Recommended Software

I recently was setting up a new PC for a friend. After uninstalling all of the “extra” junk that the companies stick on teh machine, I started installing the basics of what the DID need.

There are a number of free/shareware programs that I recommend for new PC computers. This list is really for myself more than others, but I figured by adding it to my blog, I could always find the program list in the future. All of the download links go to — a safe place to download software (no spyware allowed on their site).

  • Comodo Firewall
    Yep, it is a firewall (download)
  • AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition
    As one would imagine, an AV program (download)
  • CCleaner
    “CCleaner is a system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system – allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space.” from (download)
  • Ad-Aware
    Scans your RAM, Registry, hard drives, and external storage devices for known data-mining, advertising, and tracking components and can easily clean your system (download)
  • Mozilla Firefox
    Alternative web browser. I like it much better than Internet Explorer. (download)
  • TrueCrypt
    It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk, encrypt an entire hard disk partition or a storage device such as USB flash drive and more. Visit their web site for full details or to download a free copy. (
  • JungleDisk
    Jungle Disk is an application that lets you store files and backup data securely to’s S3 â„¢ Storage Service. More information is at (

There are more I could list, an “Microsoft Office” alternatives, more programs on spyware removal, like Spybot – Search & Destroy (download) and Trend Micro HijackThis (download), but I’ll stop here for now.

October (and September) Update

Well it has been a while since an update… where did September go? Oh yea, school started, which meant life in Ruston got really busy.

I’ve also had a number of after hour web site projects that have been keeping me busy.

Caden is doing great and growing, 13lb 12oz, 25″ as of Tuesday (4 month check up). He (or should I say his parents) survived the 4 month immunizations on Saturday.

Caden has already been to his first Tech Bulldog Football game and he looked really sharp in his Tech gear. He almost got to see, well, um, hear (we left at 1/2 time) the Bulldogs defeat #20 Hawaii.

He has informed me he is expecting a WIN this weekend (at Homecoming) and may want to stay past 1/2 time.

He also is enjoying Church and has been making the rounds… not only to our Sunday School class but the “older” folks that we are such good friends with.

Daycare (or school as Jen calls it) is going well. On his 2nd day of school he came home with his first (of many I’m sure) fund raisers, lol! He also sold the most in his class and has quickly become one of the teacher’s pets, ha!

Jennifer is doing well and is back working full-time (which translates into 4 days a week and some paperwork at home when she gets a chance).

In addition to my web site projects, I’ve been working on a toy/book shelf/cabinet for Caden’s room. Hopefully by the next update I’ll be done with it and have it in the room and have some uploaded pictures to show you.

Guess that is it for now!

Hope things are well with you guys!

Microsoft Office Alternatives

Tired of paying an arm, a leg, and a kidney to be able to type someone a letter, create a budget, or make a presentation? I know I am, but for the longest time, Microsoft has had a corner on this market and they have chosen to consumers to look for alternatives or install illegal version of the software on their computer (which I refuse to do, being a novice programmer).

A few weeks ago, IBM announced a free version of Lotus Symphony. It is still in beta, so I wouldn’t recommend using it exclusively, but once it is out of beta, it would be well worth a look at.

Of course, the other popular alternative, which I currently use at my home is, and while it is decent, it is lacking with mail merge and a few other features.
Both of the programs support Microsoft Office file formats, which is great for compatibility with the rest of the world.

One other alternative, worth mentioning is Google’s Docs which allows you to use a word processor, spreadsheet and even a presentation program. It is a great service that allows you access documents from any location.