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Toshiba Tablet PC

April 30, 2010 Leave a comment

A few years ago I picked up a Tablet PC for a really good price. I did not have any real use for it at the time, but thought it would be cool to play around with, plus I use it with Photoshop, to help me “cut out” images. Well, I just recently got it back out of storage, dusted it off, and decided that I would really start taking a good look at it.

Since the machine is pretty small and lightweight, it is perfect for traveling with. I don’t really do much traveling, but when I do it would be great to have a machine I can take with me. With small dimensions (11.6″ x 9.8″ x 1.5″) and weighing in at only 4.4lbs, this machine is very portable.

I performed a System Restore on the PC, to get everything back to the factory settings. Then I went through the system and removed all the extra software & trials which I do not need or want. I installed all of my “standard” applications (Anti-Virus, Home Server Connector, etc) and got an initial backup created.

I have to say, I am really liking this machine. I can’t believe I let it jut sit for so long, and not gt used for anything more than the occasional Photoshop edit. I have been playing with the Inking feature, and I am loving it. Inking allows for me to write on the screen of the laptop, and then either convert my handwriting to text or leave as is in the document. While I am still finding more and more extensions, add-ons and software geared specifically for the tablet PC, I am realizing that this machine is an integral part of my armory of machines and tools.

Now, if I could just get it back from my girlfriend…

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Blogging – Tablet PC Style

April 30, 2010 Leave a comment

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MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) Games

April 25, 2010 Leave a comment

I play a few different MMOs, 3 actually.

World of Warcraft (WoW) was the 1st MMO I played and stuck with for longer than just a few days. I actually started with EverQuest, but I did not really care for it very much. When Blizzard announced WoW, I did not think I would ever play it. I mean, why would I want to pay, every month, to play a game I had already paid for? It was several years before a friend of mine convinced me to install the game and play, on a private (free) server. He showed me where to download the game, for free, and how I could get online and play it, for free. This got me hooked, and after a couple of years playing on the free (and illegal) servers, I purchased the game and all of it’s expansions and opened my first account on the official servers. I have to say, that the real thing is much better than the free servers out there. I have been having a lot of fun playing, with all the other people. I have made several friends, as well. But I do get bored with playing the same game all the time, so I have ventured out into the other MMOs listed here.

I actually picked up the software for Guild Wars on sale. The version I got (Platinum Pack) included 1 of the expansions. The nice thing about Guild Wars, is it is free to play. You buy the software, and that’s it. There are extras, which you can purchase, but the game is just fine without them. It’s not quite as robust as WoW, but it is still a good alternative to it. Also, unlike WoW, you do not have to own any of the expansions in order to take advantage of the entire world. The Expansions are actually separate Campaigns and do not appear to intermingle with each other.

Aion is the latest addition to my list of MMOs. I picked this one up on sale, for a price that I figured, if I didn’t like it, I could deal with the cost. So far, I am liking it. The graphics are very nicely done, and the gameplay is decent. I will have a better idea of this one, as I play it more (only about 2 hours into it so far), but I think that it is going to be a keeper. I’m really looking forward to being able to “Ascend” and get my wings. I am, however, a little disappointed in the lack of GUI Customization available. Where WoW has all of it’s addons, Aion does not seem to have anything other than the (small amount of) default options. I can understand this with Guild Wars, being it is free to play, but I would think that Aion would have more options available.

All in all, I really do enjoy playing these games, but every now and then, I still like my 1st person shooters and my console games. Not to mention getting out of the house and away from the computer (and consoles) altogether.

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Anti-Virus

April 20, 2010 2 comments

You are running some sort of Anti-Virus program right? I hope you are.
Are you having to pay for updates every year? You don’t have to!

I briefly wrote about Anti-Malware / Anti-Spy where earlier, now I think I should give a little information about Anti-Virus. Everyone should be running some form of Anti-Virus & Anti-Malware program(s). If you are not, then please, for the love of your computer and files, get one (or two) installed! There are a bunch or options available, both as Freeware and Commercial. I am going to touch on the a couple of each here; McAfee, Panda, avast! & ClamAV.

Free Products:

avast!

I use avast! Home Edition on all of my personal computers. I have been running this for a few years now, and I have always been very impressed with this product. If you want Ant-Spyware you will need to use an additional program, or purchase one of the avast! Commercial Products.

