Microsoft Vista is about to be forced upon the world, but I would urge people to have serious second thoughts before considering installing it. There are severe dangers ahead!
For a very informative and indepth article on the true costs of Vista's Content Protection, read A Cost Analysis of Windows Vista Content Protection, written by Peter Gutmann.
Please note that I am an active member of the Anti Microsoft coalition, and endeavour to educate and inform the public on alternatives to this cumbersome and unreliable operating system.
The support offered here is merely to give some help to people burdoned with using Windows. I try not to offer support for Windows or Windows based products, purely because supporting and fixing Windows wastes so much valuable time - so I hope these documents will suffice.
I have a separate Problems page giving details, in FAQ fashion, a list of problems I've discovered whilst doing Windows support. Solutions to common problems may be included so please check here first before contacting me.
Many people are finding that RISC OS computers are more productive, reliable and efficient than Windows PCs. Although many people are upgrading to RISC OS completely, some people still keep their old PCs in order to run some of their legacy software.
To aid the transition, I've written some instructions on how to connect a PC to a RISC OS computer via ethernet.
I've written some technical notes on tweaking the older (legacy) Windows NT 3.51 server for easier connections with RISC OS machines.
Outlook is a notoriously badly written application and unfortunately, its default settings contravene recommended internet guidelines for the format of email messages. If you want your email messages to be compatible with all recipients, you should ensure that they are sent in plain text format, and NOT any form of 'fancy' text or HTML - which can only be read by other users of Outlook Express (rapidly becoming the minority of email users).
I've written some detailed instructions on how to configure Outlook Express correctly, so that your recipients will be able to read your message ok. Click here to read them.
I also have some instructions on how to install Thunderbird which is a far better alternative to Outlook for emails.
Smart tags are plain and simple evil! Find out more about them here.
I have a separate section here.
I won't waste loads of space ranting about how bad HotMail is and how it encourages junk and porn mail, or how it's security is non-existent . Instead, I'll just link to a very useful site at mailformat.dan.info/config/hotmail.html which tells you how to configure it correctly so that you don't irritate people whom you send messages to, if you must use HotMail.
Please also check my Security Section
Unfortunately, 99% of all computer viruses only affect Windows PCs. This is primarily due to bad design and ineffective security measures of Windows itself. Therefore anyone a PC should get effective anti-virus software as a top priority. Once you have this installed, make sure it is kept up to date because new viruses are appearing weekly. In my opinion, the best anti-virus software is Avast, which is free for personal users and available to download from www.avast.com/
If you're worried about a new virus, or simply want to keep up to date to find out what's going on, a good port of call is the Symantic Anti-Virus Information page at http://securityresponse.symantec.com/avcenter/ which I would advise checking on a regular basis.
Other useful applications include;
I would strongly against connecting a Windows PC to any form of network, especially the internet, without an effective firewall being in place. A firewall will block unauthorised access to your computer and potentially stop hackers and viruses getting into your computer via the internet connection. One of the best ones available is Zone Alarm. This can be downloaded from www.zonealarm.com
Internet 'Pop ups'
Whilst web browsing, a lot of advertising sites can exploit weaknesses in your web browser by initiating annoying 'Pop Up' windows to offer you various products - usually obscuring what you're actually trying to read on the page. A product called Ad-Aware can get rid of all thos nasty pop-up ads which can affect your PC. It's available from www.lavasoftusa.com
Make sure no one is spying on your internet habits or other users of your PC can't see what you've been working on by installing SpyBot. This is available from security.kolla.de/
Spam and Junk Mail
There seems to be so much junk mail going around the internet at the moment, it makes me wonder how much faster everything would be, and how much time people would save if they didn't have to wade through loads of 'make money quick', 'Viagra' and other 'dubious' adverts each time they check their mail.
Luckily help is at hand for Windows users, in the form of a free program that will scan your emails for junk before you actually download it. Check out http://www.spampal.org/ for more information.
PGP and Email Encryption
An excellent combination of email client and secure PGP handler is Thunderbird by the same people who brought you the FireFox web browser. I've written some comprehensive instructions for configuring EnigMail which you can read here.
Some very good instructions on how to configure a PC to use PGP encryption were written by David Kanareck and are reproduced here.
Thanks to David Kanareck for helping to provide some of the information on this page.
As virtually everything on Windows costs money, I've decided to link to a few items of useful freeware software for Windows.
Last edit: 12th May 2016 at 1:24am
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