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  #1  
Old 03-09-2015, 08:17 PM
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CarolAnn Female CarolAnn is offline
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Default First Laptop (dumb questions)

I don't have a net provider where I live. (no cable, don't like dish.)
SOoooo - Since I've had a couple of computers morph into boat anchors when they picked up a virus that would cost more to clean out than the PC was worth - I decided to buy a sweet little laptop on sale last winter and just use it off line. Most of what I do is either writing, spreadsheets or photoshop - so I don't really NEED to be on line and I figured staying off would keep it clean. Turns out, EVERYTHING on it is geared to using the internet.

I know there were a couple of unprotected wireless routers in my neighborhood, but I'm not interested in stealing their bandwidth - and if I was, I'm not at all sure I could do it without a provider app on the machine.

I bought an external CD drive - then discovered even the software that came with it is only a disk full of LINKS to...you guessed it! THE INTERNET!

Have I just got another (but smaller and lighter) boat anchor?
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Old 03-09-2015, 09:08 PM
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backlash Male backlash is offline
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Do you just not want to get online or do you not know your options?
There are a lot of options to get connected without getting cable.
I have DSL because that's all that is available.
You can go to the local coffee shop or McDonald's and use their free WiFi to get get on line.
Some people leave their WiFi unprotected so others can use it.
My son used to do that for the neighbor because they couldn't afford it and he worked nights so it never impacted him.
Of course the cable company would have taken a dim view of that.
How do you post now?
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Old 03-09-2015, 11:43 PM
CatherineID CatherineID is offline
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Standard virus protection has gotten much better over the years. I haven't gotten a virus in years and years. My last laptop crapped out due to a hardware issue.

Of course, good computer safety is helpful. All my e-mail is in the cloud. I don't download anything unless I am absolutely sure of the source and my anti-virus software scans it first.

You don't have to have a computer that goes on-line. For security reasons, many people turn off their in-house modem unless they intend to go on-line to check e-mail, talk to others or update some software.

Personally, I would MUCH rather have private and well-secured internet at home instead of use a public service like at McDonalds or a hotel which is terribly INsecure. Borrowing internet from a neighbor is just asking for trouble. Some people purposely leave their internet open as a temptation for others to use it. The "neighbor" then turns around and uses your computer without your permission as "pass through" computer to hide their illegal activities.

And yes, how ARE you posting?
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:50 AM
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Questions CarolAnn.
How much hard-drive space is on it ?
Can you install the software you want/need or is this an operating system only PC ?

Do you have the specs on it ? Make / Model ?

IF this has the room on it you can still install the software.
From your CD drive or find that internet connection.

When I was on dial up I went to the library with my flash drive to download software.


Here are some of my favorite sites to get FREE software:
Gizmo's Tech Support Alert :
http://www.techsupportalert.com/
They have LOTS of reviews and links to the best.

File Hippo :
http://www.filehippo.com/
The reviews are not good , but they list many popular programs and keep it updated.

Ninite :
https://ninite.com/
This is a GREAT installer. You can select what software you want. They assemble a package, then when you open the package it will download and install all of your selections. Quick and easy !

Last edited by DavidOH; 03-10-2015 at 10:11 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2015, 01:05 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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sounds like a netbook, they are made to be online exclusivly, and they don't have built in optical drives (CD and DVD roms).

I can't get internet at home myself, but there are a lot of places that offer free internet access. truckstops, mcdonalds, coffee shops, subway (the sandwich kind), libraries, etc. I use an older laptop running linux (virtually no viruses for linux, but you can't run popular windows software like games). laptops are portable enough to take somewhere with free internet.
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2015, 02:48 PM
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CarolAnn Female CarolAnn is offline
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Thanks all -
I don't want to go on line with it, as I'm online all day at work, which is where I post from during breaks & lunch hour. (Until they block me...which could happen!) I didn't think I could access through free wi-fi without an app from some service provider. We actually have a free WI-FI here at work that's separate from our own network, as we have clients come in who want to access their own info & the internet. I just didn't think I could use it with the Toshiba laptop as it is. It came with a free month of (long expired) virus protection - just fooling with it at home was enough to set the timer so if I ever do go online with it, I'd best be loading something to protect it right first thing!
It has more than 50 Gigs of memory, so that's no problem.

If I can load the external CD drive software (or any other) onto a thumb drive, I've got a bunch of them in the drawer and could head to the library and get that. Great idea!

