Questions & Answers
Q. "My brother uses xx?? free antivirus software and claims he has never had a problem. Why should I spend $50 to buy it".
A. Do you remember the old saying "there ain't no free lunch"? Well there ain't. Where do you think the spammers get your email address. Do you think they work their butts off trying to make a good product for nothing? They are supported by advertising! If there are no real ads on the page then you can bet they are selling names or in fact own other sites that will be sending you all kinds of "opportunities". You spent perhaps $600.00 on your new computer system and countless hours creating all the stuff on your computer. Is it not worth the $50 bucks to protect it. I have found over the years that AVG is one of the most popular packages out there and it just plain works. Also they are there for support should it be needed. Don't cheap out where it matters. The paid version of free software is "always" worth it. Sooner or later you will have a problem - trust me - and is sure feels good to find an expert on the other end of the phone line when you need it.
Q. "My internet provider is Shaw Cable in Canada. They offer a free antivirus package that sounds pretty good. Why shouldn't I just install it and be done with it".
A. There is no reason that you should not install it. It turns out this is McAfee. Shaw makes it available to subscribers for up to 5 systems in the home and or office. Go for it. Its not really free. You pay for it with your subscription to Shaw so take advantage of it. Shaw also provides extremely good support services well beyond what I think they need to provide. If you are having a serious problem - give them a chance. They are quite amazing. Personally I use Super Shield that is included with my subscription to PC Pitstop. It approaches the problem in a different way and is far more efficient than the traditional AV programs.
Q. "Many times I get email from friends that has a bunch of stuff on the bottom offering me "free emoticons" - for example".
A. Please please do not fall for that one. In many cases this just installs spy- ware on your system. They (the spies) then know where you are surfing and they can tailor the spam and advertising to your specific weaknesses. It loads up your email box with more useless junk. Keep your email clean and please do not pass this crap to your friends.
Q. "What about the free or "open source" "office" like packages from places like Apache. Or the "free" Adobe Acrobat reader software. Surly they are not all bad"??
A. No they are not all bad. You have to be careful and selective. The products like Apache Open office - www.openoffice.org from Apache is a case in point. The is a full suite of products like a word processor, spreadsheet etc. This is an excellent product and works very well. Also things like Adobe Acrobat Reader are a logical freebie. To create documents that are fixed into the PDF format is yet another product this company sells and it is quite expensive. It only makes sense that they freely distribute the software to read those documents. PDF - means "portable document format".
For the record "Foxit software". Has a PDF reader that is simple - tiny and fast. You can get rid of the bloated Adobe reader and its constant up dates. Just click here. And again read the screens very carefully as you step through the process or you will end up with stuff you don't need.
Q. "When downloading some of these "good" products I always seem to end up with a bit more than I thought I was going to get"???
A. Always read the screens carefully. As the process begins they will often offer you yet another product like the "Yahoo tool bar" or some such thing.. This is pretty much the last thing you need on your screen. They has no real value other than to push all your stuff to Yahoo. It takes up space and slows things down. Watch the tick boxes on the screen and read carefully before installing anything - and I do mean anything. Even stuff you have paid for sometimes gives you the "opportunity" to get a small shafting.
"The world has three kinds of men. One kind learns by reading and another kind learns by observation. But these are rare. Most of us have to pee on the electric fence for ourselves."
That's enuf for this month.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Yes my stuff is free sort of but you will notice some advertising and yes I make a buck if you click on an ad and buy something see "always read the fine print"