Why I’m willing to take a risk without anti-virus software

Tonight I just removed the anti-virus software from my laptop. It was a very easy decision to make, oddly enough, here are my reasons:


  • The anti-virus software I used slowed my laptop down to the point I couldn’t even use it.
  • It took five minutes for Firefox to load.
  • When my laptop started up, the screen would flash at an odd time, causing me concern that something was going wrong with it.
  • It took twice as long to shut down.


My experience uninstalling it:


  • The uninstalling process took twenty minutes.
  • It warned me that it was being uninstalled.
  • It warned me that by uninstalling it I was putting my computer at risk.
  • It sat without a moving progress bar so long that I thought it was stuck.


Next time, if I find myself needing to remove anti-virus software (or really any software) just a few days after I install it, I’ll seriously consider just using System Restore instead.

Of course that assumes that I don’t just get a Mac, something that gains appeal every day.

I’m accepting that I’m taking a risk with my laptop, but I’m comfortable with the level of risk I’m taking. The only thing that I use it for (right now at least) is for blogging and dealing with some email.

I do plan on downloading a stand alone, not always on anti-virus program to run every week or so, in addition to that, I’ll do my best to practice safe browsing. I’ll most likely also try to optimize any settings that I can to improve my security.



Thanks for reading!



A few random thoughts

Tonight I have a few random thoughts to share with you, they might make you stop and think, they might make you laugh, they might annoy you, or maybe they will bore you to death.

Are you ready to find out?


First thought:


Why are laptops so hard to use? The keyboard is slightly shifted from a normal desktop keyboard, which makes it quite easy to miss a key, I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time, but it’s still annoying. Also I keep having to stop and fix what I’m writing, somehow while I’m typing, I’m not sure when or how, I’ll glance up and see that I’m typing on another line.

Also why is the trackpad in the center of the laptop? Why not place it to one side and add a slider switch to turn it on and off, then you wouldn’t keep bumping it and having the cursor flying around the screen.

Perhaps these two annoyances are one in the same, it’s quite possible I guess.


Second thought:


Why does pita bread always rip? You are supposed to be able to cut it in half and open it up so you can stuff it, even if you manage to open it up, as soon as you put anything inside it, the bottom always rips out. Who ever decided it was supposed to be opened up in the first place?


Third thought:ic books are still worth something even without a cover? Look on eBay and  you’ll find dozens of listings for comics without covers.  Those are almost worthless…unless it’s so rare of an issue that even without a cover it’s worth a few bucks, but those comics are going to be so rare that nearly no one will ever see such a comic.


Forth thought:


Beer comes from grains, Root beer sounds like it should come from roots, so why isn’t there a stem beer? Or a leaf beer? Who missed this market?


I’ll leave you with these thoughts for tonight… oh, one more thing: to the NSA reader who’s going to suggest my Leaf beer idea to his or her brother and rake in millions of dollars, please at least like this post.


Thanks for reading!


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Working on a laptop

I’m working on getting an old laptop up to date. It’s new to me, It’s an old Dell Inspiron, it’s not very fast, but it’ll be perfect for what I need it for. Next time I blog I just might be doing it on my laptop.
Working on this laptop has made me try to answer a few questions that everyone finds themselves asking:

Do I need an office program? Do I need an email client? What browser should I install? Do I need any games?

These and other questions I’ve been trying to decide on tonight. So far, I have had a hard time answering any of them. I know that I could use an office program from time to time, but do I really need one right now? These are the questions I have been faced with tonight.
I finally decided on Firefox for my browser. I’m considering trying out an email client, but I haven’t quite made up my mind.
I most likely will download an office program at some point, that might not be for a week or so.
I already have an iPad, so why would I want play games on a laptop? I might play minesweeper once or twice, sat while I’m downloading a program or something, but other than that…

I know that will take me several days to get my laptop to where I want it, but it’s a fun journey.
I enjoy the challenge of setting up a new computer to my own specifications, how about you? I’m curious, what programs do you have to have on your computer?

Thanks for reading this, I hope that I haven’t bored too many people I in the NSA with this post.

