2011-01-12 / Front Page

Internet In Bloom For The Layperson

By Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd.

Ted J. BloomTed J. BloomWelcome to another holiday edition of Internet In Bloom For The Layperson. Happy New Year!  As a college librarian, I track new media and recall when cable TV first came out it had no commercials.  Even when Google began at Stanford University in 1997 it was commercial free.  So in case Uncle Sam changes Internet access further, as mentioned in our last column, following are more Internet freebies. However, due to companies going out of business, changing names or ownership, technical malfunctions and even cyberterrorism as documented during the September 11, 2001 Nimda virus, Web site URLs are always subject to change.  Keeping this in mind makes computing much easier.  

Have a PC?  How about a free firewall?  Go to www.Zonealarm.com for a free download to make your PC invisible to hackers and stop spyware from sending your data out to the Internet.  

On the subject of PCs, zip over to www.PCpitstop.com for a full battery of free diagnostics involving speed, malware and viruses.  Do you suspect malware slowing down your PC in particular? The site http://Housecall.trendmicro.com has a download to quickly identify and fix a wide range of threats including viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware.  I have used it before.

In case MAC platform readers are feeling excluded, just go to www.Apple.com and type in free downloads in the search field for over 20,000 free software download results ranging from freeware to shareware to iTunes to QuickTime to OS utilities to games. 

Have computer questions? Go to www.PCradioshow.org for the home of WBAI’s award winning team of seasoned computer pros.  So visit the site, read the numerous tips and solutions or even email these experts.  I doubt you can stump Joe, Hank, Michael, Alfred or Steve.

Speaking of conundrums, do you have car problems or could you just use a good laugh?  Then www.Cartalk.com is the site to take advantage of.  Tom and Ray (MIT graduates) also have a stellar NPR radio show worth listening to. 

Have a computer but are lacking expensive photo editing software? The site www.Citrify.com will blow your mind with stunning digital effects.  Remove picture wrinkles, red eyes and acne for free.

Could you use a free job?  Maybe free is the wrong word because if you ace the job interview you will have to earn your pay—count on it. Sites www.Indeed.com and www.TalentZoo.com are two of the more user-friendly sites for job hunters.  TalentZoo has some nifty categorical buttons to click on, such as Media, Creative, Marketing and Geek jobs.   

Have a laptop, notebook, netbook or PDA that uses Wi-Fi?  The site www.Jiwire.com has a free, global Wi-Fi locator app download.  Remember the beauty of an app is it does not require time consuming or tricky installation procedures like standard software often does.    

In closing, as a full-time NYC librarian, I am busy but would enjoy hearing from you.  Please send your questions to: NewYorkLibrarian@gmail.com or visit http://computersinbloom.8k.com.  Thank you.

Ted J. Bloom, MLS., MSEd., CPL., has been a published columnist in New York since 1999. A college librarian in Downtown Brooklyn and Manhattan with two graduate degrees, some of his credentials include creating and running a career preparation computer lab for at-risk youth through the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as being a SUNY Communications Instructor and a YMCA Director.

 

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