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A New Computer and Windows 7

My 2002 era XP machine died last week: the motherboard failed after years of 12-18 hour a day use. I decided not to replace the motherboard as even new P4 motherboards do not provide much support for "ancient" technology like IDE drives, AGP 4x video cards, etc. -- buying a new motherboard would mean replacing most of my peripherals as well. I finally decided to go with an Emachines ET1331G-03w. While I normally would not consider an Emachines box, our post-cancer-without-insurance financial condition meant I needed to spend very little money but get a lot of bang for it. Except in the gamer 3-D graphics department, this box has a lot of bang for the money.

I bought one Sunday and am still in "set up all my standard software mode" -- and probably will be for a while. So far I find Windows 7 very nice -- probably even better than XP. However, going with a new OS and a 64 bit version of that OS means I've had to find a free 64 bit antivirus program and firewall fairly quickly as I wanted Norton off my system posthaste. The new free 5.0 version of AVAST has a 64 bit version, so that was a no brainer. I like AVAST and the new version is very nice. For a firewall, I'm currently trying Comodo's free firewall. It does very well in security reports, but is is incredibly annoying with permissions pop-ups, especially for programs running other programs. Trying to install and run Cygwin was a lot of fun with the Comodo Firewall, for example. Hundreds of BASH command line utility programs had to be approved to run. And they will need to be approved to run again if I install zshell and try to run them from it or if they are run from another program. Sigh. Security is good, but there can be too much of a good thing. So I may not be staying with Comodo Firewall.

One thing this new system will certainly do is bring this blog back to life, as I find, try, and report on all sorts of new free software for Windows 7. Watch for them.

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Blog | by Dr. Radut