My Favourite programs

1. Antivirus and firewall

I have successfully made the jump to Emsisoft Security Suite, after they pulled the plug on Online Armor. They gave me a good deal. Nice program, but I miss the power of Online Armor.

Of course, it goes without saying that I have turned OFF autorun of music and DVDs. I have turned OFF automatic patch updates. I prefer to wait a few days and read the commentary in Windows Secrets Newsletter. I have several times crashed computers by installing patches, so I am wary.

Windows Patching. Since the malware of forced updates to Win10, patches have become extremely risky. To prevent a forced change, I use the GWX Control Panel.

I have Word 2010 and rarely use it, so see little need to upgrade and patch. Word has a great spelling checker for French and handles pictures nicely. Otherwise it is a monstrous pain.

I prefer Word Perfect version 16. I just love those Reveal Control Codes. Word sometimes drives me crazy when it does something without my orders and I cannot trouble shoot it, whereas the slightest fault in Word Perfect is usually understood when the page coding is revealed. The only fault in Word Perfect is that it cannot handle Arabic.

2. Time savers

I used to love Powerdesk Pro Version 7. I now use the free FreeCommander XE, which provides a dual pane for file management, and the file find is extremely fast. I use it daily for file management etc. Basically, this program is an enhanced version of Windows Explorer (my computer). This version has rarely crashed, and I can easily open two or three of them when working on complicated projects.

Clipmate is also a great friend - it saves and organises my clips.

Express scribe allows me to play podcasts and speed them up or slow them down without changing the pitch. It is great for language learning too when you are not sure what someone has said.

3. Utilities

a. I use Belarc Advisor to provide information about any computer, and to see which patches are missing.

The free Startup inspector can identify and block startup programs very nicely - better than some programs you have to pay for. I firmly believe that the less you have loaded, the better. It basically works by controlling the startup folder, and the programs found by running msconfig command. It is much easier to use than msconfig.

Downloading movies etc from the internet can be tricky. I usually let a movie run to its end, then check the cache, and the cache address I have put into my favourites, so I can get there quickly. Failing that I use “Download studio  and frequently use its URL sniffer.  This program though is a beast - it will insist on intervening even when you do not want it. Because it asks you if it can integrate into your browsers and assumes that you always want to use it by default, then your normal behaviour is be challenged. It is particularly difficult to control in Opera. I ended up by permitting integration only in one browser - not the one I most often use.

For other free programs see chapter 18 of my textbook on methodology.