Panda Cloud Antivirus – Is it netbook ready?

April 30, 2009

Bill Mullins’ at Tech Thoughts scooped us all on a new “exciting” and FREE antivirus product called “Panda Cloud Antivirus”. I encourage you to visit Bill’s site [ CLICK HERE ] to preview his article, “Panda Cloud Antivirus – Free Cloud Protection”. My reading of Bill’s article prompted me to get the word out about this new security product and to test it on my netbook.

Panda Cloud Antivirus

Many of you may not have heard of Panda.
Panda Security is an European based company…

Panda Cloud Antivirus

Founded by Mikel Urizarbarrena in 1990 in Bilbao, Spain, the company operated under the name Panda Software for the first 17 years. By 1995, it was the antivirus market leader in Spain and the following year saw the start of its international expansion effort. It currently has a direct sales presence in 56 countries, operating through an extensive network of subsidiaries and franchises.

“Panda Cloud Antivirus” compared
to the other FREE antivirus software…

Panda Cloud Antivirus is a “thin client” service that you install on your PC that is dependent on the Panda’s internet (cloud) based services for its’ processing activities (aka: cloud computing). As result of the processing services being managed at the cloud (internet) level; maintenance, updates, configuration changes and system resources are minimized to the point that it becomes a maintenance free product. Panda is claiming that by using this model, which is the first that I am aware for any security software, their system will scan and quarantine malware with a 50 per cent less performance load on your PC than other traditional signature based antivirus systems. The detection component of “Panda Cloud Antivirus” is installed on your computer, but the analytic component is managed at the cloud level. One important thing to point out is that Panda Cloud Antivirus is in beta (released to the public for testing) and has not been made final. [added 05/01/2009 - Panda Cloud Antivirus" - Instructions & Help]

“Panda Cloud Antivirus” installed and running on a netbook…

Acer AspireOne Netbook

Following my review of Bill Mullins’ article I downloaded and installed “Panda Cloud Antivirus” on my Acer AspireOne Mini-Netbook over a wireless connection (Intel Atom processor, 1.60 Ghz, 1Gig of RAM, 120 GB SATA, Windows XP). Netbooks are basically low-end PCs’ that primarily rely on the Internet for remote access to web-based (cloud) applications.  I use my netbook to test software; and in theory, if it will run on the “netbook” it will run on just about anything.

System Requirements for Panda Cloud Antivirus

Operating system: Windows Vista 32
(also compatible with Windows Vista SP1 32-bit), Windows XP (32-bit with SP 2 or 3).

RAM: 64 MB.

Hard disk free space: 100 MB.

Browser: Internet Explorer 6.0 or later.

Netbook Install Experience

In summary, the install file was approximately 18.5 MBs and occupied a footprint of approximately 56 MBs following the installation. The installation was very, very quick. The Windows XP Security Center immediately recognized the product as a Security product. The GUI (graphical user interface) is very attractive and simplistic (one of the easiest GUI’s I have experienced). I performed a system scan and found the scan time was comparable in speed and duration to the  previous antivirus software I had installed. I plan to continue using “Panda Cloud Antivirus” on the netbook, as my primary level of antivirus protection, for further review and testing. So far this cloud app is running smoothly on my netbook, but time will tell.

To Bill Mullin’s at Tech Thoughts; Thank you for bringing this product to our attention.  As Bill stated in communication with me “This is an important improvement to our overall security status..”

THE WORD IS OUT

Official Blog – Panda Cloud Antivirus

Panda Cloud Antivirus hits Internet for free – USA Today

Panda Cloud Antivirus is a Lightweight,
Always-Updated Virus Killer – Lifehacker

Panda Launches New Free Cloud-based Antivirus – PCWorld

Panda debuts first cloud-based anti-virus system – VNUNet

Panda Security debuts cloud-based anti-virus – itWorldCanada

Panda Security launches free cloud-based antivirus – Geek.com

Addendum (05/01/2009) The Tennessee Technology Center at Shelbyville (aka: TTC Shelbyville) has posted the  article “Panda Cloud Antivirus Free”. The TTC Shelbyville article provides additional information about their installation experience(s), screenshots and findings; that is a great supplement to this article. They also threw some actual viral content at “Panda Cloud Antivirus”… I encourage you to visit TTC Shelbyville [ CLICK HERE ] to see the results of their review.

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The ViewSonic VPC100 All In One – Future of computers?

April 30, 2009

What you are looking at is not just an LCD monitor. It is the ViewSonic VPC100 All-In-One computer.  Yes, that is the computer, built into the monitor chassis.

ViewSonic VPC100

If space is at premium the VPC100, which is only 35mm thick, may be an option.  According to the ViewSonic website this PC can operate independently, hardwired into a LAN network or work wirelessly in any 802.11b/g WiFi network. I found the specs on the VPC100 comparable to the specs that is currently being seen in today’s netbooks. This type of “all-in-one” PC may be the future; especially if cloud computing becomes a mainstay. Most computer users really do not take full advantage of the operating power or specs of their PC’s anyway. Really, what else would the everyday internet user need? Currently the VPC100 is a little pricey ($550 to $650) in my book, but it is worth a look see. If anyone out there has one of these, I would love to hear your comments.

