Monday, April 24, 2006

Today is FREE Computer Programs Day!!

Last year I changed my computer's browser to Mozilla Firefox. Previous to that, I'd been using a very fast German browser named Opera, which worked well for me as I was in an area that offered dial-up service at a reasonable price, but the dsl service was $50/mo, which was beyond my budget. Opera was great for dial-up, except that it wasn't always compatible with all websites, and I was missing out on some really interesting info.

Switching to Firefox meant instant acceptability to all the websites I've tried since I downloaded it. It too is quite fast, and I use it with both my dial-up service when I'm on the road, and my home computer's dsl service. Even better - it's FREE!

I love FREE.

Firefox has so many features that make my computing easy. It has eliminated all pop-ups and spywares, and has also removed the annoying flashy/distracting banners at the top of the page. My blood pressure has gone down just because I no longer am subjected to those flashing, disturbing banners at the top of the page! I hated them.

One of the best reasons for using Firefox is it's tabbed home pages, which allows me to have many different websites available to me all at once. I use six programs, sometimes simultaneously, every day. Using the tabbed system means I can easily jump back and forth amongst them, never losing any of the sites. I even leave one tab blank, just for research purposes - I can download anything into that tab from my Bookmarks, or can surf on that tab to my heart's content without disturbing the other regularly used websites.

These tabs and websites come up everytime I turn on my monitor (my computer stays on all the time, but I usually shut off my monitor when I'm not at my desk - saves a few dollars each month on my electric bill and gives a bit longer life to my monitor). I never have to search for my favorite websites (for example, Google Calendar, PayPal and my banking site), since Firefox keeps them ready at my fingertips.

Firefox has lots of free extensions, too. I use their weather site ForecastFox
nearly every day. It installs a small, inconspicuous weather bar on the lower right corner of my screen, and shows the current regional radar for my area. It also gives me today's weather and a forecast for the next two days, too. In addition, if you need more weather info - maybe you are traveling and want to see what else is happening across the country - you can click on the weather bar in the lower right corner of your screen and find out what else is happening now and in the future anywhere in the world for free!

Another couple of programs which make my computing simpler are Flash Player and Shockwave Player. Many websites you surf use these two programs for display of their content, and you'll need one of these players to view these websites. These two programs are FREE, and you can get them here. Look on the right side of the page for these two free programs.

I've already mentioned AVG in an earlier blog posting, which is a free anti-virus program. Firefox also includes an anti-virus program, and I added AVG as an added protection. AVG automatically updates my computer with it's latest installations, again, another time-saver.

Hope some of these come in handy for you. I especially recommend Firefox to everyone I talk with - it is SO much better than Internet Explorer! Give the other free programs (and other Foxfire extensions) a try - you'll be surprised at how much easier computing can be.

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