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View Full Version : Cheap and Free!!! - Software advice!


geekhelp4u
02-19-2008, 12:48 AM
Hey all, this is my first post in here so hello! Been reading till my hearts content and have learned a lot from you guys as I start up my company. Now back to the topic...

I deal with a lot of people who really do not want to spend much money on their computers! Granted, they are willing to spend a few bucks for me to fix it up, and get it running for as cheap as possible! This is where my problem lies... I hear this and that about what is the best free and cheap software! Thought I would get some advice from people who think on the same wave length as me!

Anti-Virus, Spyware, Malware:

Norton: used it, hated it, don't like it! Anyone actually use this? And why do so many companies including the military still use it? How do you advise your clients NOT to use it!!!

AVG: Like it a lot, but seem to have had problems with the FREE version. I don't like the way it updates, and I wish it had a boot time scan!

Avast!: Yea, the skin is kinda gay, but I love the software! Love the ease of updating and love the boot time scan!

What pay anti-virus do you guys recommend?

All in one / security suites!

Have heard these are getting great these days... especially ZoneAlarm Security Suite with anti-virus! Any suggestions or comments on these ALL IN ONE suites?

What anti-spyware do you actually install on peoples computers? I have heard that Spybot S&D has gotten really terrible in the past few years!

Office:
Sick of ebay as it takes forever to get what you need. Anyone know of any web sites that sell older versions of Office (2003) for cheap since 2007 came out?

And windows XP... Is it legal to make your own version of windows XP to install on a clients computer so long as you use the LICENSE KEY that is on their computer already?

Anything else you install on clients computers while you are imaging them?

List of stuff I usually install by default:

Adobe Reader
Mozilla Firefox
Auslogics Disk Defragmenter
DVD Shrink
Audacity
Any Video Converter
OpenOffice (If they can not afford MS Office)
Avast! Free
Ad-Aware Free
Spyware Blaster
ZoneAlarm Free
GIMP
K9 Web Protection (for those that don't want to pay for net nanny)


does anyone use any kind of registry editors, tuneXP, or anything of the like?


Sorry this was long, but it seems that there has not been much in debt discussion on the topics!

-------------------------------------
Chris Pfeffer
GEEKHELP4U

P.S. - Technibble should wave the 15 posts to allow URLs when someone buys the Computer Business Kit!

gunslinger
02-19-2008, 03:20 AM
First off welcome to Technibble. As for some of your questions: Why do so many people use Norton? Because it comes on almost every PC made today and they pay writers in magazines to push their product. I think Avast is too sensitive. If you paying for AV go with Kaspersky if you want free its hard to beat AVG IMO.

Nathan H
02-19-2008, 09:21 AM
I agree with Gunslinger, Norton is a Household name because it comes with every new PC.

IMO Norton A/V (Stand alone is OK... it used to be great)
But Symantec package it with everything else and it hogs all you PC's resources, rendering it CRAP, pretty similar situation with McAfee.

If you want cheap but working, I too would go with AVG A/V, I also use Spybot S&D, Adaware, (the two make a good combination)

And Open Office, again if you need cheap. - it is compatible with all documents created with MS office Apps (Not to sure about MS Office 2007, - don't think it is compatible with this yet.)

Can I ask why do you want Office 2003? Office 2007 is out there and for those that can't afford the hefty price tag, there's open office, or as a temporary alternative, download a Trial version of Office from the MS website, this allows them to "try before they buy" or say "Open Office is just as good but Free".. but thats just MHO.

Crgky127
02-20-2008, 07:05 AM
And windows XP... Is it legal to make your own version of windows XP to install on a clients computer so long as you use the LICENSE KEY that is on their computer already?Check this out
http://www.technibble.com/how-to-tell-what-type-of-windows-xp-cd-or-license-key-you-have/ (http://www*technibble*com/how-to-tell-what-type-of-windows-xp-cd-or-license-key-you-have/)



Nathan I agree about OpenOffice, but I can also see why some people want 2003; they are used to it, willing to pay for an office suite, but not the ribbon interface and changed menus in 2007.

geekhelp4u
02-20-2008, 07:18 AM
[QUOTE=Crgky127;9161]Check this out *=.
http://www*technibble*com/how-to-tell-what-type-of-windows-xp-cd-or-license-key-you-have/


Maybe I have been lucky, but my volume cd has worked when i use a retail or an OEM key... Maybe it is because it is an unlimited volume cd?

guess i should make a retail and an OEM disk in case it doesn't work one day!

