Internet alternatives the PC store and Microsoft didn't tell you about
Internet alternatives to keep your info yours...
the links here will take you to the main page of their respective sites.
If you choose to download and install any of these intelligent options
over the OS defaults it is assumed you are somewhat familiar with your
sysytem. Here I will do my best to help you break free of the mediocrity
Microsoft has forcibly imposed upon you. Contrary to what they would have
you believe, you DO have a choice, and you DO have a right to exercise
that freedom of choice. You DO have the option of becoming knowledgeable
in order to protect your own interests as you see fit. For those who know
me I will be happy to help with installtion and using these apps, but only
if you are willing to "crack the books" and learn. ;-)
it doesn't come pre-installed with Windows, and for good reason. Well,
in Microsoft's eyes anyway ;-) . If it did, fewer people would unknowingly
be infected with spyware, trojans, and browser hijackings. Yes, Firefox
seems like it loads slower than Internet Explorer, but most folks don't
realize (since no-one bothered to mention) that Windows loads IE at boot!
YES! You ARE loading IE in the background even if you only intend to play
solitaire! Kinda like starting your car and leaving it idle in the driveway
while you shower. Firefox doeson't load until you plan to browse the web.
What a concept! Start your car only when you plan to drive the thing!
does come with support for the standard web plugins but for full functionality
additional plugins can be installed (Flash, Shockwave, Realplayer, Quicktime,
etc.). Wow! Another novel concept. Install only what you need! To boot,
many Firefox users develop addins called "Extensions" that can be installed
into Firefox that either add functionality or add security to better protect
successor to the Mozilla Suite, it has all the bells and whistles the Mozill
Suite did, including browser, support for skins and plugins, page editor,
mail client, news reader, and more.
The SeaMonkey project is
a community effort to develop the SeaMonkey all-in-one internet application
suite (see below). Such a software suite was previously made popular by
Netscape and Mozilla, and the SeaMonkey project continues to develop and
deliver high-quality updates to this concept. Containing an Internet browser,
email & newsgroup client, HTML editor, IRC chat and web development
tools, SeaMonkey is sure to appeal to advanced users, web developers and
powered by Mozilla Under
the hood, SeaMonkey uses much of the same Mozilla source code which powers
such successful siblings as Firefox, Thunderbird, Camino, Sunbird and Miro.
Legal backing is provided by the Mozilla Foundation.
One last note about the
browsers above: www.codecs.com
is home to the Real
Alternative and Quicktime
Alternative plugins which are far less demanding on the system
and do not nag, poke ads t you, or track usage like their "official" counterparts.
These are two I use myself and couldn't be happier. You will have to keep
them updated yourself, but the latest versions will check for newer versions
and let you know. They are also home to Media Player Classic, which is
more like the older versions of Media Player but is far more configurable
and allows for plugins to enhance sound, add file formats, and more. I
also use the K-Lite codec pack which also calls codecs.com home.
Player is an excellent alternative for video types and is also freeware.
It is fully customizable and also allow for plugins and is skinnable, many
skins to choose from already.
Microsoft Outlook, Thunderbird does not rely on IE as it's core and mail
viewer, and is not prone to the same vulnerabilities that Outlook is. It
is still vulnerable if one blindly chooses to execute an unknown attachment.
That's pretty much common sense akin to "don't drive into that wall, it
might hurt". No, there's no cutesy yuppie scheduler included, but then
again, it's a mail client, not a conglomeration of poorly planned applets.
light is a viable alternative and incorporates more security features than
many other commercial and free mail clients. Eudora has been around for
years, and for a long time was the defacto and yardstick others were measured
by. By mid 2007 Eudora will once again be completely FREE and has become
one of the projects undertaken by the Mozilla
team who have maintained the code base for Netscape (before AOL and the
Netscape nerds trash it), Camino, Firefox, Thunderbird, and others that
are quickly becoming internet standards to rival those forcibly imposed
viable alternative to Microsoft Media Player, one I have been using since
it's early days. Winamp offers several versions from a stripped down lite
version to one with all the bells and whistles. It doesn't cater near as
much to the rantings and whinings of the RIAA and thier cronies.
one caveat is media that is copy protected using methods compatible with
Media Player will not play. The Windows MoVie (WMV) format is still proprietary
and will remain within Microsoft's stanglehold. For these movies and other
copy protected media you will still be forced to use Microsoft's player.
I admit there are times one must visit sites that kiss Microsoft's posterior,
and IE is mandatory to fully utilize the site. One example would be sites
that incorporate FrontPage extensions or Active Server Pages (ASP). A REAL
spyware app is in order, and NOT this wimpy stuff Microsoft spits out once
a month through Windows Update.
is one I STRONGLY recommend, in particlular if you've got a kid that hits
the game cheat, crack, or serial sites. It's also almost mandatory if you
enjoy surfing sites not considered acceptable for public display if you
know what I mean. It's not my preferred flavor of entertainment but to
each his/her own. If you do, SpybotSD might spare you a few headaches.
antivirus Home Edition represents the best FREE antivirus protection currently
available on the market. This edition is FREE OF CHARGE for non-commercial
& home use only.
is another one I STRONGLY recommend for the same reasons above. It comes
with realtime protection for the file system, memory, network, web, e-mail
support, and best of all won't dog your system like Norton or some of the
other high dollar overhyped bloatware out there. You will need to register
but registration is freen and they will e-mail you a unique registration
code that can be used on all your PCs at home.
has a downloadable rescue cd that you boot your system from in those cases
where a trojan or virus has somehow managed to load before you can get
to your desktop to run anti virus scans. It is user friendly and runs on
a trimmed down version of Linux. I will war you, if a trojan or virus has
infected a genuine system file Windows needs and you cannot clean it, only
delete it you WILL have to replace it for Windows to boot. This can be
done via the Rescue Console when you boot to your Windows install CD but
will HAVE to have the Administrator's password to use it. That and you
must know where a clean copy of the damamged system file is or know how
to use the expand command to expand the compressed verson on the install
One last note: DITCH IE
AND OUTLOOK!!!! They are what spammers and hackers are looking for. There
have been and always will be security holes in them, and to top this off
they partially load when your system boots, even before you get to your
desktop, which is one of their weak points. So, you say your work uses
IE and Outlook and they never have problems . Whoop-de-doo. You have no
idea how much security is installed on your work's servers to plug the
many holes in these two horrid apps. There ARE alternatives out there available
to any intelligent person who just happens to be a free thinker instead
of a mindlesss blind follower.