Through work, I can get MS Office Professional for $20 or $30 - as long as I work here - but I'd have to buy it with the laptop because it downloads instantly when you pay for it and give the right code. Might be worth buying some virus protection just to get that. I had McAfee both times I picked up viruses on my old computers - through sheer "I knew better" stupidity - and since I use a computer all day long, I should NOT have made such mistakes. It's what happens when you can't sleep at 2 a.m. and accidentally click some email you'd never open when you were fully awake! (Now how did this UPS package info come to my home email? DOH!) Dang. Another boat anchor.

So - I'll give some of your suggestions a try and see what happens. One free software I'll try to pick up is Gimp. It's like Photoshop, only easy!
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  #7  
Old 03-10-2015, 02:56 PM
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God's Country Male God's Country is offline
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If you cannot get the dl's ask a co-worker do it and write it to a flash drive for you.
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2015, 05:12 PM
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You have free WiFi at work so just use that to download what you need.
No program necessary to access WiFi.
Before you download a new anti virus delete your old anti virus.
You should never have 2 anti virus running.
Go to Ninite.com and download AVG before you download anything else.
I have been using that for years and virus's are no problem.
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  #9  
Old 03-10-2015, 11:13 PM
CatherineID CatherineID is offline
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If you're running a Windows operating system, you probably already have internet security. If you want you can go into your settings and make your internet security very tight so you don't accidentally do something you didn't intend to do.

I agree. I dislike McAfee and prefer AVG - the free version. I can't remember the last time I bought anti-virus software.

To get on the internet. Most people contract with an "internet service provider or ISP" at home. That is the cable company or satellite company or some other company (like Hughes Net which I've heard horrible things about). We get our ISP from our land line telephone company. Your work has an ISP for work related stuff and also allows clients to use a free wifi (or wireless) portion of that ISP.

To access the ISP you do need software but it is all free and some is probably already loaded on your computer. As you have found out, accessing the internet is a catch-22 - you can't download software to access the internet unless you already have software that allows you to access the internet. I've looked and can't find where to buy such software that is loaded on CD/DVD or thumb drives. As a matter of fact, so much software, especially upgrades, is so complicated now, it no longer fits on a CD.

Anyway, the common software is Internet Explorer (IE) which is probably what you have, especially if you have a Windows machine. An alternate is Chrome which is good for older computers. It is pretty basic. I use Mozilla Firefox. Some people use Linux (I haven't had good results). If you're on an Apple computer, you probably use Safari.

Once you've accessed the internet, most people make a search engine their home page (although any website, including BackWoods Home can be your home page). A common search engine is Google. Others include Yahoo or Bing. Back in the old days most people used AOL and, believe it or not, they're still around.

Clear as mud?

Last edited by CatherineID; 03-10-2015 at 11:25 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-11-2015, 12:50 AM
chrisser Male chrisser is offline
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I'm loathe to mention this, but AOL is still operating and still offer dial-up service.

It's darned slow if you're used to high speed Internet, but if you're patient, you can do just about anything.
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  #11  
Old 03-11-2015, 10:32 PM
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Net Zero is still available for FREE. Ten hours per month.
I used that too.

If all you do is check email that should be enough.
http://my.netzero.net/start/sp.do
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  #12  
Old 09-03-2015, 04:50 PM
momopi Male momopi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolAnn View Post
I don't have a net provider where I live. (no cable, don't like dish.)
SOoooo - Since I've had a couple of computers morph into boat anchors when they picked up a virus that would cost more to clean out than the PC was worth - I decided to buy a sweet little laptop on sale last winter and just use it off line. Most of what I do is either writing, spreadsheets or photoshop - so I don't really NEED to be on line and I figured staying off would keep it clean. Turns out, EVERYTHING on it is geared to using the internet.

I know there were a couple of unprotected wireless routers in my neighborhood, but I'm not interested in stealing their bandwidth - and if I was, I'm not at all sure I could do it without a provider app on the machine.

I bought an external CD drive - then discovered even the software that came with it is only a disk full of LINKS to...you guessed it! THE INTERNET!

Have I just got another (but smaller and lighter) boat anchor?
Try installing puppy Linux on your old PC:
http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview%...%20Started.htm
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  #13  
Old 09-03-2015, 11:08 PM
jvcstone jvcstone is offline
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no land line, or cable available where I now live, and since I don't use TV, satellite and the such doesn't make much sense. I use AT&T for my cell phone, and they offer this thing called an "aircard"--a little piece of hardware that hooks in with a USB cable--gets me all the internet I need.

