Stories by Preston Gralla

Symantec Norton Internet Security 2010 beta

The just-released beta of Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2010 is more notable for what's under the hood than what you actually see.

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Norton Internet Security 2010 beta: Different approach, new features, some glitches

The just-released beta of Symantec's Norton Internet Security 2010 is more notable for what's under the hood than what you actually see. However, if you're planning to try it out, you'd better not do it on your main PC -- this is not only a beta release, but a temporary one as well. Currently, the installed beta says that it is good for only 14 days.

App demystifies Windows 7 built-in firewall

Want fine-grained control over the firewall built into Windows 7 and Windows Vista--especially the way it blocks outbound connections? Good luck. Even if you manage to unearth the controls buried deep in Windows menus and applications, you'll be baffled. Windows 7 Firewall Control Free solves the problem for you.

Mozilla Firefox 3.5

The Mozilla Firefox 3.5 web browser is a winner, offering significantly faster web browsing, better tab handling, a host of interface tweaks and, like just about every other browser on the planet, a "porn mode".

Review: Firefox 3.5 makes browsing faster, easier and more fun

The just-released version 3.5 of Firefox is a winner, offering significantly faster Web browsing, better tab handling, a host of interface tweaks and, like just about every other browser on the planet, a "porn mode." If you already use Firefox you'll want to upgrade right away. If you're not a Firefox user, this version represents a very good opportunity to give the browser a test run.

10 terrific time-wasting downloads

Tired of being productive? Who isn't? Every now and then, all you want to do is get in front of your PC, waste some time, and have some fun.

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Desktop Linux: why you shouldn't care

Recently, the Web site analytics company Net Applications came out with figures that showed that in April, the percentage of "client devices" used to surf the Web that were running Linux crossed the 1% level for the first time ever -- 1.02%, to be exact. The firm enthusiastically noted that "Linux has reached

The 10 biggest annoyances in Outlook

Microsoft's highly capable email client Outlook is glitchy and has too many features for its own good.

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Microsoft nearly admits: Wikipedia killed Encarta

Within the last few days Microsoft quietly announced it is killing its Encarta encyclopedia, with the actual date of death October, 2009. What it hinted at, but didn't quite say, was that Wikipedia killed it.

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15 free downloads to pep up your old PC

Got an aging Windows laptop or desktop computer, but money's too tight to buy a new one? Fret not. There's plenty of life in your old PC. It may seem sluggish and on the point of expiring, and its hard disk may be nearly full to bursting, but there's plenty you can do to clean it up, speed it up and give it new life.

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Living free with Linux: Round 2

Last month, in "Living free with Linux: 2 weeks without Windows," I wrote about what life was like for a longtime Windows user trying to live with Linux. One of the main drawbacks: The difficulties I encountered when installing or updating software.

5 great Microsoft Web services you probably don't use

Microsoft is so often the behemoth everyone loves to hate that people overlook the stuff it does right. We tried its newer Web services and found five gems.

Internet Explorer 8 RC1: almost ready to roll

The just-released Release Candidate 1 (RC1) of Internet Explorer 8 is a fast, stable browser, tweaked for productivity and security, with few obvious changes over the previous Beta 2 release.

Which is best for netbooks: Windows 7 or Linux?

Microsoft is clearly positioning Windows 7 as Linux-killer for netbooks. Can it succeed? I've spent considerable time with both Windows 7 and Linux, and here are my conclusions about which operating system is better for netbooks.

Microsoft layoffs: Netbooks sales are killing us

Overlooked in the Microsoft announcement about its layoffs of 5,000 people over the next 18 months is this startling revelation: The company's revenue decline is due, in large part, to the growth in the sales of netbooks.