This article is not up to date !!
Hi i run www.Beingahuman.blogspot.com please bookmark this in your browsers ( Internet explorer or Firefox or Safari or Google chrome etc) , Ive listed all the software i recommend people to use. Any computer using the internet must have Antivirus software to protect from the few hundred thousand viruses in existence and Trojan horses, shops will happily sell you a product for about £40 and it'll last a year..but my site tells you of free exellent products..so ive saved you money already. Then another category of problems Antivirus doesnt detect is called Malware again Pcworld etc want to sell you products but you dont need to pay..get the free ones i recommend , Malware ( malicious software) sometimes called Spyware or Adware ( advertising programmes put on your pc without consent) again hundreds of thousands of nasty Spyware software exists..my article tells you which Antispyware to get for free and use. Dont fall for a common trick which is to click an advert saying you need our Antispyware and it is the Spyware!!!. Dialers are another problem (if you use a dial up connection they cause your pc to phone expensive numbers) Antivirus protects against this. Keystroke loggers record every thing you type..credit card numbers etc and send them to the hackers computer so they go on a free shopping spree at your expense..so Antivirus detects some and Antispyware detect some..its essential to update Antivirus daily and Antispyware weekly should be enough...then run Antivirus every day or so, windows built in Antispyware called windows defender can be set to run daily..do this but also use other makes of Antispyware as windows defender isnt as good as the other free products i recommend you use. Dont forget to check the results of the scans..some problems wont be removed by Antivirus easily..they detect problems but sometimes youll need to do a few things to remove the bad stuff. If you get phishing emails eg fake bank emails asking you to update your details or fake Ebay or Paypal emails go to www.phishfighting.com and use that site to fight back against the scammers..itll send 500 fake details to the scammer..thats 500 fake bank account details to slow the scammers down ! . ( bad news this site no longer available as of 2010 but it is for sale so buy the website and run this brilliant service someone please).
Rootkits are a new danger..some Antivirus detects them..see my article on www.beingahuman.blogspot.com , but many dont so youll need a seperate product that scans your pc for rootkits..which are viruses Antivirus finds very hard to detect. I also recommend you stop using Microsofts Internet explorer browser and use Firefox as its a lot more secure and stops pop up windows annoying you when you visit websites. Update your operating system with all the patches available eg Microsoft release patches for their products like windows every 2nd tuesday of the month or if its an emergency they release out of cycle eg any day as fast as they can. Anything you dont patch leaves a hole for viruses etc to exploit and get in your pc. and of course you must have a good firewall..Windows has a firewall but its not very good so again get the firewall i recommend..without a firewall your pc is wide open to attack.
The correct order to put software on a new computer or after a new install is 1st you put the operating system on eg Windows Xp, 2nd you put a firewall on eg Zonealarm, ( if your going to download software from the internet youll need internet access so put your internet service providers software on for your broadband or mobile internet access), 3rd put on Antivirus eg Avira, 4th put on 1 or 2 Antispyware products eg Spybot and Spyware blaster, 5th put on a good browser eg Firefox, 6th put on something to find what drivers your hardware needs eg Driver max..this will then get things like your computers sound working if youve lost your sound card software after you reinstall windows. 7th get Ccleaner or something like it to clear crap files out of your pc and edit your computers registry, 8th get Freeramxp to free up your pc's memory, 9th put Mcafee siteadvisor on, 10th put Noscript on, then you can add the other software i say is useful as and when you need them.
Here's a list of software i recommend you install, update and use... if i use it i mark it with the * symbol before its name so you can see i actually use the product and if i put ** its to indicate its essential you also use this or a similar product for your security otherwise your using a computer with poor protection and are likely to experience theft of your data/creditcard info/personal data or have virus problems that can destroy all your files and be expensive to fix or recover.
First off when you get a new computer you install an operating system ( os) such as..
*Microsoft Windows Vista ( either the home or ultimate editions, Vista service pack 2 i got on 24.6.09 as an available update form Microsoft, it was 343.9mb in size see this link for info on what the differneses are in the different vista versions available http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/compare-editions/default.aspx
or *Windows XP (sp3) is still useable in 2010 though Microsofts support of this OS is ending so there wont be any more service packs for it ,ill let you know when Microsoft will no longer write patches for Windows XP.
In June 2010 Microsoft announced they will not support service pack 2 after 13 july 2010 which means you wont be able to get patches for flaws in windows ! this is Microsofts way of forcing lazy people to update to service pack 3 ( which you should have installed ages ago ) heres a link to info on Microsofts support lifecycle http://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle/?LN=en-gb&C2=1173
Windows Vista ultimate is the best computer operating system to have forget other makes like Apple who's newest OS is called Mac OS X 10.6 snow leopard or the various linux os's. ( service packs eg sp1 fix hundreds of flaws in a product so you must install them via the windows update button or windows update website which you have to view in Microsofts Internet Explorer browser) in Internet explorer go to tools ( near the top right) then select windows update youll end up on http://update.microsoft.com/windowsupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us from there select express to update your operating system. or Windows XP (sp3) , Vista ultimate is the best computer operating system to have forget other makes like Apple or linux.
Windows Xp costs £96 from Microsoft in march 2009 Vista costs even more around £225 in march 2009, if you don't have a genuine copy Microsoft will stop you getting updates so your pc will be left with holes viruses can exploit !
ps Windows 7 the next version after Vista is due out in October 2009 its very similar to Vista ( most experts call it Vista sp3 as its not a great deal different to Vista) . As i paid For a brand new copy of Vista when i bought a brand new pc with it installed in October 2007 im skipping getting Windows 7 as its almost the same as Vista and ill wait until Windows 8 comes it in about 2012
Here's my list of software i recommend in rough alphabetical order..
**Avira personal Antivirus for vista or Xp is what i recommend people use, this does find Rootkits or another make of Antivirus i used is Avg 8 free which works on xp but Avg doesnt look for Rootkits. There are many makes of Antivirus to choose from if you decide to ignore my advice go see www.av-comparatives.org who test many makers products to see which products detect a random sample of viruses..from these results you can judge which makes of Antivirus are better than others. Other makes i know of to buy include Computer Associates, Norman, Norton by Symantec, Mcafee, Panda, Kaspersky, Avast ( is free ), Sophos, Trend micro, Bitdefender, Pctools, F-secure, Bluesquad cyberdefender, Zonealarm, Eset nod32, Microsoft Onecare and a few others. Surprisingly the free Antivirus products i recommend do as well as the makes you have to pay for !
The latest version of Avira Antivirus Antivir free personal edition is version 10 released on 22 march 2010 it now has some Antispyware with it , get it from Download.com . Ive noticed that Download.com is now called http://download.cnet.com/windows/
by March 2009 so bookmark that website in your browser. No Antivirus is perfect and should be used with a combination of other products..read all the rest of this article to understand what else you need. Some Antispyware detects items Avira doesnt find so you need to keep scanning your pc with numerous products to remove all the dangerous viruses and trojans you can get infected with just by viewing websites. if you have version 9 you wont need to unistall this or install all of version 10 simply select repair/update to update a programme version its much quicker than installing version 10 from scratch.
The latest version i use is version 10.0.0.561 which i got on 8 apr2010 it has a few annoying bugs in it that dont affect its performance such as a popup appears saying guard autorun blocked .. access to H\autorun.inf has been blocked for your security, another annoyance/error is when you turn on a Windows xp machine it says your using admin rights and you shouldnt...shut up avira and fix these errors !
Older versions to upgrade from include version 18.104.22.1686 released on 17 march 2009
To help you get started i will list step by step what you do to install a software programme..my example of this will be how to install Avira antivirus version 9 but the same steps and principles apply to all other software programmes you install got to this link to see the detailed steps you do to install Avira antivirus
Now back to the other software products ive used or use and recommend people use
Avg Antivirus that you buy will hunt for Rootkits but the free version does not so dont use it. To compare Avg products to see which you might want to try if you ignore my advice to use Avira Antivirus . If you choose to use avg instead of avira look here www.avg.com/home-and-office-security-comparison
my advice is to get the free Avira Antivirus product. The latest version of Avg free is version 8.5.278 released on 2 march 2009 . If you do decide to use Avg free you will need to find a seperate Anti Rootkit software product.
*Adobe Acrobat Reader is used for opening pdf files a very popular file format people use to create pages of text and pictures eg manuals for products or help booklets. The latest version fixes critical vulnerabilities in older versions so get version 9.3.3 released by 1 july 2010
Get it from adobe.com
once you have a new version you may need to go into add/remove programmes and remove older versions..this helps as viruses exploit holes in old versions of software.
if u open and cant close it the at bottom of your pc & right click .exe & click end
process..this is a silly flaw Adobe has had for ages.
