STAR   Computing  

Windows Software Recommendations

Security and Performance Enhancement (non-BNL specific)

Privacy and security notice  

Utilities for Security and Performance

If your computer seems to be running slower than it used to, pop-up advertising is appearing at an alarming rate, your web browser's settings keep changing in undesired ways or you just want a better idea what your computer is up to (eg. "What the heck is PRPCUI.exe?"), here are some resources for understanding what's going on and making things better, presented in roughly the order from those that require the lease detailed understanding to the most:
Pop-up blocking software is increasingly unnecessary because other tools are including their own pop-up blockers.  Mozilla/Firefox for instance have built in pop-up blockers.  Internet Explorer has a pop-up blocker added with Windows XP SP2.  The Google Toolbar (recommended in the "Networking Software" recommendations) has a pop-up stopper as well.  Still, you might fight some utility in the products available from the PanicWare website.  Versions of their Pop-Up Stopper FREE Edition served this author quite well for over a year, but as I said above, it no longer seems as essential as in the pastthe basic functionality has been supplanted by features in other software.
Microsoft Office updates are a combination of security fixes, bug fixes and new features.  Though not emphasized as much as Windows Updates, the security fixes for Office are of similar importance.  Unfortunately, using the online updating system usually requires an installation CD that matches your product (for instance, "Office XP Pro" disks are not acceptable for updating "Office XP Standard".)  Many people, for a variety of reasons, don't have their original installation CD(s).  If you do not have an acceptable installation CD available then the online product update scan can still be used to determine what updates are applicable.  Then you can usually download full updates and apply them manually without the installation media.  (Browse for the downloads that match your product -- most are in self-extracting executable format.)  

Other local pages for Recommended Windows Software:

Security and software configuration specific to BNL
Utilities for security and performance (this page)
Productivity and software for various file formats
Networking software
Cygwin tips
Miscellaneous FAQs and Tips from the S&C Group

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