Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I bet you're thinking I was going to talk political again.

Nope. This is worse, way worse. Can you say, "El Lame o". Hey, I couldn't think of anything else to blog. Sue me. And, if you are watching, Mr. Government, watch me care.

Anyway, this is about your computer, and about how to keep yours disinfected, no Trojan Horses up your computer ass, no worms coming out of it, and none of those tick-like creatures - rootkits. Yuck. And, we're going to keep the spys out, as best we can, and cut down on those friggin ads and Adware. If you're a Windows user, you're computer is under constant attack. Far more than with Mac or Linux. Windows has over 90 market share, so it's the one to go after. You you choose to continue with Windows, you also choose to become more educated in security, or choose to be more frustrated.

So, if you have a Mac, go ahead a scroll to the bottom of this post. Move along now. Nothing to see here. If you got a Mac, you're bases are covered.

I'm doing this partly to give you some help, but mostly to keep an online instruction for myself. Maybe it can help you.

Here are my recommendations:

  1. Install and run an anti-virus program. I recommend AVG anti-virus. It's a good product, and it's free, but they make you work to get to it on their site.

    1. Also, you'll need to run some adware and spyware scanning too: Ad Aware is the first one to get, then Microsoft Anti-Spyware.

    2. Don't forget to make sure you're up-to-date an all your updates from Microsoft.

  1. If you haven't already done so, start migrating your personal files off the harddrive.

    1. Ones that can be 'archived' burn them to disc (CD OR DVD), or put them on an external harddrive.

    2. Keep your primary files, and your day to day use files on a Jumpdrive. (sometimes called 'Flashdrive'). Keep a copy of them on your external harddrive. I recommend getting the biggest one you can afford, perferably a 1 gig drive.

  1. The goal is to create you computer into a Operating System, Applications and Programs Machine. You can store whatever you want on the harddrive.

    1. Anything important, keep on an external harddrive, and I don't mean a copy. If you try to keep a running up to date copy, you'll never get around to it. Any daily work could be done on the jumpdrive.

    2. If you can't afford to purchase anything at the moment, create an account at Streamload/MediaMax. You can get 25 gig of free online storage with a 100 Mg of upload a month, so make sure your absolute priorities are uploaded first.

  1. Make sure you have restore CD's for your computer where you'll know they are.

    1. If you don't have restore CD's, you'll have to buy a complete copy of Windows XP, or decide if you want to switch to Linux (it's free!). I'll do another writeup someday soonon that someday soon.

  2. Now, you should have your files completely migrated over to some sort of external storage. Next, make a list of the most important applications and programs on you computer. The ones you can't live without.

    1. Think in terms of what you use the computer most for.

      1. Office work? - If you don't have a copy of Microsoft Office – not to worry. There is a very good solution for that.

      2. Pictures?- There are plenty of free picture editors online. Picasa is one. It's from Google, so hey, how bad can it be?

      3. Audio and Video stuff? - iTunes, Winamp, Windows Media Player Don't forget; you can use Real Player or Quicktime for audio files (mp3's). If you have very limited space on your harddrive, consider using one as your primary audio/video program. If you have or want an iPOD, you'll need to get use to iTunes. If you use a Pocket PC, like me, you'll need to get use to Windows Media Player. Try to avoid redundant programs. Unless you got a whoopass amount of storage.

      4. Surfing the Internet.

    2. Make sure you have the programs available. Now-a-days, most of them will probably be online for free. If not, make sure you have access to them, somehow. If you like to edit pictures, and you borrowed your friends copy of photoshop, you'll need to make sure he can loan it again.

  3. Now, you're ready. If you've followed my advice so far, the most you've spent money in is for a USB jumpdrive. If you've spent extra money, you got an larger external harddrive. And you've uploaded files to your Streamload location.

  4. If you're still having problems with your computer being slow, and it's topped out, or at least close, in physical memory, it's probably time to dump your entire system, and rebuild it over again. Think of it as starting fresh.

  5. At the first sign of any problems, including consistent slowness:

  6. Stick the restore CD in the harddrive, and get it to bootup. You're going to reload the system.

  7. Go through the WindowsXP or XP Professional setup procedure. On some PC's, it can take almost an hour. Most, about 40 minutes.

  8. Once you're up and running, don't be tempted to install of your programs just yet. It's not ready. You need to:

    1. If your computer came with restore CD's, but they don't have Windows XP SP2 on them, you'll need to update your service packs. You can do it online with the windows update utility.

    2. Once you have XP on, make sure your firewall is set to high.

    3. Keep doing Windows Update until there are no more updates left. Once all the updates are in, reboot the machine.

    4. Install or reinstall Grisoft AVG anti-virus. Once it's installed, make sure to run its update, and do a full system scan.

    5. Install or reinstall Lavasoft's Ad Aware. Update and run it.

    6. Install and Update Microsoft Anti Spyware. Run it. When it's done, reboot.

    7. Install and run Firefox. Use Internet Explorer only when necessary. Use Firefox for all other web surfing and other Internet activities.

Now your set to install your software. I'll give some recommendations on that in another post.

Schools going well. Something feels just plain wrong with homework being fun. Speech is a challenge for me.
My time management resolution, well, ....hasn't happened yet.
Chocolate has called my name to much.
My hip has prevented me from really exerting myself, so you can take a wild S.W.A.G (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) at how much working out I've done.

I am learning a lot on computers, and fast too.

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