If you have anything to do with computers you will eventually hear this question. Most of the time the people asking this question are most concerned with security and what programs they need to purchase to protect their new investement.

If you get this question try this answer on for size:

“Security is the most important concern. If you have the new security program called Mine Sweeper you’ll be completly protected. Mine Sweeper scans your system for malware and it allows you to search your hard drive sector by sector. Routers show up as flags and the numbers around them are you IP Address. If the system finds a virus during your search it will show up as a mine, you should immediately reboot your PC and start your scan again.”

Mine Sweeper

Obviously that is not true — I feel obligated to mention it because I can see my less informed readers continually rebooting their PC and then I’ll get the next question . . . Can you take a look at my PC?

So what software should you have on your new PC or Laptop? The good news is the list is getting smaller and smaller because an increasing number of applications are now accessible via the web. But for those apps which you must download I’ve compiled this list and may update from time to time as new products come out on the market. Other good news is that all of these downloads are FREE.

1. Mozilla’s FirefoxLink

Firefox is an open source web browser, like Internet Explorer, but runs without hogging all of your available memory, without exposing all of IE’s security vulnerabilities, and without annoying error messages.

2. Mozilla’s ThunderbirdLink

Next to surfing the web the next most common use of a computer is Email. Thunderbird is a flexible email program that allows you to link to all of your email accounts into a single program.

3. Google PackLink

This site on Google allows you to download lots of programs that are important. It bundles them together and gives you a single point to download all of these programs. When you go to the site you can choose which programs to put in your bundle I consider these to be important and or very useful.

Google Pack Choices

Norton Security Scan and Spyware Doctor will keep you computer safe from viruses and malware.

Adobe Reader will allow you to view PDF documents on the web.

Picasa allows you to store and organize photos into albums

And Star Office is a complete office productivity suite just like Microsoft Office, except without the $400 price tag.

Best of all, all of these programs are free!

Adding these programs to your PC and getting rid of all the vendor trialware it came with will ensure that you and your new PC operate well for many years to come.

Please let me know if you’ve used this advice by leaving a comment or if you have another must have application let me know.

 

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