Tag Archives: Software

Security on the Cheap

I am still continuing my evaluation of Anti-virus software. So far the software I have like the best has also been free (AVG). I just finished with Kaspersky and I liked it. It worked well with little overhead that I noticed and it is highly rated.

I am now running BitDefinder, which is currently rated as the best. I have noticed since putting it on that my system is booting a lot slower. I am also getting annoyed with all the popups telling me that I am using evaluation software.

There are enough antivirus programs out there that you can try one for 30 days and switch to another and another for a whole year. I still haven’t found any I like better than AVAST or AVG. AVG did find a virus that AVAST missed, so I guess I still AVG better.

This is keeping me busy until I get the Linux system finished to my satisfaction.

SPAM Is Good – No SPAM Is BAD!

SpamOne thing I learned that I liked when I moved to Panama was Lite SPAM. Yum. I remember my mom and dad ate it when I was a kid. I tried it after I moved to Panama. I like it fried, I like it straight out of the can. It is good in a salad. It is good in a sandwich with lettuce and tomato. I try to keep a can in the pantry for those emergencies when you just don’t want to fix something complicated. Sometimes I have found that it is not available in the supermarkets here in David and that will be one of the inventory items I will look for next Wednesday in El Rey. Yes I think this SPAM is good.

However, I today I have focused on another type of SPAM, the Internet type. I have a SPAM filter on my email so that takes care of most of the email SPAM that I receive. If I get a new email from a source I don’t want to receive email from, I just mark it as spam and I never see another email from that source. I use SPAM Inspector. Recently something has happened and Chiriqui Chatter has started receiving a tremendous increase in comment SPAM. I mean to the point that I am getting hundreds a day.

Today, I decided I had had enough and I activated a new feature (plug-in that comes with WordPress 2.0) that eliminates all recognized comment SPAM. Since I turned it on this morning it has captured 82 SPAM comments.

Microsoft IE 7 Beta

One of the big buzzes in technology now is the upcoming Internet Explorer 7 that is currently in Beta. Since Chiriqui Chatter performs so poorly under IE6 I decided to take a look at the current Beta version. The final release is intended to be ready when the next Microsoft OS (Vista) is available later this year.

I downloaded the Beta version and , while I realize that it is a Beta version, it is going to have to improve a lot for me to switch from the Mozilla family of browsers. It is nicer looking than IE6, but it’s handling of scripts, which I think determines, how fast it renders pages is still very slow. I hope performance tuning is still on the schedule. So far, I still give it a thumbs down.

“Progress consists of change.”

I receive an email message from Panda Software usually everyday. I started receiving these messages when I downloaded the Panda software to try as my virus software. It was this software that corrupted my PC and caused me a have to rebuild it. While I would never use this software again, I have kept the daily messages because they alert me to new virus outbreaks and potential vulnerabilities.

Each email that Panda sends out begins with a quotation from some famous person in history. These quotations are supposed to be thought provoking. Not long ago I received an email containing this as its lead-in.

Progress consists of change.”
Miguel de Unamuno (1864-1936); Spanish philosopher and writer.

It struck me that this email was extremely timely. Last year, I spent my Christmas all alone and wondering what the future might bring. The only thing I knew was that “change” was in the wind. I made up my mind last Christmas to have 2005 be a better year than 2004. This year I find myself no longer in the cool Boquete area, but in an area that I have found to be more consistent with my personality. I enter 2006 extremely happy.

David is a great place to live, with wonderful people and easy access to everything I need. What a wonderful change from 2004. I hope that 2006 continues in the same progressive direction.

Security Software Testing Continues

My free trial of AVG with Firewall has ended. I liked the product. It is very PC friendly and has very low overhead. I still want to try a couple more products, but I am not going to do that until next year.

In the meantime, I have backed off to Free AVG and the Free Zone Alarm for a firewall. I can tell that I have a little more overhead on my PC and that has to be attributed to Zone Alarm. I don’t know if it is doing a better job than AVG’s firewall, but I do notice the overhead increase.

As far as the AVG anti virus part of the software, the only real thing I miss is being able to schedule multiple automatic updates of the virus database during the day. This isn’t much of a problem as I can do it manually a couple times a day. I am still getting more updates that I was getting with Norton.

Report IE Errors

I just took a look at Chiriqui Chatter under Microsoft Internet Explorer and realized that I had a couple photos that I had put on the site that were too large for IE to handle. When that happens, IE displays the site incorrectly and the photos are too large.

On one of the better browsers, everything displays correctly. You could do me a favor and if you are viewing Chiriqui Chatter using IE and you notice that the site looks goofy (technical term), then please drop me an email and I will fix it.

I hope MS gets their act together with their next browser release. If you haven’t made the browser swap yet, you might take a look at one of the Mozilla versions or Opera. They will run faster, create less overhead on your PC and tell MS there is a new kid on the block.

FreeMem v4.3

Another utility I have been trying that I found in PCWORLD is FreeMem. I have been curious if I had enough memory on my PC and I decided to try this utility and find out. I have been surprised to see how much memory I had left after everything loaded from a fresh boot.

It made me wonder if I should consider buying another 512 meg, but then I tried the function it has for freeing up memory and I had half of my memory back. It seems that after freeing memory from the initial boot, my PC stays pretty consistant on memory usage from there on.

Here is what the PCWorld writeup for FreeMem said,

If you’re a multitasking maven — or if you just use your computer like a workhorse — you’ll appreciate this program. It lets you “free up” memory by forcing Windows to flush its cache for programs and DLLs you’ve already opened but aren’t using. The effect is that you can control the RAM you use, instead of it being dictated by the programs you have launched and those in your system startup.
Another useful feature of the program is the ability to monitor the RAM you’re using. An icon resides on your taskbar with a green, yellow, and red indicator showing your current memory condition as well as your available memory. Since the program shows you your limits, you can avoid system freeze-ups before it’s too late.
Finally, you can boot applications through FreeMem, letting you free up RAM so memory-hog programs (graphics programs, Word Perfect, streaming audio players) can run more effectively.

If you are curious about your PC’s memory usage, you might want to try it. (FreeMem v4.3)

Copernic Desktop Search and Copernic Agent Personal

With the whole world gone gaga about Google, it is easy to forget that there are some other search alternatives. If you only use Google you will not find all the possibilities you want.

I use Copernic Personal to search the web. I also use Google, but I like the fact that Copernic remembers my search and if I need to find something that I had previously searched for, it is still listed. When you submit a search under Copernic, it opens up multiple requests with other search clients and they each run independent of the others. For a general web search, my Copernic issues requests from Alta Vista, AOl, Fast Search, HotBot, Lycos, MSN Web Search, Teoma, and Yahoo. There are 8 other possible search engines I could have included. The Copernic Basic Agent is free and does an excellent job, however, I liked the product so much, I bought Copernic Agent Personal.

When it comes to desktop search products, my favorite is Copernic Desktop Search. It is free and once it has the system scanned it is very fast. In my opinion it is better than the Google Desktop Search product.

If you would like to look at all of Copernic’s products look here (Copernic Products).