ClamAV

I have only just recently started using ClamAV on my Home Server and so far, I am liking it. It looks to run without hogging up a ton of system resources, and seems to be rather unobtrusive. I have not run this long enough to get a complete feel for how well it is, but there does appear to be a rather large following for it. It was only recently released for Windows. I am not aware if it will scan & detect Malware or not.

Commercial Products:

McAfee

McAfee’s AntiVirus Plus product does a really good job of protecting your computer against viruses & malware. If you currently have McAfee and you are happy with it, then I would not go through a huge hassle to switch brands. Persoanlly, I think all the commercial products are way over-priced, but hey, it’s just my opinion.

Panda

Panda Antivirus Pro is an excellent product, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to get a commercially available product. Panda’s Support is always top notch and they get updates out quickly. If you happen to come across a virus which their product cannot clean. You have the option to send the infected file(s) to their support team, and they will get a fix and update out PDQ.


Still not sure what you want to use? Then visit AV-Comparatives.org

On this site you will find independent comparatives of Anti-Virus software. All products listed in our comparatives are already a selection of some very good anti-virus products. In order to get included in our main tests, vendors must fulfill various conditions and minimum requirements.

The following products are tested in the current main comparatives:
avast! Free Antivirus 5.0
AVG Anti-Virus 9.0
AVIRA AntiVir Premium 9
BitDefender Antivirus 2010
eScan Anti-Virus 10
ESET NOD32 Anti-Virus 4.0
F-Secure Anti-Virus 2010
G DATA AntiVirus 2010
K7 TotalSecurity 10.0 (new)
Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2010
Kingsoft Antivirus 2010
McAfee AntiVirus Plus 2010
Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0
Norman Antivirus & Anti-Spyware 7.30
Panda Antivirus Pro 2010 (new)
PC Tools Spyware Doctor with AV 7.0 (new)
Sophos Anti-Virus 9.0
Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 2010
Trend Micro AntiVirus plus AntiSpyware 2010 (new)
TrustPort Antivirus 2010

Look into the Comparatives section to find out additional tests and reviews. If you plan to buy an Anti-Virus, please visit the vendor’s site and evaluate their software by downloading a trial version, as there are also many other features (e.g. firewall, HIPS, behaviorblocker, etc.) and important things (e.g. price, graphical user interface, compatibility, etc.) for an Anti-Virus that you should evaluate by yourself. Even if quite important, the data provided in the test reports on this site are just some aspects that you should consider when buying Anti-Virus software

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Vista AntiMalware

April 19, 2010 Leave a comment

This thing is a PITA and is actually Malware, NOT Anti-Malware! If you happen to get this little bugger on your computer, this is the best way to remove it (for free even). I highly recommend the following link and instructions, and just as an added caution, I would perform Method 1 & 2.

Vista Antimalware 2010 is a rogue antispyware program, which is a fresh clone of Vista Antispyware 2010. Like other rogues, the program simulates a system scan and reports false system security threats or infections to make you think your computer is infected with worms, trojans, adware, spyware and other malicious software. As before, nothing new here, Vista Antimalware 2010 is distributed with the help of trojans. When the trojan is initialized, it will download and install core component of the rogue onto your computer without your permission and knowledge. The same trojan will also register Vista Antimalware 2010 in the Windows registry to run automatically every time when you start any program, which have “exe” extension.

When Vista Antimalware 2010 is started, the rogue will start the imitation of scanning your machine, whose result is the discovery of the set of trojans, viruses and other malicious programs. Do not rely on these results, as they are, and besides, the scanning process – it is a fake. Purpose they have one, to force you to believe that your computer is infected. So you can safety ignore all that this fake antispyware will show you. Last but not least, the rogue will also hijack Internet Explorer and Firefox, so it will display fake warnings when you opening any web site.

As stated above, obviously, Vista Antimalware 2010 is scam, which designed with one purpose to scare you into thinking that your computer in danger as a method to trick you into purchasing the full version of the program. If your computer is infected with this malware, then most importantly, do not purchase it! Uninstall the rogue from your PC as soon as possible. Use the removal guide below to remove Vista Antimalware 2010 from your computer for free.

The instructions are located here – http://www.myantispyware.com/20…-instructions/

The MalwareBytes Anti-malware tool is a great little piece of software to keep around. I also recommend you keep a current copy of HijackThis around, just in case you get something which the 1st tool does not recognize.

These are both very good, and free tools.

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Categories: Personal Computer, Security Tags: ,