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#197459 11/30/10 11:41 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 947
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twh Offline OP
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I've been a linux user for many years, but now I have a laptop and need to leave Windows 7 installed. It keeps asking for money and warning that bad things can happen if I don't pay.

Which programs do I need? Firewall? Anti-virus? Network Magic? Are there alternatives to the 30 day trial programs that come with the machine?

I didn't realize owning a computer could be so expensive.

twh #197462 12/01/10 01:55 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 404
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There are a couple of free Anti-Virus programs that are reputable, the one that comes to mind being AVG. However, it seems that a lot of software that was once free/open-source is moving toward the "software as a service" model where you pay a subscription and have to download every new version, rather than for a boxed copy that just updates its definitions.

Others may have their opinions, but the built-in Windows firewall is probably sufficient, especially if your ISP provides a firewall at your Cable/DSL/Whatever modem/router. Don't know if ZoneAlarm still has a free version or not.

OpenOffice is also an excellent alternative to MS Office, if you don't have or want to fork down the cash for a copy.

The bloatware that comes with many new computers can be rather headache-inducing. That's why I stay away from large companies like Dell, who are the worst. When I get a new computer, I make sure that I have an actual install disc for the operating system of choice, and start fresh. The "recovery" discs are coaster ware.

noderaser #197463 12/01/10 02:48 AM
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You can usually buy things like office on Ebay still in the shrink wrap. They may be the previous version but MS has add on to get you going. I am running XP pro with Office 2000 and the add on to handle the docx files. I think the Office was $10. You can usually find the OS install disks for that kind of money too. It will work as long as you have the matching COA sticker with the secret number.


Greg Fretwell
twh #197627 12/10/10 06:44 PM
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,412
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Originally Posted by twh

Which programs do I need? Firewall? Anti-virus? Network Magic? Are there alternatives to the 30 day trial programs that come with the machine?

It needn't be expensive at all.

As far as a firewall goes, I use Zone Alarm.
It's free if you only want a fire-wall and it takes a wee bit of "teaching" to get it to allow or deny access to different applications.

With respect to Anti-Virus software, I've been using Avira Anti-Virus for some years now and although it does have a nag screen that comes up when it updates itself, you can just click it away. wink


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