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Tag: utilities

After The Crash: Installing Software

The worst part of dealing with a new (or newly restored) computer is installing all of the software that we need to actually get stuff done. If you have an Internet-connection and some anti-virus software, I recommend heading over to Ninite: a website that will create an all-in-one unattended installer to get all of that software you need.

Just check the boxes of the software you want, click get installer, then run the downloaded file. Ninite takes care of the rest. No clicking “Next” or anything like that.

I recommend:

Web Browsers

  • Google Chrome

Messaging

  • Skype
  • either Pidgin (if you use multiple chat services) or the single IM service you use

Media

  • iTunes
  • VLC
  • K-Lite Codecs

Runtimes

  • Flash
  • Java
  • .NET

Documents

  • Foxit Reader [beats the pants off of Adobe Reader]

Security

  • Essentials [if you haven’t already downloaded it, which should have been your first step…]

File Sharing

  • uTorrent

Other

  • Dropbox [a must if you have more that one computer]
  • Steam [if you’re a gamer, anyway]

Click “Get Installer,” which will download a single program that you can, when connected to the Internet, run and walk away from. All your selected software will be installed and when its finished, you’re new computer will be good to go.

Convert and Burn Obscure Disc Images with ISOBuddy

If you download software long enough, sooner or later you will run across a strange disc image (like MDF or PDI) and will have no idea how to deal with it.

Just point ISOBuddy at the file and tell it where (and in what format) to put the output file. You can also have it burn it to a disc. It can even deal with Mac-specific DMG images.

MSE Ranks as Best Free Anti-Virus

Microsoft Security Essentials, a product I’ve recommended before, has ranked in the top for malware removal before, but now AV-Comparatives.org has also ranked it as the best performing.

The full article can be found here.

Best of Free: ImgBurn

If you have a need to burn a disc image or create one from an existing disc, take a look at ImgBurn. It’s simple interface allows you to get in and do the job quickly, without excessive options (unless you go looking for them).

Best of Free: 7-Zip

Still paying for commercial applications WinZip or WinRAR? 7-Zip, an archiving application for both Windows and Linux, can open most popular archives and compress to ZIP, BZIP2, and 7-Zip’s own 7Z format.

Anti-Virus Tests Conducted

Recent test results released by AV-Comparatives.org compare the effectiveness of 16 popular anti-virus products. The sixteen products were:

  • Avast Professional Edition 4.8
  • AVG Anti-Virus 8.5
  • AVIRA AntiVir Premium 9.0
  • BitDefender Anti-Virus 2010
  • eScan Anti-Virus 10.0
  • ESET NOD32 Antivirus 4.0
  • F-Secure AntiVirus 2010
  • G DATA AntiVirus 2010
  • Kaspersky Anti-Virus 2010
  • Kingsoft AntiVirus 9
  • McAfee VirusScan Plus 2009
  • Microsoft Security Essentials 1.0
  • Norman Antivirus & Anti-Spyware 7.10
  • Sophos Anti-Virus 7.6
  • Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 2010
  • Trustport Antivirus 2009.

The testing focused only on the effectiveness of removing malware, so the tests were conducted only with samples that the anti-virus software was able to detect. None of the products scored “very good” in malware removal and Microsoft, eScan, and Symantec were the only products to score “good” in both removal of malware and removal of leftovers.

The full report is available here (PDF).