What Software?

By Marvin ยท 20 replies
Apr 6, 2008
  1. A friend has just bought a new computer (running on Vista home edition) and Norton Anti-Virus. What programmes are necessary for a basic no frills user to install?

    Number 1 is would be common sense of course! :)
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Remove Norton

    AVG Free
    Adobe Reader and Flash
    Open Office

    Very basic, but that will do everything a new user wants

    I don't believe you should install Firefox browser, due to the user should be doing all Windows Updates and so forth.

    There is also an extended list of other software, but just keeping it real basic
  3. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    I agree wholey with kimsland. Norton is never good, and AVG is very user-friendly. Open office is basically a free version of Microsoft Office that works just as well.

    Adobe reader is ok, but I do prefer Foxit reader due to it being much smaller.
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    I don't understand how installing Firefox would preclude even a new user from retrieving his updates.

    It's still faster and safer than IE-7, especially if you install "No-Script". My suggestion is use Internet Explorer only when necessary (IE<(pun intended), when retreiving your updates from M$)).

    I'm going to suggest installing Windows XP but, I'm (of course), just joking.
  5. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I'm not answering that!
    Damn I just did :)
  6. Marvin

    Marvin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 52

    Thanks guys!

    /me thinks "should I uninstall my Firefox" ..... NAH! :D
  7. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    I don't understand the Firefox comment either. IE is on the system- you don't have to use it and having Firefox on board, even as the default browser has nothing to do with getting Windows Updates! Just keep IE around for those "few" sites that require only it!
  8. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Does not include Firefox

    Firefox is a personnal user choice, and should Not be installed by default on someone elses computer, without them asking for it.
  9. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    that's not even necessary either. You can use the IE extender plug in with FF to view non-compliant sites.
  10. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    kim, I agree with you about the personal choice. But the comment was misleading telling someone NOT to install Firefox! Normally, I wouldn't even mention Firefox or any other browser but IE under these circumstances. But excluding it as you did made it an issue, which it is not.
  11. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I wouldn't put Firefox on anyone's computer, without their consent.
    Why not replace Media player with VLC (it's better !)
    Why not replace Windows with Linux (it's better)

    Do not put Firefox on any computer, other than your own

    IE is made to work on all sites, and is fully supported by MS (ie if the user asks for help)

    Oh I see
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    Oh Goody.....

    More hair splitting, that everybody can deny is an argument.

    The most responsible approach if I've interpreted this thread correctly, would be to educate the new user and gain his permission simultaneously, during which time you should be installing Firefox. This way his computer would be protected from the Active-X exploits thoughtfully provided by M$ in Internet Explorer, but the political correctness of the situation would be maintained.

    Then, if a site doesn't function correctly in Firefox, or you decide you simply can't go on without the spyware download, you can launch IE, return to the site and have your system infected. Did I miss anything?
  13. Marvin

    Marvin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 52

    Well as the proud new owners do not yet have an internet connection the fun begins when we connect the bits & pieces together this evening and see how "ready to go" a PC World (M6 junction 9 Wednesbury branch) set up computer really is.

    At least I don't need to worry about installing or not installing Firefox for now.

    I think the biggest issue for a while at least will be the human interface .... "does the firewall protect me from credit card fraud?" !!!! YIPES!!!!
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    Should Crash Helmets Required By Law....Yes! or No?

    Ahhh, the "human interface", or as we used to opine in an automotive context, "the loose nut between the steering wheel and the seat".
  15. Marvin

    Marvin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 52

    I'd best not show my friend this thread now! :)
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,961   +2,520

    But Why Not....?

    If human nature is anything like I think it is, when your friends find out that nobody seems to think they can handle Firefox, and kimsland thinks you shouldn't install it, they'll want it more. Just act reluctant to install it and they will demand you do so! You've of course heard of reverse psychology? If they're still not biting, tell they don't deserve it, that'll git 'er done.:evil:
  17. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Maybe we can round this up for you:

    1. All system need a browser- Windows has IE installed as a Widows Component. The new user will likely want to start with this browse. As experienced is gained, another browser can be added and the default browser set..