Old versions info...
version 9.3.0 released in Febuary 2010., v 9.3.2 i got on 28.4.10
Version 9.1.3 released on 4th August 2009 from www.adobe.com
. See this info from july 30 2009 re flaws that need fixing by getting the latest versions of Adobe products http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb09-10.html
Older versions to upgrade from include v 9.1.2 i got on 10 June 09, v 9.1 i got on 19.3.09
*Adobe Air is used to help install bbc iplayer for example. See this info from 30.7.09 re upgrade to fix flaws http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb09-10.html so get version 1.5.2 now . Older versions include version 1.5.1 which i got on 8.5.09
*Adobe Flash Player which attaches to your browser to play flash videos eg Youtube videos. Click this link to get the latest version as it fixes critical flaws found in older products.. http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
the latest version is version 10.1.53.64 aka 10.1 r53 which came out by 22 June 2010 which fixes serious security flaws in older versions. In April 2010 i tried to install this on another pc and it would not work..what i needed to do was when a yellow bar appeared at the top of the flashplayer page saying additional plugins needed to view all media on this page you click this and it downloads gp.xpi then you need to install this which adobe doesnt bother to explain how to do ! what i did was google to find out about that file and you need to select to open this type of file using firefox so you have to find the location in your computer where Firefox is installed and select that to open the file. After that adobe flashplayer will install. Yahoo answers didnt help me either fortunately i worked it out myself.
to find what version your using in Firefox go to tools-addons-plugins
old version info...
version 10.0.45.2 which came out in Febuary 2010
this info was released on 30.7.09 so get version 10.0.32.18 now. http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb09-01.html
is to get version 10.0.22.87 which came out on febuary 24 2009, you will need to get it for each different browser you use eg if you use Firefox as your main browser you attach Adobe Flash player to that, but if you occasionally use IE8 browser you'll also need to attach a copy of Adobe Flash player to that browser too.
*Adobe Shockwave Player is free its a browser plugin
that allows you to play 3d games or see product demos or training on websites. To test if you need it go to www.miniclip.com which has free games to play this will tell you if you need the plugin..but your browser plugin finder service may say macromedia Shockwave Player 10.1 is available to download..this is an old version so dont get it from a 3rd party site go to the site that made the software which is here http://get.adobe.com/shockwave/
the latest version is called 22.214.171.1249 which was released on 12 may 2010 its 4.18mb in size.
*Audio Recorder For Free is a great radio recording programme it works on Xp and now vista,( version 8.8 had bad errors in December 2007 so i stopped using it on Vista ) get it from www.audio-tool.net
, it records the sounds coming through your computers sound card so if your listening to online radio you can record it ! You can record stuff as mp3 files ready to put on your Ipod /Iphone .Its free for 90days, Alternative sound recording software includes magix webradio recorder costing £29.99, Audio e2workshop, freecorder toolbar which i had trouble with but its free and many others.
*Alcohol 120% is useful to make backups of some cds , dvds games & software disks, it makes images of cds or dvds, it wont remove css copy restriction on bought disks though. Most software allows for 1 install and 1 backup copy but check it says your allowed to do this or risk being fines. Get it from www.alcohol-soft.com
the latest version is version 126.96.36.19907 still available in march 2009 a similar product is Daemon tools.
**Backup software to back up your data ( copy it to another location for safe keeping incase you get a bad virus etc) has many products to choose from including.. Jam software smartbackup, Backup4all professional, kls backup 2008 profesional, Second copy version 7, 00 diskimage professional edition, nti shadow, Avanquest perfect image and many others.
or buy a big external hard drive that includes backup software eg a 1tb seagate drive is about £80 and can hold 1000 gb of data. Remember to set it to back up data daily ! if your hard drive fails you can loose all data on it..this is why you backup your data to another hard drive.
My Dell computer suffered a hard drive failure after 2.5 years of use from new in april 2010 so the 320gb drive has to be replaced. All my data on it would have been lost forever if it wasnt for backing it up to a usb external drive...so people make no excuses you must have a backup plan and do it daily.
*Baygenie Ebay Auction Sniper is very useful if you want to win Ebay auctions as it automatically puts your bid in in the last few seconds of an auction, leaving your competitors no time to out bid you ! Youll have to buy this but its well worth the money as you will save lots of time using Ebay as you wont keep getting outbid on items and itll save you lots of money as you will win more auctions at the prices you say your willing to pay. get it from www.baygenie.com
the latest version is version188.8.131.52 released on 25 apr 2010
It costs $9.95 a year to use, alternative products include Auction auto bidder, Biet-o-matic ( bid-o-matic) from sourceforge.net, & Auctionsleuth
older versions of baygenie include v version3.3.3, 3.3.1 released on 8th jan 2009,
*BBC iplayer is great if you missed a BBC tv show or radio show but you cant keep the drm ( digital rights managment) protected downloads.. phone uk 07963 348582 to book me to help you. Go to bbc.co.uk
to get the iplayer. Old versions used p2p to transfer the files to you the new versions dont anymore. the latest version is called BBC iplayer desktop which i got on 8.5.09
*Belarc Advisor is a great bit of software to use, it will find if you have all the windows patches you should have, if your Antivirus is up to date and also tell you what physical components are in you pc such as what type of ram memory you have. A great thing it does is list all the software you have installed..if like me you have many dozens of programme's on your pc its nice to see a list of what you have. Remember if i use any of the software listed in this article i put a * before it so you know what i use and therefore recommend. Get it from download.com
*Bitmeter is used to count the data you get from your isp to see how much you use a month eg 40gb which is enough to download say 60 hours of bbc tv shows on iplayer. Its very useful as ISP's fail to tell you how much data you have downloaded and uploaded so you can exceed the fair use policy most have and even end up paying lots more money a month than you intended to as most ISP's charge you if you download/upload more than you agreed to use. eg you may be paying £25 for 8mb internet connection allowing up to 40gb of data a month but if you actually downloaded 50gb of data you may be charged £3 extra per gb !!!
so get Bitmeter from download.com , the latest version is 184.108.40.206.32260 released on 23 jan 2010
*Bitsum process lasso pro improves a pc's responsiveness and stability by stopping programmes monopolising the cpu.. eg if you use Bitcomet and download lots of torrents at the same time your mouse will appear to stick on the screen and seem slow.sluggish, ive used this since 23 july 09 but i must say it hasnt solved the sluggishness completely..it needs improvement. The latest version is ..check their website ! version 3.82.4 i got on 2 april 2010 . Get it from http://www.bitsum.com/prolasso.php
Older versions include 3.62.4 out on 13.8.09. V 3.62.3 is out by 30.7.09. v 3.60.7 i got on 23.7.09.
*Bonjour comes free from Apple its used to find services on a local network, its used by Itunes to find your shared music etc. version 1.0.6 i got on 24.6.09 youll need it if you use an Iphone which plugs into your pc to get your music from Itunes or if you use Itunes if you dont use these you dont need this. it doesnt say where its being installed too which is very annoying.
Calendar making software to put a calendar onto a website includes web calendar pad from
its $49 for personal users or $79 for business use.
**Ccleaner ( crap cleaner ) removes junk files your pc stores eg cookies ( tiny files every website you visit put on your pc to watch how you use their site eg what you click on ) it removes cache which is a copy of all the websites you visit so that if you go back in your browser your pc can re show you the site without having to download that page again..but as websites are updated so often you need to remove browsers cache so that you see the newest info on a website. Ccleaner also removes lots of other crap your pc creates as you use it but dont need to keep. This is a must have type of product , you can get it free via www.ccleaner.com
, the latest version is version 2.33.1184 released on 24 June 2010. the link from ccleaner takes you to filehippo to download it this is fine to do.
Old version info..
version 220.127.116.11 released on 29 march 2010.
2.28 released in January 2010. version 2.22.968 came out on 28.7.09 it updates quite often as you can see from these older versions .. v 2.21.940 was released 25.6.09,v 2.20.920 was released 28.5.09, v 2.19.901 came out 7.5.09. v 2.19.900 came out 1.5.09,, v 2.18.878 was released 26.3.09 2.17.853 came out on 2 march 2009 , always use the newest version and when installing deselect the yahoo toolbar they try to get you to install you dont need it.
**Cole2k codec pack from www.cole2k.net
is needed to play lots of different video files , version 7.9.0 was released on 18 september 2009 . save the file, follow the instructions, uninstall any old versions of this codec pack and uninstall any other codec packs you know you have..look in add/remove programmes. choose easy install to install cole2k codecpack, untick the media toolbar they try and get you to install..you dont need it ( this is just before you click the i agree button to install cole2k. once installed most videos from the internet will now play in windows media player. Any video that still wont play try playing it with vlc player which i list lower down in this alphabetically organised list. Enjoy your videos people !
older versions you should update include version 7.6.0 which came out in late march 2009 version 7.5.0 of the standard codec pack came out on 28 feb 2009, alternatives include pixie pack codec pack from pixiepack-codec-pack.software.informer.com , k-lite and a few others.
Convert image files using something like xnview
*coretemp 32bit version 0.99.6.1 i got free via download.com its released on 8 may 2010 and helps you check the temperatures your computers processors are running at it found my core 0 was 41 degrees c, core 1 was 37 degrees , core 2 was 39degrees and core 3 was at 37 degrees which is within the limits of my Intel quadcore processor.
Cut video/edit video using something like Naturpic video cutter or magix video pro.
*Cyberlink Powerdvd ultra deluxe is a dvd player i only use it occassionally, as i prefer vlc player
i got this with my Camcorder to play the .mod files my JVC camcorder makes. Get it from http://www.cyberlink.com/products/powerdvd/overview_en_US.html its $95 for the latest version of it called version 10 3d
you may also need it to play blu-ray .m2ts files see this for more info on that file type http://www.afterdawn.com/guides/archive/how_to_play_m2ts_files.cfm
Cyberlink Powerdirector ultra version 7.00.2305 $120 is for editing videos to make your own dvd, i had errors with the pip objects in this hopefully newer versions work better.
*Creative software autoupdate was an optional Windows update i got on 15.7.09
i get this as my Dell pc has Creative sound hardware...whatever hardware you have you can use Driver max to get updates for your sound controllers. i have to say 2 or 3 things said they had'nt downloaded properly...not very good effort by creative !
