Welcome to the Tool Bar & Grill, friends. Please come right in and find your own seats. I’ll be back to take your order soon. Right now, though, I’m very busy getting acquainted with my new love and outfitting her just the way I like.
Oh, you want to see her? Sure, she’s right over there… No, not her; that’s my devoted, long-suffering girlfriend Louise at the kitchen door. I mean the beauty sitting on the stool in front of the counter. Yes, that sweet, bright little black one. My new ThinkPad laptop computer. Yep, she’s the one for me.
Sure, I have dallied with other laptops over the years. I’ve been having serious relationships with portable computers for most of my adult life. But I only fell in love with my ThinkPads (and, of course, my 1982 Osborne; you never forget your first one). True, ThinkPads can break your heart too, like that sexy little Convertible subnotebook I had to part with when she started losing keys till she looked snaggle-toothed, or the hefty G model that another fellow stole away from me. My computing history plays like the good ole hurtin’ songs on the jukebox in my favorite country honky-tonk.
Getting To Know You
My new Lenovo ThinkPad came into my life a couple of weeks ago, but I have had precious little time together with her to admire her sleek lines… the brilliant shine of her screen… her modern technology and seamless synthesis of hardware and software… her legendary reliability… her firm yet pliant keyboard… her fingerprint reader… and that cute, perky little TrackPoint in her keyboard. No sir, nothing else is a ThinkPad.
I’ve been configuring my new cutie and feeding her my favorite software a little bit at a time, as well as getting to know the Windows Vista she brought with her. So far,
Among the first essential utilities I installed is AnVir Task Manager Free. This useful tool vastly improves on the Windows Task Manager, which is only slightly updated in
I have previously recommended WinPatrol, whose functionality in both free and paid versions is quite similar to AnVir’s. WinPatrol remains an excellent choice, though I’ll stick with AnVir for its slightly prettier looks. Among the other minor differences, WinPatrol lets you specify the startup delay, but lacks the tray gauges.
Back in My Good Graces
If you are a regular reader (and if not, why not?), you have followed my hopes and tribulations with Comodo Firewall Pro version 3, which includes HIPS (host intrusion protection system) anti-malware. I started using the new version even before it was publicly announced, due to my satisfaction with version 2 and its excellent results in tests and reviews. Alas, joy escaped me as I encountered problems in running the firewall.
I granted the latest Comodo Firewall release a second chance on my new
Overall, however, Comodo appears to be doing a fine job of protecting my computer in the short time I have used it. It is very informative and configurable. I eagerly await professional tests of Comodo’s efficacy in comparison to other firewall and HIPS products, which I hope will continue the previous version’s respectable ratings.
Protects and Annoys
I also tried a new antivirus program on my new
However, AntiVir pops up an irritating window every day that tries to sell me the professional version. AntiVir also warns that its registration will expire in several months. If this proves to be an inconvenience, I will consider replacing AntiVir with AVG.
Thank you for sharing in my romantic tales about my new love interest. I hope you’ll return for more utility reviews every week, along with all your friends. And please feel free to explore the offerings of the advertisers who vie for your attention in and alongside this post. Finally, I encourage you to share your suggestions and ideas by clicking on “comments” below or writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. A loyal reader from Spain has suggested carrying the Tool Bar & Grill restaurant theme to its logical extreme by sharing our exclusive meal recipes with you (see post #54), as well as distributing free beer (nice try, pal). Though our best recipes are secret, Spain has kindly proffered some great recipe Web sites for all of us to enjoy in his comment on post #56.