I will introduce myself. I would rate myself an intermediate computer user, much improved over the last year and a half. I've begun to get some knowledge of hardware. My greatest knowledge is about third party software, a topic that interests me greatly. Aside from the domains of Windows Explorer, I'd rate my understanding of Windows as pretty weak. I am happy that I've learned how to get help effectively for my problems on computer forums. I am registered with many of them and always have my eyes open for a new good prospect to join. I have searched in vain for a good book that would teach me all the things I want to learn about computers that are foreign to me, like scripts, command lines, wildcards and regular expressions, drivers, and BIOS, for example.
Right now I'm on an old computer that's lacking in memory and hard drive space but most of all processing. I will, however, in the foreseeable future switch to a high-powered gamer-type computer with Windows 7. I'm not a gamer. I just like to have lots of tabs and extensions on my browsers, a good number of programs running real time, and lots of software in my collection.
I am very interested in security programs. My AV history is : I began with AVG. Then my computer shop switched me to Microsoft Security Essentials. I lost patience with its outrageous surges of CPU usage that at times would freeze my system, so I switched to avast! Then avast! one day told me I was no longer registered with them, so I switched to a combo of Webroot on six-month giveaway and Panda free. I didn't like Panda free's inscrutability, its lack of configurability and its tendency to go crazy on CPU usage early in the session, so I dumped Panda and kept Webroot. Recently Webroot expired, and I went with an Advanced System Care Ultimate trial. I really liked it. I got Bitdefender protection without Bitdefender high-handedness (i.e., removing programs without the user's permission.) At the end of that triaI I tried Ashampoo Anti-virus for a few days but found it to be too demanding on system resources. Then I turned to the free version of Roboscan, which has been the lightest anti-virus I have ever had.
Earlier I recognized avast! was the best AV I had had at that point, but I was frustrated by its false positives. It went after everything from Panda Cloud Cleaner to MozBackup. Webroot was even worse with false positives, and it infuriated me because it often would not obey my configurations. Webroot acted as though the computer belonged to Webroot rather than to me. Advanced System Care Ultimate was the first AV I've had (since the AVG of long ago) that hasn't gone baying like a hound dog after false positives. Roboscan has come up with a handful of false positives, but I've found its performance in that respect acceptable.
False positives have become a major concern to me. I am very leery of using an AV that has a bad testing record with false positives. I don't run on demand scans as often as I would like because I think to myself "I'm not going to have time to deal with a load of false positives tomorrow."
I now have a one year giveaway of IObit Malware Fighter Pro, giving me my first real time anti-spyware since Ad Aware years ago. I now understand that IObit Malware Fighter Pro is not considered to be a highly effective realtime program. I like to do full scans overnight about once a month with Spybot, SUPERAntispyware, Malwarebytes, and IObit Malware Fighter respectively.
I am interested in building a much broader security configuration. Among quite a number of other things, I want to choose a premium firewall to replace Windows Firewall. I'm interested in learning about whitelisting programs. I already have lots of security browser extensions. I might want to run ThreatFire; I've got its last version. I want to get Spyware Blaster.
Being on XP, I think my first security priority now should be anti-exploit programs. I'll probably get EMET from Microsoft, and I'll look into the anti-exploit program that Malwarebytes bought and one called Crystal, I think.
I need to learn about backup. The complexity of the subject has intimidated me, but I have assembled some readings that I hope will help me grasp it well. I actually have downloaded a good number of backup programs on giveaways. I have to study and decide which is the best for me to use.
I suffered a hard crash earlier this year. I used DriveSavers to recover my data. In the next few days I plan to begin re-integrating my old data with my current system.
I am obviously very interested in learning from the advanced users here and elsewhere.
Windows XP Home Edition 32-bit SP3
Intel Pentium 4
Northwood 0.13um Technology
2.00 GB DDR @ 166MHz (2.5-3-3-7)
Dell Computer Corp. 0G1548 (Microprocessor)
Default Monitor (1280x1024@60Hz)
Intel 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV Graphics Controller (Dell)
74.5 GB Seagate ST380011A (ATA)
Free 40.53 GB
3.67 GB Lexar USB Flash DriveUSB Device (USB)
119.22 GB PNY USB 2.0 FD USB Device (USB)
SAMSUNG CD-R/RW SW-252S
Unimodem Half-Duplex Audio Device
Edited by conceptualclarity, 07 July 2014 - 09:09 PM.