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Links to tools that I recommend:

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Windows utilities:


Google Search
Seems obvious, doesn't it? This may be the most valuable tool an IT/computer person has at his disposal. Whatever problem you may be having with your computer, chances are someone else has had the exact same problem, and by giving Google good keywords to search for, you could find a solution on your own!
Belarc LogoBelarc PC Auditor
This free tool scans your computer and provides a detailed listing of all your hardware and software.
TeamViewer LogoTeamViewer Remote Support
TeamViewer allows remote control of a computer from another computer. Using this program I am able to resolve some problems from home, instead of travelling to the client's house. A similar utility, called Remote Support, comes with Windows XP, but this program is much, much faster and easier to set up and use. Free of course.

General stuff:

Use OpenDNSOpenDNS DNS Service
OpenDNS is a free service that allows you to customize website filtering throughout your home or business. You accomplish this by substituting your ISP's DNS servers with theirs. Your ISP's DNS servers were set up by your ISP, and you probably never heard anything about it. DNS is supposed to be transparent to you, so don't be concerned if it doesn't sound familiar. But using your ISP's DNS servers gives you no control over Web content. By changing to OpenDNS, you have great control over the content that is allowed into your home or office network. I've outlined the process here. (It's not too hard if you're moderately geeky, but if you need help with it, give me a call.)
Get Trillian, the ultimate instant messenger!Trillian Instant Messaging Client
If you "instant message" regularly, then you're aware that some people use Yahoo's service, others use MSN's, and others prefer AOL's. Then there are ICQ and IRC users. If you have "buddies" on more than one of these, you have to install a separate program for each service. Not only that, but these programs throw advertising in your face, and AOL's program forces you to install WeatherBug - which also has advertisements and can slow down your system!
Uninstall all of them and get Trillian, and with one program in one window you can connect to any or all of these services at once. Oh, almost forgot- yes, it is free.
 Use OpenOffice.orgOpenOffice Office Suite
You do not need Microsoft Office! You do not have to pay $200 for a word processor. You do not have to worry about hourly security updates to your office applications, and you do not have to re-buy your office software every few years when a new version is released. OpenOffice includes a full-featured word processor, spreadsheet application, presentation application, database application, and more. All mostly compatible with Microsoft's products. All in a download around 100MB, compared to Microsoft's 600+. And all for free.

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