Tag Archive for Windows Mail

Great Advice for New Computer Owners

Rob Pegoraro of The Washington Post has an excellent article, “Pre-Flight Instructions For Your New Computer”, for new computer owners. Whether you have a new PC or a new Mac he offers excellent advice for getting started with your new computer.  Here are a few of the recommendations he’s made for users of Windows Vista and Mac OS X Leopard:

  • Activate the pre-installed antivirus on a PC. (Skylarking note: Or download Avast at www.avast.com, and download the Home edition. It’s free if you only have it iusntalled on one PC in your household. Mac users can consider getting an antivirus program at the Apple Store online to spare your PC using friends from viruses you might accidentally pass on.)
  • Turn on the firewall on your Mac: Click System Preferences >> Security>> Firewall >> “Set access for specific services and applications”. (Note: The firewall on Windows Vista PC is active out of the box.)
  • Download system updates. Vista: Start >> Control Panel >> Check for updates. Mac: Apple-icon >> Software Update.
  • Remove “trialware” and buy the $150 Home and Student Edition of Microsoft Office 2007, or download the free OpenOffice 3 at http://openoffice.org or use the free Google Docs Web-based software at http://docs.google.com. Uninstall software via Start >> Control Panel >> Uninstall a program.
  • Declutter the desktop: Drag and drop unwanted icons into the Recycle Bin, or use right-click and delete on the icons.
  • Declutter the Mac’s Dock: Drag unwanted icons off the Dock, and they’ll vanish.
  • Backup: Use Windows Vista’s Backup and Restore Center with an external drive, or, if you have a broadband connection, use a free online backup via Mozy at http://mozy.com.
  • Backup on a Mac: Get an external hard driveand use Apple’s Time Machine software.
  • Surfing the Web? Get Mozilla Firefox, http://mozilla.com, for free. Many people prefer it over the Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mac’s Safari.
  • Rest: Don’t rush to install your old programs, and “don’t go crazy trying out new ones.”
  • For an old printer or scanner: Go to the manufacturer’s web site and download the updated drivers instad of using the ones on the original CDs. (Skylarking note: You might also find that the Windows drivers are sufficient for operationg these items.)

He makes additional suggestions regarding email applications (Thunderbird, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail), music and video playing software (iTunes), and photo editing tools such as Picasa.

Check out Rob Pegoraro’s article in full and enjoy your new computer. Happy holidays!




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Microsoft Updates (Aug. 12, 2008)

Windows Update Logo

Windows Update Logo

Microsoft issued its largest batch of updates in 18 months. I thought the Windows XP SP3 and Windows Vista SP1 update packs were big, but yesterday Microsoft released at least 14 updates for various Windows and Microsoft Office products. Included among the fixes were the Word 2002 “zero-day” bug I reported on July 11, 2008, and the Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer flaw that I reported on July 8, 2008.

The patches released included:

  • Microsoft Access Snapshot Viewer vulnerability (Important for business and professional users)
  • Microsoft Office Word 2002 vulnerability
  • 2 x Windows Vista security patch
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2007 security patch
  • Daylight Savings Time revisions for Windows Vista
  • Malicious Software Removal tool (A monthly fix from Microsoft)
  • Microsoft Office 2007 security patch
  • Internet Explorer 7 security patch
  • Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007 security patch
  • Windows Mail Junk E-mail (Spam) filter update
  • 2 x Windows Vista updates
  • Windows Vista ActiveX security update
  • Windows Mail security update for Vista
  • Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 security update

Most of these patches affect business users, as most home users with a computer over a year old don’t have Windows Vista or Microsoft Office 2007. Also, if the programs mentioned aren’t familiar to you, then they most likely aren’t a risk.

If you aren’t up to date on your Windows Updates you can always go to http://update.microsoft.com for the lastest fixes from Microsoft.  They are made available for free download and installation every Tuesday evening.

Check out Skylark NetWorks weekly Apple versus Microsoft Weekly Vulnerability Index compiled from the SANS Institute for past patches.

If anyone has a question, please email them to me using the Contact link, or, if it relates to today’s message, please use the Comment and Question link below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.