This page has some useful technical information. I have links to other web sites that contain downloads, information, or both. Please let me know if any of these links do not work or if you have any other links you think belong here.

Although this might seem like an advertising page, it isn't. It is just a collection of things that I find useful for the PC. A number of them help protect your PC, which is becoming more and more a requirement of PC ownership. You need to maintain your PC just as you maintain your automobile. If you don't put gasoline or oil in your car, it stop working. The same is true of your PC. If you don't maintain it, the potential for problems increases.

All of the information here is for Windows. I don't have a Mac so I can't really say anything about how they work.

To keep your system running at its best, there are a number of things you should be doing like a weekly check for Windows Updates as well as updates for any of your protection software.

Software Protection

At the very least you should be running an anti-virus program on your PC. An anti-spyware program will increase the protection of your PC. A software firewall completes the protection software that should be on your PC, especially if you have a broadband internet connection. The anti-virus and anti-spyware protection should be on all PCs

Don't let the fact that you have protection software installed lull you into a false sense of security. Some protection software, like some of the free ones, are not active realtime but must be started to perform their functions. If your software does not have an automatic update functionality, you should check for updates often. If your software needs to be started, you should do that weekly at the least.

Microsoft has a page listing trial anti-virus software. Your internet service provider (ISP) may also offer some sort of virus software.

Spy Ware is a concern in the internet community. This software is usually hidden within other applications, like Kazaa and Cool bar. Gator used to be one of the main producers, although I think they have leessened their activity. Spyware sends data to its originator. The type of data varies.

A number of products exist to detect and remove spyware. Some are free, others are not.

Recently I've had the opportunity to rid PCs of spyware. AdAware did a fine job, but didn't completely clean the PC. I wound up trying Spy Sweeper and it worked great! You may download a 30 day version from

Also, Microsoft has joined the antispyware community. Have a look here. If you're bold enough, you may even download their version of AntiSpyWare software, but be forewarned that as of this update, the software is still in Beta mode.


If your internet connection uses something other than dialup and whether your PC is connected to a network or just a modem, you should have a router between your PC and the modem. This provides a hardware firewall which helps keep unwanted visitors off of your system and / or network. You may also add wireless connectivity to your network by installing a wireless router. I have a Linksys wireless router on our network.

Another part of firewall protection is installing, updating, and using a software firewall. I have Zone Alarm Pro (available from Zone Labs), which I installed before Comcast started offering their security package. A recent edition of PC Magazine (July, 2006) was recommending the Comodo firewall software.

Miscellaneous Software

There may come a time when you want to view a file, like a Word document, but don't have that product installed. You can find some viewers for Microsoft products here.

Tired of seeing those annoying pop-up windows? You can download the Google toolbar for free. If you want to see the pop-up, just hold down the Ctrl key before you do whatever it is that will cause the pop-up

If you do not have Microsoft's Windows Update for XP called Service Pack 2 (SP2), you should really download and install it. You may also order a FREE CD containing the update. It does take a month or so for the CD to get to you.