New Site up, new firewall recomendation, and Word errors fixed…

Information Level: Basic/Intermediate

In The Short List I recommended Sunbelt Personal Firewall (free version) as my firewall of choice. I have since discovered two problems with it: 1. It presents a nag screen every once in a while, asking you to upgrade to the paid version, and 2. It does not work with Windows Vista (don’t know about 7). PC Tools Firewall Plus has neither of these drawbacks, and is still effective and light on system resources.

If you only use your computer at home, behind a broadband router that has a built-in firewall, the Windows firewall is good enough for you. However, if you use your computer at public/campus Wi-Fi hotspots or the like, you should install PC Tools Firewall Plus, or another third-party software firewall that monitors traffic both ways.

I do not recommend ZoneAlarm, Norton, or McAfee – All can be major resource hogs, and while they are all pretty good at protecting your computer, making your computer less useful kinda defeats the purpose.

Do you get an error message when you start up Microsoft Word? Most weird Word errors are caused by a corrupted template file called “normal.dot.” It loads when word starts, and if something is wrong with it… you get an error. Fortunately, if you simply delete this file Word will create a new and un-corrupted one. For versions of Word through 2003 it is located in:
C:\Documents and Settings\ (Your Username) \Application Data\Microsoft\Templates
Navigate to this folder with hidden files visible and delete “normal.dot” then restart Word…
Or simply download and run wordfix-normal.bat.

Finally, if you are reading this through a syndicated feed, you may not have seen theTechRelay.com lately. Have a look, it has gotten a major face lift, and I’d love to hear what you think.

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