Thursday, April 03, 2014

Confessions of a Computer Geek Part 1

913Owning a computer is like owning a car. You’d never dream of going over the recommended mileage before getting an oil change! But most people who operate computers never perform simple maintenance tasks to keep them running fast and error free.

Several of my author friends have complained about losing entire files, family photos, music, and even their treasured library of ebooks. But it doesn’t have to happen to you!

For my next few Romance Magicians posts, I’ll share links to a few of a my favorite computer freebies designed to keep your computer running like a grand champion.

System Optimization and Diagnostic Tools

A system optimization tool removes unused files from your system and allows Windows to run faster, freeing up valuable hard disk space.

CCleaner is my favorite software to run when my computer becomes sluggish. Like most free programs, CCleaner offers a free version and a paid version. I’ve used the free version for years with great success. CCleaner protects your online privacy, makes your computer operate faster and adds security. The program deletes autocomplete form history, temporary files, history, cookies, download history and form history. Boxes can be checked to keep saved passwords or form history if you wish. It efficiently cleans out your recycle bin and log files. It also offers a registry cleaner that will clean up any old files left behind by updates and downloads, or old and unused registry entries.


Malwarebytes Anti-Malware offers a great free program to protect your computer form online threats that antivirus programs can’t detect. Malwarebytes also offers a paid version, but the freebie will take care of day to day spyware and tracking nasties you can pick up from visiting websites or opening spammy emails. It updates frequently and keeps a lot of virus info in its databases, however, it has to be run and updated manually.

Safe Browsing

As writers, we research a variety of subjects, some of which might lead us to unsavory websites. How do you know if a site is trustworthy? Web of Trust is a free addon for your browser and can protect you against scams, phishing sites, untrustworthy links and rogue web stores. WOT displays a colored circle next to links to show you which sites are safe for searching, surfing and shopping online: green for good, red for bad, and yellow as a warning to be cautious. The icons are shown in popular search engine results, social media, online email, shortened URL’s, and lots of other sites. It works on Chrome, Firefox, IE, Opera and Safari browsers. You can even create an account and rate sites yourself – including your own website!

*As with most free programs, make sure you’ve unchecked the boxes that will add an unwanted toolbar or program when you download the freebie. And if you do by accident, those can easily be removed in your Control Panel’s Add and Remove Programs.

What are some of your favorite freebies or browser addons?

rakehell_msrLady Primrose Black has a dilemma. Her father-in-law’s dying wish is that she reunite with her estranged husband and produce an heir. She hasn’t laid eyes on Lord Black since their wedding night five years ago, when he left Scarborough Hall in a rage. Nevertheless she resolves to find him, knowing once she does she will have to use every method at her disposal to entice the rake she never stopped loving.

Viscount Adam Black harbors dark needs and he will accept no less than his wife’s complete and utter surrender. Each sensual encounter leaves Primrose wanting more but as she submits to her husband’s every decadent desire, she resolves not to lose him again. For the secret that drove Adam away still haunts him. And this time it could prove fatal for them both.

Inside Scoop: This nineteenth-century heroine explores her naughty side in this Victorian romance with BDSM elements.

A Romantica® historical erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Buy Digital Ebook

Ellora's Cave | Amazon | B&N | ARE | Kobo


Ali Hubbard said...

I'm excited about these posts. I can really use this information. I'll take all the tips I can get for keeping the computer running and prevent my work from getting lost.

Debra Glass said...

Thanks, Ali! And I forgot another link to a freebie - my short read Lover by Chance is free as Smashwords:

Pamela Mason said...

Malware Bites Rocks.
Love that program!

And Lover by Chance is free? On Smashwords? Thanks!