Monday, November 13, 2006

Low Tech- Tech Talk

Low tech, because I'm not very hip to computer technology. Nonetheless, I do try to keep things updated.

A week or so ago I finally upgraded to the Internet Explorer 7 browser. Not that I really needed to. I've actually switched to using Mozilla's Firefox browser for most things, except entering my sweepstakes.

I can't remember what the problem was that kept me using Internet Explorer for sweeps. I believe it had something to do with my form filling program not working quite right with Firefox. So, when it comes time each morning to enter my sweeps, I close Firefox and open Explorer, then switch back when done.

I finally decided to switch everything over to Firefox. Main reason being Firefox is supposedly a more secure browser. The main thing that made me decide to go completely to Firefox was a computer glitch that started after I upgraded to IE7. Who'd a thunk you'd get a glitch from a microsoft upgrade. :-)

Now, whenever I boot up the computer, I get some error message. I finally looked into the message by doing an internet search and it's because some DSL service files have changed and either IE7 or the DSL program can't find them when the computer starts up.

Everything runs fine. It's just annoying getting that error message all the time. I guess you can fix it by changing the name of some files somewhere in the computer. I'll have to try that one of these days.

Someone in one of the Microsoft forums said if you had the SBC Self Support Tool installed, part of their DSL software, the Support Tool would fix the problem. Well, that doesn't seem to work for me, but I'm not sure I have the whole Support Tool on my system as I tried to delete it a while back.

Anyway, give Firefox a try if you haven't already.

Speaking of internet security, just yesterday I ended my long and relatively happy relation with Norton Anti- Virus. My yearly upgrade contract runs out in a couple weeks and I had to decide whether to renew.

I had both Norton Anti- Virus and the free ZoneAlarm firewall on this computer. On the laptop I just went with the ZoneAlarm firewall with the added anti- virus. That costs you like twenty or thirty bucks but it covers intrusions and virus protection with one system rather than two as I have on this computer.

I'm not sure you can legally use the same registration on two different computers, so I just paid to upgrade my free firewall into the firewall plus antivirus.

It's kind of nice not to see that Norton Anti- Virus icon on the bottom of my screen all the time. That, and I hated NAV doing a search of my system on start up. It wouldn't do a full search, just a quick one that took a couple minutes, but it was still annoying having a little window pop up telling you everything was ok.

For those that don't use firewalls, I'd strongly suggest you consider it. You'd be amazed at how many intrusion attempts are made on your computer. Of course, not all of these attempts are malicious, some are just pings from some computer somewhere wanting to see who's out there.

But there are a lot of malicious attacks. I've gotten a number of them from that non- existent, or whatever the numbers are, IP address. That was someone trying to get into my computer that didn't wan't to be identified.

One problem with- I'm thinking it was Norton Anti Virus- was it would shut down my internet connection when it intercepted certain attempts at stuffing worms on my computer. The NAV window would pop up saying it had intercepted a worm from somewhere, and give the IP address. Then, a lot of the time, I'd have to reboot the computer to get back to the internet.

One Sunday, earlier this year, I kept getting attacked by the same worm over and over again. NAV would disconnect me, I'd reboot, and as soon as I was connected the worm would hit again and shut me off. Finally, I unplugged the data cable from the DSL modem and plugged it back in, which I believe gives you a new IP address. Problem solved, but took about half an hour to deal with it.

I strongly recommend a firewall, folks. There's some nasty things going on in cyberspace.


At 11:17 AM, Blogger Derchoadus said...


Get rid of Norton...Too invasive a program. Try Avast Anti Virus..Free for non comercial use. Free Virus updates, and free program updates. only thing you have to do is re-regester it every 14 months.

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Fred said...

I don't remember if Avasti was the free one Leonidas had installed on my laptop, or not. Is it a firewall as well?

That's what I like about Zonelabs. It's both anti- virus and a firewall, assuming you want to pay for the anti- virus upgrade.

Norton is no longer on either computer.

I'll have to say, Norton was a workhorse. It stopped hundreds of viruses over the years. It almost became moot, though, a couple years ago.

Humboldt Internet started offering a virus cleaning service from Postini which screened e-mail for both spam and viruses before you'd download it from the Humboldt Internet servers. I signed up for it at a dollar a month, or whatever it was, and only had Norton intercept one virus after that, and that was within
the first week or two after I started using Postini.

Once I went to DSL, Yahoo was screening mail for viruses before it got to my e-mail inbox. I don't think I've had one virus caught by Norton since then. I almost feel I don't need anti- virus anymore, but viruses can come from things other than e-mail.

I've always thought the way to really put a stop to viruses was if the ISP's screened for viruses. Looks like I was right as I haven't had any viruses come in my e-mail for at least a couple years.

Web sites and the internet are a different story entirely.

At 12:15 PM, Blogger hucktunes said...

I recommend AVG Free, from Grisoft, AdAware, S&D Spy Bot Search and Destroy and BHO Demon.

At 12:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

any of those for mac?

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Fred said...

huck said, "I recommend AVG Free".

AVG. That's the one that came on my laptop.

There you have it folks. You can protect your computer free of charge. AVG for viruses and Zonelabs for the free firewall. I know you'll all get right on it.

At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fred ... most software programs, including Microsoft, allow you to install on your desktop AND your laptop computers. It's hidden in the licensing fine print.

And I echo your sentiments about Firefox as browser of choice. Cheers !!

Chris Crawford

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get a Mac.

At 2:03 PM, Blogger Fred said...

A Mac? But then I couldn't play Aces High, which is what I'm going to do right now. If anybody wants me, you can find me in the Late War Blue Arena, for the next 45 minutes or so.

At 3:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The best advice I can give you is, Go to a good local computer store and make friends with the people who work there. Then ask them for advice.

At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What led you to believe that Aces High cannot be played on a Mac? The Mac platform is basically a Unix system and will play almost everything. Additionally, 98% of viruses are aimed at PC/Windows systems and will not affect Macs. Talk to the guys and gals at Strictly Macintosh in (yuk) Arcata.

At 5:18 PM, Blogger Fred said...

Because Aces High, on their web page, says it's a Windows game.

I don't see you up there, do I?

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Rose said...

working with suddenlink's livesupport
they seem nice
but not mac compatible for the switchover

At 3:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are you talking about Rose?

At 1:18 PM, Blogger Open Mic said...

A poem by hucktunes™

Young Bill Gates was a geeky nerd
that folks mistook for a genius.
But who else but a geeky nerd
Would name his company after his penis?


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