*Deliveryagent , immanens delivery v 18.104.22.168 i use to get digital magazines from magazinesondemand.co.uk
*Divx 7 free is a media player competing against Windows media player & Vlc player etc version 7 came out on 6th january 2009 and plays some very popular video types such as .mkv , .avi and of course divx files. the Divx codec once on your pc will also allow you to play Divx files through Windows media player if you want to stick to using that video player. Get the latest version via this link http://www.divx.com/en/downloads
then click the divx 7 free download button to install it. install all the components to somewhere you want eg your c drive then in the programme files folder. Tick to associate .mkv files with divx player when asked to.( hd.h264 is .mkv file type to play high def video. Then enjoy watching your videos !
*Driver max version 5.5 was released on 5 march 2010 get it from http://www.innovative-sol.com/
or via download.com Driver max searches for the drivers ( tiny bits of software that make each bit of your hardware in your pc work) its free which is great as there are lots of other companies offering trials of their similar products but they only scan your pc and tell you which drivers are out of date. If you want to update them they want you to buy their programme for £30 or so..so get driver max its free and will let you download the drivers you need eg to get your pc playing sounds. you can only update 2 drivers a day for free but seeing as most people have a maximum of say 20 drivers its not a problem as drivers dont update very often.
When you buy a pc you should be given a cdrom with all the drivers your pc needs for how its been built so that if you ever need to reinstall Windows due to a virus or harddrive crash you will have all the drivers you need to get started.
Old version info..
5.4 is available in 2010 ,version 5 i got on 11.6.09. if you run Driver max with admin rights you can roll back a driver if you find it gives you trouble. I got a broadcom netxtreme 57xx driver from driver max but it gave my pc trouble so its great you can remove bad drivers and get back the older version you used to use to fix a problem.
Alternative products include Driver magician, Driver detective, Driver scanner from liutilities.com and many others but these cost money. Old versions include 5.2 released on 12.8.09. and v 4.91 i got on 8.3.09
Dvd authoring can be done with something like Dvdflick.net
*Dvdfab platinum can be used to copy your bought dvds as backups in case you scratch them,as i said in my info on Alcohol 120% check your allowed to make a copy of whatever it is you want to backup incase your original copy gets damaged as you dont want to be fined for copying anything your not allowed to. Dvdfab removes the copy restriction put on dvds my their maker. Youll have to buy this from www.dvdfab.com
the latest version is version 22.214.171.124 released on 26 march 2010 This product is updated often.
There are many alternative products but so far i find this the best. Alternatives include Dvd x copy , Dvd x studios clone dvd , dvd next copy, Realplayer even has something to buy to do this now..which got the film industrys very annoyed and many others.
Old versions include 126.96.36.199 which was released on 22 jan 2009.
Du meter is used to count the data you get from your isp to see how much you use a month eg 40gb which is enough to download say 60 hours of bbc tv shows on iplayer. Its very useful as ISP's fail to tell you how much data you have downloaded and uploaded so you can exceed the fair use policy most have and even end up paying lots more money a month than you intended to as most ISP's charge you if you download/upload more than you agreed to use. eg you may be paying £25 for 8mb internet connection allowing up to 40gb of data a month but if you actually downloaded 50gb of data you may be charged £3 extra per gb !!!
so get du meter from download.com or from its makers at http://www.rosecitysoftware.com/
its $25 ps i now use a rival product called Bitmeter...go up this article to the letter b section to find it.
Encrypt your info for privacy using something like data guardian which uses 448bits of blowfish encryption, or Arzoosoft magicd file encrypt.
*Epson is the printer brand i use, youll need to install the software that came with your printer onto your pc to control your printer. i use a DX4450 its a printer/scanner/copier
i got an sql error when i tried to submit my registration for it so couldnt register it on 26 may 2010
Fairuse4wm from freewarefiles.com removes drm from files you have legally bought ( drm is digital rights management.. drm is put on muisc and films to stop you copying them to other devices, this bit of software removes the drm software so you can say put music on an ipod or whatever.
Film collectors may want to keep lists of all the dvds/films they own so they can easily find what they own to watch. Here are a few programmes to consider using.. Collectorz.com movie collector pro, Wincatalog.com, Mcataloguer, Fnprg.com £25.75, Codeaero.com movie label 2010 pro $69.95, Librarian pro, Movie label 2010 and a few others.
**Firefox browser version 3.6.6 came out on 28 June 2010 so update your Firefox browser by clicking help ( in the top left of Firefox) and then click check for updates .Its made by Mozilla. I found some Firefox addons would no longer work in the latest version of Firefox..but fortunatly Firefox warns you before you install it of what addons will no longer work. You will then need to get an update to the addon that wouldnt work if you still want to use it eg Roboform form filler. Firefox it is better than IE ( Microsofts Internet explorer ) Firefox updates reguarly to fix any flaws found in it and to give newer features. i love the fact you can easily click to open new tabs to have many websites open at the same time.
A browser is a must have product type if your going to view websites ! ( a browser is the software your pc uses to display websites to you ) Firefox also has many useful addons ( other software that attaches to it letting you do more things via your browser) get Firefox from here http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/
version 3.5 was a big step forward from version 3 its a lot faster at handling java, it has a so called porn mode..meaning you can surf but the browser records no info of your surfing so theres no clue what naughty sityes youve been visiting ! for some reason Mozilla is still updating version 3 eg version 3.0.13 is the newest version of that browser. You may find some Firefox addons wont work with v 3.5 eg old versions of roboform so if you use that youll have to get a new version of it for it to work again.
When you get it ( since mid 2010 ) you may be asked if you want to use getpersonas.com to personalise your browser...if you do make sure you pick light colours so the url bar and Firefox addons you have attached to your browser still show up easily. To remove a persona go to tools-addons-themes-default-use
Older versions you need to update from include v 3.6.4 released by 24june10, version 3.6.3 came out on 1 April 2010 version 3.6 was released on 21 jan 2010 , 3.5.2 came out by 5.8.09, 3.5.1 released on 16.7.09, v 3.5 rel 30.6.09, v 3.0.12 rel by 22.7.09, v 3.0.10 i got by 28.4.09, v 3.09 rel 22.4.09,v 3.0.8 rel 28.3.09, v 3.0.7 which came out on 5 march 2009
*Flickr Desktop Uploader from flickr.com/tools
is used to let you drag and drop digital photos on your pc into this tool and then they are uploaded to your own free webpage on the flickr website, this software is free, i think flickr is the best website for hosting your photos online so your friends can see your photos. version 3.2.1 is the latest version released on 11 june 2009, Flickr only displays your most recent 100 photos, but if you pay the $20 or so for 2 years all your photos can be seen.
Alternative photo hosting sites include picassa and many many others..choose wisely as many sites close down as they dont make enough money to keep going.
Old versions include 3.1.4 i got on 1.4.09.
Free HIQ Recorder is very good on Windows xp but not Vista to record internet radio i used to use this its free.
**Freeram xp pro 1.52 via download.com automatically frees your pc's ram memory how ever often you want..this prevents system crashes when your pc would have run out of memory to perform a task..id say its essential to use. its free but you can make a donation to the maker of it. You will need to configure it to get it to work in a way that wont annoy you..you dont want it to free memory every 5 minutes as when it free's memory your mouse seems unusable for a little while eg 30-40 seconds. If you need help using this call ( uk 44) ( cambridgeshire 01223 ) Mobile 07963 348582 to book me.
An alternative product is memory improve master.
Get audio from a video ( eg if you recorded a radio show on freeview to a dvd and only want the audio part of the recording) using Aoa audio extractor 2.1 from download.com for free or something similar. The platinum version costs $30 see http://www.aoamedia.com/
*Google Earth is a brilliant tool to view our planet all over and zoom in on any area its brilliant. its free, the latest version is Google Earth 5.1.3535.3218 released on 14 april 2010, you need a good graphics card in your pc to fully use this. You can add pins to the map to easily find places you look at often. Get it free from http://www.google.co.uk/intl/en/options/
Older versions include5.1.3533.1731 which was released on 19 November 2009, version 5.0.11337.1968 which came out on feb 2 2009
Google toolbar attaches to a browser and can fill in some web forms but robofrom is way better so i stopped using this...also each toolbar you attach to a browser results in less viewable screen space..as i found out when on 1 site i found it impossible to enter a competition because i couldnt move the broswer page down to see the submit button ! after uninstalling google toolbar i could move the page another centimeter of so and see the button i needed..so dont add too many toolbars.
*Goto meeting published by citrix online is used to see webinars ( online seminars) i first used it on 16.7.09
*Gspot is used to tell what codec an avi file has. Eg if you try to play a dvd in your dvd player and it says it cant play it so you may need to convert it to another file type using something like xilisoft ( see below in letter x area ) get Gpot from http://www.headbands.com/gspot/index.htm
*Hjsplit version 2.3 via freebyte.com is used to piece together large software files downloaded from the internet eg a trial of a pc game.
