Helping computers with people problems since 1996
Compute This Online
Dear Compute This Reader,                                            11/10/09  
Welcome to the ninth edition of this newsletter - it's a companion edition to my popular Compute This... newspaper column in the Hometown News and I truly hope that you find it helpful. 

I have been getting a lot of calls lately from people concerned that they may be the victims of a "bait and switch" ploy by none other than my favorite antivirus software AVG Free.
AVG Free!What appears to be happening is that many people are running AVG Free version 8.0 or 8.5 and the new version (9) has recently been released.
Now everyone that is running version 8 or 8.5 is getting messages telling them they need to upgrade to version 9 but the link they are provided with is not to the free version but to the version that you have to pay money for.
This of course leads people to believe that the free version is no longer available and (since I have always promoted AVG Free as a decent alternative to Norton or McAfee) I get several emails a week from people telling me it's no longer free.
Well, it is still free, you just have to know where to look for it. Clicking the upgrade message won't bring you to the free site - you have to go there direct by entering into your web browser and then clicking the "Get It Now" that's positioned next to the free version.
So, fret not - the free version of AVG is still available and the sooner you upgrade the sooner the messages stop!

As always, I welcome any comments and I do hope you enjoy this weeks issue.

Sean McCarthy
In This Issue
An alternative to pricey software...
Busier than a one-arm paper hanger!...
10 favorite open source (free!) programs...
Featured Article: Follow your mouse...
An alternative to pricey software
OpenOffice.orgA computer without productivity software is kind of like a truck without gas. You're not going to get a lot of work done with it.

Sure, in a truck without gas you could sit in the cab and talk on the citizens band radio, but you are not going to be doing what the truck was designed for: hauling cargo.

On a computer without productivity software, you can still surf the Web, chat and send e-mail, but try to do anything really productive, such as work on a word processor document, spreadsheet or database, and you will quickly find yourself going no where fast...
Busier than a one-arm paper hanger!
Task ManagerMany people are surprised to learn that their computer is still extremely busy even when "nothing is happening."

I don't know how many times I have been discussing something with a person as their machine sits "idle" when all of a sudden, "chug chug chug," the hard drive starts working furiously. Or even more surprising, the machine suddenly crashes, even though no one was "at the wheel." Invariably they look at me and ask, "Why did it just do that?"

Sometimes people have a hard time accepting that their machine is active even though they are not using the computer. When your computer appears inactive, it is still very busy with general housekeeping, like monitoring the keyboard for input, painting the image on the display (dozens of times per second), or watching to see if the mouse moves. The list of chores goes on...

Continue reading >>>>
10 Favorite Open Source (Free!) programs
  1. Top 10 Websites!Open Office
    the open source answer to Microsoft Office
  2. PDF Creator
    a nice alternative to Adobe
  3. Firefox
    what Internet Explorer wishes it was
  4. Thunderbird
    the way email is supposed to be managed
  5. Filezilla
    popular File Transfer (FTP) program
  6. Audacity
    the perfect free tool for editing audio
  7. Wiki
    as in "Wikipedia"
  8. Gimp
    open source answer to Photo Shop
  9. Kompozer
    easy to use "wysiwyg" web editor
  10. Clonezilla
    powerful open source disk cloning software
Thank you for reading. I hate spam as much as anyone so please, if you don't want to receive my newsletters, use the "SafeUnsubscribe" link at the bottom of this email and you will be removed from my list.

I also appreciate your feedback. Feel free to respond to this message with any comments you may have and I promise to reply to you as soon as possible.

If you would like help planning and implementing your own newsletter, give me a call. As a full service computer consultant, setting up and managing an effective email newsletter is just one of the services that I offer.

An lastly, if you find my information helpful and you overhear someone complaining about their computer, please mention my name or forward this newsletter to them by clicking here. Most of my business is referred to me by word of mouth so without you I would not be in business. Thank you for your support.
 Sean McCarthy

Sean McCarthy
"The Mouse Whisperer"
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Featured Article
Follow your Mouse!
Follow your mouse

With everything one does on a computer, sometimes it's easy to forget about what the mouse is doing.
With everything going on in a typical computer, it's easy to get distracted by everything that's going on around the pointer and you end up missing clues the mouse is trying to give you.

A lot of people don't realize just how precise an instrument the mouse really is. The very tip of the pointer, when pointed at objects just so, will often reveal clues that can be used to help you do whatever it is that you are trying to do.

Don't be in a rush - pause at an object and see if something happens.

Many times, objects on computer screens, such as buttons, icons and such, will respond not only when clicked, but often when the mouse just passes over them. These "mouse-overs" can be the source of many hints to help you on your way.  
You may have noticed browsing the Internet those things on Web sites that change as you move your mouse around. Sometimes a button will change color or a picture's title will appear if the mouse is held over it for long enough.
The trick is to pause...

Continue reading >>>>
Compute This... 

The Home Town News

Get ready to Blastoff!

I prefer Windows XP

or Vista if that's what you got...

Or, for the brave, how about Windows 7?

and AVG Free for your antivirus

$52 Fall Tune Up Special!
Thanksgiving Log In Special!

Don't throw that old computer away, for just $52, I can connect to your computer, check it out, tune it up and get the machine running as fast (or faster!) than when it was new!*

To get started, first go to
and then call:
888-752-9049  or  772-408-0680

*if I can't fix it I will at least be able to tell you what is wrong with it and recommend corrective actions.
Offer Expires: 12/01/09. Must mention coupon for discount.