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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 01:49 PM   #21
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

If I have BIG problems, I intend to just go into town and buy a new computer with preloaded software. They are cheap and I am not knowledgeable enough to be much help in fixing troubles. Plus, I am very impatient. My wife is really techno- savvy, but I have to leave the house as watching her
work on our computer makes me nervous as a whore in church.

John Galt
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 02:07 PM   #22
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

For those of you who don't keep track of where your data resides, a safer approach is to buy a new Hard Drive (you get get a giant HD cheap these days), install the clean OS on the new drive, and gradually move your data over. Once your confident in the move, reformat the old drive. Make sure you boot off the new drive and run a virus scan on the old one so that you don't contaminate the new installation.

If you're running windows all your user data is in:
Documents and Settings/Username

I store all my documents in:
Documents and Settings/USername/My Documents

Email is here:
Documents and Settings/Username/Application Data/MIcrosoft/Outlook

And bookmarks are here:
Documents and Settings/Username/Favorites

If I download a program or driver, I make a note in a speadsheet, and copy it to: My Documents/downloads

I just back up the entire folder:
Documents and Settings/USername

and I have everything I need.

I don't mind reinstalling the applications that I use most frequently. I enjoy the benefits of NOT reinstalling the applications that I don't need.






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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 02:18 PM   #23
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

So, am I the only one here who keeps at least 7 years of tax data on their computer? * That means that I've got applications and data going back to Win 3.x, and tossing out rarely-used applications could be a Bad Thing if I get audited. * Of course, I may have worse worries if I get audited....
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 02:25 PM   #24
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

I keep 15 years of records on paper in a waterproof seafood shipping container. It's hurricane season and all records/documents are quasi prepackaged to be packed first in case of evacuation (every Aug, Sept). Computer records are too wimpy - I trust paper and pencil - and sometimes electricity - but only sometimes.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 02:31 PM   #25
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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So, am I the only one here who keeps at least 7 years of tax data on their computer? * That means that I've got applications and data going back to Win 3.x, and tossing out rarely-used applications could be a Bad Thing if I get audited. * Of course, I may have worse worries if I get audited....
I keep a running CD that I burn every year that contains the tax software, the tax files, and PDF "printouts" of the tax documents. Every year I take the old stuff and add the new stuff and burn one more CD. That goes into an envelope with paper printouts of the tax documents and the physical receipts. That envelope gets put away somewhere safe. I also keep copies of the current year's disk (which has all the old stuff too) in two safe offsite locations. I should probably start scanning the receipts and storing them on the disk but I do include the electronic docs from the brokerages etc.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 02:34 PM   #26
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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So, am I the only one here who keeps at least 7 years of tax data on their computer? * That means that I've got applications and data going back to Win 3.x, and tossing out rarely-used applications could be a Bad Thing if I get audited. * Of course, I may have worse worries if I get audited....
Maybe,

I have my tax records on paper. My Tax preparer has copies on his computer.

When I was in IT, we often wondered if the IRS wanted to see something that was 6 years old. We had the data backed up on files. But the application software was usually long gone by then. Our plan was that we would have to write some code to pull off any data that they wanted.

A home user is usually SOL when older data needs to be accessed. Most applications will upgrade the data they store so that it can be retrived by their newer programs.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 02:37 PM   #27
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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I keep a running CD that I burn every year that contains the tax software, the tax files, and PDF "printouts" of the tax documents. *Every year I take the old stuff and add the new stuff and burn one more CD. *That goes into an envelope with paper printouts of the tax documents and the physical receipts. *That envelope gets put away somewhere safe. *I also keep copies of the current year's disk (which has all the old stuff too) in two safe offsite locations. *I should probably start scanning the receipts and storing them on the disk but I do include the electronic docs from the brokerages etc.