* Internet Explorer 8 is Microsofts web browser used by some 60% of web users because Microsoft give it away on all new computers that run windows, other than that there is no reason to think its better than other broswers. I recommend Firefox still but some websites ( 1 in 100 ) dont show up properly in Firefox because the websites creator hasnt built their website to display in any other broswer other than Internet explorer. So you will probably need to use Internet explorer at some point but id only use it when a site doesnt work in Firefox. The latest version of Internet explorer is version 8 which came out on 19 march 2009 ( its now out of beta testing which is a pre release of a software product to check it for bugs/flaws ). get it from www.microsoft.com/ie8
If you have Windows xp sp3 you will now have ie7 so you need to update and get ie8. In early 2010 a serious flaw was found in Ie8 so microsoft rushed out a patch for it which you got via Windows updates. More detailed info on it can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Explorer_8
By April 2010 Microsoft has been forced by the Eu to give computer users the option of choosing which browser to use, a Windows update to show pc users a screen to select their default browser was released in April 2010. Since this date Microsoft has been advertising its browser on UK tv desperatly trying to retain its users...dont go get Firefox its way better and safer.
Intervideo windvd platinum 8 is another media player to play dvds, i have it but dont use it.
Ipod/Iphone users may want to use Imtoo ipod computer transfer from here http://www.imtoo.com/ipod-computer-transfer.html
it can backup and copy ipod music/video/photos to a pc and its a pc to ipod transfer tool for $25.95
I screen recorder version 8 records/captures what you can see on your pc screen. i got it to try recording a webinar/webcast. its $24.99 from http://www.iscreenrecorder.com/
eg if you want to record the sequence of steps you do to do something ona pc such as installing some software which you then put onto youtube to help everyone else see how to do something.
There are many alternative screen recorders. I wanted to record a webinar..an online seminar on 25aug10 i tested using iscreenrecorder and the colour came out totally wrong & there was no sound when vlcplayer tried to play it it said avi broken do u want to repair so i did but then nothing apears ! if i said dont fix the video did play but with bad colour and no sound . i recorded the webinar being run by a company via adobe acrobat connect pro meeting but the 45min webinar seemed to cause my quadcore pc to go funny. after stopping the recording it takes iscreenrecorder 11minutes to compile the recording, it ends up as a 1.91gb file but its got just 21minutes recorded and when i played it a horrific screeching sound is all i get and the screenshot jumps around the screen all over the place making it unwatchable ! i will not be buying this software !
*Isobuster from isobuster.com
is for opening iso files eg an image of a dvd video , get it from smart-projects.net version 2.7 is the newest version released on 22 december 2009
*Itunes version 9 is mostly used by ipod or iphone users, its an online music store and you use this software to put the music you buy onto your Ipod. you can also put other music you own from cd's into Itunes and then onto your Ipod. When you get this often apple who make itunes try to get you to download quicktime player and mobileme at the same time. Itunes is free from www.apple.com/downloads
more detailed info on it can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITunes
the latest version is version 188.8.131.52 i got it on 17 june 2010 its 80.62mb
Im having a problem getting it to properly sync all the bookmarks i save on my iphone because i find it often doesnt sync these into Internet explorer as it says it can..anyone know why ?
Older versions includeversion 184.108.40.206 released on 30 March 2010, version 220.127.116.11 i got on 22.7.09, it updates reguarly.
Joost lets you see some internet tv shows for free. Get it from joost.com its made by the people behind kazaa and skype. Would be much better if you could record these tv shows.
**Java runtime environment, the latest version is Java 6 update 20 released on 16 April 2010 get it from http://www.java.com/en/download/index.jsp
, java is needed to display parts of websites written in the java computer language..you will need it. get it from www.java.com/en
its free, you must update this software to fix flaws in it . Annoyingly java doesnt remove the old versions of it from your computer so you need to go into your control panel to add/remove programmes and remove all older versions of java otherwise you can still get trojans that exploit holes in older versions. ( by 2010 finally java can autoupdate now so it pops up to tell you when a newer version is available to download ) Be warned they try to get you to also install the yahoo toolbar so decide if its of any use to you to get this toolbar the only use id have for it is it can fill in some info in web forms like your name..but roboform is way better so get that instead.
Older versions include Java 6 update 19 . java 6 update 18 i got on 27jan10, java 6 update 15 is out by 5.8.09, java 6 update 12 which came out in march 2009
*JVC camcorder i use loads the drivers for it when i plug it in via a usb port
*Kmplayer version 18.104.22.1687 is free via download.com its released on 15 June 2010 info about it is on kmplayer.com
i got this because when i tried to play a bluray disk of a film in Cyberlink power dvd ultra which i use to play m2ts files it played the wrong language ! ( vlc doesnt play m2ts files either)
in Cyberlink i clicked the video button to see the audio options but nothing is showed so i couldnt change the audio language..kmplayer did manage to change the audio language to english so ill keep this video player.
*Magic iso from magiciso.com
to play uif music files and decompress iso's. version 5.5 build 274 was released on 17.3.09 and its £19.46 i just use an older version.
Make PDF files using something like Fineprint pdffactory pro from here http://www.fineprint.com/products/pdffactory/index.html
**Malwarebytes Antimalware is a good Antispyware programme verion 1.46 came out in May 2010 get it from http://www.malwarebytes.org
read my info on the Spybot programme now to see why you may need this. You need to update this before you run it each time so it can find the latest problems. A quickscan with it may take about 6minutes to do
Older versions you need to upgrade from include version 1.44 which came out in january 2010
for Microsofts virtual earth 3d programme..its similar to google earth but a lot worse..my advice use Google earth.
**Mcafee Siteadvisor is an essential free addon for Firefox to show which web sites are risky..90% of the time do not stay on any site it flags as red this is a must have product. Its free from www.siteadvisor.com
i recommend you join Site Advisor so you can report bad websites you find eg if your Antivirus detects a virus while your viewing a website report it to Siteadvisor to help everyone else. the latest version is version 22.214.171.124 which i got on 8 April 2010.
When you install it enable secure search if you want, thisll put a search bar on the bottom right of your browser..i dont use it, tick show all site ratings and block links to risky sites, i dont tick set browsers default search provider to mcafee secure search, youll need to restart the browser for it to show up.
errors ive had with it include When i got Firefox 3.0.8 Mcafee siteadvisor disapeared from Firefox so i had to reinstall it.
Older versions include version 2.9.258 which i got in march 2009, v 2.9.242 which was released 15 dec 2008
Metacafe pro via metacafe.com is to download videos off this site thats like Youtube but i got errors so didnt use this.
*Microsoft silverlight is used on some websites eg itv.com its used to display moving graphics and videos so its a bit like Adobe flash player. install it if you have to to view a part of a website using this software get it from http://www.microsoft.com/SILVERLIGHT/
its 6.0mb in size, the current version is version 4.0.50524.0 released i got on 1 July 2010 you can find it in firefox-tools-addons-plugins, more detailed info about it can be found here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Silverlight
Silverlight updates automatically.
Older versions include version 3.0.50106.0 released on 20 January 2010 , v 3.0.40723.0 which Windows update downloaded on 31.7.09 , the March 2009 version 2.0.40115.0
Mobile phone users may find Mobile master corporate usefull as it will back up your mobile phone..very useful in case you loose your phone or damage it. get it via http://www.mobile-master.com/index.html
its 30 euros roughly £25.81 using xe.com.
*Mobileme from apple.com is to sync email, contacts and calendar info between pc's and ipod/iphones etc its free. on 17 June 201 i got version 1.6 its 3.75mb and works with version 9.2 of itunes i got it via Apple software update but as i said in my Itunes info above my iphone bookmarks arnt all being synced to internet explorer browser on my PC so there is an error with it. Also on apple.com/mobileme it says it costs $99 a year to get mobileme...eh ?
Mozilla Thunderbird is a free alternative to Microsofts Outlook push email programme, i got v 126.96.36.199 on 20.5.08 youll need to find your incoming and outgoing email server addresses to use it eg if you use yahoo email the incoming server is pop.mail.yahoo.co.uk ssl port 995 and the outgoing is smtp.mail.yahoo.co.uk ssl port 465 i stopped using it as i like web based email where you view your emails online unlike this where the emails are downloaded to your pc.
MP3 player users may like software called Advanced music recovery, this can recover music from an MP3 player thats been formated or accidently deleted.
Get it from http://www.advancedmediarecovery.com/
MP3 splitting software to cut an MP3 file has a few options i use Slice audio file splitter which is free ( see my info on this under the letter S software i recommend further down ) Other similar products include Absolute MP3 splitter converter $25, Focus MP3 recorder pro $24.95 which also records audio, Aiseesoft audio converter $21, Ez softmagic Mp3 splitter joiner, Naturpic audio file cutter and 3 delite Mp3 stream editor.
**Noscript via noscript.net
essential for security of browsers and your pc its a Firefox addon this is a must have product, Its free and is updated a lot so the version number changes very reguarly. the latest version is version 188.8.131.52 released on 19 May 2010. Read the info on their website on how to use it, if you bounce from website to website as we all do you may be sent to some dodgy corners of the internet which have virus infested sites that infect you the second you land on the site..Noscript can block many dodgy ways they infect you. You simply unblock the scripts it blocks 1 at a time so that the content you want to see shows up. ( unfortunately allowing scripts is blind faith as youve no idea if theyre unsafe other than if you have Mcafee siteadvisor and it shows the site your on as red thats a clue not to trust the website your on so dont allow scripts ).
on 27.5.2010 i got noscript version 184.108.40.206
on 1 june 2010 i got version 220.127.116.11
on 14 june 2010 i got version 18.104.22.168 all from firefox saying updates are available, but today 1 july i looked in firefox-tools-addons but it says i have version 22.214.171.124 ( which i know i got on 19may2010) so ive emailed the delevoper asking can you explain whats going on please ? thanks and ps i link to you from http://beingahuman.blogspot.com/2008/02/useful-software-to-use-article71.html
which is my guide to the best software for normal internet users to use. cheers
Older versions include version 1.9.9..61 out by 7 april 2010, version 126.96.36.199 in febuary 2010, 188.8.131.52 out on 12 aug 09,v 1.9.8 which i got on 11.8.09 , v 184.108.40.206 i got 5.8.09, v 220.127.116.11 got 2.8.09, v 1.9.7 got 26.7.09, v 18.104.22.168 got 23.7.09 etc..as you can see it updates all the time, when you restart Firefox it tells you if you have updates available and getting the updates is simple and fast.
