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Old 08-14-2006, 07:30 AM   #1
dthomsen8
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Default New HP A1510N Media Center Computer

A good, smart, but completely non-technical friend just bought a new New HP A1510N Media Center Computer, which is still in the box from the local computer store.

Tomorrow morning I am going over to her place to set up the computer hardware, and then do some cleanup on the software stuff that new computers come complete, or even too complete, with.

I plan to take Firefox 1.5.0.6 on a CD. She will be having Verizon DSL installed in the afternoon, so Firefox should be in there before she gets that installed.

My question is whether there is any other cheap or free software that she should be getting for her new computer. I am guessing that there will be a firewall program and anti-virus software with the new computer. She will be using AOL (won't give it up), which comes with new computers. I have been using SpyBot 1.5, but there is probably something better along that line than that.

Any other ideas? Any warnings about software that comes with the computer?
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Old 08-14-2006, 08:03 AM   #2
Michael Rowley
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Dave:

I plan to take Firefox 1.5.0.6 on a CD

That may not be as helpful as it seems: she presumably has, or intends to have, an Internet connexion, and can download FireFox; that way, she will get automatic updates.

   
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Old 08-14-2006, 08:09 AM   #3
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Default Never do it

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Rowley
Dave:

I plan to take Firefox 1.5.0.6 on a CD

That may not be as helpful as it seems: she presumably has, or intends to have, an Internet connexion, and can download FireFox; that way, she will get automatic updates.
She certainly won't download and install a program like Firefox herself. Firefox has a "Check for updates" at the Help menu, which I will have her do after the DSL is up in the afternoon.
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Old 08-14-2006, 11:57 AM   #4
PeterArnel
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Dave if she uses AOL doesnt it use a form of Microsoft IE
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:18 PM   #5
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You could also install Thunderbird and configure it to access her AOL e-mail (IMAP server: imap.aol.com, SMTP server: smtp.aol.com)

You could also install OpenOffice giving her Word Processor, Spread Sheet, Presentation applications compatible with MS products.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:37 PM   #6
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Default Thunderbird, OpenOffice

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Originally Posted by gary
You could also install Thunderbird and configure it to access her AOL e-mail (IMAP server: imap.aol.com, SMTP server: smtp.aol.com)

You could also install OpenOffice giving her Word Processor, Spread Sheet, Presentation applications compatible with MS products.
I don't mess with AOL in any way, I just leave it to those who like it.

She has the academic version of MS Office, which I will install again for her. I will remind her to find the CD, though.
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Old 08-14-2006, 02:27 PM   #7
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8
I plan to take Firefox 1.5.0.6 on a CD. She will be having Verizon DSL installed in the afternoon, so Firefox should be in there before she gets that installed.
If the Verizon techie inserts a CD to set up the internet connection do not be surprised if it installs their own version of a browser such as MSIE. I've seen this with Earthlink and you can use their system perfectly well without installing their software which often is packaged with an invasive suite of other stuff.

Quote:
My question is whether there is any other cheap or free software that she should be getting for her new computer. I am guessing that there will be a firewall program and anti-virus software with the new computer. She will be using AOL (won't give it up), which comes with new computers. I have been using SpyBot 1.5, but there is probably something better along that line than that.

Any other ideas? Any warnings about software that comes with the computer?
I regard IrfanView as essential.

Bear in mind that the firewall and especially AV programs are likely to be trial versions running out in some cases after 30 days and consider installing the free AVG AV program and setting it up to check and make updates automatically.

As a software firewall I've only used ZoneAlarm in the free version but the way it nannies you can be overwhelming since few people know whether or not to allow something to access the internet. I am behind a hardware firewall and my protection is Norton Internet Security for AV and Spam and it does provide a software firewall -- but it is a resource hog.

Good luck -- to both of you.

   
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Old 08-14-2006, 03:00 PM   #8
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Dave:

Firefox has a "Check for updates" at the Help menu

I know, but an automatic update might suit your friend better; I don't remember if I had to ask for them. FireFox automatic updates are pretty painless.

   
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:00 PM   #9
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Default New Computer Ideas

Verizon techie may install software. (paraphrased)

Hmmm, can we ask him not to install anything more than what is essential for the DSL connection? I don't see any reason to replace the MSIE that comes with the new computer, or much else, for that matter.

I regard IrfanView as essential.

Good idea, will do.

What about Adobe Acrobat Reader? Will that come with the computer?

Last edited by dthomsen8; 08-14-2006 at 04:03 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old 08-14-2006, 04:06 PM   #10
Hugh Wyn Griffith
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8
Verizon techie may install software. (paraphrased)

Hmmm, can we ask him not to install anything more than what is essential for the DSL connection? I don't see any reason to replace the MSIE that comes with the new computer, or much else, for that matter.
I regard IrfanView as essential.

Good idea, will do.
You can try <g>

What I did with the Earthlink situation was to go into Add/Remove Programs and uninstall the entries that related to Earthlink since the real problem there was the very invasive Suite they installed.

If you have the application -- GHOST, Drive Image etc -- you could of course make an image of the installation before he arrives and then you've always got that. And set a System Restore point although XP will probably do that anyway. The problem then might be removing something that is needed for DSL which I've no experience of.

BTW You have seen here, and elsewhere, that you do not need to pay for AOL anymore and you keep your email address -- one more reason for not installing any software to access AOL.

   
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