    2. All systems need 1 antivirus programs. AVG is good- either free or paid There are free, free--standing versions or those included in a Security Suite. I do not recommend using Security Suites.

    3. All system should have at least 2 spyware/adware programs. These also can be free-standing like Spybot Search & Destroy, AdAware 2007, SpywareBlaster, Spyware Doctor and several others. OR one can be included in a Suite and a free standing program can be also installed.

    4. All system-in general- should have a firewall. Windows has one, but it only listens to incoming ports. IT is best to have a bi-directional firewall that not only listed at incoming ports, ZoneAlrm does this, either free OR paid, but also at outgoing vote is still out o the necessity on a dial-up connection, but I recommend using a router for it's hardware firewall.

    The above are for security programs. You should also have some word processing program, access to a database and spreadsheet. Getting Microsoft Works will give all of these. Ther should also be a good media player available. WMP is included in the Components. These are basics. The user can add more specific programs as the need arises.
  18. damusca

    damusca TS Rookie Posts: 26

    1- I suggest the safari browser as they could use the tabbing system really easily until they get used to browsing and set I.E. as the default only to be used when necessary.
    2 - Open office will do the trick, if not and they get pc mags I am sure they would like star office instead.
    3- Avast Anti Virus Free Edition along with Comodo Firewall Pro, go hand in hand and work a treat.
    4 - Lavasoft Adaware and one other for your spyware. Should be basic enough to understand and use, ***** proof ( well works for me and I ain't clever :) )
  19. Marvin

    Marvin TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 52

    The plan (post set up now) will be to install Spybot S&D and Ad-Aware 2007 and maybe CCleaner, leave Firefox out for now. They're not connected to the internet yet, negoatiations on that commence in earnest today with Virgin.

    The computer came with Norton Security Suite pre-installed and valid for the next 60 days so rather than remove it I've let it run and we'll see how they get on, so AVG wasn't installed. BTW - how do you install an uninstall programme?

    Vista is like a nanny state in it's own right it asks you every time you do something that is potentially risky like installing anything .... a real pain to someone used to computers but a real boon to an absolute novice and trust me the proud new owners are total computer novices! ("Why doesn't the mouse work for me when I press the RH button?")

    Thanks to everyone for all the advice and insights, I really appreciate it.
  20. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,334   +36

    Marvin, like you comment about "Vista is like a nanny state in it's own right it asks you every time you do something that is potentially risky like installing anything .... a real pain to someone used to computers...." I don't have Vista and am not sure I should even say "yet"! One of the reason is the very one you cite.

    I do help others but have to check the Vista "path" first as I'm so use to XP. I am amazed at what the user has to go through to get something done! For one who wants to be in control of their own system, it would drive me to distraction!

    I frequently send people to pare down their Startup menu and can 'recite' the Windows XP path in my sleep. But going through all those 'permission' settings in Vista will likely scare a lot of people off doing that.
  21. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    I agree, just running an Administrator privileged command prompt is hard!

    Regarding Norton Security Suite
    I'm concerned that the user will receive many popup warnings once the computer has been offline for a few days (unless Internet does in fact go online today)

    Also Norton itself is a big resource hog on any computer, especially with Vista
    I believe that you should have kept to my first post, and possibly installing Ad-aware (ie Spybots includes Resident protection, another slow down factor)
    If the user feels they need to scan for Malware, at least Ad-aware will exist.

    The way you have set up your friends computer, is not the way I'd have it. Especially with the 90 day re-visit that must be done. (why also become familiar with something that will be removed anyway)

    The computer should have the basics only (including the above), with all Windows security updates completed. And that's it.
    All other software packages are for the user to decide on, as he/she becomes more familiar with Vista in whole.
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