*Nvidia geforce 8800 gtx 768mb is the kickass graphics card in my PC the driver for it was on a cd that came with the dell pc i bought, Nvidia controls Windows vista display drivers for my Pc monitor screen.
*Openoffice version 3.2 i got in April 2010 is a free word processing programme as good as Microsofts Office package or Microsoft Works but this if free so you can save £100 or so ! it has a word processor for writting letters etc, a spreadsheet programme, a presentation manager and a drawing programme. Get it from openoffice.org
its 128mb in size so will take a while to download. It says it includes the Java runtime environment when you get it but it didnt download this to me..odd ! , allow it to check for updates automatically
The place to get support for openoffice is http://user.services.openoffice.org/en/forum/
this a a user forum to ask for help with using the product, for example on 9 December 2010 i went to download Openoffice version 3.2.1 from Openoffice.org but my Avira anitivirus warned me that the installer o00-3.2.1-win-x86-install-wjre-en contained a virus ! it said it found appl/agent.8192.pk so im going to ask on the forum whats going on..i selected remove from the antivirus window so havent installed it.
Older versions you need to update from include version 3.0.1 out on feb 4 2009
Pdf making software includes Nuance pdf converter enterprise get it from http://www.nuance.com/
for $149.99, this is more of a business software but more and more people are making pdf files to share information so ive included it here.
pf config is used if you want help to forward your modem/routers ports. youll need to know the exact model of your router eg Belkin... and your routers ip address eg 192.... then you select the app your trying to improve eg ..., then select the target computer by ip address ( now i use 2 computers so youll need to find this out ) , then it asks for the custom ports rquired.. tcp ports and udp ports....this is where i am lost..i thought this programme was supposed to do all these settings for you ! get it from https://portforward.com/store/pfconfig.cgi
if you think youll be able to work out how to use it, its $29.95
**Prevx is a good Antispyware programme get it from http://www.prevx.com/
read my Spybot info too. It can tell you your infected with something your Antivirus scans every day and doesnt find a problem with occasionally and you have to buy it to remove any threats it finds. I just use it for free. The latest version is version 3 i got it in May 2010, it does a learning scan first.
procdump version 1.72 released on 19 jan 2010 via technet.microsoft.com makes crash dumps
i got it to try and find a problem i had but its not for average Pc users.
*Quicktime player is an ok media player made by Apple computers its needed to play Quicktime videos shown on some websites. This is updated quite often as it has lots of flaws in its code. Its free. There is also a pro version you have to buy but i use the free version. get it from http://www.apple.com/quicktime/
the latest version is version 7.6.6 released on 30 march 2010
i very rarely use it as vlc player is better. i get it via apple software update which automatically tells you when newer versions of apple software you use is available.
older versions include 7.6.2 i got on 22.7.09, v 22.214.171.124.0 released on 22 jan 2009, always get the latest version of this as like i said hackers keep finding flaws in it that allow them to mess up your computer.
*Realplayer is a media player get it from http://www.realnetworks.com/
( like Windows mediaplayer or Divx or vlc player ) that includes some free cd burning software ( past versions wasted too many disks for my liking so now i use Roxio to burn cds/dvds version 14 of Realplayer will let you record flv videos eg Youtube videos so its very useful. You also use Realplayer to listen to some BBC radio stations. See this link for more detailed info on it http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RealPlayer
The latest version of it is version 14
Problems with Realplayer..on 17 November 2010 they said their's an update in a little pop up window so i tried to get it from here http://uk.real.com/realplayer
but when installing it it asks you to close all browser windows which i did , it then shows that its installing but then dissapears ! your left with a blank patch on your desktop where the realplayer shortcut icon used to be & Realplayer is not in your c\programmefiles anymore and it doesnt show up in the uninstall a programme feature..so Realplayer has a flaw yet again, i restarted my pc but that didnt solve it..ill ask for help from them on Twitter. See this re selecting user account access in windows http://real.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/6867/related/1
Ive solved the problem but somethings very wrong with Realplayer these days, i had to use filehippo.com to get Realplayer version 1.1.5 build 126.96.36.1999 as the file on Download.com fails to install. I can now once again download Youtube videos but if you open the Realplayer software and click tools-check for updates it says critical update get Realplayer 14, if u do this the install fails at 51% every time ! & your back to square 1 of no longer having a working copy of Realplayer, ive asked @realplayer on Twitter.com for help but they refuse to reply & this is supposed to be how you get support for them these days ! ( i wrote a critical review of realplayer on Download.com which they noticed so they must read peoples review on that site and they contacted me via Twitter offering to help ) .
If you need support for using Realplayer book me or look here http://real.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/7695/tabName/tab0/support_type/Null
look here if you bought the paid for version of Realplayer http://real.custhelp.com/app/contact
Update on 26 January 2011 Realplayer 1.1.5 on my Vista PC wont record anything on Youtube again now ! not even my own videos which i know have no DRM or ways set to stop people copying them) so i uninstalled it then went to Download.com and got version 14 which is 24.6mb size but after selecting to install it to my C drive Realplayer setup says " you dont have administrator access to the windows registry please see your sytems administrator to install realplayer " aaarggh what a nightmare im a home PC user i dont have a systems administrator ! ( im not in some office with IT experts on hand ! ) im logged in to my own PC, ive never had this hassle with Realplayer before in fact just a couple of days ago i installed Realplayer onto a new laptop running Windows 7 just fine and it records Youtube videos just fine so the problem seems to be with how Realplayer is written to work with Microsoft Windows VISTA ! so i googled admin rights and found 2 helpful links this is the first i looked at
this is the 2nd link i looked at and i follwed the steps in this 2nd link
i did the 13 detailed steps then tried to install Realplayer again 1st on my C drive then on my G drive and both times it said
" you dont have administrator access to the windows registry please see your sytems administrator to install realplayer " now id not restarted my PC after creating the Administrator account but the detailed steps didnt say you need to do this..ive contacted @realplayer and @realfrancisc on twitter asking for help as this is just crazy !
Older versions include version sp 1.14 build 188.8.131.526 which i got on 26 June 2010 but it has a flaw in that you cant download YOUTUBE videos in the Firefox or chrome browsers it does still work on Internet explorer though so for now if you must record Youtube videos youll have to use Internet explorer browser, you can get it from here http://uk.real.com/player/win/
ive reported the error to realplayer and they are working on a fix. They fixed it with version 1.1.5 , version version 11.1.3 which i got on 12 aug 09, 11.0 was released on 12 dec 2007.
Record internet radio for free using Audio recorder for free ( go to letter A area of this article to find it)
alternatives include replay av from http://www.applian.com/replay-av/index.php
, or silent fear internet radio via download.com i had an error installing that so gave up on it.
Snaptune one radio recorder can be set to record a weekly show for example. ive never used it but its said to be good.
Remote control of your pc software to consider using includes Gotomypc or realvnc enterprise.
Resize images ( pictures ) using something like Image converter plus from www.imageconverterplus.com
Revo uninstaller v 1.42 i got on 26.2.08 from download.com its to unistall programmes you have trouble uninstalling. Normally you simply go to your control panel then add/remove programmes and do it from there but sometimes a poorly written app wont uninstall properly which is why you may want to try something like Revo, version 1.83 out 7.5.09 is the newest version.
Rizones winsock repair i got to try fixing disconnections from the internet but ive no idea if this software worked so i dont use it any more ! get it from technixupdate.com
*Roboform is used to fill in forms on websites its brilliant if your a competition addict, and it can save passwords and user names for all the websites you use..i love this product its really useful to have. Its free..the free version lets you fill in webforms which is why most people use it, but if you also want it to save lots of passwords for lots of different sites ( which we all need to do these days) youll need to buy the paid for version. Get it from http://www.siber.com/
the pro version is $29.95 but its well worth it if you fill in your name /address/phone details etc a lot or if you need to remember loads of passwords for different websites. The latest version is v 7 which is a Beta release which means its still being tested before its fully ready for an official release. This works on Firefox 3.6.3 in May 2010.
