Technical problems and questions

I’ve been a bit off-line for the last week.

Firstly it wasn’t helped by the laptop developing corrupted Windows. Was it a virus – even the shop it came from wasn’t sure, but a complete overwrite was necessary, so woops there goes everything on the hard-drive! Fortunately hero husband had managed to back everything up onto our PC as it died, so no loss, just lots of hastle time re-loading stuff when we got it back, though it has helped to concentrate the mind about what to put back on it!

Here’s the first question then: We run Norton antivirus currently, have done for several years, and this is the first possible virus we’ve encountered. The shop we got it (and the laptop) from, now reckon that Mcafee is far better and cheaper per machine. For those blog readers who dare to use Windows… what is your current experience of either Mcafee or Norton (or anything else) for anti-virus software?

(And yes, I know if we ran a sensible operating system we wouldn’t have the problem… but needs must… )

So on the PC I managed to complete my final Reader Training essay, and submitted it yesterday. All I have to do is complete 6000 words of extended essay by Easter, but I discovered today my ‘tutor’ for it is a man I’ve got to trust and like during training, so I at least know I’ll get good guidance.

The other technical issue that’s exercising the brain is this. We’ve started using Google Calandar as a family to keep track of what each of us is doing and be able to see each others commitments. BUT it means that my old PDA Palm Tungston E which I’ve used with great joy for several years, isn’t getting updated regularly, thus my portable diary is er… out of date. Not helpful – and I don’t carry my brick of laptop around in my handbag whilst I do carry round my Palm.

Family budget constraints (see ‘extension’ tag!) mean that buying an ‘all singing, all dancing’ phone isn’t an option for the foreseeable future (and I’m quite happy with Nokia clamshell with the internet disabled so I still ‘pay and go’). So, (how) can I get GoogleCal to talk to a format that talks to Palm? (I don’t think Palm talks to Outlook, least it didn’t last time we looked.)

Or am I just too big a dinosaur?

In the meantime, today  I started on Chris’s room… sanded all the new plaster on the walls, and filled the odd discrepancy that resulted, plus the crack between the skirting board and the walls, with builders caulk. All dress in a very old flying suit I was given for decorating in, many years ago. I was impressed it still fitted.

Will try and catch up on some less boring, less technical thoughts over the next few days, but have plenty else to do – ’tis the season to be busy… 3 services in the next week to fit in the planning for round decorating.



  1. For independent reviews of av products look at – I currently use the free version of Avira
    Mcafee really doesn’t rate as better than Norton (Symantec).

    Companionlink for Google will sync Google Calendar with Palm desktop which you can then sync to your Tungsten E, even though it is fixated on talking about phones. It’s pretty pricey though. I also have a Tungsten E and have not been able to find any alternatives. There are a couple of abandoned open source projects that sound promising but lead nowhere.

    All the best for Christmas and the New Year.


  2. I don’t think Windows is all that un-sensible an OS! The others have problems too, only a) they’re not as popular so not as good a target for baddies, and b) their owners, if embarrassed at having a problem after spending so long laughing at Windows users, tend to keep quiet about it 😉

    Seriously, I’ve used Avast! Home Edition (free to non-commercial users) for years without any malware problems. Solid, small footprint, has a proper web shield – what more could you ask? But elfringham is right – Avira is excellent too. I don’t think Norton or McAfee have the edge on the best free solutions any longer, if they ever did…


  3. Syncing Palm devices to Google, I just found another cheaper solution. Read the thread here which shows how to use GooSync along with Softick PPP to sync Palm PDAs with Google. Unfortunately both pieces of software cost some money but not nearly as much as Companionlink. You can also get free trial versions so you can test it out to make sure it works.


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