Sunday, May 27, 2018
News Roundup

Solutions: Windows 7 or Windows 8?

I have a problem similar to the person who wrote you not long ago. Like the writer of that question, I have an older computer with Windows XP. You suggested buying a new computer with Windows 8. A friend of mine advised me to get a new computer with Windows 7 because Windows 8 has problems with interface and touch screen configurations that make it difficult to use. Do you have an opinion about this matter?

There is no doubt that most people are more comfortable with the Windows 7 interface than the Windows 8 dual environment interface. I've written about how badly Microsoft missed the mark with Windows 8 many times, and you might expect me to vote for Windows 7. But I'm not. I'm hesitant to recommend old technology even in this case. Windows 7 is almost 5 years old already. Not a big consideration now, but what about five years from now? Well within the lifespan of any PC you buy today.

Windows 8 requires a bit of a learning curve, but it doesn't take long before you work around a few of the interface quirks. They are slowly moving in the right direction. Rumors are that they will have another update by the end of the year that will restore the Start button with the Programs menu. And you can always load one of the Windows 7 emulators such as the free Classic Shell (ClassicShell.net), which will make Windows 8 look and act just like Windows 7.

I've written about some of the good things you get with Windows 8 before, such as better security, speed, File History (backup) and PC/Internet search integration. But here's something that doesn't get a lot of attention: Windows 8 was the first Windows to fully exploit UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface). This used to be known as BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). It's how the hardware knows what to do once you switch on the power. Windows 8 Secure Boot features UEFI to make the boot process resistant to malware, such as bootkits and the various rootkits, that activate before Windows completely loads and your antivirus kicks in. That's a pretty significant security upgrade. Go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/dn168167.aspx for more nuts and bolts on UEFI and the secure Windows 8 boot process.

I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop running Window 7. I have installed McAfee Virus & Spyware Protection Control and Web & Email Protection. My question is, do I need to continue with McAfee or am I better off with another protection software? I run Malwarebytes AntiMalware every two weeks or so. Occasionally, this program has found malware on my computer, which I immediately remove. Apparently, this malware has not been identified by McAfee. A second concern is that the McAfee software may be slowing down my computer. Should I cancel my McAfee subscription?

A large part of malware and virus detection is more art than science. You will always have differences between products, and keep in mind that while MalwareBytes and McAfee have some overlap, they are serving different purposes. You're probably correct in that McAfee is slowing down your PC; it's a heavy duty piece of software. That's not necessarily a bad thing as long as it's doing the job. I am a big fan of, "if it's not broke don't fix it." So if things are going well, maybe it's best to leave things as is. However, if you do go with Microsoft Security Essentials, make sure you download it first without installing, then uninstall McAfee, and then install Security Essentials from the downloaded image.

I have an Acer laptop and Windows 7. Recently, when I am typing an email or Word document, the text starts skipping out of sequence. What would cause this?

Just for grins, try turning off the touchpad. I think on an Acer, it may be pressing the fn key along with F7. See if the skipping stops. If it does, it may mean you were inadvertently brushing your palm across the touchpad when typing. Repeating the fn/F7 sequence should toggle the touchpad functionality back on.

Send questions to [email protected] or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Comments
Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

Troopers looking for driver in New Port Richey fatal hit-and-run

NEW PORT RICHEY — Florida Highway Patrol troopers are looking for a driver who hit and killed a 46-year-old bicyclist then drove from the scene.Shawn Michael Grady, of New Port Richey, was biking south on Rowan Road south of Massachusetts Avenue abou...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
FHP: 30-year-old motorcyclist killed in Hudson crash

FHP: 30-year-old motorcyclist killed in Hudson crash

HUDSON — A 30-year-old man died after he was struck by a car and thrown off the motorcycle he was riding.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Derek Fingerle, of Hudson, was traveling south on U.S. 19 in the center lane about 8:20 p.m. Saturday. M...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
A wet Memorial Day weekend continues as Alberto treks north

A wet Memorial Day weekend continues as Alberto treks north

Subtropical Storm Alberto continued its trek north-northeast overnight and is expected to make landfall in the northern Gulf Coast late Monday.The storm was about 85 miles north of the Dry Tortugas as of Sunday morning, producing winds up to 40 mph a...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

Vegas envy: Is Tampa Bay ready for a Vegas’ birth-to-best story?

What in the name of the 0-26 Bucs is going on here?The breathtaking Vegas Golden Knights are the greatest expansion team in professional sports history. They are the best (or worst) thing to ever happen to our games, having won 51 times during the re...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

Rays pitchers Ryne Stanek, Anthony Banda dominate in 5-1 win over Orioles

THE BASEBALL LABORATORY IN ST. PETERSBURG — Up is down. Down is up. Hello is goodbye. Goodbye is hello. A reliever is a starter. A starter is a reliever.These are your 2018 Tampa Bay Rays.You never know what's going to happen. And just when you...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

Rays journal: After Alex Colome trade, Rays’ closer situation is fluid, Kevin Cash says

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays have had to get creative in how they start games. Now, after Friday's trade of closer Alex Colome, they might have to get creative in how they finish them.How they handle the ninth inning going forward will be a fluid ...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs QB Josh Freeman says he’s retiring from football

Former Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman, who was trying to resurrect his career with the CFL's Montreal Alouettes, said Saturday that he is retiring from football.Freeman, 30, was a first-round draft pick of the Bucs in 2009 and was their starting ...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

Her husband wouldn't apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

RIVERVIEW — A Riverview woman shot and killed her husband Saturday because he punched her father and wouldn’t say sorry, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said. Sabrina Michelle Hendley, 40, faces a first-degree murder charge in th...
Published: 05/26/18
Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Thomas Bassinger’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Orioles game

Interesting decision by the Rays to start RH reliever Ryne Stanek on Saturday. The Orioles' Nos. 1 through 5 hitters were righties, and Stanek came in allowing a 1.228 OPS against righties and a .592 OPS against lefties. It ended up working.How ...
Published: 05/26/18
Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

Hernando officials seize 36 neglected dogs from sanctuary

WEEKI WACHEE — A woman who runs an animal sanctuary will face dozens of animal cruelty charges after Hernando County animal enforcement officers said they found dogs, equine, pigs, cats and chickens housed in poor conditions on her property.Animal of...
Published: 05/26/18