Free McAfee Internet Security 2009

McAfee-Internet-Security-2009-Free-3-Months-Trial What a way to start the new year with some free software (and I am talking the legal way). I found that my current PC Internet Security was soon to expire. Instead of renewing my existing Bullguard licence, I decided it was time for a change after being a loyal three year customer mainly because the yearly fee was starting to get a bit too expensive compared to other packages on the market.

As usual I always look at the customer reviews on the Amazon web site, which is always useful. But this time I found one the reviews someone written more useful than others. It contained a coupon code for a free copy of McAfee Internet Security from the US McAfee website.

All you need to do in order to get your free copy of McAfee Internet Security 2009 is to carry out the following:

  1. Go to http://us.mcafee.com/root/campaign.asp?cid=53347.
  2. Enter coupon code: VSPPROMOCF. You will magically see the Grand Total is now $0.00.
  3. Ensure that there is only one copy of Internet Security in your basket for one user.
  4. Click on the "Checkout" button and register your new account. This account will just contain details of when your year subscription will expire.

Awesome!

I am not too sure how long it is valid for. But give it a try. It worked for me!

The Google Chrome Comic Strip

I have to say that I am quite impressed with the way Google markets its own applications and services. Who would ever had thought of using a comic string to introduce the key workings of a specific application? Its a lengthy comic to say the least, consisting of 38 “fun filled” pages, which actually makes learning about the Chrome browser an interesting read.

Google Chrome Comic 1

Google Chrome Comic 2

But this does ask the question on why Google is releasing their own browser? I thought they had extended their search deal with Mozilla Firefox in return for setting Google as the default search engine. I guess this may cause an awkward relationship between the two in the future. But I suppose any attack against the dreaded Microsoft Internet Explorer browser can only be a benefit!

I have to say that the guy wearing the glasses on the left bares a striking (less cool) resemblance to me. :-)

You can view the full comic strip here.

Could Writing a Blog Post Get Any Easier???

I have just installed Window Live Messenger 8.5. Yes, you might be thinking I have been a little late installing the latest version of Messenger. The reason for this is because I really had no reason to. After all I use Messenger just to talk to my friends. Nothing more, nothing less.

Anyway. Back to this blog post. Windows Live Messenger 8.5 has a really neat tool to manage you own blog. It is called Windows Live Writer (WLW). WLW has to be the most useful application for anyone who is an avid blogger. It features a WYSIWYG authoring, photo-publishing and map-publishing functionality, and is currently compatible with Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, Wordpress, Community_Server, PBlogs.gr, JournalHome, the MetaWeblog API, and the Moveable Type API. Even if your blogging engine is not listed here I am sure WLW will be compatible. For example, my blogging engine is BlogEngine and I was able to connect WLW to it really easily!

There are many extensions available to add extra functionality to WLW which you can find here. I highly recommend downloading "Code Snippet". This extension makes inserting code a breeze!

Code Snippet In Use:

// Hello1.cs
public class Hello1
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      System.Console.WriteLine("Hello, World!");
   }
}


WLW user interface is just as what you'd expect from the Microsoft product family. Very easy and intuitive to use:

WLWScreen

If you have not already tried WLW I highly recommend it. You can download WLW without installing Windows Live Messenger here.

Windows Disk Cleanup Alternative

To keep a PC running smoothly, regular maintenance is critical. Many users shy away from maintenance tasks, thinking it is a long, drawn out manual affair, but the Disk Cleanup Utility can easily determine which files on a hard drive may no longer be needed and delete those files. In addition to freeing up potentially significant amounts of hard drive space, using a Disk Cleanup on a regular basis can significantly improve system performance.

I have always used Microsoft Windows Disk Cleanup and I was interested in seeing if there were any free software that could do a better job. After trawling through the net I was surprised to find how many programs claim to help you get back your PC into original working condition by removing all the clutter. Just as I expected most of the Disk Cleaning utilities were not free. But I did find one cleanup utility that fitted the mark quite nicely called Cleanup (well what else would it be called Tongue out!).

CleanUp is a powerful and easy-to-use application that removes temporary files created while surfing the web, empties the Recycle Bin, deletes files from your temporary folders and more. It frees disk space and reduces the "clutter" on your computer helping it to run more efficiently. It also can be used as a way to protect your privacy on the Internet. You can even instruct CleanUp to securely delete files making it impossible to retrieve their contents using lower-level disk tools - just another way of protecting your privacy.

