Some help from the “IT guy.”

Engineers are great, especially the ones at Bowman, Foster & Associates; however, they are dangerously intelligent.  Sometimes, too smart for their own good they can cause an occasional, small, IT mishap that typically starts with, “well, I took programming in college and the problem looked relatively simple to fix..” and ends with a mild computer meltdown.

Thankfully, BFA has a well oiled, secured system that prevents infections and what I call ‘computer clutter.’  I’d like to share with you a few tools that you can use it at home, or the office (ask your own IT guy first, please!), that can make your life drastically easier!

CCleaner – Freeware
http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

“CCleaner is the number-one tool for cleaning your Windows PC. It protects your privacy online and makes your computer faster and more secure. Easy to use and a small, fast download.” This little tool is perfect at cleaning up and speeding up your PC with just a few clicks.  It allows you to clean up old temporary, cache, log, internet files, registry, and application settings with ease.  Best thing about it?  It’s completely free!

Malwarebytes – Free to $24.95
http://www.malwarebytes.org/

“Malwarebytes powerful technology to detect and remove all traces of malware including worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware and more.” A very powerful and long time player in the world of fighting spam, viruses, rootkits, and all the other little nasty things that try to cripple your Windows machine.  This alongside Microsoft’s free anti-virus (see below) makes you near invulnerable to infections.

Microsoft Security Essentials – Freeware
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download

“Use Microsoft Security Essentials to help guard against viruses, spyware, and other malicious software. It provides real-time protection for your home or small business PCs.” Finally, a free anti-virus that doesn’t try to force you to purchase their premium package that actually works.  And this antivirus works quietly and efficiently, something almost unheard when mentioning a Microsoft product.

Ninite
http://www.ninite.com

“The easiest way to keep apps up-to-date. It’s different than other updaters. Just pick your apps and click Get Installer. Ninite does the rest.” The “one stop shop” for all the neat applications for your day to day needs.  You select what applications you want to install and it creates a simple, single click installer to deliver them to your machine.  To highlight some of their options:
  • Firefox – The secure and customizable web browser choice.  Now the most widely used web browser overtaking Internet Explorer in early 2012.
  • Thunderbird – From the same developer team that created the world famous Firefox: a free Outlook clone!  All the same functionality as Microsoft Outlook.
  • VLC Player – Every video codec imaginable in a fast, lightweight video player.
  • GIMP Image Editor – A free “Photoshop” clone.  Powerful application, but with a big learning curve.
  • OpenOffice – A free, and open source, Microsoft Office clone.
  • CDBurnerXP – a fast and easy CD/DVD burning utility that takes the guess work out of creating custom images and copies.
  • 7-Zip – Great Winzip alternative for compressing and un-compressing files.