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Behind the internet rat-race!


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7 replies to this topic

#1 cjsears

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 03:15 AM

Hi,
I have been out of touch with the internet since school and have recently attempted to rectify this with the purchase of a computer capable of "getting me up to date". I am having trouble with almost every function I try to perform, despite many hours of trial and error experimentation. What I need to know is; where does one find the most basic of the basic tutorials regarding browsers, e-mail, instant messaging, and security functions? The standard Netscape "computer chat" room is so full of horny teenagers, I don't know if one could carry on civilized chat at all, and my fruitless searching has left me in front of my new computer for many sleepless hours. Where do I turn? :thumbsup:

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#2 phawgg

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 05:36 AM

well, cjsears, you turned to the right place...bleepingcomputers!

my fruitless searching has left me in front of my new *bleeping*computer for many sleepless hours. Where do I turn?


It might, however, take several more of these:

many hours of trial and error experimentation


to get confident. Spend some time here reading various topics/threads.
For security functions... basic security is nicely covered by Grinler after fixing problems. Read a couple threads all the way to the end and follow the advice given to members who have just cleaned their computers of problems.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/2565/submitting-my-hijack-log-for-analysis/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic2537.html#

These posts have valuable information as well:
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic841.html#
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/3042/some-basic-security-advice/

If you are thinking of Operating System security, and have winXP, navigate to:
start>control panel>performance and maintenance>administrative tools>services. After scrolling through the longish list there, please
visit this individual's site

Do it again and navigate:
start>control panel>performance and maintenance>administrative tools>local security policies. Here unfortunately, I'm still at a loss for advice. :flowers:

For starters, keep reading related topics here and ask specific questions as replys to this topic. (I noticed your posting twice. Once is enuf. :inlove: It will take some time to cure those sleepless nights. 60 days ago I was purdy-near-clueless myself. You can go to "My Control Panel" at the top of a page here. Once you're in that area, "compose new message" is off to the left. Click it, put my name in the "enter member's name" field and PM (private message) me. A basic of basic tutorials can be explored further by simply practicing sending e-mails back and forth. :trumpet:

You will find members here willing to help rescue you from the deadly grips of internet ignorance and offer you "service with a smile". Now, relax and get some sleep. (I'm goin' take that advice, myself...... :thumbsup: )
patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#3 tg1911

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 10:39 AM

Are you using these basic programs?
aČ free
Ad-Aware
Spybot S&D
SpywareBlaster
SpywareGuard

If not, you should really consider it. These programs, updated and
used regularly, will do a lot to keep your computer clean of spyware, trojans,
keyloggers, browser hijackers, etc...

Download them, update them, and then run them.

Please read this tutorial on Spybot S&D before using it. Spybot can do serious damage if not used properly.
MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-MA790X-UD4P, CPU: Phenom II X4 955 Deneb BE, HS/F: CoolerMaster V8, RAM: 2 x 1G Kingston HyperX DDR2 800, VGA: ECS GeForce Black GTX 560, PSU: Antec TruePower Modular 750W, Soundcard: Asus Xonar D1, Case: CoolerMaster COSMOS 1000, Storage: Internal - 2 x Seagate 250GB SATA, 2 x WD 1TB SATA; External - Seagate 500GB USB, WD 640GB eSATA, 3 x WD 1TB eSATA

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#4 jgweed

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 10:57 AM

Almost every application has a HELP function that will guide you to understanding the product. Many have a "getting started" section that outlines how to use the basicl functions of whatever application you are using. Your operating system also has a help section, with useful topics. Again, browsing the particular software site can lead you to all sorts of useful tutorials or to FAQs (frequently asked questions). Take a walk to your local Borders or B&N; there are shelves of introductory books for various applications; many of the short tutorials here at BC are designed for the beginner.
And, of course, feel free to post your questions here.
Cheers,
John
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#5 phawgg

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 02:05 PM

This from the latest PC World is appropriate to your question
patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#6 cjsears

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 05:12 PM

Thank-you so much for the replies. It's nice to admit internet stupidity to people who can't laugh! I will slowly mull through all your advice, installing the proper software along the way. In particular, phawqq, your words of encouragement renewed my frustrated efforts. I'm wondering though, how much software is too much?! Since my recent connection, it seems all I have been doing is installing, running into conflicts, realizing that I have two or three programs that do the same thing, and uninstalling. Does this software chase never end? Making progress, Thanks again! :thumbsup:

#7 phawgg

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Posted 02 October 2004 - 09:56 PM

I'm wondering though, how much software is too much?!  Does this software chase never end?