Holzster
02-20-2008, 07:15 PM
Adobe Reader - Foxit Reader - you can read PDF's but it is lighter & faster then Adobe.

Mozilla Firefox - Greatness - but try Opera

Auslogics Disk Defragmenter - Defragmenting software is all going to be opinion based - pick one goos one you like & use it, they all have good & bad points

DVD Shrink - legal issues here if you are in the US

Audacity - good program for audio editing/converting. I use it at our church to record & clean the sermons

Any Video Converter - again legal issues for the US

OpenOffice (If they can not afford MS Office) - I get MS Office free because I ama partner but I still use Open Office - faster, & more features.

Avast! Free - I do not use - I use Clamwin or AVG

Ad-Aware Free - I do not use - I use Spybot & Spyware Terminator

Spyware Blaster - I do not use - I use Spybot & Spyware Terminator

ZoneAlarm Free - it is really better then the built in Windows Firewall - I read articls that they are just about the same

GIMP - I orefer this to Photoshop (I have never used Photoshop before I used The GIMP so....

K9 Web Protection - Never used it

Maddiebeagle
02-23-2008, 03:20 PM
Here's what my XP unattended installer DVD contains:

Spywareblaster
Spybot S&D
Windows Defender
Browser Hijack retailator
AVG Free
Openoffice
Inkscape
Paint.net
Scribus
Google Earth
Audacity
WinLame
7-zip
Adobe Reader
Adobe Flash Player
Java
NT registry optimizer
CCleaner
Crossloop
doPDF
Firefox
Thunderbird
Quicktime player
Media Player Classic
InfraRecorder
Comodo Personal Firewall Pro (free)
JKdefrag
VirtualCloneDrive
Picasa

Everthing is fully automated (with XP SP3 RC1 built in). I just have to download any new antivirus definitions, defragment the disk, and maybe image the drive while everything is perfect. Takes about 3 hours on a half-way decent system.

mortisult
02-23-2008, 10:04 PM
A pretty nice site I recently came across that has most of the said software all in one place.


http://www.filehippo.com/

gunslinger
02-23-2008, 10:40 PM
Been using filehippo for years, its a great free site.

markiezzi
02-24-2008, 01:04 AM
Here's what my XP unattended installer DVD contains:

Spywareblaster
Spybot S&D
Windows Defender
Browser Hijack retailator
AVG Free
Openoffice
Inkscape
Paint.net
Scribus
Google Earth
Audacity
WinLame
7-zip
Adobe Reader
Adobe Flash Player
Java
NT registry optimizer
CCleaner
Crossloop
doPDF
Firefox
Thunderbird
Quicktime player
Media Player Classic
InfraRecorder
Comodo Personal Firewall Pro (free)
JKdefrag
VirtualCloneDrive
Picasa

Everthing is fully automated (with XP SP3 RC1 built in). I just have to download any new antivirus definitions, defragment the disk, and maybe image the drive while everything is perfect. Takes about 3 hours on a half-way decent system.

Hi,

What script program did you use to automate it all. Maybe you can share the script with us?

Thanks
Mark

Maddiebeagle
02-24-2008, 03:14 AM
Here's how I learned to do it:

unattended.msfn.org/unattended.xp - gives instructions and examples.

nLite! - www.nliteos.com - does most of the grunt work

www.nliteos.com/addons - bunch of addons here.

www.msfn.org/board/Index-addons-21-02-2008-t85566.html - a whole bunch more here.

www.wincert.net/forum/index.php?showforum=88 - even more addons.

www.winaddons.com - you get the idea now, yes?

www.ryanvm.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=14&topicdays=0&start=150 - more stuff.

http://www.appdeploy.com/ - some useful stuff here, too.

You can easily make your own addons, if you need to auto install a program that someone else hasn't converted yet.

Basically, most programs can be installed silently using "switches". nLite gets the addon programs integrated into your DVD, and everything installs, silently, one after another, towards the end of Windows setup. You just need to come in afterwards and download any antivirus updates, program preferences, etc. You plop the DVD in the drive, and walk away for two hours. 90% of the work is done for you when you come back. Of course it does take some effort to get the disc setup in the first place, but it is well worth it.