete I wouldn't spend a fortune on one and then just upgrade more often. $800 will typically buy you a descent computer for most applications and you can get them as cheap as $550 and they still aren't so bad... Makes the old computers worthless.
Antivirus Software: I'll start here. I personally like Norton Antivirus for my business computers with important data on it BUT if you have an older computer or not enough RAM then you may want to consider another option. There is a free option available that has proven to do a very good job. It is AVG Antivirus Free and I have a link to this on my Helpful Sites Page. Anything that says Internet Security, I do not like. They slow your computer down to a crawl. I would rather see you add a router for firewall protection as most of you have already I am sure. So, if you have a router running, and windows firewall running, do you need a 3rd firewall? Then, there is another antivirus that I have tried called CA Antivirus. I have junked this because it has so many bugs in it that it does not run properly. And this is just not my opinion you can do a search and read many more opinions that agree. Lately, I have been removing this and putting on the AVG Free which then finds the virus' and fixes most of the computers. That tells me it is not doing it's job. Then, on to McAfee which I think is an okay product just harder for most to run and make sure it is up-to-date.
Surge Protectors: This is a very important area. A surge protector for $30 or so is a lot cheaper than a new computer. My advice is this: get one that is a minimum of 2,000 joules. Of course, the higher the better. Not sure what your surge protector is then take the model number and search the internet. More than like a webpage will come up that tells you what you have. I have always liked the APC brand and not as impressed with the Belkin brand.