Someone mentioned FireFox--been using it for years as my browser, but lately have been having problems with it locking up my system--sometimes to the point where I just have to shut down with the power button (I know-nonono) and start the system up again. Doesn't happen ALL the time but frequently enough to be rather frustrating. I suspect the trouble is with my machine--5 or 6 year old acer netbook,(windows 7 starter) but Looking for something else troubles me. A lot of the lower priced machines only have chrome as an OS, and I understand it is really spy oriented. (isn't that what google does???) and many of the newer systems use touch screen which my shaky old hands don't get along with too well--can't do anything but mess up with my lady friends iPad. I fact, I use a wireless mouse with the acer rather than the touch pad that is incorporated. Maybe if I could just scrub the old acer clean, it would behave better, but who knows. Any suggestions from you HighTech masters???
JVC
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  #14  
Old 09-04-2015, 10:23 AM
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I can't say that I stay up with current trends. I have been using Google's Chrome browser for a couple years without any problems. I'm not going to worry my life away about spying and such.

We bought my in-laws (in their 70's) their first computer last Christmas which was a Chromebook. Works perfectly for them as their only interest in internet and email. Kind of fool proof.

And if Google were spying or whatever - so what? I don't care if they know I visit this forum and a couple others.......
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  #15  
Old 09-04-2015, 03:17 PM
askew askew is offline
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If you are running Windohs as an operating system I would suggest you take a serious look at Baidu anti-virus. It is free and they claim always will be unlike the majority of bait and switch outfits that are mainstream. But if you are staying offline that is of no importance.

Open office is at least as good as Word and all that but again, personal choice. Gates and company have an amazingly well groomed advertising mechanism and have brain washed folks for years that they are the only game in town. Not so. To each his own but I have run Linux for years now and have never looked back.
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  #16  
Old 09-07-2015, 03:00 PM
jvcstone jvcstone is offline
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Quote:
To each his own but I have run Linux for years now and have never looked back.
So how does one go about swapping out operating systems--Linux to replace windows?? and with linux as an OS, what do you use for a web browser--could I still use Mozilla--

complete tech illiterate (well almost)
JVC
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  #17  
Old 09-08-2015, 06:13 PM
askew askew is offline
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I have been away for a few days-sorry for the lapse. OSDisc.com or On_Disc .com will sell you CDs of linux if you do not want to burn a CD. Softpedia has a staggering repository of Linux operating systems for free if you are willing to burn the image to CD. Not that difficult really.

Linux employs the same browsers you are used to for the most part-Mozilla in one form or another, Chrome, Chromium, Opera, Iron, etc. The software is open source and free. If you are a gamer it is not that spiffy although I have heard that great strides have been made in that arena. Not my cup of tea.

if you want to try it without comitting to anything take a look at Puppy Linux. It is light, extremely quick and you can run it "live" without installing it at all. it will run slightly slower this way but you can get a feel for the way Linux handles without changing anything.

You CAN run a dual boot system which preserves your Windows and will also run Linux independently. Acres of info on dual boots on the web. One thing to note-IF you want to dump Windows entirely make double sure you have sent eveything you want to preserve either to your email or to a cd or flash drive. Virtually all Linux systems I am aware of will be more than happy to erase your disc and start over from scratch installing their system.

My preferences in Linux are these:

PCLinuxOS- The Rolls Royce of Linux-at least to me. It handles quite a lot like Windows used to.

Puppy Linux- Stay with a version by Barry Krauler. Light and extremely quick once installed. Easy for first timers.

Peppermint- Love this system and it is what I have run for a long time-on it now. The darned thing
just keeps updating and stays as current as you want to.

Ubuntu- Lots of folks think this is the best thing since pockets on shirts but I was put off by the 'down their nose' attitude on their forum some years ago and never bothered with them again. Peppermint and others use a lot of their code so I can't really be too critical about this.

Linux Mint- has serious followers and I did try it briefly. It seemed just fine but I had it on a dying laptop and never really gave it a fair shake.

I am pretty much a "run what you brung" sort of guy and not too impressed with glitter and hoo haw. I left Windows in 1999 and have used Linux ever snce. No expert but I know what works. if you want something that is handy to have no matter what you wind up doing I would suggest burning a copy of Darrick's Boot and Nuke. Nice thing to have on hand. If I may be of assistance feel free to ask.
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