Computers

We have had many experiences with the Internet, Antivirus software and freeware, and the desktop and laptop computers in our house, over the years. We have  had computers with Microsoft Windows and Linux on them. Possibly something on this web page will help you and your computer. 

A piece of Hardware that we highly recommend to you, is the Wacom Bamboo Connect pen tablet. We purchased a CTL470, for Melissa to use with her Distance Learning courses in Mathematics,  during October 2012. The pen tablet, and the Autodesk SketchBook Express 2011 Software that comes with it, are excellent. 

After living in this house for more than 6 1/2 years, we were struck by lightning, twice, in 27 days, during October and November 2010. The first time, it came in on the telephone line. The second time we believe it came in on the power line. Lanny’s PC and other things were destroyed. Our Server PC and other things were damaged. We now disconnect the phone line at the wall jack and turn everything off, when there is nearby lightning. We suggest that you do the same and disconnect your telephone cable from the wall jack, if you have ADSL internet service, when there is lightning nearby.

Below, we have information on free software for Microsoft Windows and Linux that might be helpful to you:

Desktop Server Limited is the free version of DesktopLimited. It installs xampplite on your Windows computer and you can develop your WordPress Blog or web site locally. You can install your WordPress Theme, your Plugins and do all of your development locally. DesktopServer Limited uses a private .dev TLD and cannot export to another TLD. I used the Duplicator Plugin to export to a .com domain on the live server and that worked perfectly. First, in cPanel, I created the MySQL DataBase and User and then I used Duplicator.

Duplicator Plugin for WordPress. This free plugin is wonderful for Backups of your WordPress site and for moving WordPress to a new server or migrating to a new domain name.

Nitro PDF Reader 3 is the only free PDF reader for Microsoft Windows that can create, annotate, save forms, and sign PDF files. Adobe Reader can only read PDF files.

OpenDNS     We had problems with the DNS Servers at our ISP. Frequently, slow DNS or no DNS.   We are now using the free DNS service at opendns.com  They have DNS servers in 8 cities in the USA, 2 cities in Europe and in Singapore. If you have problems, when using the DNS Servers at your ISP, consider changing to OpenDNS.

CentOS  is a Linux distribution for the Enterprise. This is a free clone of a very well known U.S. distribution (Red Hat Enterprise Linux is the upstream distribution) that is not free. It is very stable and very secure. It can be used on Servers in the Enterprise or on Desktops. It is supported, for Security and Stability updates, for years. CentOS has an extremely active Mailing List and the Developers and Users are very helpful. 

IPCop is a Linux distribution for Firewall. It is very popular and extremely well documented. Backups and Updates are very easy to do.  We used IPCop on our oldest PC, to protect our computers (Firewall),  to provide Routing services, so the computers connected to our home LAN can all use the Internet at the same time, and as a Caching DNS Server. IPCop includes an Intrusion Detection System  called Snort.  It provides a second layer of defense right after the firewall. The PC running IPCop ran “Headless”. The monitor, keyboard and mouse were disconnected.

TheSiteWizard has on their web site, basic information about many things involved, for web sites

  • DropBox is one of the original online backup services and lets you store files “in the Cloud” for Backup or Sharing and access them from anywhere. The first 2 GB of space is free. Highly recommended! When Lanny’s PC was destroyed by lightning, the latest files for our web sites were on DropBox, but not on the CD-RW media he backed up to. .He was able to recover the latest files from DropBox and continue on another PC.

  • Advanced SystemCare  seems to be a very stable suite of diagnostic programs. After trying a number of different Suites of Utility applications on her Windows XP PC, Pilar liked this one so much that we upgraded, from the Freeware version to the Ultimate version. The license is good for up to 3 PCs and we have it installed on one Windows 7 Desktop and on two Windows 7 laptops. 

  • LibreOffice from The Document Foundation. We have version 4.4.2.2   This is a full Office Suite. It also contains an Application for Math Formulas

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