Lounge Life

At some point, you just have to move on

When I say it’s time to move on, I’m not talking to the millions of PC users who continue to use Windows XP and refuse, for now, to upgrade to Windows 7.

No, I’m talking to those procrastinators who cling to Windows XP SP2 in spite of Microsoft’s July 13 support cutoff date.

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What’s the best choice for a novice Linux user?

It’s unlikely that Linux will ever be on every desktop PC, but there’s a growing and dedicated corps of PC users that find it far more than a curiosity.

Linux use ranges from simple desktop terminals to super computers, and advocates point to its flexibility and open-source coding as just some of the reasons it makes a superior development platform.

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Unresponsive USB drivers stump Lounge member

Every PC user knows how useful USB flash drives are: from importing pictures from a camera to making portable backups, their uses are endless.

When a flash drive suddenly stops working, the question arises: is it the drive or the PC that’s failed?

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Thumbs-up scores spotlight interesting posts

One week ago, we launched a new thumbs-up rating system in the Windows Secrets Lounge as a way for Lounge members to highlight particularly useful posts.

Seven days later, the thumbs-up scores are starting to roll in. Over 90 posts have received a thumbs-up so far, with more coming daily.

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Looking for input on safe browsing strategies

By now, you’d be hard-pressed to find even a novice PC user who doesn’t know that bad things come through browsers and Internet links in e-mail.

It’s amazing that in a battle as old as the Internet, we still don’t have clearly defined strategies for protecting our PCs from all forms of malicious attacks.

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Getting rid of an MP4 file that refuses to go

We’ve all had those instances when a file is no longer needed but the application that created it won’t let it go.

This usually happens when the application thinks it’s still working on the file, but in some cases the link is not so obvious.

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Mysterious radio signals plague a PC user

Strange things happen on PCs that make them seem possessed — but Lounge member Tom Riding’s machine is channeling odd radio signals all on its own.

In a thread titled “IE8 Win7 automatically connects to radio station,” Tom describes how the radio signals emanate from his PC even with Internet Explorer closed and when the PC is not in use.

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Looking to the Lounge for a cheap photo editor

Serious digital photographers spend an inordinate amount of time working with their photo-editing application — usually Photoshop, if they can afford it.

For those who can’t (or for whom Photoshop is just too complicated), there is endless debate about what’s second-best.

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Is segregating data and apps worth the effort?

The debate over splitting your data and programs into separate partitions for easier backups goes far back into hard-drive antiquity.

It was never as simple as one might have hoped in Windows XP, and based on comments in a lengthy Lounge thread, it’s no easier in Win7.

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How many firewalls running together is too many?

The firewall is one of the most fundamental components of PC security — and it’s the least understood by the average computer user.

The conventional wisdom is to never run more than one antivirus program at a time and never run multiple anti-spyware apps together — so why do we routinely rely on both hardware and software firewalls?

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