24 October 2009

Microsoft Security Essentials is free

Once there was One Care Live or Live One Care which was free for so long that I don't think I ever had to pay for it. It was a bit slow but did seem to catch some nasty stuff that other anti-virus applications had missed. Then there was the Malware protection that came with IE8, free again, and a suggestion that the OneCare pack would be available free under a name I did publish ages ago but can't now remember. Then came Windows 7 and you may find that you need to install some new anti-virus and malware protection. Windows 7 does come with some pretty smart firewall protection and IE8 will bring the same as it had before but for peace of mind you may wish to download Microsoft Security Essentials. (Here's what they say about it in their own words. Hope they don't mind the copy and paste but saves me time!)

Microsoft Security Essentials provides real-time protection for your home PC that guards against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software.

Microsoft Security Essentials is a free* download from Microsoft that is simple to install, easy to use, and always kept up to date so you can be assured your PC is protected by the latest technology. It’s easy to tell if your PC is secure — when you’re green, you’re good. It’s that simple.

Microsoft Security Essentials runs quietly and efficiently in the background so that you are free to use your Windows-based PC the way you want—without interruptions or long computer wait times.

*as long as you're running genuine XP, Vista or 7

22 October 2009

Who's following @kirrisdad?

This nice little application will make a mosaic of your Twitter followers' avatars. here's mine at the time of writing:

Get your twitter mosaic here.

Great new themes for your browser

As long as it's Chrome, that is. Version 3 started offering these really great designs a few weeks ago but for those of your who haven't got Chrome here's a nice preview (short and with a surprise at the end.)

15 October 2009

"Sorry I'm late - laptop tooks ages to shut down . . ."

If you're in a hurry to get home you might want to start shutting down your Windows laptop a good bit earlier than usual for a few days. There's a huge set of updates which, if you've subscribed to automatic updates, will come your way (and if you haven't you should) and, whilst they'll download quietly in the background, when you go to shut down there's be a message along the lines of "installing updates 1 of 18" + the familiar remonstrations against unplugging or turning off.

I have always wondered why I couldn't unplug if the battery's in good condition. One explanation may be that on battery use the sleep or hibernate conditions may kick in much earlier and interrupt the installation.

So, as this can take a good 20-30 minutes, unless you're happy to wander around with an open laptop that isn't about to hibernate, you need to allow a bit of extra time for all 18 to get done.

More about what the 18 are all about here.

05 October 2009

Google Chrome themes make beautiful browsing

Firefox has had some excellent themes but Google's latest are stunning. I have often remarked on how well Google things work but how they really should employ the services of a good designer and now they've gone one step further and asked a whole bunch of some of the best designers around to come up with styles for their new Chrome browser.

There are lots to choose from and, I should think, something for everyone. Can't wait to see students' faces when I casually open up some links in the morning and the efficient but bland and minimalist window has become something pretty impressive!

get the latest Chrome browser and then use the psnnaer icon to access Options and then Get themes. Here is a link to some previews.