:thumbsup: Good questions, and good to question limitations, cjsears if for no other reason than to demonstrate a plain reality of life on the interenet full of duplication and inconsistancies. Take a look at this list. It's ironic that the bottomline yields such a small percentage of what's available. jgweed's list is really a good summation and there doesn't exist conflicts in using those particular ones on the same machine. Although they are similar in many ways, using each can provide some overlapping of benefits and broaden the protection you receive. It's important to note that each day that passes often brings inclusions to lists of products that fall into the category of malware. Thats what we get having a world of participants in the relatively finite world of operating systems for millions of PC's.

I would typically have about a hundred programs on my PC. I might use a dozen regularly, and be updating more than half of them on a weekly basis. The combined total of all of them would amount to the same volume of file sizes roughly equivalent to having 50 albums of music. A dozen programs would be larger than 100 MB in size, programs for web browsing photo editing, animation creation, speech recognition, character recognition, word processing & data management falling into this category. Most all others have much smaller "footprints" on the system yet many of them are quite powerful in their own regards.

Installing/uninstalling is the trial & error I've experienced over time. Having a relatively new machine, as you have, or having a relatively new installation of OS on any machine, gives you an advantage. The install/uninstall process is the one that creates a need for disk defragmentation more than most other normal PC operations using software. Please monitor your disk defrag utility on a regular basis like updates. You'll avoid slowdowns that way. Also, desktop shortcuts and placement of tray icons can be a hassle. For the most part, it's just as easy to enter "start" and locate the desired program to launch as it is to have a oppressive (or impressive, I guess) display of icons confronting you each time the desktop is visible. I only allow automatic updating to occur in a couple programs, as I don't like unpredictable popups demanding an internet access to do it, nor running at times that often conflict with what I may be doing at any given time. Typically I will have 5-6 browser windows minimized, 4-5 word documents open, an audio player going, a spreadsheet perhaps or more than one, and be performing a download in the background. I do not want do an update "right now". Same holds true of playing games...all of a sudden the action is interrupted by "OMG, your anti-virus may be out-of-date...do something!!"

Having a hundred software programs, as I have mentioned, is really no big deal. I think I've tried 300 or more, and never use more than a small percentage simultaneously. My "stand alone PC" would be considered on a scale of 1-10 of available PC's as about 4.6. Hang around BC a while, read the tutorials and wide variety of topics/discussions here... you'll be surprised at how quickly you become familiar with the once bewildering array of information. :trumpet: (like for instance how I know about that scale of 1-10 or how to get reporting on the details of the machine you have, a free program I highly recommend)

As for things that do the same thing... the best advice I've gotten is to install Mozilla Firefox and leave IE alone except to update windows and a few other reasons. I just make it secure as it can be and take it off my start menu. Same thing with the Windows Media Player. I have better alternatives that are free and I set them as the default programs. :flowers: The majority of my trial & error has been because of the winXP pro I use, not the programs built to use it.

Edited by phawgg, 02 October 2004 - 10:04 PM.

patiently patrolling, plenty of persisant pests n' problems ...

#8 jgweed

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Posted 03 October 2004 - 04:34 PM

There are rather basic applications you need:
1. An antivirus---updated daily
2. A firewall (do NOT use MS's firewall)
3. Spyware finders---because definitions of what consitutues spyware vary, several are useful. Update before use.
4. Some sort of office-type application. A spreadsheet and word processor at a minimum.
5. An alternative browser (Mozilla, Firefox, or Opera). IE is just too unsafe and too outmoded to use as your default browser.
6. Media players.
7. Photo editing and filing applications. Whether you save pics from the net or do your own photography, these are helpful.
8. Flash and JavaRuntimeEnvironment. Web browsing require these.
9. Some sort of system monitoring application that will give you a print out of installed programs and hardward information.
10. A Pop-Email application (assuming you have an POP email account.

All of these above are free and downloadable from the Net.

Additional programs are entirely dependent on what you use your computer for (IM, for example), and how much diagnostic information you need.

The applications you use on a regular basis can eventually end up on your task bar; outside of your AV and your firewall, none of them need be started on boot up.
Experience will tell you what you really need and is useful for what you want to do with your computer. You may download a lot of programs that do the same thing, but eventually you will find one with features that you like, and you can delete the others.
ALWAYS MAKE BACKUPS!!!!!!

Cheers,
John

Edited by jgweed, 03 October 2004 - 04:36 PM.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.




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