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I’m not the only one who talks to my computer gear
Posted by: Billy Hollis on Thursday, May 31, 2007

My family has learned that they don't need to worry when I'm cursing or shouting at my computer. Sometimes I just have to talk firmly to it, so that it will do what I want.

John Scalzi does it too. But he talks more nicely to his hardware than I do.
 
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Personally, I carry a 3lb. hammer.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
So billy...

You a good guy to ask questions of regarding XP?

I’m just wonderin’, is all...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Scott, my son wears a t-shirt that says "No, I will not fix your computer." I’m at the same point, because fixing problems is a never-ending time sink. So I can’t answer questions of a tech-support nature.

But I don’t mind answering general questions. Asking "Should I stick with XP over Vista?", or asking recommendations for peripherals for XP is fine.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Ah... SO asking how to un-wang my system without having to re-buy norton is outta the question? drat!

However, what antivirus/antispam programs do you recommend?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
However, what antivirus/antispam programs do you recommend?
Anti-virus? I can’t really recommend any of them. They all suck. Macafee sucks somewhat less than the others. Norton sucks toxic waste, and I won’t let the disk within sniffing distance of my computer.

Anti-spam - that depends. Outlook 2003 and 2007 are actually pretty good in and of themselves. That’s what I use. But I also use gmail, which has the best anti-spam filter I’ve seen anywhere. If you don’t have a gmail account, I can send you an invitation (you can’t just go there and sign up, but it’s free with an invitation).

In fact, there’s a strategy I recommend even if you don’t want to use gmail as your primary email account. Get a gmail account, and set your primary account to echo every message to the gmail account. Advantages: If you machine or ISP crashes and loses your email repository, all your old messages are still available, and you can search your messages using the best search engine on the planet.

One final tip about gmail. When you are deciding what address to have, put something in the address to defend against dictionary attacks. That means inserting a middle initial or a number of something. Just a first name/last name or an initial plus last name will get spam even if the address is never published on the Internet, because the spammers send messages to gmail for every possible combination of first name / last name and initial/last name.

(There are things I don’t like about Google, and they’re my candidate to succeed Microsoft as the "company people love to hate", but I give them their due where they deserve it.)
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Oh, I love gmail with all my heart. It filters the crud out pretty well. I shuold have said "pop-up blocker" and "anti-spyware", but I consider that crud spam in the back of my mind...

So you’re basically saying that spending disc space on AV software is pointless?

I love gmail’s system for sorting e-mail. The tabbed listing is worth the programer’s weight in gold...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Speaking of Google, are there any good alternatives? I am having problems with it.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I don’t use antivirus either, but if you really want one, I would recommend AVG or Avast. Both are free and work at least as well if not better than the commercial apps.

I have that shirt too, Billy... got it for free from a company an old roommate worked for. It’s great.
 
Written By: Kevin R.
URL: http://
Um, I think you can just sign up for gmail. I did!
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
There’s also Yahoo mail which works pretty well, too.
The spam filters I’ve been using over there, have been pretty good, and theirs have been better.


I also concur about AVG AV. While I have Norton on my XP desk tops, here at Casa De Bit, I use AVG for my older workhorses...(still running 2000!) I’ve been scanning all the drives in the house with both products for some time. So far, I haven’t had an infection with either one.

Norton is certainly a larger pain to maintain, but it’s also more inclusive. It does more. So, it’s about a wash.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
I’m the same way, and make sure people know how to call the computer/software makers support line. And make sure they buy the extended warranty. I work on a computer all day, and don’t like spending MY TIME on other peoples problems.

I’m partial to MacAfFEE... The last update I bought fixed a number of performance issues I was having.

I’ve remained virus free, but I think, safe computing is like safe sex. The best way to ensure you don’t get a virus is safe practices. The software is there to back you up. The firewall features were more important to me then the virus checking.

I don’t open many emails that people forward me, especially if they have an attachment. I don’t open attachments unless I’ve requested them. I don’t click on things that look like buttons on popups, hit the X button instead.

My biggest quandry right now is whether to recommend to my parents (computer novices) an Apple, or Vista machine. Needs: light email, documents, research, photos, printing. Nothing fancy.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com/

 
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