Free Microsoft Software for IT Students

There are many perks to being a student including student discounts, access to expensive equipment for studying purposes, long holidays and more.  Possibly one of the best things is the cut price and even free software available from vendors such as Microsoft who like students to get to know their products.  One such website which offers free Microsoft Software is Dreamspark.com.  All you need to do is create an account, verify you are a student and then download the products.

So, if you are studying full time or part time, don’t miss out on free software – it’s a unique opportunity to find out what products suit you best.

When Your Computer Needs To Be Fixed – Cheaply

There are times that either you don’t have time to fix your computer, or it’s beyond your expertise and you need to call on a professional. If you live in Motherwell you can check out the PC Repair Shed at 115 Milton Street, Motherwell ML1 1DQ. Tel: 01698 266780 where your computer can be recovered with much of your data also being recovered for a fraction of the cost of many of the major PC Stores. However, if you live in Chapelhall, Holytown, Salsburgh and Calderbank why not check out JMC Computer Solutions who can assist with a variety of technical issues.

When You Forgot The Password…..

…so often we can just click a link that says “forgot password” and fill in our email address which lets whatever website we are trying to log into send us either our password, or let us change it to one that we should remember better next time.  How wonderful it would be if we could all use one simple password and know that all our information would be secure.  It would certainly make life a lot easier.  However, the one password you really don’t want to forget is the one that lets you into your computer.  Forget that and all you are left with is a problem.  Are you going to pay a lot of money to have your computer wiped and restored to factory settings, losing all your information in the process.  Find out how you can reset your Windows Password quickly and cheaply – sign up for my free newsletter here and I’ll show you a tool which can make all the difference to chucking away a perfectly good computer, spending a fortune to have your data recovered, or being able to unlock it within minutes.

Dropbox is COOL!!!

Having used Dropbox for a couple of years now I have to say it is one of the easiest file sharing tools that I have discovered for which you do not required an account with google or yahoo or even windows live.  A generous (ok not for video files), 2GB space is available for FREE!!!!  My favourite part of it.  As some of you will see from previous posts I am so into apps and programs that are free, and dropbox has got to be my favourite.

Ok, so how can someone like me get so excited over a little box that lets me put files onto a webserver?

Simple – I can set up an account for the church media laptop and drop (hence the drop bit of the name dropbox), my powerpoint files for the service into the box, (hence the box bit of the name dropbox).  Also I can set up sharing folders which allows me to put files that I want to share with others into them so they can download them on their computers – at another location and even at another part of the world.  If I accidentally delete a file from my dropbox folder on my computer, I can go into the website and undelete it.  Yes, with all the medication I take I do need this facility, especially when I delete the wrong powerpoint file minutes before the service.  Thankfully I haven’t done that yet but come close a couple of times.

So do yourself a favour and download Dropbox – a must for sharing files less than 2 GB with anyone who doesn’t want a windows live, google docs or yahoo account.

Errors Antivirus Programs Can’t Always Fix

We’ve all had it happen.  Our computer runs really slow but when we run the Antivirus Program it comes back clean and the computer continues to grind away until it does stop completely.  At this point most users find they have to call on a friend, brother, or repair shop to get their computer up and running again.  Sometimes these people come, seem to run a few tests, take it away for a few days and return it back to you working as fast as it was when it first came out of the shop.  As we know there can be many reasons for a computer to run slow and grind to a halt which cannot be fixed, however, a few years ago my voluntary work boss – my Pastor – was frustrated with his computer because all these windows kept popping up.  Even when he deleted the program he had downloaded still the browser windows would re-activate and no matter what he tried he couldn’t fix the problem.  By this time I had begun University so he asked me what I could do.  First thing was to research the problem and find a possible solution.  Since then I fell in love with the solution I discovered and have used it many times since.

Nowadays it is recognised that when visiting some website there are short pieces of code and small programs called spyware, adware and malware which download onto a user’s computer without their knowledge.  Some of these small programs are designed to find out the type of sites you visit and searches that you undertake in order to send adverts to your browser that reflect what you have been looking at.  Some of the programs however come under the heading “Spyware” or “Malware” and are designed to steal information from your computer and send it back to the person who inserted it into the website.  Whatever the reason for them, these programs can all be very damaging to your computer and cause it to slow down and eventually crash.  The only program that I found to remove these programs and clean up your computer – including the ones that you have clicked on to download a free scan and now won’t be deleted unless you part with money – is SuperAntiSpyware.  Even better – it has a free version which you can run on a regular basis.  The Pro version has real time protection and scheduling in with it, but the free version does just as good a job though you need to run it manually.  In the same way as most of these programs it is free to non-commercial users, but I can highly recommend it for commercial users to purchase as it will save the tech department and computer users some rather big headaches!!!!

Taking Control of Your Computer

These days when you buy a computer it tends to come with several programs installed.  Most popular programs include Norton AntiSpyware, MacAfee Security, Microsoft Works or a trial version of Microsoft Office, Links to various help manuals and more.  While a lot of the software needed to run your computer is free you find that after a while the 60 day trial version of Microsoft Office is up, but you have used it to create documents.  So your choice is to pay around £99 for the Home and Student version or lose your documents.  DON’T!!!!!

There is a free office suite called Openoffice which you can download for nothing and it should be able to allow you read those documents that you set up in Microsoft Office.

Norton is considered one of the top programs for fighting viruses and keeping your computer clean.  However, you have to renew your licence on an annual basis and again, if money is tight, there is usually at least one free program which will do as good a job as Norton.  There are a couple of free antivirus programs I like to use and recommend.  The first is Avast, which tends to work really well with slightly older computers, and the second is AVG.  Both Avast and AVG have free options though they state you must be a non-commercial user to use these.  So next time your license is up for your antivirus, consider downloading one of the freebies.

Next time I’ll share how I get rid of spyware adware and malware using a tool which I have used free for years!!!