Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Software, tools and repositories

This will be a multi-part blog covering:
  • What software I use in Android, Windows and Linux;
    • Social Media
    • Email
    • Anti-virus
    • Cleanup
    • Backup
    • Web
    • Graphics
    • Office
  • Where I go for that software and where do I don't go;
It isn't all inclusive, but, it may give you an idea of where to go, what to do and what NOT to do.

I will start off with where I go for the software.  For Android, Windows and Linux I always go to official repositories or the play stores for the O/S (Android & Windows).  I avoid third party sites as I don't know where they get the software from and just how legit and safe it is.  I know there are good sites, but, I am paranoid on what I install.


Pick your category or do a search

I NEVER use unknown sources.

Windows 10

For O/S I use Update
Check for updates and then install
Windows store, I have a lot of updates
For new stuff you can scroll through it, or search


Synaptic is how I update Linux

Nothing fancy, no special tools.  I use what is built in to each system.  The one thing I do for all is regular updates.  Windows 10 I don't have a lot of options for the O/S, that is forced on me.  For Android and Linux I pick what to update and when.  For all three I manually review the apps I have installed to see if I really want to install them.  For too many of them they just say 'Speed and stability improvements' and that really pisses me off as I have been a developer for over 34 years and EVERY release I did had a high level description on what was changed and why.  You don't need to get fancy, but, in a few hundred words you can put in enough info to say why we should upgrade.

For Android and Windows I keep my A-V running and up-to-date.  If any package tells me to turn it off as it interferes with the install or update I dump the package ASAP.  If you can't install with the A-V running that sets off red flags for me.  For Android I also review the permissions.  Too many packages asks for rights that they don't need.  I have had games that ask to see my contact list, phone and a few other things I don't think they have the right too and I end up not installing.

For all software I don't mind if it is ad-supported, I understand you need to make money, but, please don't show the full screen ads or show ads every few minutes forcing me to watch before I can continue.  Each app that does that gets nuked from orbit as there are other apps that I can use and don't spam me.  As an example, last week I removed an Android app.  It was opening a lot (over 12) Firefox tabs and going to a group of sites with a common high level URL.  I don't know if it was mal-adware, or, they got greedy and tried to max out advertising revenue, but, it got nuked from orbit and I will install a similar app (local weather FYI).  Before that happened they had a nice ad running along the bottom and was well behaved.  Upside is AVAST didn't find a virus so I think I dodged a bullet there.

For Windows not all apps are in the windows store.  For those I go direct to the software developers and download from there.  I don't go to many aggregators as I had a bad experience with one (CNET I am looking at you for that) and it messed up my Windows 7 systems so badly with spyware I had to rebuild TWO laptops from their original install CDs.  I am fairly proficient when it comes to operating systems, tools and such, but, it was telling me I didn't have the admin rights to remove it and when I did get tools to remove it there were so many hooks elsewhere that it re-installed itself.  If you go to a third party for software, be careful, be VERY careful as even an experienced user got burned badly.  This is why I tell everyone not to use third party software sites.

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