Older versions include v 6.6.98 which works on Firefox 3.6 in January 2010, v 6.9.96 which will work with Firefox 3.5 now
*Roxio Creator version 9 or 10 or now i use *Roxio Creator 2010 ( which can burn Blu-ray disks ) it is the best dvd burner to buy, its the software that writes your data onto cds or dvd disks. It can make you music cds or data disks full of a mix of music, video and software etc whatever you choose to back up. There are many rival products eg Nero or Avs but i find Roxio to be the best. Youll have to buy this. Be warned choosing a cd/dvd burner thats reliable is important or you will waste a lot of blank disks..eg i find Ashampoo burning software to waste too many disks, any many programmes free to try on Download.com are absolute rubbish. When i first got my new Dell pc it came with Roxio 9 its been great the only problems ive had is that it wont burn files if the file name is too long for it..this is very very annoying as you spend time dragging the files you want to burn into the roxio window then when ready to burn the data you click the burn button and at that point if Roxio detects any of the files your trying to burn are too long it tells you some files are too long but fails to tell you exactly which ones !! so you can spend ages looking through the hundreds of files you were trying to burn to spot the ones that look too long to your eye and then you have to edit them...annoying as often music tracks are longer than Roxio likes..eg i record Armin van buurens a state of trance radio show weekly. some song titles are much longer than others also roxio doesnt burn these characters..The illegal characters are / ? < > \ : * | ", as well as any character you can type using the Ctrl key. They are "illegal" in that they are used for html and other computer code. I think Roxio needs to allow more characters to be burned or point out exactly which files are too long..if they did that it give it 10 out of 10, at the moment it gets 8.5/10 from me due to this hassle.
Another dvd burner to consider is Sothink movie dvd maker which can convert many video file formats and create dvd menus see http://www.sothinkmedia.com/movie-dvd-maker/index.htm
*Roxio creator 2010 is the newest Roxio product for all your disk burning needs, it can burn blank 25gb Bluray disks in about 40 mins on my Pc. it has built in video tutorials.
Screen recording software i use is called I screen recorder.. go up in this article to the letter I area to find it. ( you may want to record what you see on your pc screen to make tutorials or to show an error you have to a friend/ pc helper) alternatives include Video capture master from videocapturemaster.com , hyperionics hypersnap from http://www.hyperionics.com/
and costs $39.95 , or try 16 software icyscreen from for $29.95
*seagate 1tb external hard drive with backup software ( read my info under backup software about this way up in this article under letter B )
Seti screensaver from setiathome.berkeley.edu
is a screensaver that really hunts for alien life ! it looks at radio signals in space to detect if E.T is trying to talk to us.
i would use this as my screensaver but i find it causes errors on my pc so ive stopped using it.
*Skype voip ( voice over internet protocol) phone calls..free worldwide phone calls from your pc works fine on a newer computer but kills a slow pc eg one with a 677mhz as its very cpu intensive ( central processor unit eg your intel chip !) Skype also comes with a very useful instant messenger if you want to type a message to friends in real time. You can call people who have skype on their pc for as long as you want for free anywhere in the world ! amazing product. You will need to buy a headset to plug into your pc so you can hear the person talking to you in the headphones and a microphone near your mouth to speak into, you can get these very cheap eg search for voip headset on ebay.co.uk and some are just £3 ! nice, get the latest version of Skype which is version 184.108.40.206 released on 27 April 2010 from www.skype.com
dont install google chrome if it offers it to you.
i had to remove the Skype firefox addon as it gets a lot wrong on websites eg if your on a lottery website it inncorectly thinks the numbers are a phone number and messes them around !!
Unfortuately spammers sometimes contact you with messages so all you need to do is select block this person and report spam and they womt be able to send you anymore stupid offers.
Errors with it include by 1 july 2010 i sent links to websites to a family member but they didnt show up in their Skype programme...weird
Older versions of skype to update from include version 4.2 released on 25 febuary 2010 220.127.116.11 in march 2009
*Slice audio file splitter from http://www.nch.com.au/
is great for cutting mp3 files. Eg if like me you record internet radio shows somethimes you fall asleep and forget to stop recording something so you end up with hours of nothing on the end of a rceording. This obviously makes the file size much bigger eg a 2hour radio show that is normally 200mb can be 600mb if you forgot to stop recording for a few hours..so this is why you need to edit an mp3 file/ Slice audio file splitter is free. i got it on 23.6.09
Sopcast from sopcast.com
is a way to broadcast video or audio you can get it from sopcast.pxn.ca you can record the tv shows you watch with this software. You need this to see some tv shows broadcast live over the internet.
*Spacemonger is brilliant it displays whats on your hard drives as a coloured chart so you can see what files are where and whats taking up all your hard drives space. version 1.4 released on 15.6.2006 is free from download.com, newer versions y0u have to buy after a trial period
**Spybot Search and Destroy Antispyware is one of the very best free Antispyware products available, its one of my essential products to use and update often..this is an essential product. Version 1.6.2 is the latest version which came out on 26 jan 2009.get it from http://www.safer-networking.org/en/spybotsd/index.html
update it youself weekly and scan your pc every few days. It can find and remove 574,285 problems as of 12.8.09 ! you can also get it from download.com, its used by 110million pc users. You need to update the definitions it uses to hunt for problems yourself...i do this weekly and run a scan with it every few days.
Its very good but not perfect..1 flaw it has is that it can detect Malware and say its removed it but if you run Spybot again immediatly after it can find the problem again proving it didnt remove the Malware...if this happens get another Antispyware programme such as Prevx or Malwarebytes Anitmalware which can identify some bad things Spybot fails to detect and remove. No one product can do everything so you must use a combination of different ones to keep your pc clean.
**Spywareblaster made by Javacool software is an essential product. It blocks thousands of spyware products damaging your computer so get it and remember to update it every few weeks. Get it form www.javacoolsoftware.com
version 4.3 is the newest version and it blocks 12,538 items from getting into and damaging your pc. i got v 4.3 which was released on 19 April 2010 which is free, you need to remember to update it yourself every week or 2, if you pay for it though it'll update automatically. This just sits in the background it never ever detects anything, its said to block things from getting into your pc, its free so i use it but it cant be brilliant as ive been infected even with this product on my pc so it s just a basic bit of help.
The forum for this is at wildersecurity.com
to ask about using it etc
older versions of this you need to upgrade from include v 4.2 on 7.7.09
System optimizers make lots of small changes to the way a pc runs to improve it, there are endless software programmes to buy to do this, i dont use these myself as lots of the things they do i do myself using lots of other programmes but here are some i know of for people who just want something to do loads of tweaks for them they all cost around £20 for 1 year. Advanced system care pro, systweak advanced system optimizer, Glary utilities pro, Xp repair pro, Yamicsoft win xp manager or yamicsoft vista manager from http://www.yamicsoft.com/
which costs $39.95, Avanquest system suite 9, Tuneup utilities 2009.
*Tor and Torbutton is a way to surf much more privately by changing your internet ip address , people like Bloggers needing to stay anonymous due to strict political regimes use this.
get Tor from http://www.torproject.org/
The latest version is Tor 0.2.0.34, Privoxy 3.0.6, Torbutton 1.2.2 i got on 10.8.09 when you use Tor it will make loading webpages a lot slower
so you will need to decide when you want to switch tor on using the torbutton attached to Firefox.
Translation software to translate words/phrases etc includes Babylon which translates webpages etc into 31 languages for $99 get it via http://www.babylon.com/
it can translate just words to 75 languages.
Tunebite Platinum is used to remove drm from files.. My info on this and help using it is for paying customers only..its used so you can keep some files you would otherwise just watch and not be able to keep..this lets you keep them. eg BBC iplayer files. It costs $26.90 and the latest version is version 6.0
Tvants from www.tvants.com
is used to watch some internet tv shows, eg live sports but i cant get this to work at all ! i have version 18.104.22.168 released on 29.12.08 i got it on 12.4.09, anyone who gets this to work let me know.
Tvu is used to play live tv shows get it from www.tvunetworks.com
version 22.214.171.124 beta released on 8.5.09 is the newest version you need to create a tvu account to use the pvr functions, there is a tvuplayer addon for firefox version 126.96.36.199 i got on 12.8.09
Twitter backup is for people who use twitter.com the social networking site which is very like email really, version 3.0.2 of twitter backup via johannburkard.de doesnt work ! When i find a way to fully backup all your tweets ill let you know as this would be a really useful programme.
when i used this on a Vista pc after 3 hours of using it it said error couldnt write to c:\twitterbackup.xml access is denied i wrote to the man who made this asking how to find the programmes and the save path of the backup, i found the programme in c\users\myusername\appdata\local\temp this isnt very good we should be able to install software to any location we want. i found a way to save the programme by right clicking the download link on johannburkard.de a chose save as then you can put it where you want.
There are very few details on how to use this on the makers website and he failed to say which OS the instructions were for ! i asked for more help but didnt get much so i cant use this.
Anyone who knows a way to backup your twitter account let me know
*Unlocker version 1.8.9 released on 8 March 2010 from http://ccollomb.free.fr/
is useful if your trying to delete a file but Windows wont let you as it says its "in use", this software gets you around that problem. ive used it since 22.7.09 On 15 august 2009 i installed this to my 2nd pc but spotted ebay shortcut as something thats ticked for us to install so i investigated and found this info .. http://it.toolbox.com/blogs/paytonbyrd/beware-unlocker-187-26919 so when my firewall asked do i want to allow ebay shortcuts access i chose to deny it access ! Ive written to the softwares maker on 15.8.09 for an explination.
also dont install the Bing toolbar it offers you...Bing is a crap search engine..just use the google search bar via my blog when ever you need to search the internet.
Older versions include version 1.8.7 released on 1.5.08
uusee is a web tv viewer i got via myp2p.eu but i detected a trojan in it so unistalled it !
Veetle from http://www.veetle.com/
lets you watch live tv in its web tv player i use version 0.9.15 since 2.8.09
*Vlc media player a very good media player i use it more than windows media player 11 (wmp11) if a video wont play in windows media player right click the video ( before its playing) and from the menu select open with and choose Vlc player ( obviously you need to have installed Vlc player first to select it ! ) the latest version is version 1.0.5 in 2010.
get it from www.videolan.org
itll remove your older version before installing the newer version.
