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any way to check the safety of downloads?
Old 11-16-2011, 10:13 AM   #1
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any way to check the safety of downloads?

I'm looking for a countdown timer to add to my desktop, but I'm running Vista and there doesn't seem to be an official widget available.

DH looked around and after initially downloading some malware that was caught by our anti-virus software, he found one that seems clean from softpedia.

But is there any way to be sure that it's safe?
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Old 11-16-2011, 02:57 PM   #2
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I don't think there is a way to be absolutely certain. About the best you can do is use a good antivirus and keep it updated.
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Old 11-16-2011, 03:05 PM   #3
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Also you could use one recommended by a person or website you trust. Let them be the guinea pig....

I think most of us are pretty leery about downloading suspicious looking stuff, no matter how much protection our computers have.
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodak View Post
I don't think there is a way to be absolutely certain. About the best you can do is use a good antivirus and keep it updated.
Yeah, that's what I was afraid of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
I think most of us are pretty leery about downloading suspicious looking stuff, no matter how much protection our computers have.
I am very leery, and rarely download stuff. But I really wanted a timer!

I've used it twice today and nothing terrible happened (that I can tell)
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Old 11-16-2011, 04:48 PM   #5
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Since you have already downloaded and used it, you could try running Malwarebytes on your computer to check and see if there is any nasty stuff on it. It's free and that is what I would do.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Since you have already downloaded and used it, you could try running Malwarebytes on your computer to check and see if there is any nasty stuff on it. It's free and that is what I would do.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:55 PM   #7
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I wrote a dBase program to create a countdown timer and am currently fiddling with excel to see if I can create one.
What timer did you download?
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WM View Post
I'm looking for a countdown timer to add to my desktop, but I'm running Vista and there doesn't seem to be an official widget available.

DH looked around and after initially downloading some malware that was caught by our anti-virus software, he found one that seems clean from softpedia.

But is there any way to be sure that it's safe?
I don't know if this is the sort of timer you are looking for, but I have been using this for a year on both my desktop and my laptop with no problems whatsoever. It has been great. It's called Grindstone. Time Tracking Tools from Epiforge Software
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:45 PM   #9
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When I need a utility I go to zdnet or pcmag download sections. They test them pretty thoroughly before offering them.
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Old 11-17-2011, 11:06 AM   #10
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The paranoids are out to get you.

0. Use trusted sources.
1. Good AV software.
2. Try it first on a sacrificial computer.
3. Always have a backup from which you can do a full restore.

I can do a full restore as of 5:30 PM local time for any day in the past three weeks. Never had to, though, but tested the methodology.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:06 PM   #11
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Thanks for these tips. I got the timer from cnet - should be safe but like I said, the first one DH downloaded from their site was infected! However, he'd have known that if he'd read the reviews. This one was simply called free countdown timer.

The link is here: Free Countdown Timer - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Download.com

I wanted something like an egg timer - set it and it goes off in 10 minutes or whatever. It's just so that I don't have to watch the clock if I'm working at my desk but I know I have to leave shortly.

I'll try malwarebytes just in case.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:56 PM   #12
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A timer can be created using Excel and the Visual Basic language available through Excel.
A rough version of the Visual Basic code could look like the following:
Sub FreezeStart_EndTime()
'
' FreezeStart_EndTime Macro
'
' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+Shift+F
'
Dim Endtime
Endtime = Now()
Range("A6").Select
Selection.Copy
Range("B6").Select
Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlPasteAllUsingSourceTheme, Operation:=xlNone _
, SkipBlanks:=False, Transpose:=False
Selection.PasteSpecial Paste:=xlPasteValues, Operation:=xlNone, SkipBlanks _
:=False, Transpose:=False
Range("B7").Select
Application.CutCopyMode = False
ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "=R[-1]C+R[-3]C[3]"
Endtime = Worksheets("sheet1").Range("B7").Value
Call Timer2(Endtime)
End Sub
Sub Timer2(B)
Dim Check, Counter
Check = True: Counter = 1
Worksheets("sheet1").Range("C8").Value = "WORKINGa"
Do
Do While Counter > 0
' ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "working"
Worksheets("sheet1").Range("C8").Value = "workingB"
Counter = Counter + 1
If (Worksheets("sheet1").Range("A9").Value) = "Y" Then
' If "=$A$6" > B Then
' If "$A$6" > ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 Then
Check = False
' ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "Working"
Worksheets("sheet1").Range("C8").Value = "WorkingC"
Exit Do
End If
Loop
Loop Until Check = False
' Call Timer3
Call Timer4
End Sub
Sub Timer4()
' Dim Count1 As Integer
Range("C8").Select
ActiveCell.FormulaR1C1 = "FINISHED"
' For Count1 = 1 To 200
' Beep
' Beep
' Beep
' Next
'
' Sound Macro
' Sound (Music) for alarm
'

'
ActiveSheet.Shapes("Object 2").Select
Selection.Verb Verb:=xlPrimary
End Sub

After running, the accompanying spreadsheet, for 10 seconds elapsed time, it might look like the following:
A........................... B...... ...... C ............ D.............. E
...........................Hours......... Minutes .....Seconds... Total
1=->................... 0.0416667 0.000694444 1.15741E-05

desired elapsed--> 0 .............. 0 ..................10 .....0.000116


..............23:02:21. 22:37:22

..............23:02:31. 22:37:32
..............23:02:31 .................FINISHED
Y

Ctl+Shift+F
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Old 11-19-2011, 03:57 PM   #13
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Here's one...Scroll down to the bottom of the page...Countdown to Retirement.
FedCalc.com :: Fast and accurate retirement planning.
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