About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

December 30, 2014

New Computer, Part 2

Last week I told you about for your new computer.  I received several emails asking what other applications I would install on a new Windows computer. 

My first "have to have" application is anti-virus software.  I suggest initially what probably comes free with your new computer. However, after the free six or twelve month trial ends, get a free app.  The one you get with your computer usually goes for a high annual fee.  Download only one of these first: AVG or Avast!. These are the two many other geeks and I use.  Search the sites for the free versions and only get them from those sites.  Viruses may be included in them when they are downloaded elsewhere.   

Do not install more than one antivirus app on your computer at a time or it could cause issues. 

Next, I have a new recommendation, Malwarebytes.  This will help your antivirus software keep you even safer.  The free version is good.  You need to remember to run it yourself every few days.  Malware stands for malicious software that may not destroy things but can really mess with your computer.  I almost guarantee if you install and run this on your old computer you will find you have hundreds of malware items present.  

Now, go to Speed Test and see what actual speeds you are getting from your internet service provider.  If you get less than you should call your provider and get their assistance to correct the issue.  The speed can vary from hour-to-hour but should be close most of the time. 

The next thing I suggest is something you used to have to pay a bundle for, Microsoft Office.  Not any longer.  For the average Office user you can create a new account or use your account and use Office Online – for free.  There are several ways to get to your office apps but I suggest to set up or login to your office products. 

After typing like you did in your new free online Word application you notice that your typing could be improved if you used more than two fingers.  To work on your typing skills and speed take a look at Typing Web and practice.  You can improve your typing for free and maybe have some fun doing so.  

Finally, you should just have some fun.  If you like computer games login for free at Steam Powered.  An account is free as are some of the games; however, some may have a onetime cost or possibly a monthly fee.  I like the free, "Star Trek Online" where I am a commander of a Federation vessel. 

If you want to pay for a game, set up a PayPal account.  It is a very secure online payment system.  I have used it for years and have never had a problem.  I suggest anytime you tie your checking/savings account to anything online you create a separate account from your "home" account.  This is just in case there is ever a security hack.  They can only get a minimal amount of money and it will not affect paying your "real" bills.

Have a Happy 2015!

June 8, 2010

Firefox Add-ons

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , — Ron @ 4:53 am

I get many questions about Firefox Add-ons and have not written about them for the past several years.  So today I will discuss two of my favorite Add-ons.

Add-ons "add" more features to this great browser and if you haven’t used FF you should download it and try it out at  Add-ons can get extra info from the browser that can be really helpful and save time. 

imageGetting to Add-ons is simple.  While in FF, click on Tools | Add-ons and a window will open  revealing those currently installed.  Next, click the Get Add-ons tab and they will supply a few suggestions or you may search for others.  To search for others type in the name of the Add-on you need in the search box.  Double click on the one you want to try out and it will install.  You must restart Firefox for it to start working.

The first one I would like to suggest was built for those of you who like online shopping.  "Invisible Hand" is really a cost saver.  Once you install it, (without having to make any setting changes) it sits quietly in the background and you can forget about it. 

I was looking for a SanDisk® Cruzer® 32GB Flash Drive at an office supply site.  Within 15 seconds of reading about the drive; a bar popped up at the top of the page.  It gave me the exact item at three other sites.  You are thinking, "Well, terrific! That is no big deal."

However, the terrific part is that it lists the other three prices.  The site I looked at had the drive on sale for $139.99.  The other suggested sites had it for $58.90, $64.84 and $79.99, respectively.  It also does the math for you and says you could save $81.09!  Then (if I had $60 extra to spend) I could click the link and purchase it elsewhere.  And did I mention that all Add-ons are free?

Firefox has tabbed browsing as do all modern browsers.  When you look up something on Google or Bing you get a list of sites to check out.  When you click the link it usually replaces the search page with the link you clicked.  Then to view the other list items you have to click your back button to see them. 

With "Tabloc" running you can set it up so that when you double click a tab it locks in place.  This causes all other links on that page to open in a new tab.  Just view the other site you choose and click back on the existing search tab to check others.  This will significantly decrease your searching time.  Tabloc has other neat settings too, so explore the "options".

Last time I wrote about Add-ons I received overwhelming requests for more.  If that happens again I will talk about more next week.

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