Older versions to update include version 1.0.1 was released on 28.7.09
*Windows media player 11 ( wmp11) is a media player like vlc player/quicktime/divx etc has exellent graphics to play your dvds or music cds. You get this as part of microsoft windows if you have Vista or Xp. there is also a Firefox plugin to play some videos online get it from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:7
Windows live messenger ( formerly called msn messenger ) is an instant messenger competing with yahoo messenger and skype etc. If you choose to use this deselect set live search as the default as the Google search engine is way better so you dont want to waste time using an inferior search engine to find stuff online ! . Also deselect set msn as your homepage..your homepage is the first page you see when your browser opens..i hate Microsoft for trying to force everyone to use its products. I first got this on 16 march 2009 as some friends use it. By 20 march 2009 its already had one crash which left me needing to reboot my pc as it refused to be ended using task manager..when will Microsoft release a stable product? i put this on some friends computers and then wanted to let them add people they knew as contacts yet microsoft failed to find the accounts we had just made ! So i recommend people finding this a hassle to use Skype instead or Yahoo messenger as they work a lot better. The latest version of Windows live messenger is version 14.0.8064.0206 released on 21 jan 2009. Get it from download.com which is now called http://download.cnet.com/windows/
Whats on your hard drives ? find out using spacemonger which i use..see letter S in this article or alternatives are Jam software spaceobserver, 00 diskstat professional edition from
*Winrar is used to unrar files . rar is a type of compression to shrink the size of say a video so it can be sent over the internet quicker in small pieces which are unpacked and put together using winrar software. similar products incluse winzip. Get it from download.com . Its now a 40 day free trial then $29 or get it directly from http://www.rarlabs.com/
im still using an older version thats free. If zip files ( similar to rar files) get damaged try using Getdata zip repair from http://www.ziprepair.com/
* Widgets to use on your Vista desktop..well i only usa a few..a clock, a calandar and a cpu use meter you get them by clicking the add button in the widgets panel on your desktop.
*Xmarks is the new name for foxmarks, Foxmarks is used to syncronize Firefox bookmarks eg if you use 2 computers in the same house and want the bookmarks on 1 pc to be on your 2nd pc as well. Its free
You need to get Xmarks for Internet explorer also if you want to sync your Firefox bookmarks with Internetexplorer. Get Xmarks for Internet explorer from here.. http://download.xmarks.com/download/ie
If you use an Iphone you can sync your Iphone bookmarks using Itunes and then drag and drop the recently added bookmarks into Firefox folders you make to keep your bookmarks in easy to find catagories. Then you can have all your bookmarks on your Iphone and in both your Firefox and Internetexplorer browsers on all your computers. This is a great product if you bookmark lots of websites.
The latest version is version 3.5.11 released on 2 march 2010. This product has some flaws though i find it makes duplicate folders with nothing in them at the bottom of my correct folders in my Bookmarks..this is really annoying flaw, ive written to them for support but they are extremely slow to reply
Older versions to update include 3.3.2 which i got on 14.8.09 its 757kb size, older versions include v 3.11, v 3.10 i got on 4.5.09
*Xilisoft is a great software programme to convert 1 video file format into another eg if a video you have wont play on a friends dvd player you may want to convert the video into a format your friends dvd player can play. Youll have to buy this for $46 see http://www.xilisoft.com/
There are a huge number of alternative products now to convert videos from 1 type to another.
Alternatives include super fever link from http://www.topdownloads.net/software/view.php?id=56095
*Yahoo messenger is a good instant messenger that lets you type a conversation and send it to friends .it can save your past conversations also. It can also be used for voip phone calls like Skype. version 10 is the latest version, get it from http://uk.messenger.yahoo.com/
its free. Its also very useful to have this if you use Yahoo for your email as itll pop up a small window in the bottom right of your screen when you get a new email..this is useful as you can see what emails are coming to you as soon as they are in your inbox. i find this much better than Windows Live messenger to use.
Version 10.0.0.1258 was released on 6 april 2010
Youtube.com users may want to record the videos they watch so they can burn them onto dvds to keep...the best programme to use to do this is realplayer.. go up this article to the letter R area to get it. There are endless other programmes to try and record the videos on youtube and similar websites but most arnt as good. heres a few ive heard of ..
Youtube downloader is another way to record the flv videos on youtube type websites. version 2.1.7 was released on 25.11.08 get it from download.com. you add the url of the video into it to record a clip. it will not record remote files though. The main alternative to this is Realplayer which i use mostly.
Downloadhelper via downloadhelper.net is a firefox extension.
Flash video recording of video clips on many websites eg Youtube can be done with Realplayer ( see my review of this further down), alternatives include youtube get, sun river systems heat seek gold, tomato youtube video downloader, Youtube downloader, Xservicethief by sourceforge, Wmrecorder from wmrecorder.com, flvware flv downloader, http://www.clone2go.com/products.php
which i first heard of on 7 april 2010, replay media catcher which i couldnt get to work, Video download helper is a Firefox extension from www.vidohe.com
or Firefox-tools-addons-get addons it lets you record youtube flv videos, you paste the url to a video you want to record into it, it looks like its not doing anything as it doesnt show a progress bar but in 1min itll download a 3-4 min video. The quick download setting took 4 mins to download a 5 minute file so it doesnt seem quicker to me ! alternatives to this are Realplayer and countless others.
*Zonealarm free firewall .. a firewall is essential to have on every pc it blocks hackers getting into your pc and doing damage..a pc without a firewall can be crippled within minutes if you go online without a firewall ! so this is an essential product type. Its free The latest version is called version 8.0.298.004 released on 23 feb 2009 get it from http://www.zonealarm.com/security/en-us/home.htm?lid=en-us
( in April 2010 i discovered that Zonealarm causes a lot of trouble with Utorrent so ive had to stop using Zonealarm on the pc i use Utorrent on..now i have to trust the Dlink router firewall to protect that pc but i still use zonealarm on my other pc.
when you use Zonealarm little windows pop up from the task bar ( bottom right of your screen) to inform you what software processes are trying to send or recieve info from the internet. To help you decide whats safe to tick allow and tick remember so Zonealarm doesnt keep asking you everytime the same process wants internet access ill list the processes i allow, then when your firewall asks you if you want to allow something you can come here and read my list which is in rough alphabetical order and allow what i allow. If you are unsure about a process your firewalls asking you to decide about try www.processlibrary.com
to search for the process to see if its safe to allow. Remember half the processes i list pop up as you first install some software and half pop after at some time after youve installed a software product. Also remember that if you dont have any of the software i use and list above you wont have your firewall asking you about processes it uses..eg if you havent installed Avira antivirus or your not in the process of installing it your firewall shouldnt for example say do you want to allow avwsc.exe because thats part ov Avira..if you havent got Avira be very careful as .exe files can be viruses. So check my list and use processlibrary.com to check what your allowing.
Here are my notes on how to install the Zonealarm firewall.. go to www.zonealarm.com
then look in products and services then select basic firewall. choose download now on the right side top of screen. Then click the grey zonealarm firewll button ( basic firewall only) on the right. Click save zasetup-en.exe , remember to write this down on 1 sheet of paper..1 sheet per software programme. Choose to save this file to your desktop, click save, when this is complete click run. It says do you want to run this software click run. Select zonealarm firewall free-next-select download and install-next, on the installation windows install to c\programmefiles\zonelabs\zonealarm ( this id the folder where the firewall gets installed to)..again write this down. deselect ( untick) the include spyblocker toolbar..toolbars attach to your browser taking up space on your screen and this toolbar isnt needed if you use other software i tell you to use . After unticking this click next, give your name and email to register zonealarm, untick inform me of important product info, click next, accept the licence and click install. Please do participate in defence net when it asks you to then click next, tick setup my programmes-next, the pc will be restarted so that zonealarm is installed. After your pc restarts and its ready to use a window will say you are now protected, click firewall on the left, move the internet zone security slider to medium ( zonealarm stupidly sets this to high which stops you doing anything online at first !) then you can close this window. Now you have a firewall installed..read the stuff below about what you can allow your firewall to do.
