Jump to content
shellylh

General software advice for Windows

Recommended Posts

I haven't really used a Windows computer much* in the past 10 years but now have a Surface Pro 3 and thought I might end up using it on trips when I want a tablet with me.  My hope is that I can successfully install Ubuntu on it in the future and maybe someone can figure out how to get the Type Keyboard working with Ubuntu. For now, I'll probably be sticking to Windows so I need software advice. 

 

What is the best/fastest/least buggy...

 

1) Virus Scan (I assume I will need one of these).  I am leaning towards Avast or Sophos right now. 

 

2) Pdf reader - Chrome reader it ok but it would be nice to have one not tied to the browser.  I tried Sumatra but it is a little slower than I would like.  On OS X, I usually use Skim or Preview.

 

3)  Latex and general editor to edit html, python, etc.

 

I'm sure I'll think of some more soon. 

 

*I have used a Windows Tablet PC but didn't use it for anything except Adobe Illustrator and Windows Journal.  I also didn't have it connected to the internet most of the time. 

Edited by shellylh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've used Canopy for Python, which is very nice to me.  Others work better than me, and will have better suggestions.

 

Foxit makes a legit .pdf reader that I've used.

 

Avast is pretty beloved as a virus scanner, but I've run for years without one without issue.  I think good habits count for a lot, which I'm sure you have.  Don't let strangers through your door, and you won't need to own a metal detector.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Avast is pretty beloved as a virus scanner, but I've run for years without one without issue.  I think good habits count for a lot, which I'm sure you have.  Don't let strangers through your door, and you won't need to own a metal detector.

 

This.  Though, if you get infected with something, my recent experience with cleaning a colleague's computer is that Sophos, Malwarebytes, and the Panda removal tool are all pretty good, and you may need more than one of them.  Avast scores high in the prevention category though, I believe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I put avast on my daughter's windows laptop and it works pretty well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've run Microsoft Security Essentials for the last 4 or 5 years without a virus-related issue - that was based on Todd's (tkam's) advice.  

 

If you just need to read pdf's why wouldn't you just use Adobe's own free reader?  If you need a pdf editing or markup suite I have no clue if any of the free/low-cost options are any good.  I run the full version of Acrobat at work and at home.

 

No clue on the third item, I'm programming/coding illiterate. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Microsoft Security Essentials here too.

 

I like Acrobat myself.

 

Though I no longer use LaTEX this is the best editor I found when in grad school: http://www.winedt.com/

I have a co-worker that is incredible at python and I will ask him what editor he uses. He tries basically everything that comes out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the suggestions. I will try out Avast for now. Hopefully it doesn't slow down the computer much. I just want a pdf reader, I also have BlueBeam for marking up pdfs but It isn't great for just reading pdfs. I'm not a fan of Adobe reader, too slow. I'll look into FoxIt but I remember reading something about it I didn't like (I think it was something about the installation process). I totally forgot WinEdt, that is what I used as a grad student/postdoc; thanks for the reminder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also use Microsoft Security Essentials. Haven't had a single issue in the 3 years I've run it. I think its been 3 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've run Microsoft Security Essentials for the last 4 or 5 years without a virus-related issue - that was based on Todd's (tkam's) advice.  

 

This is what I've done with my wife's and my in-laws computer as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also use Microsoft Security Essentials. Haven't had a single issue ...

Same. I also use Superantispyware. And Acrobat for PDF.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good point. MSE has served me well prior to upgrading, but for the last few months I've had Windows Defender for Windows 8.1 assuming it was virus protection.

After some reading, it appears it's anti spyware only unlike MSE. Looks like I'll need to get some virus protection too now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

except msft stopped updating their virus protection last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By my reading on Windows 8 Defender is MSE....

 

That's what I thought, then I read this: 

 

The two are not the same.  Defender is purely anti-spyware.  MSE includes this functionality and also includes full antivirus protection

 

However, that answer was from 2009, so your post forced me to read further and brought me to this answer from the same thread: 

 

It *was* the whole story in 2009 -- when this was asked and answered before you resurrected it from the archive!

 

Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom (sarcasm), chose to use the Windows Defender name for 3 distinct products -- only one of which existed when this question was asked in 2009.

Windows Defender (downloadable for XP, included on Vista and Windows 7, antispyware only, includes some useful system utilities, too, not present in MSE or Windows Defender/8-RT)

Windows Defender Offline (uses the same technology as MSE, but runs from a bootable disc created by the downloaded "wizard")

Windows Defender (included in Windows 8 and Windows RT that is a full antivirus and antispyware program)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

except msft stopped updating their virus protection last year.

Wait, so MSE is no good any more? Crap, I was not aware of that. I have been using it since '07.

 

I must be living under a rock since this is the first time I hear this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So rather than make another thread, I thought I'd ask here for some Windows 8.1 software advice/suggestions.

 

  1. Free MS Office alternatives.  I used to use OpenOffice way back when but what are other options?
     
  2. DVD ripper.  I was using RipIt on Mac to (slowly) backup my DVDs.  I would like something that makes exact copy of DVD as opposed to convert it to a video - I've Handbrake for that.
     
  3. Program to import audio CD.  Looking for something with robust error correction.
     
  4. MP4 tag management.  FWIW, I was using iDentify on Mac with good results.

 

Also, is Avast still the choice for antivirus software?

Edited by Salt Peanuts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For virus protection, I've been running Microsoft Security Essentials for years now, and haven't had a malware or any other incident since. 

 

I use JRiver to import all my CDs. I use JRiver for everything, easily the best music library management software I've ever used.

 

Actually using its crossfeed function right now, pretty nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×