Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The old boy is making a change…..

I want to first want to thank all those who commented on my last post. At the time I was making a choice of either upgrading Norton 360 for another year at a price of 60.00 or go with one of the online free programs. I received a huge amount of feed back from the blog world. There were comments sent to my blog, email and from amateurradio.com where my blog is also posted.  I have decided to go with AVast for my PC online protection. There were lots of great suggestions and I even found out about some free software I never knew was out there. Thanks again for all your feedback. Now onto the next blog post......

As most of you know Windows XP has come to an end….. and how does that affect WinXP users.....will  WinXP refuse to start up?……no it will start,  will your programs start up and run……yes your loaded program will still run. So what's the big deal you ask? The end of Windows XP means Microsoft no longer "supports" XP and if you serf the net this could be an issue as you will no longer receive security updates. (maybe you could get past this issue with 3rd party virus protection) If you are a big IE browser fan and you continue to use it you will  do so at your own risk as there is no updates.  If your XP machine is just used to run off line ham and family related stuff you are good to go…….UNTIL…..you want to upgrade to a new program as most programs may  stop supporting Windows XP platform as well. Windows XP was released in 2001 and it's hard to believe it has been around that long. In the past Windows has had some bust OS's for example ME, Win98 and Vista. If you have a PC that is not going on the net and your only going to use the programs that are on your PC I would think you could stick with XP! As for me Windows XP is really the only OS I enjoyed using and really had no troubles with. It has been around for a long time and those high up at Microsoft felt it was time for a channel change! My PC is on the net all the time both for ham radio and personal use. For this reason it is time for an OS change at VE3WDM. I chose to go with Windows 7. It has been around for some time ( released in 2009) and has good reviews, one bonus for me is you can run XP programs from within Win7. My PC will have no problem with Win 7 as the processor, ram and HD memory are well within spec's of whats required to run Win7. I have ordered Win7 and it's on it's way and my first decision is…….upgrade PC to Win7 or clean install ? So blog world give me your feedback!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

For two years now I have used Norton 360 on my PC and it has served me well and not even a virus or any other problems………BUT I do have to shell out 60.00 per year to keep renewing it and having the fresh updates. There sure is a lot more I can do with that 60.00 than spending it on Norton! Then there is the other side of the coin how much will it cost me both in time and possibly PC tech help to remove a virus or what ever else there is out there from messing up my PC. In the past I have had some free virus protection programs along with trojan, malware and worms now and then it did not work. So am I getting the "wrong" free stuff, are they really not as good as rumored to be? My Norton 360 renewal message has been coming up my my PC for about a month now and as always I have been procrastinating the whole thing. Now I am down to the last day and just having to pay another 60.00 seems like a money grab to me. In the past here is the free protection I have had for the PC.
AVGfree ......this freeware say it protects against virus's, malware and spyware but to get a firewall, safe data download protection and anti spam you have to pay 60.00 per year. 
Spybot S&D is free and will protect me in the malware dept but not sure since AVGfree does that if I am just repeating a protection? I know there must be other free software out there or others that cost money but not asking you for more each year? What do you use.....how is it working for you......I'm open to suggestions as I am very fast running out of time. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Push power on and………NOTHING!!!

Last Sunday Julie and I were on our way out the door and I wanted to check some directions before we left. I went off to the computer to look something up and as I turned the PC on a POPPING sound was heard…..then nothing! My six year old PC failed to start, absolutely nothing was happening. There was no time to look into it now we were heading out the door. Early that evening when at home I tried the power button on the PC again (maybe somehow the computer god's looked after things for me) it was the same….nothing. The tower has to come out from it's cubby in the roll top desk and opened for further investigation. I first made up a diagram of where all the USB cables, monitor cables, audio
Faulted part
cables and serial cables went so all could be placed back in the same place. I suspected the power supply was the problem and hoping I could find a reset button on the unit once the side panels were taken off the tower. I was not so lucky there  was no reset button but there sure was a noticeable burning smell and it was coming from the power supply. It was easy to remove the power supply from the PC but not without labelling what cables went where on the mother board. Doing similar things in the past I have said to my self "no need to write it down it's simple and straight forward" boy has that lie got me into some troubles in the past! With the power supply out and not yet opened I did notice the

Monday, March 24, 2014

There is a good idea out there…….

Trying to find my way around
Each morning I catch up on my blog reading and on a few blogs that I read LED lighting seemed to be the order of the day for illuminating the shack. I have been up early the last few mornings to see what is on the air waves. I did not find much and decided to work on my contest code I use Morse Runner, this is a good program that adds a very nice contest atmosphere to the operator. A problem became very apparent as I was using the program and it had nothing to do with the program. My keyboard skills were rusty and the lighting in the morning  here at VE3WDM is very dim so cheating and trying to see the keyboard proved to be very frustrating. I really have no problem with the letters or the numbers but it was the F keys I was having problems with. The Morse Runner program uses the F keys for such functions as call repeat,
That's better
exchange repeat and so on. I was really messing up the F function keys because in the low light I just could not see my keyboard. I was getting very frustrated and on two mornings I just closed the program. Then remembering the blogs were I read about LED lighting I went out and purchased an LED lighting strip. It was super easy to install on the roll top desk and it seemed there was a spot just for the low profile LED strip to be placed. I was not sure if this was the ideal place for the lighting strip (lighting up the operating area and keyboard) It turns out that when the natural light went missing and the LED strip was powered up……all is well at VE3WDM and no QRM from it either.