In our last exciting episode, we found our hero with a Kentucky Fried Computer because he failed to have a surge protector on his computer system; but not only that, he also forgot to backup his files (Oh no!). We now continue with the exciting conclusion…
Ever since that dark and stormy night when my computer gave up the ghost, I’ve never been without surge protection on my computers. You ask, “Why the heck didn’t you use one before?”
In short, I was cocky. I figured, “Hey, it’s not going to happen to me. It’s just a ploy to sell me more computer equipment.”
As the tears fell from my face on that night when my computer went to that big computer scrap heap in the sky, I decided that my folly did me in.
Part one of this article gave some of my top picks for freeware to make your computing safer and more productive. We depend on our computers to work hard for us in graphic design, photography, and a host of other duties; it makes sense to take care of them so they’ll be happy. (Can computers be happy?)
Now, the rest of the recommendations:
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware - Malware (malicious software) are little programs that sneak in or are installed on your computer without your permission or knowledge. They’re there to make your life miserable. No fun at all.
Malware includes viruses, Trojan horses, data tracking cookies, keyloggers, spyware, and worms. These programs try to damage, disable, or spy on your computer usage.
Malwarebytes’ anti-malware program fills the need where anti-virus programs may not be able to spot certain types of malware.
The program runs quickly to scan your computer and also has an option to run in the background while you go about your tasks. This program should be in your arsenal of computer protection programs.
Check it out here: http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php
Paint.net - Do you need a graphics program that can let you work in layers, use lots of plugins, gives you the ability to adjust gamma, adjust alpha channels, do photo effects, retouch, add text, use magic wands, and zillions of more things?
Try Paint.net. If you have used Photoshop, you’ll immediately notice some similarities in how the program works. Paint.net is great for getting graphics or photo editing jobs done.
You can design, manipulate, and edit images to your heart’s content. For a freebie, this program is quite powerful.
Check it out at: http://www.getpaint.net/
Rainlendar Lite - There are lots of calendar programs, but Rainlendar Lite is one of the best out there. Unlike Dema Notes, which is as simple as can be, Rainlendar Lite offers some more muscle as far as what you can do with it.
It’s basically a scheduling calendar with the ability to modify the look and function of it.
It sits on your desktop and you can see at a glance what you need to do in the coming weeks, months or years as you fill in the schedule spots. It has a reminder alarm too. Good stuff.
Check it out here: http://www.rainlendar.net/cms/index.php
SyncBack- Now here’s a little jewel of a program to make backing up your files and images a breeze. The program starts out by having you set up a few rules on what to backup, where to backup, and when to backup.
It looks a little daunting at first glance, but if you take your time you’ll be able to do amazing backups in a very short time. This is a great program for those of us who forget or intentionally avoid backing up our files.
It’s a necessary thing to do, but it can become drudgery. With SyncBack, it automates the process so we can play more video games…er, I mean do more work.
Check out the program here: http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html#freeware
Some Last Words
All the programs listed are free, but these developers could use some voluntary contributions to their cause.
They work hard at providing these excellent programs so if you want to send them some pizza or soda money, go ahead and make a contribution at their sites. Or even better, if there is an upgrade to purchase, do that.
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