Mattia Campagnano

Mattia Campagnano

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Windows Experience Index - Does Windows play bingo?


You need to buy a new Windows computer but you feel lost reading and comparing all the technical specifications (RAM, video, HDD, CPU, etc.) and you're afraid to make a wrong move, because you're not a techie.

Your computer is performing poorly but you don't understand why and don't know what you should do to make it run better.

Sound familiar? Not everybody knows that Windows operating system provides a number that can bail you out and save your day.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Internet toolbars - a big hassle or a plus?

Internet toolbars are a very hot topic. Some hate them, some find them necessary.
I've never been big on them and I've always thought they can be the most annoying issues in your browsing experience. Internet toolbars can either be downloaded and installed by choice or they can be silently installed along with other software.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

MalwareByte's AntiMalware review - a free powerful defensive line for your PC

Malwarebyte’s AntiMalware is one of the most reliable anti-spyware programs currently available on the market.

It's available in both a free and a pro version.

Its free version is really good and allows the user to successfully remove most malware.

MalwareByte's is particularly efficient and can detect and clean your computer from the most resistant malicious applications, even when other programs cannot.

The installation is very straightforward and, before finishing it, the program will update its definitions.     

Its interface is pretty bare, more efficiency-oriented than focused on the look (Fig. 3).
There are several scan settings available: Quick Scan, Deep Scan and Flash Scan (which analyzes memory and autorun objects)

Quick Scan is pretty fast: it checked my whole system in five minutes.

Malware detected (Click to enlarge)

Deep Scan is much slower, taking about two hours. But, it is the safest option.
The scan engine is very reliable and its heuristic engine does a very good job recognizing dangerous apps without running into false positives. From the main interface of the program you can manage the Quarantine List, exclude files or folders from scan and customize the scan settings.

The program is updated often and is capable of removing most malware including the harder infections. In one occasion in my career I found myself up with a very compromised system and MalwareBite's AntiMalware was the only program that could successfully delete a hoax virus which drove me up the wall for days.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

How to maintain and speed up your computer - an out of the box guide (computer surge blues), part 3

Click to enlarge

Malware- what it is, how to face it

What is is
In the computer world there are good and bad guys just like in yours and, just such as yours, there are several kinds of bad guys. When we talk generally about them, we use the term malware, which is short for malicious software. This term is referred to bad programs, conceived to harm me in different ways. Before we talk about that, I have to give you a heads up: this distinction isn't so clear-cut in the real world. Just as a bad guy can be a thief and a con artist at the same time, a malware can be hybrid and it's sometimes hard to tell what it exactly is.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

How to maintain and speed up your computer - an out of the box guide (computer surge blues), part 2

Slash your auto-starting programs list

Fig. 1 (Click to enlarge)
One of the first things to do is to keep the list of auto-starting programs very short, otherwise all these buddies want to come over at the same time barging in and making me sick. You only need to access msconfig (go to “Search” and enter msconfig, Fig.1,  and then double-click it to open it up, Fig. 2).  

In the “Startup” tab you'll see my guests list under Startup Items (Fig. 2). All these guys want to come over when you power me on. Not all of them are indispensable, so you only have to deselect the ones I don't need and reboot me, so I can show them the door. For example, Adobe Updater is a very insisting guy and every time you install a new Reader version he adds himself to the list but I don’t need him to get my job done, so you can write him off. I’ve got to warn you though: check whether a process is necessary to my operating system before deselecting it (ask my friend Google for help), especially when you don't know for sure what that process is. Otherwise you could blame me in vain, because you shut down a process that's essential to get my job done. You've been warned, don’t snap at me later. That said, removing these unwanted guests could already make a big difference because I can recover resources, especially RAM memory.       
Fig. 2

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How to maintain and speed up your computer - an out of the box guide (computer surge blues), part 1

I know what you’re thinking. As soon as you've read the title you've thought: "Oh no! Not another boring copy/paste guide. Not again!" Well, I'm your computer, the one who you call names and punch and yell at when I don't do what you want. And I'm a little sick of it. Computers have some dignity, too!

Okay, here's the deal: bear with me for a while and I'll give you some tips that will help me work better and will help you get what you want so that I don't have to hear you rant all day. I'm not going to promise that you’ll be able to turn your old clunker into a cheetah. But, much can be done to revamp and speed up even an outdated computer. You must take into consideration several factors such as equipped hardware, installed RAM memory, and internet connection speed. Before thinking of updating your hardware, let's see what we can do with the software. 
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