I am no longer accepting new clients for computer support.
My other activities keep me too busy to do this anymore.
I am leaving the links here for you to download the software.
Antivirus from Alwil
SpyBot Search and Destroy,
Gets rid of Spyware!
Adobe Acrobat Reader
For reading and printing PDF files.
Extract compressed files.
My favorite Quick image viewer.
|Utility Software Web Sites
Use instead of MS Office
NirSoft Windows utilities
Alex Nolan more utilities
♦ Support Info
|I have had to re-install Windows on several computers for my customers. Whether it's XP or Vista, it takes a long time to bring it up to being current. In addition to the original install, there are a series of updates that need to be done. On the last one, there were 141 updates to be done immediately. On the Vista laptop I'm working on right now, I have had to install updates 8 separate times. Why? Because the newest updates depend on previous updates and can't be installed before the earlier ones are done. XP is up to Service Pack 3 and Vista is at Service Pack 2. All this takes a lot of computer time though not necessarily my time. I get it started and take a look to see if it's finished now and then. So far this Vista lap top has taken about 8 hours of computer time to re-install Windows and bring it up to date. In that time, it has taken about 3 hours of my time to get the next update started and accept the license agreements. So when I see ads that say they can re-install Windows in an hour, I know that they are not doing the whole job.
Many things can make your computer seem slow. First is that you get used to it and you want it to be faster. Next most common is that you don't have enough RAM. Windows XP and Windows 2000 require 512MB to operate properly. The new version, Vista, requires 1 Gigabyte. If you don't have enough RAM, your computer spends a lot of time swapping data back and forth from RAM to hard disk and then back again.
The worst common problem is spyware that is constantly trying to 'phone home' and uses up a lot of your computer time doing it. Spyware like that frequently downloads Trojans that can bring in viruses too. Another problem I've run into frequently is an expired copy of Norton Anti-virus. For some reason, it starts interfering with the computer.
So to speed up your computer, look at getting more RAM. Very few people need more hard disk space and programs that aren't running can stay on your hard disk without slowing anything down. See the next section about spyware. And don't leave an expired anti-virus program running. It doesn't protect you but it will take up some of your computer time doing basically nothing.
Of course, if you Really need a faster computer... get a newer, faster one. All the things above will still apply though.
Viruses and Spyware
If you use the internet, you probably need an anti-virus program. Even as careful as I am, I accidently stumbled on a web site recently that downloaded a virus. My anti-virus program caught it in the process and got rid of it.
Sad to say that you need to protect your computer from bad people. However, this doesn't need to cost you much. The Number 1 way to protect yourself is to download and install security updates for your programs. You can set up Windows and most programs to do this automatically.
The Number 2 way is to install and use an anti-virus program. There are several anti-virus programs listed below that are Free for personal home use. There are also free online anti-virus scans listed below.
The Number 3 way to protect yourself is to install anti-spyware programs. The best ones are free for personal use and are listed below. #1. SpywareBlaster - This program just blocks websites that are known to install bad software on your computer. #2. SpyBot Search and Destroy - This program scans your computer for known spyware and tracking cookies. It also can block known bad web sites. Use both programs, they don't do exactly the same things.
Frequently when I first install these programs on clients computer, the anti-virus program catches viruses when the other programs are scanning for spyware. I like that, they work together. My worst case required me to run one anti-virus program while scanning with another one with a third program monitoring the internet connection.
Networks and Printers
I can help set up your DSL or dial-up Internet connections. I have set up wireless networks using a variety of wireless hubs including Linksys, Dlink, and Airport hardware. I also have fax software for several of my computers.
I have my own network including my PCs, a Mac running OS X 10.2 and several different Linux systems that I use as web servers. I have several versions of Windows running including Windows XP, 2000, ME, and 98SE. I have a Windows 3.1 and a Win95 system too. I don't have a Windows Vista system yet but I have worked on several of them.
All these computers help me know what to do with the different client computers I work on. They also help with web design. You'd be surprised how different web pages look on different computers with different web browsers.
I also have 4 HP printers. I have used other brands but I like the HP's best. And they're all on my network. So I have gone thru installing printers drivers on all the different computers to use printers over the network.
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