I'm sure you keep a copy of Windows 3.1 as well as system to run it on, so that you can simply load and go.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 03:05 PM   #28
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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I'm sure you keep a copy of Windows 3.1 as well as system to run it on, so that you can simply load and go.
Hmmm, Windows doesn't run so well on a PowerPC. *I'm still able to run the oldest version of the tax software I've got on my Mac running the latest OS. *

If there comes a time that I need to get this data and it won't run then I have the PDF to fall back on. *The odds are very good that the PDF will be viewable for a long time. *If I really wanted to be able to read that data for an even longer time period (or I was more paranoid) then I would update the PDF every year (read it and re-write it) as well as saving some very plain bitmap of the document.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 03:43 PM   #29
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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Hmmm, Windows doesn't run so well on a PowerPC. *I'm still able to run the oldest version of the tax software I've got on my Mac running the latest OS. *

If there comes a time that I need to get this data and it won't run then I have the PDF to fall back on. *The odds are very good that the PDF will be viewable for a long time. *If I really wanted to be able to read that data for an even longer time period (or I was more paranoid) then I would update the PDF every year (read it and re-write it) as well as saving some very plain bitmap of the document.
My only point was - that data and/or software becomes obsolete and incompatible and as we used to say there comes a time when you just have to flush it.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 04:57 PM   #30
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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My only point was - that data and/or software becomes obsolete and incompatible and as we used to say there comes a time when you just have to flush it.
Yup, that time does come but I think that for the needed useful life on tax documents (7 years) that I should be able to continue to run the software. *If that doesn't work out or if I need the data at a later date the PDF will still be readable.

If I was more paranoid about this then I would do an update of the old PDF files yearly at the same time that I generate the new tax forms and I would also store a reasonably plain image format version of every page. *You could do something really simple that most reasonable image software should be able to read such as storing the page images as a simple raster of RGB data (Red - Green - Blue) with NO compression. *That would give about 8.5 MBs per image. *If your tax data was say a dozen pages then you should still be able to fit maybe 6 years of tax images per burned CD or maybe 36 years on a DVD. *I would also want to be reburning the CD every year as they do degrade over time particularly the writable ones.

What does this mean for long term data storage? *Store your data in a stable or neutral format (or better still both). *Rewrite it on a regular basis. *It's likely that both the old formats and the new formats (both data storage formats and physical media formats) will overlap in time so move while you can. *For example, if you have data on floppies that you care about move it to CDs now or risk losing it forever. *If those floppies are of the 8" variety it is probably already too late. *How am I ever going to get back my ASCII Star Trek art on that now unreadable Wang 8" floppy? *

Well, I'm going to head off and have a beer with some co-workers at the company Friday beer bash. You retired folks can go get the fourth one this afternoon from the fridge.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-16-2004, 08:09 AM   #31
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

This discussion reminds me of hearing the boys talk about engines when I was a kid. I always wanted to know how to work on an engine and fix mechanical things, but only boys learned those things. I was an "A" student in school, but there were no classes for girls on engines, electricity, and other practical stuff. I tried to have my dad teach me some car repairs, but we only got so far as changing tires, oil, air filters and sparkplugs.

So, time passes and now there are computers and I don't have a clue as to how to deal with problems when they come up. Is there a book? How did you learn this stuff? I have all these pop up ads on my computer and ran Adaware, but I don't know what to delete, quarantine or save the items it finds.

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The same way you learn surfing or real estate.
Old 08-16-2004, 09:14 AM   #32
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The same way you learn surfing or real estate.

Trust me-- while you were wishing that you could join shop class, we were wishing that we could get the heck outta there and improve the gender ratios in home ec.

Take computers one step at a time, remembering that there'll always be someone who knows more about them than we do-- and many more people who just think that they do.

The cheapest place to start is a website or a library, followed by a magazine subscription or a reference book. If you're trying to solve a particular problem, ask th or enter search terms in Google. Or go to CNET.com and browse until you find an interesting topic. Try the magazine stacks at your local library and see what you like. (If you really want to geek out on the hardware & electrons, look at Byte magazine.) Eventually you'll find something that meets your vocabulary & interest. Then you can subscribe for a year (or try to remember to visit the website weekly, which is why magazines work so much better for doling out measured doses of learning). Small periodic doses are better than trying to read CNET in one afternoon. Move on to something else when the subscription is up.

Another good computer primer is "Windows XP for Dummies". It explains the hardware as well as the software and it provides references for additional info. I'm not being patronizing with the book titles; the "Dummies" series has saved my butt a number of times in different topics with those questions that I'm too inexperienced to know to ask.

