Sometimes we want to blow our computers up!!

Sometimes they blow up on their own!!

People ask me questions regarding computers and if I can fix or help them fix their computers. Why do people ask me? I have worked with and on computers since the early 80′s.  I started building my own computers in the early 90′s.  I worked at a print shop in the early 90′s and when I started there I completely took over all maintenance of all of the computers, both MAC and PC, in the 12 years I worked for that print shop we never had to have an outside source fix a computer.  I have worked for a telephone company where I provisioned networking equipment that went into service at customer locations, I also helped maintain the computers in the office and for the sales force.  I also worked in IT for the Florida Department of Health.  In the mid 80′s I learned basic programming through a community college course while attending high shcool and I taught myself to program using PHP and MySQL.  I have no certifications or formal schooling.  So with all of that being said, the following information is my opinion and you will find other opinions on these subjects that will differ, but I personally use all of the software I will list here.

The first thing I will tell you about software is that I am all for FREE or very low cost software.  There are free solutions out there for just about everything if you look hard enough.  If you find software that you use regularly and find good and useful, I suggest you find a way to contribute, and most developers will not make it hard for you to find that way.  Without support there is no way to keep up on development.  A majority of the Freeware/Shareware I get is from a website called snapfiles.com, there is a lot of software in one place, they review the software and tell you if there is any third party software installed or offered for installation when you install the software you downloaded and they scan the install packages for viruses and malware.

THE LIST

avast! Free Antivirus
In my opinion, the best Anti-Virus software there is.  FREE for personal use, there is a paid version that includes some extras like a firewall.  Anti-Virus definitions update automatically. Catches most threats in re al time, but just like any other Anti-Virus software new threats could get through before there is a virus definition update for that particular threat.  There is what is called a Boot Time Scan which loads the program into memory and runs before Windows boots up which is a much better way to remove viruses once they are on your computer.

SUPERAntiSpyware Free
A great Anti-Spyware, Anti-Malware program.  FREE for personal use, the paid version protects in real-time, with the FREE version you must specifically start a scan.  SuperAntiSpyware Free catches more threats than other software of the same nature, after a scan is performed, if needed, the program loads itself into memory and reboots the computer and cleans any threats found before Windows boots up, which is a much better way to remove Spyware/Malware threats once they are on your computer.  SuperAntiSpyware Free also detects and removes Cookies from your computer, Cookies are little bytes of information stored that can track your browsing activities.  Cookies can also be useful and keep track of your preferences for websites and can even keep track of your username and password for websites, convenient but not at all secure.

ZoneAlarm Free
ZoneAlarm is a FREE firewall for personal and non-profit use.  A good firewall that controls both inbound and outbound network/internet traffic.

BitTorrent Sync
BitTorrentSync is a FREE alternative to DropBox.  There are a couple of reasons I prefer BitTorrentSync.  First it is Cloud Storage that is not really on the Cloud, BitTorrentSync synchronizes your files between any two or more devices that you install and share your Sync Folder with, it does this using encrypted BitTorrent transfers between your devices, but unlike BitTorrent, BitTorrentSync does not share your files with anybody else on the internet.  In short, it is a direct encrypted connection between two or more devices over the internet.  The second thing I like about BitTorrentSync is that your storage capacity is only limited by your devices storage capacity, unlike Dropbox which gives you a small amount of free storage and charges you if you need or want more.

KeePass Password Safe
KeePass is a FREE secure password manager.  Store all of your passwords in one database that is securely encrypted and accessed with one password.  It stores your username, password, website address associated with the username/password, has a notes section, you can upload a file that is associated and you can set an expiration date to help you keep track of how long you have been using a particular password.  Once you have the login page displayed you can perform an autotype form KeePass or copy and past from KeePass to the login page and the program automatically clears the username/password from the clipboard after 10 seconds so that someone can not come behind you and paste that information into a document and get your login information.  There are password managers available that are Cloud based, to me anything Cloud based is out of my control, if you want to be able to access your passwords from more that one device you can use KeePass in combination with BitTorrentSync or Dropbox.  KeePass also has Apps available for both Android and Apple IOS.

PureSync

CCleaner
CCleaner is a FREE tool to clean your computer of any temporary files that have accumulated over time and removes the traces you leave on your computer of your internet browsing history and cookies accumulated from websites.  CCleaner can be configured to clean your browsing history from one browser, i.e. Firefox, but not another.  It can be configured so that certain cookies are not deleted, thus leaving any preferences for certain websites that you trust intact.

Mozilla Firefox

Thunderbird

MjM Photo Recovery

Screenshot Captor

TrueCrypt

Serviio

Subsonic