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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Plenty of alternatives to Adobe Reader X




    LANGALIST PLUS

    Plenty of alternatives to Adobe Reader X


    By Fred Langa

    Over the years, Adobe Reader has grown from a 2.5MB program to a massive, 109MB installation.

    Many competing PDF tools weigh in at a fraction of that size, suggesting that the Adobe product's bulk is unnecessary.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/plenty-of-alternatives-to-adobe-reader-x/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    If I remember correctly MSE does not update itself automatically unless you have selected windows update to automatically download patches AND instal them.
    Am I wrong or has MSE been changed?

  3. #3
    Lounger jpl's Avatar
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    Is Microsoft Security Essentials missing updates?

    MSE updates its definitions automatically, and independently of Windows Update.

    However, there is one aspect of its update strategy that I consider to be utterly stupid: it checks for newer definitions within a few minutes of system boot only if it has not checked for at least 24 hours. On my main PC this leads to the following daily cycle (times are for the UK and are of course illustrative & approx.):

    03:00 MS releases new definitions N
    09:00 PC boots; work all day using definitions N-1
    18:00 end of main work period
    18:30 MSE updates to definitions N
    03:00 MS releases new definitions N+1
    09:00 PC boots; work all day using definitions N
    ...

    Thus I always used the previous day's MSE definitions, never the current ones.

    I have been using MSE for about a year on my Win7 and XP systems, and am entirely happy with it except for this update issue, which I work around by running a batch update via a shortcut in Startup - tedious in the extreme.

    http://www.winhelponline.com/blog/up...-command-line/

    JPL

  4. #4
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    Farther down in this article, in the section titled "Unexplained activity bogs down his system", you say:
    "For other activity-monitoring options, see the May 6, 2010, item, "Tracking down the source of mystery downloads." It's a different problem but with a similar solution."

    When I click on the embedded link, it takes me to an article entitled "Tuning Windows power settings boosts performance",
    but I don't find any mention of "Tracking down the source of mystery downloads". Can you help me find this article?

    Also, I downloaded and installed "What's My Computer Doing" and it looks like it is going to be a very useful program. Thanks for suggesting it!

  5. #5
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    Oops! I wasn't seeing that article because I wasn't logged in. Now I have it. Sorry!

  6. #6
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    I'm surprised not to see Google Chrome listed as an alternative there. I'm using it as my PDF reader of choice in an experiment to see if we could move to it as our primary PDF reader company wide. Google has a good history of focusing on speed and patching things pretty quickly. I've been relatively happy so far and wasn't with other alternatives to Adobe that I tried.

  7. #7
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    I was reading Fred Langa's column in Windows Secrets and in particular Walter Gladwin's delema on Unexplained Activity In Windows 7. I had the same problem and after a little detective work I found that Diskeeper 2011 was busily defraging automatically in the background. I ended the process only to discover that there was still something eating at my computer resources. After more detective work i found that the Windows side bar was the culprit.
    At this point i closed my gadgets, rebooted, and turned my gadgets back on again and the problem was solved. I have no idea why this happend and the problem returned a few months later. I did the same as before and the problem has not returned.
    Last edited by wyse_tech; 2011-12-16 at 00:14.

  8. #8
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ancientt View Post
    I'm surprised not to see Google Chrome listed as an alternative there. I'm using it as my PDF reader of choice in an experiment to see if we could move to it as our primary PDF reader company wide. Google has a good history of focusing on speed and patching things pretty quickly. I've been relatively happy so far and wasn't with other alternatives to Adobe that I tried.
    Chrome's built-in PDF Reader is very inadequate. And worse, it cannot be uninstalled. To choose a different default reader when inside of Chrome, you have to disable the Chrome PDF Viewer plugin and enable the plugin for your alternative or normal default PDF Viewer. No other browser forces this workaround. It is the one thing about Chrome which I genuinely HATE. Especially since Nitro PDF and its plugin for Firefox or Internet Explorer is faster and better at loading and rendering online PDF pages, and can download and edit PDF pages, as well as save and print them -- none of which can be done with Google's default PDF viewer plugin.

    The Chrome PDF Viewer is not a substitute for Adobe Reader.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2011-12-16 at 02:25.
    -- Bob Primak --

  9. #9
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyse_tech View Post
    I was reading Fred Langa's column in Windows Secrets and in particular Walter Gladwin's delema on Unexplained Activity In Windows 7. I had the same problem and after a little detective work I found that Diskeeper 2011 was busily defraging automatically in the background. I ended the process only to discover that there was still something eating at my computer resources. After more detective work i found that the Windows side bar was the culprit.
    At this point i closed my gadgets, rebooted, and turned my gadgets back on again and the problem was solved. I have no idea why this happend and the problem returned a few months later. I did the same as before and the problem has not returned.
    Very common causes. And the Sidebar Gadgets are to blame, not the sidebar itself. Gadgets often gather or transmit data to and from the Internet as part of their features in normal operations. Shutting them down will stop some unexplained activities, but the gadgets may no longer function properly. The same will be true of the Windows 8 Metro Apps. They will not show their little thumbnails or previews if you shut them down or disconnect from the Internet. Wasted activity, yes, but in an increasingly Cloud-centric operating environment, perhaps a necessary evil.
    -- Bob Primak --

  10. #10
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    Unexplained Activity

    Yes bobprimak, you are probably correct but the harddisc I/O was way off limits as viewed in the resource monitor. When my gadgets were reinstalled everything was normal for weeks.

  11. #11
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyse_tech View Post
    Yes bobprimak, you are probably correct but the harddisc I/O was way off limits as viewed in the resource monitor. When my gadgets were reinstalled everything was normal for weeks.
    Could still be that the activity I have outlined took awhile to build up, as each gadget was used for the first time. Still, I would be looking for other sources of the unexplained activity beyond what I listed.
    -- Bob Primak --

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