Sunday, January 9, 2011

Whats On My Computer? Part 2

For the first article I covered the software I have installed on my Linux Partition. It wound up being a how to of sorts for installing Windows in a Virtual Machine. Linux pretty much is secure and has all the software you need off the bat so I didn't go into a lot of detail on the software I use on it. However I have installed a few extra programs under Linux and share them with you. Many of these have versions for Windows as well and I'll give you that info too as well as links to the websites to you can do your own investigation. I'll also cover programs for Windows that make your life more secure and easy.

Dropbox (Wilndows, Linux Mac): DropBox is a lifesaver for your data. It creates a folder on your computer that you can drop files in. These files are backed up in the cloud automatically for you. You can also invite your friends to share a folder within your DropBox.

TeamViewer (Windows, Linux, Mac) Don't you wish you could log into your home computer from the office of vice-verse? Team viewer makes it easy.

ClamAV (Linux,Windows) For Linux users this is not a must, but we live in a Windows world full of maleware. It's highly unlikely your Linux system will be affected by it but there is always the possibility that you could pick up a Windows virus in your email and forward it on to your Windows friends. ClamAV will help you to avoid spreading infections to susceptible Windows computers.

CCleaner (Windows) after using windows for a while you will notices your system performance degrading. Windows keeps a lot of junk temporary files and CCleaner can find and eliminate them. Add to this CCleaners handy registry cleaning program and startup manager and you have a lot of useful cleaning utilities in one package. For Linux users this is not as big of an issue but you can use a similar program called BleachBit. It functions a lot like CCleaner in that it allows you to clean up temp files from multiple applications in one convenient interface.

Defraggler (Windows) Forget about using Windows built in defragmentation program. Defraggler zips though the process much quicker. It also allows you to defragment specific files or folders.

Revo Uninstaller (Windows) Ever notice how Windows uninstaller leaves all kinds of files and folders as well as registry entries in on your computer after supposedly uninstalling a program? Revo to the rescue here. Revo hunts down all the junk that gets left behind after an uninstall. Linux users need not apply as the Ubuntu Software Center does a pretty good job of removing programs you install with it. Ubuntu also includes a Program called Computer Janitor that can take care of the rest.

Microsoft Security Essentials (Windows) This was in the Top 10 Free Downloads For 10-10-10 post and it still stands as one of my favorite Microsoft programs. I used to swear by AVG Antivirus and it is still a great pick for free antivirus protection, but this free offering from Microsoft is slick, unobtrusive and outperforms most free antivirus programs as well as the free alternatives as far as detection and removal rates.

Malwarebytes Antimalware (Windows) OK so why would I have another antivirus program on this list? Because you can NEVER be too safe if you are running Windows. Windows XP is actually the most vulnerable OS according to ComputerWorld. Most of the computing community is still using XP. Now I would recommend upgrading to Linux but if you do not, you still need more than MSSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) to be safe. Use this free offering and run it weekly, if not nightly to make sure your system is not compromised.

Pidgen (Windows, Linux, Mac) If your like me you have accounts on FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter as well as email accounts on Google, Hotmail, Yahoo, and other accounts. Pidgnen allows you to get your instant messenger from all these accounts in one place. If you were using Pidgen years ago you were an UberGeek. Now if your not, you are missing the boat. There are other messengers that pull it all together but Pidgen is the most versatile that I've used, and available on all platforms.

SyncToy (Windows) OK you have DropBox to sync your most important files online. But the 2 GB limitation may be a problem if have a ton of pictures movies or music you want to regularly backup to a second or an external HDD. The simple answer is to install SyncToy from Microsoft. Choose a directory on your HDD you want to sync to a directory on your backup drive and sync. Its that easy. All your selected files will be backed up. You can configure it in a few different ways to back up things in the way you like. Plus it is lightweight and simple. Another good offering for free from Microsoft.

Super (Windows) If you work with video files this program will interest you. Sometimes you need to convert from one video file format to another. Super does it all. From any format to any format. But be warned, you need a little knowledge of video file formats in order to use this. In other words this is not a simple program, but goodness, it gets the job done where others fail!

For now my brain is exhausted and there is a lot of other software I could cover in this article. Maybe with your feedback and some more thought I can come up with another post or two in this vein and cover software that specifically interest you. So please give me some feedback and I will expand this blog!

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