How to easily repair an XP desktop computer

To easily repair a Windows XP desktop computer, all you need is to follow these easy steps:

For this example, we’ll take an XP desktop computer that was working fine until a webpage froze up, the browser quit and the user was stuck staring at the desktop. Restarting didn’t succeed as a black screen appeared saying that a file, lets say it was the PCI.SYS file in the System32\DRIVERS folder, was missing or corrupt. To make things uniform, we’ll assume this was a used computer that didn’t come with the original XP installation disk.

Step 1: Attempt to boot into Safe Mode, when you get the same message, attempt Safe Mode Command Prompt, you’ll receive the same message. Proceed to step two.

Step 2: Using the Live USB boot drive with an out of date version of Linux that you’ve been playing with before you try a better version, attempt to boot the damaged computer. You should see what key you need to hit for the boot menu after one or two tries, another try or three and you’ll manage to hit it at the right second. Boot into Live Linux. Proceed to step three.

Step 3: Having thought ahead to copy the right file from another XP desktop computer that you have, realize that the way you have your Live USB drive setup won’t let you access the file, or any files on the USB thumb drive, it should tell you that you don’t own it. Proceed to step four.

Step 4: After chuckling about not owning your own thumb drive and wondering who it really belongs to,  look online for instructions to take ownership of said thumb drive, (hint: consider stealing it from yourself). When you give up and decide to try another way. Proceed to step five.

Step 5: A quick search for the file in question online will alert you to the fact that Windows XP has a number of copies of said file. Take note of location of copy. Proceed to find and copy file to where the original one still is. Reboot the computer (keeping fingers crossed). Proceed to step six.

Step 6: Once you see that the same error message appears, turn off computer in annoyance, suggest to owner of said computer that they get a Mac. Proceed to spend the rest of the day thinking about how to repair computer. Proceed to step seven.

Step 7: remember other discs you created to boot another junk computer you’ve been playing when off and on for over a year. Bring disk to computer you are currently working on and boot from it. Keep calm when you realize that what you thought was your DOS boot CD really is a Linux recovery disc you burned years ago that won’t help you now. Proceed to step eight.

Step 8: Download and burn another Linux LiveCD that sounds like it might have tools you can use. Insert disc into computer you are working on and wait for it to load. Wait for over a half hour thinking that it’s loading because the CDROM’s light is blinking. Restart the computer, watch as the progress bar instantly hits the spot it was before and refuses to budge. Remove CD and discard, reinsert USB drive and restart. Proceed to Step nine.

Step 9: Miss hitting the key for the boot menu and watch in amazement as the computer starts windows and freezes at the desktop. You are not getting anywhere yet, but give yourself the false sense of hope. Reboot twice to see if you can get it up without doing anything else. Proceed to step ten.

Step 10: Play around trying other boot options, see that the error messages aren’t appearing as the computer appears to freeze whenever you touch  a keyboard arrow twice. Decide that the keyboard is bad. Unplug computer. Replace keyboard with old one lying around. Plug computer back in and switch on. Quickly unplug when loud beeping noise occurs, repeat twice. Press keys on keyboard to ensure none are stuck. Now computer should boot up to a screen where it will tell you that there is a keyboard failure. Proceed to step eleven.

Step 11: Replace with old keyboard. Open computer and check for loose connection. Take deep breath and blow out dust while making a mental note to clean dust out better if you get it working again. Reverse the memory sticks while you’re there. Close up computer, remove all cables connected to computer besides mouse and keyboard. Proceed to step twelve.

Step 12: restart computer and watch as it boots into windows without a hitch. You will wonder if the speakers were the problem. Shut down and reconnect speakers. When you try to turn computer on, you will not be able to, the light will come on for a second and fade away, this is expected. You will wonder what you did, you will unplug speakers and try to start it, it will do the same thing. After several minutes wondering what you did, proceed to step thirteen.

Step 13: Open case, look at memory sticks, somehow one is loose, remove it and put it back in. The computer will start now without any problems. After restarting between two and five times to make sure everything is working, run CHKDSK  (error checking) to be safe. If anyone asks, brag about fixing computer, do not tell anyone you don’t know how you did it.

Those are the simple steps to repairing an XP desktop computer. It worked for me!