Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Computer Programs and Recommendations

Both my desktop and laptop were experiencing problems recently. Trend Micro, a combination firewall and anti-virus program, was slowing down each computer considerably. It seemed as though the file for Trend Micro had gotten so large with its various updates that it was taking up much of the gig of Ram on my desktop. When I had about six Word documents opened up and attempted to save one, after altering the margins, the process of saving that file caused the computer to come to a virtual standstill for up to a minute. I have since deleted Trend Micro (its subscription was about to expire) and added PC Tools Firewall Plus, which is freeware available at Major Geeks , and I have found the performance of each computer has improved tremendously. It’s now evident that I have gotten Turbo (10mbps) added to Road Runner (7mbps), which can be acquired for about ten additional dollars a month. The extra speed is worth the expense. I have also added the PC Tools Anti-Virus Free Edition, which is freeware available at Major Geeks as well.

I found it unfortunate that Ad Aware updated its programming in 2007. The previous version worked without any problems. Once I discovered that updates were no longer available for the previous version, I installed the 2007 version and experienced a lot of problems, such as the program not loading, despite repeated efforts, when I wanted to delete cookies, malware, and spyware. In an effort to find a replacement, I went through several different programs before I discovered Super AntiSpyware, the free edition, which is also available at Major Geeks .

Super AntiSpyware, PC Tools Firewall Plus, and PC Tools Anti-Virus get my recommendation.

Myself as a Tree

My spring semester finally came to a close last Wednesday. I was thinking the other day about how wonderful it would be cultivating the life of a graduate student this summer, this is, taking lengthy bike rides through the city and engaging in a regular habit of writing. Unfortunately, I will be teaching four sections of college English this summer, beginning in a week’s time. Nearly all of my classes are already full and have been for about a month. Sometimes I feel as weary as the box elder in the picture I’m enclosing; it’s located in a park about a couple of miles from where I live.



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I’m hoping to submit my poetry manuscript to yet another chapbook contest before the end of the month. I’ve been thinking of changing the title and reexamining the poems. It has been a year since I last submitted any of my poems. Unlike Jilly Dybka , I haven’t yet sworn off all poetry contests even though I know that my manuscript hasn’t been given much if any attention at some of the contests I’ve entered. I had considered entering a recent chapbook contest that a friend from graduate school oversees, but such an action would have been unethical. A blogger named Anne Haines has her chapbook coming out from Finishing Line. My chapbook was accepted by Finishing Line, too, almost two years ago. I declined the offer because I couldn’t see myself getting the necessary sales prior to publication. My wife and agree that I probably should have bought those copies myself and then sold them at readings after my chapbook came out, assuming, of course, that we could have come up with the money. But I would prefer having my book accepted without stipulations. Wish me luck.