Hints on Free Computer Programs 

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Clean up Browsers:
AdwCleaner

Clean up Harddrive:
Malwarebytes

Free software:
Gizmos

Fix firefox search box so it works the way it used to work.

Instead of Googling try other search engines.  Bing is looks better than Google is a good search engine. Duck Duck Go does not record your searches. This web page of mine has many more search engines.

 

DETAILED REVIEWS ON THE BEST PC FREEWARE

The best reviews of free software is on Gizmo's Freeware.  Their URL is https://www.techsupportalert.com/.   I have learned a lot from their site.

GREAT PROGRAMS

CCleaner removes just temporary files and does not remove personal files such as pictures and letters.  Make sure you make a copy of your passwords before using.

CCleaner also cleans your registery.  The registery is Window's list of where things a program needs to find a printer or harddrive automatically.  It tells Windows the names of the drivers your computer needs to know about.  If your computer is working good you don;t have to clean the registery.  If it is slow, first check for malware.  If you don't have malware then you can clean the registery. Make sure you tell CCleaner yes I do want to back up.

Adwcleaner removes browser menu bars and ads.  To be safe, load from MajorGeeks.

Auslogic Defrag puts fragmented files back together.  Use an old version, 4.5.4.0 as new versions have ads.

FIREFOX GETS WORSE

Firefox extensions are failing due to so called "updates" that actually are downgrades. Many add-ons (extensions) now do not work.  Adblockers may not work.  X-Notification, a email extension does not work now. One way around this is not to up grade, and install old version 42 and turn off auto updates. Some problems are detailed at this link.

Better is move to another program that is a fork of Firefox called PaleMoon.  The new version of PaleMoon works with Netflix and with SiriusXM.  SiriusXM is not free but gives you hundreds of audio channels.  It works with car radios that are equiped to play i

World of Trust (WOT) is an extension that has taken spying on you, and is now blocked by Firefox.

WINDOWS 10

Updated several computers to Windows 10, and then updated them to Windows 10.  The computers work better.  Do not update XP computers as they are too slow and do not have enough memory.

Updates to Windows 10 sometimes cause problems, but not as often.  If in doubt check Woody out.

If you have problems with a Windows 10 update, just call Microsoft (use getahuman to get their number).  They will only fix installation and update problems.

WINDOWS 10 ICON ARROW REMOVAL

It bugs me to see all those arrows on the icons on the Windows 10 desktop.  You can remove them using Ultimate Windows Tweaker for Windows 10.  I have run into problems doing this and maybe its best to put up with the arrows.  There is some risk in this.  One computer lost its icons.

WINDOWS 10 AND GADGETS.

Windows 10 does not display gadgets, but you can fix this by going to here and installing the program.  You can move gadgets between computers by using TeamViewer.  TeamViewer allows remote you to move files from computer to computer and also allows remote computer control. Now you can fix computers remotely.  Gadgets are stored in this location. C:\Users\<user.name>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows Sidebar\Gadgets

FIXING PC COMPUTERS

To fix a computer, note that computer turn on in cerain sequence.  For example, a BIOS program starts first.  The BIOS program is saved after the computer is turned off and runs off a little battery.

Next a Windows computer, starts loading Windows drivers and then sets up the desktop.  Next the computer tries to connect to the internet.

If a computer acts strangely, it probably has a virius or other malware.  Use Gizmo's Top Picks  to find repair software and tips. The site also has free software programs for Android and Windows.  All the free software is reviewed.

BROWSERS:

With Windows 10, Internet Explorer is no longer with us.  It was open to viruses and was not very configuable. Microsoft Edge has replaced it in Windows 10.

The best browser to surf the Internet was FireFox but they have a new software engine for Addons.  The search box now has to be changed in the options so you can change search engines.

I use PaleMoon instead of Firefox. To install addons in PaleMoon, go to Menu>Add-ons. Click Get Add-ons. Select the Add-on page.  Addons can be added to Chrome in a similar way.

 Opera is hard to configure, but otherwise is a good browser.

 Crome Browser is fast but not very configurable. PaleMoon is better than Chrome in that it has a nice pull-down search window in the upper right hand corner that allows the choice of many different search engines.

Edge comes with Windows 10 and I never use it.  It does not support very many add-ons and its difficult to configure.

List of FireFox Addons

Look for newest information on blocking ads. For example, Adblock Edge 2.1 and Ablock Plus are no longer good. uBlock Origin should also be installed to block popups.

"Download YouTube Videos as MP4 1.7.18" You can download YouTube movies to a file on your harddrive.

Last Pass 3.1.1  -You don't need all those passwords.  Great help.  It remembers for you.

ReminderFox 2.1.4.2  Great little reminder program.

StubleUpon 4.16  Picks site for you that you might like. The sites it picks are getting pretty dumb. Do not recommend.

Tab Mix Plus 04.1.3.1  Nice program that lets you custom FireFox.  Hard to configure.

Uppity 1.5.8  Allows you to go closer to the home page of a site by cutting off some of the URL.

X-Notifier 3.3.12 If you have a lot of email addresses and want to scan all of them this is your program.  Does not work on Firefox newer versions.

PROGRAMS TO RUN WHEN YOUR COMPUTER SLOWS DOWN:

CCleaner: See above

Use Auslogic Disk Defrag Version 4.5.4 not the newest version to quickly defrag your hardrive. Newer versions have ads that pop up while you are working in other programs.

What does frag mean? When your operating system opens a file and later saved, the file is often larger than before.  The larger file is broken into pieces and stored at different places on the hard drive.  It could be stored in hundreds of places.

It is like taking a book off the shelf and adding a second volume.  The second volume is stored somewhere else, on another shelf. Same thing with files that get fragmented.

