Many people ask me which brand of
computer I recommend and which I use.
These are two different questions, because I
generally build my own computer just for the
experience that gives me with hardware and
things that can go wrong. But for the
rest of you I recommend Dell computers.
Why? Dells tend to be reliable, with
few proprietary parts, good service and
reasonable prices. My
first laptop was a Dell bought in 2000 and
still going, my second PDA was also a Dell.
If you are a business client, I recommend
Dell's business website.
However, if you are buying a computer for
your home, Dell's home computer website is for you.
But whichever site you go to, make sure your computer has
2 or more GB of memory, a large fast hard
drive, and the software you need. You
will also have to figure out how risk
adverse you are. You may want to buy a
long warranty if you do not like to take
risks and I always recommend the best and
longest warranties for businesses, because
no business can afford computer down-time.
Best Internet Security Products
In the past, I have recommended only one
internet security product. Now, I am
recommending two. Each has its
strengths and weaknesses, which I will
First, Norton 360.
Norton 360 is Norton's first consumer
product containing all necessary internet
security plus backup. I am
Norton 360 because it's a "set it and
forget it" product. No need to call me
about obscure messages, just one red "Fix"
button for any action you need to take.
Tops in tests for antivirus, antispyware,
and web browsing security. Will store
passwords for you and warn you of fraudulent
websites. Easy on the system.
And it will back up your important files.
So, what are its problems? Only one. Its spam
filtering is abysmal. Windows Live
Mail and Microsoft Outlookboth do a better job at filtering spam.
Zone Alarm Extreme Security.
I have long recommended
Zone Alarm for its excellent firewall
and spam filtering. The later editions
have also added parental controls and
fraudulent website warnings. In
addition, I appreciate its extensive
logging. And now, it's even better
than ever with many of the same features as
Norton. This is a top-rated product that
I use myself because I want to see the
warnings and because I am paranoid!
So, if you're running
Zone Alarm Extreme Security or any Zone Alarm
product, be assured that I consider it a
product worth having. But if you want
something that's just easy, go with
Why am I not recommending other security
products like McAfee, Computer Associates,
Panda, Nod32, or Trend Micro? Because
they're not the best. The cheaper
price you may pay for these may end up
costing you more when you have to call me to
remove a virus. I have seen both Trend
Micro and CA products leave viruses
undetected on computers. I later had
to remove the viruses with
Norton 360 and Zone Alarm.
Parental Control Software
I like effective and easy to use parental
control software. The easiest to use
comes bundled with internet security
products like Norton 360 and Zone Alarm.
These provide limited protection based on
the subject matter of web pages.
Stand-alone parental control software does
that and more. It allows you to see when and
what your children are viewing and doing and
allows more controls. The one I
recommend is CyberPatrol. For
cost-effectiveness, ease of use, ability to
keep kids safe, and good reporting, this is
The Best Backup Software
The best backup software I have found is
Acronis True Image. It
backs up your data to an external disk or
hard drive. It is easy to setup and
will run unattended. If you need a new
hard drive or just want to protect your
entire system, you can also use it to clone
your existing hard drive. Just the
best at the best price.
Best Business Accounting Software for Small Business
QuickBooks is the best accounting
software for small business
even a novice can use it. I personally
started using it years ago. It
provides me with an easy to use acconting
interface for non-accountants. It
allows me to password protect the file for
my security and that of my clients. It
integrates with Paypal for secure credit
card processing and with my bank for easy
online tranactions. It allows me to
easily transfer my file to other computers
as needed and provides timely updates.
For these reasons and more I recommend it.
Google Chrome Web Browser
I have been using Google latest browser "Chrome"
as well as
Internet Explorer . Chrome has very fast rendering
web pages even on a slower connection.
It' is also great at importing from my
Firefox browser. And now there are
add-ons like the ones for Firefox. But
what is best about it is its security.
It runs in a virtual box that keeps
malicious web items from your computer.
I have to hand it to Google for building a
browser which does most things well.
The best online electronics store is
Newegg.com. Newegg has the
best customer service, the best selection,
the best product reviews, and very good
shipping prices. Customer service has
always gone far beyond my expectations.
In fact, once they forgot to honor a coupon
so they grave me 50% off my next couple of
orders. You can't find any other
seller that would do something like that! So, purchase from Newegg and you will be
Best Office Supply Store
Staples is the best office supply store.
Not only are they all around us for easy
access, but their delivery is fast and free
for purchases over $50--and that's almost
everything I buy. Easy to order
printer ink, paper, whatever. I get
all my printer ink from Staples because it
is fast and easy. So whatever it is, get it
Best Book and Music Site
Take my suggestions
(or check my
Blog for Music and Book Reviews.)