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Saturday, June 24, 2006

Naff off, Norton

No, I haven't developed a grudge against the denizens of Norton, Mumbles. I'm referring to that vile piece of bloatware, Norton Antivirus. I uninstalled it recently, after it malfunctioned umpteen times in the last few weeks, and replaced it with a 30-day free trial of AVG 7.1 Professional. I had a bug on my machine that Norton had missed, but AVG found right away. Luckily, it was a very low grade bug designed to bombard me with adware, and track me around the Internet, but apparently, there was no real threat to my personal data - phew. All the same, it could have been a really nasty file-chewing or ID-stealing one, and Norton had let it through.

My ancient old clunker normally takes at least 10 minutes to boot, sometimes twenty, unless I boot it into safe mode at start-up, then re-start it, and even so, that takes five minutes. Well, without Norton, it now takes two minutes to boot, which I think is fairly impressive for a five year old machine with an ancient Duron 750 processor, 256 MB of RAM and an ancient BIOS.

The good news is I'm getting a brand new laptop on July 3rd, when Comet deliver it. My mum made a claim against the coal board, or whatever they're called these days, regarding a minor industrial disease my late father had suffered from when he was a miner, and a cheque for £1800 came through last week. Anyway, in compliance with the settlement terms, my mum distributed the money equally between myself and my siblings, and I decided to get a laptop with it, as I hate the old clunker with a vengeance.

It's not a top spec laptop, as I only had a maximum of £500 to spend. But it has a 1.7 Ghz Pentium M processor, 128 MB of graphics, 512 MB of RAM and a DVD burner, which makes it somewhat of an improvement over the Duron 750 Mhz chip, 256 MB of RAM, 8 MB graphics and CD ROM drive. The laptop is also wireless ready, has an ethernet card, stand-alone soundcard [the PC has integrated audio located on the motherboard], a 15.4 widescreen display and three USB 2.0 ports. It doesn't have Bluetooth, Firewire or a media card reader, but I don't need them anyway. The only down side for me is that the hard drive is just 40 GB, whereas the clunker's hard disk is 80 GB. However, this needn't be an issue, as the clunker is still functional, plus I intend, as soon as I can afford it, getting a large capacity external hard drive for back up purposes.

I think the new laptop comes with Norton Antivirus pre-installed, so my first job will be to kill it. Norton that is, not the laptop. I've ordered a full version of AVG 7.1 Professional from Amazon, which should arrive before the laptop does. As I'll barely be using the clunker, and probably not going online with it, I'll either leave it without AV software, or when my trial version of AVG Pro runs out, I'll download their free home version instead, as I'll only need low level protection on the clunker by then.

So, I'm really looking forward to having a half-decent computer, especially as I saved £120 by buying online instead of instore. Just think, I can do everything from the absolute comfort of my chair, sofa or settee. I just hope I can type okay on a laptop keyboard. And work out how to turn it on. And get to grips with the touchpad trackerball thingy - if not, I can always nick the optical mouse from my PC. Woohoo!

Oh, before I go - I may well have some new pics for you sometime in the next week. Until next time ....

P.S. Here's my new laptop.


thebillies said...

Hi Sian, love the new layout!

Tropein said...

Congratulations! I hope you LOVE your new laptop! (Mine is a widescreen, too, and I adore it.)


Farmer's Wife Writes said...

Thank you so much for leaving such nice comments on my blog, A Year's March Nearer Heaven. I have enjoyed reading your travelogue and the photographs and I have pinched any, honest! Thank you again. Frances.