You can download the program here.

WARNING!: This program is a really thorough piece of kit because it can even delete your Bookmarks if you have not selected the right options:

Cleanup Options

Last Post Of The Year

logo_bullguard Well this is my last post of 2007. Even though I have not made many posts since I started this blog, hopefully next year will give me more time to pad this blog out.

Since I have created this blog entry, I might as well talk about something. Well a day or two ago my Bullguard Internet Security had expired and even though I have been meaning to purchase a new yearly license, it was not on my priority list. Normally, when your Internet Securty expires the only thing that you cannot do is get up-to-date virus definitions, which is not that much of a deal since your computer is still protected.

However, what I found with Bullguard was that the Virus Scanner,  Firewall, and Spam Filter was locked until I purchased my new yearly license. I found this to be quite annoying since I had to find an alternative Internet Security suite until my new version of Bullguard was posted.

This is only a minor grudge from a great piece of Intenet Security though!

Oh yeah! Happy New Year!!!

WOW! Windows Vista is...

...quite slow! This is what I thought as I was setting up my mothers laptop running on Windows Vista (compared to Windows XP Professional Edition running on a similar spec computer. I decided to run the "Windows Experiance Index" where Windows Vista determines the performance rate you are achieving. The score I achieved was a mere 3.3!!!

Anyway, how can I can I improve the general performance? Well I carried out the following:

1) Disable Indexing Service

The Indexing Service is a little program that uses a hell a lot of memory that indexes and updates lists of all the files that are on your computer. It does this so that when you do a search for something on your computer, it will search faster by scanning the index lists. If you don’t search your computer often, then why have something you don't need. To disable, cary out the following:

  • If you want, you can just remove any extra areas of search, so you can keep your fast searching for some areas.
  • Go to My Computer, right click on C: drive, go to the General tab, and uncheck Index this drive for faster searching, select Include subfolders and files. Select Add/Remove Programs.

2) Removing Sidebar

I have to say that the Sidebar looks great and displays information in the form of widgets really nicely! However, it can take some system resources and adds a longer startup time. This is dependent on the amount on info displayed on your Desktop.

3) Clear Up Restore Points

From the very first day you start to use your PC, Windows stores shadow copies of your system files. Over time, the amount of shadow copies can waste precious space. Windows Vista allows you to remove all restore points up to the most date. To do this carry out the following:

  • Goto Start, Accessories, and System Tools.
  • Click on Disk Cleanup.
  • When the Disk Cleanup window appears, click on the 'More Options' tab.
  • Under 'System Restore and Shadow Copies' section click 'Clean Up...'

Voila! You will see the amount of disk space that has been freed! Awesome!

4) Hibernation is a No No!

Yeah I have to admit the Hibernation feature is cool feature that allows you to startup your PC in the condition you left it. The only thing is that the amount of memory that it consumes is quite large. So its now a good idea to overuse this function.

Watch out for the Automatic hibernation process runs constantly in the background using up resources. If you’re happy to hibernate manually, and you’re not using a laptop on battery power, switch it off by the carrying out the following:

  • Open Control Panel.
  • Select System and Maintenance and click 'Change when the computer sleeps'.
  • Set 'Put the computer to sleep' to Never and click Save changes.

5) Tweak VI

This software provides a wealth of tools for messing with Vista's guts, including a boot-configuration manager, a CPU optimizer, browser-settings managers and tons more. Whats even better...its free!!!!

6) Disable User Account Control

User Account Control puts in a layer of security that stops you from making system changes without confirming them. More experienced users willing to take the security risk can disable this to speed things up when performing low-level tasks. User Account Control can slow down and can be irritating. To disable, carry out the following:

  • Open Control Panel.
  • Choose User Accounts and Family Safety.
  • Select User Accounts and click Turn User Account Control off.

7) General Updates

Ensure your PC is up-to-date with the most current patches. This will also help improve performance, but very slightly.

8) Disable Unused Startup Programs

Try and reduce the amount of programs that need to be run on startup. You will find the utility to disable any unwanted startup programs in Windows Defender. Yes, I thought that this was a strange place as well! But I have to say it is a good idea because the Software Explorer feature lets you take a close look at every running program and remove or disable those that are starting automatically.

Well give it a go and if you find any extra things to add here, please leave a comment!