Category Archives: Useful Programs

Posts related to useful programs/additions like extensions.

Ad Block – Say no more. See no more.

Ads! Endless Ads! We are bombarded by them daily. They are in our TVs, radios, internet pages, billboards and even our smart phones.

We can try DVR’ing out the ads from TV, but even then you still have to sit there watching everything run in Fast Forward. You can try switching to a different station on the radio, but now-a-days it seems like every radio station plays their commercials at the same time, so you’re always hearing them.

But there is one place you can get rid of them: The internet. To do so, you’ll need to download either “Firefox” or “Google Chrome” and get extension called “AdBlock Plus.” It’s free, simple, light, and does an amazing job at preventing ads from getting in to your web surfing. AdBlock Plus does not just block ads, but actually prevents them from loading into your system, making your web surfing inherently faster because you won’t have to spend time loading up the huge ads. It also makes your computer safer because some ads also contain the malware that infects millions of PCs a year.

Bonus!  All computers sold by AA Computers come with these programs and adblocking built right in!

Recuva – Save those family photos!

Did your computer die and you had to reformat the hard drive, but you didn’t back up your files before hand?  How do you get your pictures back after they’ve been sent into oblivion?

With a program called Recuva.  This program is created by Piriform, and it’s free! It works just as well as those expensive file recovery programs. It is easy to use, a great tool to have in your computer maintenance folder, and sometimes even fun!  You never know what you’ll find!

The best part?  It’s FREE!

Check them out at http://www.piriform.com/recuva

7zip – Stop those WinZip trial boxes

In the world of compression, known as “zipping,” there are many options.  Most people are presented with two:  the standard Windows zipping programs included with the operating system and WinZip, which generally comes pre-loaded on computers from big box manufacturers.  If WinZip is installed, it takes over the functions of the standard Windows zipping program.

This creates an interesting issue, though, as WinZip is not free.  It is known as “trialware”; a program you can try free for 30 days (like many preinstalled programs on a computer) and after the trial period you need to pay for use of the program.  Most people of course, choose not to.

Once this trial has passed, opening a .zip or .rar file will prompt the user to pay for it.  Most people would just close this little box and be on their way but if you open many zip files, this box popping up is a constant annoyance.  So what is someone to do?

Fear not! There is a free alternative that does just as well, if not better! It is called 7-Zip. It is free, open source, and it does not annoy you with ads.

What makes this so special?  First off, it’s free.  That’s always a good plus.  Second, it’s fast.  Very fast.  When you need something compressed, the default functions perform zipping in a quick and… zippy fashion.  Third, it’s got the same functions as the paid stuff… and more.  Want your zip file encrypted with a password?  Done.  Want to zip in a .zip, .rar, .7z or any other compression format?  You got it.

This open source and free program does it, and does it well.

Check it out at http://www.7-zip.org/