Saturday, January 20, 2007

I'll not write about nothing!

Well its been a while since I posted anything. I've not had anything to write about. We've still not had any rain. Haven't been diving. The Wii was fun for a couple of days. Really good fun. You get sore playing that thing. Its a workout, that's for sure. Wii Tennis is the most fun.

I've just been checking out some YouTube videos and found one by one of the most talented pianists I have ever seen, not that I have seen many, but this little guy is just so expressive when he plays and just exudes talent. And he's not even ten yet! Press play and watch him play Beethoven's Fur Elise.

Click here to see a complete list of all Benyamin's YouTube videos.

Pretty good eh? I reckon!

I can't stress it enough. Get Firefox. Stop using Internet Explorer. Firefox is safer for online transactions, banking, e-bay. Firefox is faster. Firefox is more stable. Firefox is easier to use. Firefox has more features. Firefox is updated regularly. Firefox is free. Firefox is good.

There is plenty of good free software out there that is as good as and often better than their commercial counterparts. Google make a lot of it. Mozilla have the web browser and e-mail programs covered. The open-source community is doing a great job of making software that we need available to us at a price we love! Free!

This is the stuff I use and recommend.

Surfing the web
  • Firefox - you probably guessed...
  • Gmail for personal use and Thunderbird for POP mail.
  • I use Avast! but I have no problem with AVG. I stick with Avast! because the updates seem to be more frequent. New virus threats are being discovered every day so I like to have an up-to-date virus scanner.
  • I recommend Microsoft Windows Firewall. Yes, really. If you don't have any firewall, and you are on the Internet you are already infected with something and almost certainly a bloody idiot. A computer without a firewall lasts approximately 12 seconds on a broadband connection before it is infected with something. It should be the first thing you check and activate after you install Windows. Once its up, then and only then, can you consider an alternative. I use the nVidia ActiveArmor Firewall because of the brand on motherboard in my computer. ZoneAlarm possibly the easiest free firewall to use. Kerio also has a free version for personal use. I have also heard of Comodo who offer a free firewall as well as free antivirus and anti spam software but I don't know anyone who has tried it. Let me know if you have.
  • Spybot S&D. Adaware. Either. Both. I have never tried Microsoft Defender. I didn't like the name. If for some reason you think Microsoft - the most cyber-attacked company in the world - can save you from virus and trojan attacks, then you go right ahead.
  • You can always find installed on my computer in case I need to type something up or if I need to open something created in Microsoft Office. The latest version of shapes up with Writer vs. Microsoft Word, Calc vs. Microsoft Excel, Impress vs. Microsoft PowerPoint and Base vs. Microsoft Access. also has Draw - a program for making drawings, obviously, and Math for creating mathematical equations. I can't always recommend to people because they may already be neck deep in Microsoft Office files and they are not completely compatible with each other. Some people start freaking out and going into a rage if you even mention changing their Office software. They are about as good as each other in my opinion with Microsoft Office having a couple of nice features that are missing from but they are really close is quality and usability. If a user and a Microsoft Office user were given a set of tasks to do, they'd both get them done and only their familiarity with their own software will dictate how fast they do it and how good the finished result is. is free. Every time a new version comes out, its free. If you have a hard drive crash and the mate you lent your install disks now lives on the other side of the country, you can just download and install it. You don't need to activate it. And its free. Remember that when you go out to pick up your upgrade to Microsoft Office 2007. (I just check the prices for Microsoft Office 2003 at Harris Technology. Three complete office suites are available. Professional Edition at $779.00, Small Business Edition at $679.00 and Standard Edition at $629.00. Microsoft Word 2003 by itself is $378.00!)
  • I'm a Google Desktop convert. Look, when you get the shits with that little yellow dog asking you a half a dozen questions about what you are searching for and where would you like to search for it, then sniffs around your files and seems to fail at finding anything you are looking for, then try Google Desktop.
  • Picasa. It takes the photos from your camera, lets you adjust the colour, crop, get rid of red-eye, notes, organize, email, print, order prints, share on the web, make slideshows or burn a photo CD. Did I miss anything?
Media Player
  • I've been through a few media players but I can't help be impressed with the Video LAN Client (VLC Media Player). It plays almost anything you throw at it without needing a million codecs. It plays DVD, VCD, CD, MP3, Mpeg, DivX, Xvid... and it's free!
Get Firefox.


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