Resources for the Washington DC area    

Computer and Internet Resources

What's the best computer? For a lot of people, it's the one with the best tech support. When Laptop Magazine did their Tech Support Showdown, Sony was the winner with an overall grade of A. No other company got an A; the worst score was a D+. Sony's  VAIO Fit Series SVF15212CXB is a terrifc  laptop.

A visual tour of the free Ubuntu operating system

Even better than Ubuntu, it's Linux Mint!

Review of the HP-dv5 laptop

The Internet is a Powerful Tool to Promote a Cause

Websites to help you shop greener

Low Power Devices that are Good for the Environment

Great accessories to revitalize an old PC

video w/ details about DTV (digital TV), including info about converter boxes

AMD's A4 processor offers pretty decent performance, allowing a laptop at around $400.

E-readers can be a good alternative to tablets like the iPad. In a sense they are subsidized; companies like Barnes and Noble are hoping you buy lots of electronic books (from them), and sell the reader at a pretty low price.

Google Earth free software great for learning about the environment

Kill A Watt measures your electricity use; Arlington County Libraries let you borrow one




Viruses and privacy: is a good central place to find out about spyware. They're sponsored by Google and Sun Microsystems, so they're about as trustworthy a place as you'll find for recommendations. If you look around the site, you should find links to reviews of recommended programs to remove spyware. (Note: some programs that claim to remove spyware actually ARE spyware, so it's important to stick to using programs recommended by reliable sources.)

Diamond CS has a free program called Process Guard. It alerts you any time a process or application attempts to start. You can allow it, deny it, or set up a rule to always allow it. Very helpful, but really oriented toward a more advanced user.

Shields UP! is a useful tool to help you test your internet connections security. Click on the "Probe My Ports!" button to begin the brief test. If you don't understand the results, you can print the results page and show them to the folks at a computer store for advice on how to secure you're computer.



Secunia's Personal Software Inspector (PSI) is a great way to make sure the software on your PC is the latest version (and the most secure version). - Performance Test - test the speed of your internet connection.

Market Pro Computer shows has shows on the weekend at different places. Lots of vendors sell new and used computer equipment and software at good prices.





















Helpful Windows shortcuts:

F11 - toggles between a normal window and full screen; works on most browsers.

hold "alt" key then press "tab" - toggles between windows. You can continue holding the alt key and repeatedly press tab key to get to the window you want.

F1 "Help window" for the program you're using

"alt" + "print screen" or "ctrl" + "print screen" will do a screen capture. It captures an image of either everything on your computer monitor or the active window. You can then paste it into a program like Front Page or some versions of Netscape Composer.

"alt" - highlights the "File" menu in the program you're using. Then you can use your arrow keys to move across and up and down through the menus. This can be helpful on a laptop that has an awkward pointing device. Pressing "Esc" gets you one level back on the menu, or out of it.

"Backspace" takes you back to the previous web page (on most browsers).


online virus scan:

Housecall. from


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