When you feel like you're really hot stuff (or when th starts asking you for help!) then you're ready for http://www.upgradingandrepairingpcs.com/ . But stretch before you try to lift the book and don't drop it on your foot.

The only really useful skill (discipline?) that I've learned in 20 years of computer use is to make regular backups. It's been a while since I've seen sparks shooting out the back of my hard drive, and I'm sure glad I'm not backing up on floppies or tape drives anymore, but backups have saved me a number of times from the most dangerous thing ever to affect a computer-- a teenager.
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Re: The same way you learn surfing or real estate.
Old 08-16-2004, 10:57 AM   #33
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Re: The same way you learn surfing or real estate.

I'll suggest that one of the most important things is to not be afraid of the computer or of damaging it. *When I was TAing an undergrad intro to computers class (one designed for Arts students) the ones who had the most difficulty were the older students. *They were the most timid and often really afraid that they had damaged the actual hardware by clicking the mouse in the wrong place.

Get in there and tinker. *That's exactly how those of us who really know the stuff really learned the stuff. *Read some and then try it out. *Then do some variations. *Sometimes you'll screw up but almost never will you actually fry the hardware. : * Make backups and be ready to restore or have a separate experimental machine.

Also, nobody knows everything about it all. *The amount of knowledge to master is huge. *Even with a graduate education in computer science having *worked building operating systems and been writing software for money for over 25 years I still don't know it all.

Quote:
Take computers one step at a time, remembering that there'll always be someone who knows more about them than we do-- and many more people who just think that they do.
Those who know are generally more than happy to chat and share the knowledge. *If you can find some truly knowledgable folks they'll help you out. *Some Usenet news groups can be useful for the real technical topics and there are web boards at all levels of technical content.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-16-2004, 11:31 AM   #34
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

I, personally, recommend buying the Dummies books, as my daughter is an editor for them. :
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-16-2004, 12:24 PM   #35
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

Technology sure can be overwhelming. Try tackling the subjects a bite at a time. Start with your favorite applications (for example, digital photography, music, video, news, publishing). Start from there, absorbing all you can about the programs and technologies. This approach can help keep you interested, and focused. Go through the programs you use and understand what all the options do.

Since computer folks talk in geekspeak, keep a notepad and write down the long names for all the acronyms you hear. Knowing the formal names will help you gain an understanding of the technologies and their origins.
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Re: The same way you learn surfing or real estate.
Old 08-16-2004, 01:43 PM   #36
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Re: The same way you learn surfing or real estate.

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Trust me-- while you were wishing that you could join shop class, we were wishing that we could get the heck outta there and improve the gender ratios in home ec.
I didn't learn anything in home ec. either. I remember our first project in 7th grade was to sew an apron. You were supposed to machine sew everything, except whip stitch by hand a nice hidden hem. I just stitched the hem by machine as fast as it would go and handed in the project. I got an "A" anyway. This continued for several years; I always got good grades for crappy work. I think my teacher, who was a widow, may have liked my father, a widower. Or she felt sorry for the poor girl with no mom.

Anyway, I can't sew, cook, work on cars, wire an outlet or fix my computer.

I'll try the Dummies book on Windows XP.

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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-16-2004, 09:37 PM   #37
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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...ran Adaware, but I don't know what to delete, quarantine or save the items it finds.
I just delete everything that Adaware finds. Haven't lost anything important yet.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-17-2004, 09:07 AM   #38
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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I just delete everything that Adaware finds. Haven't lost anything important yet.
Thank you, Thank you. I ran Adaware, deleted everything. No more pop ups. Or at least not yet.

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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-17-2004, 01:40 PM   #39
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

I've always run spybot AND adaware, and deleted everything they came up with. One often finds stuff the other didnt, and spybot automatically selects everything whereas adaware makes you click each item. Nothing bad ever happened from deleting.

Spybot also has an "immunize" function that seems to put blocks in place to prevent a lot of evil critters from invading.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-17-2004, 02:04 PM   #40
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

In ad-aware you can right-click in the selection column and select all.

The new ad-aware SE finds even more junk but also takes longer to run...
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