This is my Zonealarm allow list... (for windows vista and xp computers its up to date as of August2009 ) These are the programmes i allow to have internet access, but if i mark ** before a name that means you should now block it ( usually because there's now a newer version of the software or for me because ive stopped using the software) Use common sense you dont allow something if you dont have it for example you wouldnt allow logitechdesktopmanager.exe if you dont use any logitech products ! sometimes virus writers label their viruses the same as a legitimate programme to fool people into allowing them access. Remember you can see what a process is at www.processlibrary.com
If i say its for XP i mean its something my zonealarm saw on my Windows xp pc ( because i use more than 1 pc so i also have a pc running Vista) I will also from now put a date of when i saw this Zonealarm message so you can tell how long a process has been spotted for.
adobeairapplicationinstaller.exe i saw after i got adobe reader 9.1 on 6.5.09
acrod32.exe is adobe reader
ar.exe audio-tool.net is audio recorder for free
avnotify.exe notification tool is Avira
audiodg.exe windows audio device graph solution i saw on 24.6.09
avscan.exe workstation on demand scanner is Avira
agent.exe macrovision flexnet connect agent is roxio i think
agent.exe install shield update service agent is avira
applemobilebackup.exe iphone 24.6.09
applemobiledevicehelper.exe iphone 24.6.09
applemobiledeviceservice.exe iphone 24.6.09
applemobilesync.exe iphone 24.6.09
applesyncuihandler.exe is my iphone on 24.6.09
appsetup.exe self installation is creative sound driver on 21.5.09
au-.exe was yahoo toolbar setup as i uninstalled it on 11.6.09
avgnt.exe antivirus system tray tool is avira
avscan.exe workstation on demand scanner is avira
avnotify.exe notification tool is avira
avcenter.exe antivirus control center is avira
avwsc.exe wsc helper tool is avira
avguard.exe antivirus on acess service is avira
bubbles.scr windows vista bubbles screensaver
ccleaner.exe is cleaner
cguard.exe microsoft choice guard command line interface
csrss.exe clientserver runtime process is microsoft
crashreporter.exe is firefox browsers error reporting
devices.exe is drivermax on 11.6.09
deliverymanager.exe is the delivery manager for emagazines
dffgntfs.exe disk defragmenter ntfs module ?
divxversionchecker.exe is divx
divxsm.exe is divx
divxconnectiontester.exe i saw as i instaled divx 7
dllhost.exe comsurrogate is microsoft
dsc.exe support soft container is dell support
dsagent.exe is dell support
dsbrws.exe is dell support browser
dwm.exe desktop windows manager
drivershq. driverdetective .client.exe
driverscanner-setup.exe is this uniblue product
drvinst.exe driverinstallationmodule i saw on 24.6.09
dw20.exe microsoft net error reporting
*ebay_shortcuts_1016_unlocker.exe came with Unlocker version 1.8.7 you should deny this process internet access in your firewall.
ehrec.exe windows media center host module i saw when trying to play a dvd
ehshell.exe is microsoft media center
explorer.exe is windows explorer
fact.exe product activation tool is avira antivirus when installing it to windows
firefox.exe is the firefox browser
glbbcbb.tmp yahoo suite installer
glbco73.tmp is yahoo
glbde5f.tmp is yahoo
glb4a.tag yahoo messenger updater ( 4.7.09)
glb52.tmp is yahoo messenger updater (4.7.09)
googleupdater.exe is google
helppane.exe microsoft help
hh.exe microsoft html help executable i saw as i installed superfeverlink
iexplore.exe internet explorer browser
ielowutil.exe internet explorer
iesetup.exe is ie8 setup internet explorer 8 on 28.5.09
ieuser.exe is internet explorer browser
is-9btfb.tmp is spybot
isdm.exe macrovision softwaremanager is roxio10 when updating it
isoburner.exe the ultimate cd/dvd recovery tool
java.exe is java ( 9.7.09)
jqsnitify.exe java quickstarter binary is java
**jre-6u7-windows-i586-p.exe is open java ( once you get a newer version of java you need to dissalow your firewall from allowing the older java software from having access..click the Zonealarm logo in the desktop tray icons area then restore zonealarm control center-programmes-programme control-programmes , then find the old versions of java then click in the columns and cross off with an X to block access. You should also remove the old java versions from your pc control panel then go to add/remove programmes and remove the old versions.
**jre-6u12-windows-i586-p-ftw.exe is java
**jre-6u13-windows-i586-p-iftw.exe is java 6 update 13
**jre-6u14-windows-i586-iftw-rv.exe is java 6 update 14 on 10.6.09
jre-6u15-windows-i586-iftw.exe is java 6 update 15 i got on 5.8.09
jusched.exe java platform se binary is java update
jucheck.exe is java update checker
logagent.exe windows media player logagent
logitech desktop manager.exe is my logitech mouse
logonul.exe windows logon user interfacehost is windows to show the logon screen
mcsacore.exe mcafee siteadvisor
mdnsresponder.exe is bonjour service 24.6.09
mfpmp.exe media foundation protected pipeline exe is windows drm digital rights management
mpcmdrun.exe windows defender command line utility
msascui.exe windows defender user interface
msiexec.exe windows installer i saw when installing a game
msfeedssync.exe microsofts feeds synchronisation
msnmsgr.exe windows live messenger
mscorsvw.exe .net runtime optimization service is microsoft
nvvsvc.exe is nvidia driver helper service v185.85 if you use nvidia graphics on your pc
performancecountyerinstaller.exe i saw when installing microsoft.net in a winows xp update on 8.8.09
pmxmiced.exe mouse suite 98 from daemon
promotionagent.exe promotion agent is windvd i think ?
prism.exe is prism video converter
ribbons.scr is windows vista ribbons screensaver
realplayer11.exe ( 24.4.09) on xp pc
realplayergold.exe real networks installer ( 24.4.09)
realsched.exe real networks scheduler ..realplayer
recordingmanager.exe is realplayer when your going to record a video eg youtube
roxwatchtray9.exe roxmmtrayapp module is roxio
roxwatch9.exe roxsniffer9 module is roxio
roxio_central33.exe is roxio
roxmediadb9.exe roxmedia db9 module is roxio
sbsd162upd.tmp is spybot updating to version 1.6.2
sched.exe antivirus schedule is avira
sdwinsec.exe spybot search and destroy security center
sdupdate.exe is spybot
seaport.exe microsoft seaport search enhancement broker..see this when you get windows live messenger
searchprotocolhost.exe microsoft windows search protocol host
searchindexer.exe microsoft windows search indexer
servicemodelreg.exe is .net framework 8.8.09
setup.exe avira antivir desktop
setup.exe avg setup can see this when you uninstall avg antivirus
setupmsiexe is logitech mouse
setup.exe setup launcher is intervideo
setup.exe suite integration toolkit executable 8.8.09 when getting .net frameowrk as an xp update
setup.exe saw as i installed tubetilla on 25.5.09
searchfilterhost.exe microsoft windows search filter host i saw when opening a video to play in wmp
sidebar.exe is windows sidebar 24.6.09
skypepm.exe is skype extras manager
slsvc.exe is microsoft software licencing service
snippingtool.exe is vistas snipping tool
soffice.exe is openoffice
softwareupdate.exe is apple software update 6 .5.09
spoolsv.exe spooler sub system app is windows printer service ( can be a trojan processlibray says)
sprtcmd.exe is dell support soft agent service
sprtsvc.exe is dell support soft agent service
spybotsd.exe is spybot search and destroy
spywareblaster.exe when updating spywareblasters protection database
supadver.exe is sopcast this allows it to keep popping up adverts so you may want to dissallow this.
taskeng.exe task schedule engine is microsoft i saw this when playing microsofts flight simulator game.
taskmgr.exe is windows task manager
teatimer.exe is spybot system settings protection
temp0.exe is real networks installer
tor.exe is tor
tubetillafree.exe is the youtube video recorder
trustedinstaller.exe windows modules installer
tvants.exe is tvants to play internet tv
update.exe product updater is avira
upnp.exe upnp configtool for bitcomet i first saw on 27.6.09
unlocker.exe is unlocker from http://ccollomb.free.fr/unlocker/ i saw this on 15.8.09
unsecapp.exe sink to recieve asychronous call back for wmi client applicat i saw on 24.6.09 after getting Vista service pack 2 ( its for windows servers) email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
vc5.exe is xilisoft
**vfcc.exe is kates video converter
vidali.exe is part of the tor package if you use it
vssvc.exe microsoft volume shadow copy service ( first seen by me 3.7.09)
wercon.exe problem reporting solution is windows
werfault.exe windows problem reporting
wermgr.exe is windowsproblem reporting
wgaer-m.exe is windows software licensing
wgatray.exe is windows genuine advantage notification..how microsft tells if your using a genuine copy of windows.
windvd.exe windad mfc application form intervideo
wlsetup-web.exe is live messenger setup
wloobe.exe is windows live instaler
wlcomm.exe is windows live communications platform.. live messenger
wltuser.exe is windows live toolbar elevation helper
wmplayer.exe windows media player
wmpnetwk.exe windows media player network sharing service
wmiprvse.exe wmp provider host is microsoft windows managment
wmpnscfg.exe is windows media player network sharing service configuration app to share your library of files
wuauclt.exe is windows update automatic updater
yahoomessenger.exe saw this after i got verion 9 of yahoo messenger
yupdater.exe is yahoo autoupdater
Remember if i dont list it as ok to allow you should then go check on processlibrary.com to see what the file is wanting internet access through your firewall..be very careful what you allow or you may allow viruses or spyware to control your pc. Ok thats a very long comprehensive list of all the software i recommend people use, i hope it helps you keep your pc free of viruses and as many problems as possible. I will also save you loads of money as ive found loads of programmes that arelegally free for you to use.
Most of these software products can be found on http://download.cnet.com/windows/
and most are free i have also included direct links to the manufacturers websites as they should always list the newest versions.Very occasionally download.com has a slightly older version of a product listed so always check your getting the latest version by checking my website www.beingahuman.blogspot.com
P.S if you download any programmes i use or recommend and you get stuck at any stage of installing it or using it feel free to post a comment to me. Please tell me the full name of the software your having trouble with and the version of it eg Firefox version 3.5.2 and describe in full what you dont understand, its no good saying " im having trouble with it" i can hardly diagnose the problem from as little info as that !!!, you can also log into download.com
and write a review of the software your not understanding properly and then copy and paste the link to your review in a comment to me, that way more people will try to help you.
lastly of course if the problems due to your mistakes ( ill tell you based on your question to me)
dont forgetlots of this info is now out of date