Technology Update

It has been a while since I have written about my recent hardware upgrade. I have it pretty well setup like I like now. The purchase has been a great success. I could not have touched what I bought for less than $2,000 and I got it for less than half that including upgrading to 9 GB of memory, adding a 1TB hard drive and paying extra baggage expenses. My extreme thanks to the individual who brought it down for me ( you know who you are).

After adding the extra memory and HD, I did have a scare, which Micro Technology took care of. Since then it has been running like a charm. It is by far the nicest PC I have ever used.

I am currently running Microsoft Vista with SP2 installed. I have had zero problems and it has been the most stable Microsoft OS I have run. I like it much better than Windows XP. I am a late adopter, so that may explain why I have had no problems.

I did remove all the bloatware that came on the PC, including the trial version of Office 2007, and I replaced it with the products I run on Linux, Open Office and GIMP to name a couple.

The next item I had to work on was the Anti-Virus. I have Norton installed and it is only a 90 day trial version. After that I get the privilege of paying to protect my PC. I have been spoiled by Linux and paying is just not something I want to do.

On Windows XP I never paid. There were enough trial versions that I could go for over a year before I ran out of versions I had not tried. I may do the same with Vista until I decide what I want to do. It does require a little planning to always have the next version downloaded and ready to install. My current spreadsheet says I can have 825 free days of AV trials and by then I could start the test over again with the new versions that will be out. When the time runs out, I would have to uninstall the active Anti-Virus and install the next. However, I have nothing but time, so that isn’t much of a problem.

I have also had good luck with the AVG and Avast free versions in the past. Also Windows is getting ready to offer a free Anti-Virus.

For MalWare, I am using the included Windows Defender.

Another consideration was how to do backups. Norton 360, the AV currently on the PC, includes a backup capability. However, if I move to another AV, then I could not restore using the Norton backups. This is another way they try to lock you in.

To replace that function, I installed GFI-Backup.

This is a pretty nice little piece of software. If you are not in the routine of backing up your date, you should start. This software has a nice little VIDEO to show how to install and use it.

After installing the software, I did a backup to my external drive.

Since I have installed Linux Mint as a dual boot on the new PC, I now went over to Linux mint and moved all of the backup folders into Linux. I now have all of my information on both systems. I am just using the standard file management programs to work with the data in Linux.

As a side note, I installed Linux Mint because it did the best job of finding and installing all of the drivers for the hardware that I have. When the next release of openSUSE comes out around October, I will probably give that a try.

Another problem I had in moving to Windows Vista from Linux was moving my mail contact information. I have used Kontact on Linux and the one thing that wasn’t moved was all of my recorded birthdays. I am now using Thunderbird as my mail client on Windows Vista and will most likely use it on the Linus Mint system as well.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to entertain me.

4 thoughts on “Technology Update

  1. 9 GB of memory?? That computer is going to be fast.. I would love to have that while playing my online computer games.. It sounds like a nice pc. And the price was nice 🙂

  2. Hi Mike. I went ahead and bought the extra 6GB memory at a cost of $100. I felt the 3GB that came with the system was a bit small and the difference between going to 6GB or 9 GB wasn’t worth thinking about. It would have been 50% more here in Panama.

    The other drive cost me $75, which also would have cost more here.

    It is definitely a screamer.

  3. I used Vista for almost a year before throwing in the towel and going back to XP Pro for almost another year. After Vista SP-1 came out I gave it another try and it has indeed been rather stable (I will see what I can find out about SP-2 before trying it though). I consider Vista’s Windows Genuine Advantage spyware in that it will frisk your new screamer on a daily basis and sends information from it to M$. Other do too and have filed a lawsuit regarding it’s sneaky deployment. I don’t have issue with initial authentication only with the continued transmission of my information. This particular issue finally pushed me to download and install Linux Ubuntu (downloaded openSUSE 11.1 too) and I am currently duel booting it with XP Pro on my laptop but must admit it looks like I have a long learning curve ahead.
    Have a happy 4th.
    PS There are several ways defeat WGA in XP (and I have) but haven’t as yet researched tweaking the Vista version.

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