Defraging means putting the file back together.

REMOVING SOFTWARE:

Revo Uninstaller is a good program that allows you to completely remove software.  Most of often ordinary software is not complete, and some file entries and files will remain behind. These entries and file might be corrupted, and reinstallation of the software may cause the software to continue to not behave correctly.

REMOVING A VIRUS:

To remove a virus:  Major Geeks has a great web page.  Do what they tell you.

Malwarebytes- This program is designed to fight malware. Takes a while to run, but checks every file.

MICROSOFT OFFICE CLONE

A group of programs that contains Word for Windows, Excel, and Power Point is called WPS.  WPS is a Chinese program that is in some ways better than Microsoft Windows Office.

Some versions of WPS do not handle docx files or force a  watermark on printed documents.

WPS may bundle unwanted software including a PC cleaner program.  It might want to update too much and require you to use a program like AutoRuns so you can remove related scheduled tasks. But if you are careful, it is a great way to get the equilvant of Microsoft Office for free.

DOWNLOAD YOU TUBE Files

You can download mp4 video files from YouTube by going to here. This web page gives you a choice of many versions of 1-Click You Tube Video Download add-ons.  Try the ones that say they are compatible.  If they don't work, try an older one.

ANTI-VIRUS PROGRAMS:

The best free anti-virus program I have found is Panda . It does not slow your computer down much and updates in the background.  You do not have to pay for it.

If you want to compare test results go here.  The price of the program tested are not listed.

PROGRAMS NOT RECOMMENDED:

Antivirus Programs: Important--
Only one antivirus program should be installed on your computer at a one time.
 I recommend Panda. I think  Norton is itself a virus as it slows your computer down, and hacks the root of the C: drive. 

There is no ad blocker for Windows Internet Explorer browser (IE). Other popular browsers have ad blocker add-ons. Also you can get more Malware with IE.  IE is almost impossible to remove as it is entangled with the operating system (XP, Vista, Windows 7).

Microsoft Security Essentials - This program is no longer supported.

Avast works for about a year, then demands you pay them or sign up again.  To get around this you can sign up with another email address.  Recommend Panda instead.

Norton acts like a virus itself.  It does a good job of preventing malware, but it writes to the root file, and makes your computer really slow down a lot. It is also expense!  Some versions of Norton's, can be removed by Revco Uninstaller, but in some cases you have go to Norton's web site and download their uninstaller.

Adaware: Removes Spy Programs - It now loads automatically at boot-up. Remove this program from your computer as it fights other anti-malware software.

HP Smart Font Light -Not sure it works on Windows 10. To get back the fronts FontFrenzy removed that you use and like, use this program. Lists the fonts you can install on the left, and the fonts you have installed on the right. A simple move button is all it takes.  May not work on Windows 7.

Advanced System Care -Not so good anymore.  Do not use! Used to be a great program to speed up and fix your computer but the newest version allows little individual control on what it does and the results of a scan.  The stole some of their software from Malware Bytes and that in itself is a big problem.

1. Type about:config in the addressbar and press Enter. Confirm I'll be careful, I promise!

2. Search for:

browser.search.showOneOffButtons

3. Toggle by double-clicking this entry from true to false.

 

Great Search Engine List

Suggestions are welcome.

Web page updated:
February 27, 2018
Copyright  (c) 2009 - 2018 by
George Norwood

 Other Software:

99 Freeware Programs - Lots of good software, however use with caution - do I really want to do this?
Google the program with the word "problems" included.

No-Nags Lots of free software that is virus and spyware checked.

Paintnet - Most Paint Shop Pro / Photoshop features for free. Excellent program.

FreeMind - Mind mapping software that allows you to make tree like series of connected boxes containing your thoughts.

Inkscape - Free program that contains many Adobe Illustrator features. A little awkward.

Speedguide - Free program that optimizes your web connection parameters.

CutePDF - Free program that allows you to create PDF files.

SlimBrowser: -Alternate browser.  Tabs work well.   SP3 seems to help crashes. Not as good as Firefox.

How to Geek: -Good source of utility information concerning XP, Vista,
System 7.

Astronomy -Stellarium  is one of the greatest astronomy programs ever and its free.  It shows what the sky looks like at your location.  You can zoom, pan and see the stars under the ground. Another program Geoclk provides a series of maps showing time and where the shadow of night falls. Skyglobe is a DOS-like program that runs under XP but not Windows 7. It quickly shows the movement of the sky with time.

Best Computer Speed Up and Repair Work
--Call 972 978-9703 
Richardson, Texas

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WeatherMate - Don't use weather bug as it is buggy. WeatherMate is much better.  Puts a nice icon in the tray with temperature.

Google Earth (requires a high end PC) used to be better than Google Maps but now they are almost equal. However, Google Earth allows you to also explore the moon, Mars, and the Sky.  Street view is amazing.  Bing Maps in some ways is better than Google Maps.

Cmap  Great for mind mapping.

Font Frenzy -Hundreds and hundreds of fonts are redundant and slow your computer.  This program does a font reset and removes all your fonts except the ones that came with the machine.

DeeperSearch A Deepermind web page, lists over 30 search engine links. Using Firefox addons, you can install many search engines into Firefox's browser window.  

Search Me  If you like web sites to fly by like pages, this is your search engine.

Virtual Calcu If you are a mad mathematician and want to calculate in bases from 2 to 64 with high accuracy this is for you.

Graphmatica -shareware
Super plotter, calculus, trig, log paper and more.

WinAmp -If you like music, how about almost 10,000 radio stations for free. Also you can watch about 100 video channels that are not the greatest.

Tiny Spell - Free, Icon in tray lets you know when you spell something wrong.