Cranking with Windows

I was playing with Win8 on an older system. At one point I logged into my Outlook account. Suddenly the system itself changed my login and instituted a password without telling me what it was; it was an identity I had never used in conjunction with Microsoft services. Then it logged me out and wouldn’t let me back in, demanding I use the new password that I didn’t have. Another reason for castigating MS for making Win8 such a disaster.

On Linux I really like Links2, but it refuses to accept some normal settings on Windows. So I tested Dillo and it worked a whole lot better on Windows than it does on Linux. I can set the window size by adding geometry=WxH in the dillorc file it drops in my user folder under my name, the Windows equivalent of your “home” directory in Linux.

Dillo renders well enough most of the sites I visit, including a few that are blank in Links2. But like Links2 it doesn’t do JScript or cookies. This protects the system from most threats, particularly the ones that sometimes get slipped into advertising networks.

I still like using Cygwin on my Windows system to make available the tools I normally use on Linux, tools that have no good equivalent in actual Windows software. For example, it’s the easiest way to make WHOIS queries, and I can convert units of measurements with the units utility.

I still use LibreOffice way more than I might any part of MS Office. I still prefer VLC over Windows Media Player. And while the mix of browsers is different, I still separate my online activity between different web browsers. A major element in online security is compartmentalization of your activities. Different browsers do different tasks better, and it’s wise to keep anything to do with money away from social media activities, and those away from general browsing. I keep all my Google stuff in one browser by itself, and MS stuff in their browser.

For now, MS’s own Security Essentials is about as good as any other antivirus. I still like Malwarebytes and Piform’s Cookie Cleaner to round it out (watch it; that link starts the download automatically). A great many threats to Windows will store themselves in the browser cache to launch later, so by keeping the cookies and cache cleaned out, you prevent a lot of that stuff. I always wipe that stuff between each website I visit. I’m cranky like that. (Edit: Malwarebytes in-app advertising has gotten to the point of being harassment.)

Perhaps in a few weeks I’ll get my hands on a Win10 system and report here what I’ve learned.

About Ed Hurst

Avid cyclist, Disabled Veteran, Bible History teacher, and wannabe writer; retired.
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1 Response to Cranking with Windows

  1. Jay DiNitto says:

    I like VLC. It can play literally anything I threw at it.


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