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Messages - vetegr [ switch to compact view ]

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A good firewall.  I use Comodo Firewall.  Not the big Security Suite; it tends to slow the computer down.  Just the firewall.

Malwarebytes AntiMalware, free version, and do regular manual scans.

WinPatrol and Threatfire keep an eye on suspicious behavior without depending on a never-quite-complete database of known viruses.

Sandboxie.  Can't praise Sandboxie enough.  Free, easy to use.  Run your browser (or email or any other program) in a sandbox and any malware will infect only the sandbox.  Delete the sandbox when you're through and the infection is also deleted, leaving your system clean.

Like you, I want to know what's going on in there.  That's why I disable all automatic updates, and just manually update periodically.  So there are no unknown downloads, and everything gets noted in my file.

Plus I don't like auto updates slowing me down when I'm doing something important. 

This is much more helpful than a download logger:

Maintain a text file yourself.  It requires a TINY bit of your time.  Enter the name, date, and version of a program, and any settings you change.

I have a text file that contains in chronological order everything done to the computer since it started -- programs installed/uninstalled, program settings, backups, settings for browser and plugins, java settings, Windows settings, BIOS version, ID key, openDNS addresses, downloaded programs waiting to be installed, instructions for certain Windows functions, helpful tech websites, and everything else that at some point I'm going to wish I remembered.

Such a file is a lifesaver.  Far more valuable than a mere download logger.  At a half minute or less per entry, there's no better deal.
And when you have to get someone else to troubleshoot your system, this file will save them time and you money.

General Software Discussion / Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« on: February 12, 2010, 03:30 AM »
Curt, re:  JBMail not updated for six years:  It is indeed unfortunate that XP is the last Windows version it runs on.  I hope they update it for Vista and 7.

Other than that, the lack of updates doesn't really matter.  It provides only basic email functions; there's not much to update if you're going to leave it at basic functions.  Being basic, it's not for everybody.  It's for those who don't need the other wonderful things a modern email program can do.  It's really, really fast, and very secure.  Small, portable.

General Software Discussion / Re: Must-have Windows Programs
« on: February 10, 2010, 07:56 PM »
All freeware:

Everything  -  File finder.  Finds files instantly.  Honest.  Often before you finish typing the name.

JBMail  -  Email reader.  Doesn't download emails (unless you tell it to).  Leaves them on the server and shows you the headers.  Double-click to read.  Since it doesn't download them all, it's super fast.  Can be set to strip away everything except text so that you Never get a virus from the message body.  All the basic functions -- address books, reply, attach, spam filters, etc.

WinPatrol  -  Monitors critical files, registry, startup, etc., tells if you something messes with them.  Lets you delay the launch of some of your startup programs, for faster booting.  Many other functions.  Easy to use.

ERUNT  -  Backup and restore the registry.

Exact Audio Copy

Sandboxie  -  Run your browser, or any other program, in a sandbox.  If you get malware, just delete the sandbox and your real system is untouched.  Easy to use.

VLC  -  Media player that reads virtually every format.  Launches quickly.  Functional real-time controls for color, brightness, playback speed, etc.

Foxit Reader  -  Read and edit PDF files.  Launches much faster than Adobe, runs faster too.  If you turn javascript off, it's far less vulnerable to infection than Adobe.

SharpKeys  -  Change any key to anything else.  I made the irritating CapsLock key into an extra Alt key.

Chocolate-covered espresso beans!

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