Specs

Type
18.5″ Color TFT Active Matrix LCD

Display Area
16.1″ horizontal x 9.1″ vertical; 18.5″ diagonal

Resolution
1366×768

Contrast Ratio
1000:1 (typ)

Brightness
300 cd/m2 (typ)

Viewing Angles
160º horizontal, 160º vertical

Response Time
5ms (typ)

Light Source
Long life, 50,000 hrs. (typ)

AUDIO

Speaker
3-watt (x2)

CONNECTOR

Power
Adapter: 19V DC; 65W / Cord: 3-pin AC plug

POWER

Voltage
AC 100–240V (universal), +/–10% Wide Range

Consumption
60W (typ)

DC-DC Power
On-board, 19V DC-in to 3.3V, 5V, 5VSB, 12V

OPERATING CONDITIONS

Temperature
32-104ºF (0-40ºC)

Humidity
10-90% (non-condensing)

Altitude
0–6,000 ft. (1800 m), operational up to 10,000 ft. (3048 m) at reduced reliability and performance

DIMENSIONS

Physical (WxHxD)
17.72″ x 14.18″ x 1.38″ (450mm x 360mm x 35mm)

WEIGHT

Net
11.73 lb. (5.32 kg)

Gross
16.53 lb. (7.5 kg)

RECYCLE/DISPOSAL

The lamp in this product contains mercury. Please dispose of in accordance with local, state or federal laws.

PACKAGE CONTENTS

VPC100, power cord, power adapter, keyboard, mouse, Driver CD, Quick Start Guide, ViewSonic Wizard CD

VESA® MOUNT

100mm x 100mm

WARRANTY

1-year limited warranty on parts, labor and backlight

CORE

CPU Processor Type
Intel® Atom N270

CPU Processor Speed
1.6GHz Single Core, FSB 533MHz, BGA

Chipset
Intel® 945GSE + ICH7M

MEMORY

1GB DDR2 SDRAM

SOFTWARE

Operating System
Windows® XP Home

HARD DRIVE

Capacity
2.5″, 160GB SATA

COMMUNICATION

Ethernet LAN
10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet

Wireless LAN
802.11b/g

INPUT/OUTPUT

USB 2.0 (x4), PS/2 (x2), RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet LAN, Microphone jack, Earphone jack, 4-in-1 card reader (XD, SD, MMC, MS)

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Appnews.net – Track Your Software Updates and Reviews

April 29, 2009

To my readers: Please note the new addition of “Appnews.net” to the What’s On My PC… blogroll (aka: Launch Pad).

Appnews.net

Appnews.net is a NEW site devoted to software updates and reviews that is the cooperative brainchild efforts of Freeware Genius, gHacks, and Rarst.  If you are a follower of free and open source software, I encourage you to make Appnews.net one of your stops.

For my readers convenience, a RSS feed to Appnews.net has been added to the sidebar of the blog.

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Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#8)

April 29, 2009

Geek Squeaks'

I can only say WOW!  Another round of great articles, during the past week, from the top tech blogs on the internet… You can be part of this weekly listing by adding “What’s On My PC…” to your blogroll… 

Thank you!


Synchronize Two Folders to have a Backup – TTC Shelbyville

Have You Gone Virtual Yet? – Tech-for Everyone

Convert Any File Online For Free – AKSHAT

YouTube RealTime: FriendFeed-Style Notifications All In Real Time [Do You Have An Invite?] – AllThatsNew

FireFox 3.0.10 Released – Fixes Crash Issues – Bill Mullins Weblog – Tech Thoughts

Good support is always a good thing, even with Malware – The Spyware Biz Blog

How to Remove Virus Shield 2009 – 411-Spyware.com

Google fixes severe Chrome security hole | Webware – CNet – AskBillFirst

The Best Free Antivirus? – Carputers News and Computer Tips

How to Optimize USB Drives – SnakeBytes

Introducing Appnews.net – awesome software updates – Rarst.net

System management akin to DameWare and Hyena: Purgos 3.0.249 – Confessions of a Freeware Junkie

Microsoft Wireless Laser 8000 Mouse Review – Crazy World of G

A simple way to keep you out from internet addiction – Piyadas World

Office 2010 Screenshots Preview What’s to Come – Lifehacker

Free SUPERAntiSpyware Pro Giveaway – Evilfantasy’s Blog

PHORM – Invading Your Privacy – Free PC Security

VDownloader – download and convert YouTube videos – Great Free Software Utilities

AND A BLAST FROM THE PAST

Beware! Telephone Bill Rip-Off…

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Tech-for Everyone – Surpasses a Half-Million Visitors

April 28, 2009

When I started blogging, approximately 9 months ago, it was a new adventure to me. What I have found during the past 9 months, as a rookie blogger, is the  importance of posting something new, almost everyday, in order to build a community of visitors to the site.

Writing and maintaining a blog, on a daily basis, is an exercise of the mind (like physical exercise) that challenges you beyond your normal limits. Yesterday I was very excited to experience a day where I had over 1,000 visitors to my blog in less than 24 hours. I would like to say “Thank You” to my visitors who responded and helped me reach that total. I try not to look at the numbers, but it does give me some motivation to continue with the exercise of the mind.

Another thing I have discovered with blogging is that there are good people out there. I have met (in a virtual sense), some of the most friendly, helpful and intelligent people. When I say virtual, I mean I have not been in the “physical presence” of any of these people. I describe it as almost “spiritual” in nature. There is email, messaging, webcams, and blog comments in the virtual sense, but no physical presence or contact.

Tech-for Everyone

One of these people in my blogging community, TechPaul (at Tech-for Everyone), is one of those bloggers I would like to publicly recognize. This guy is what I describe as a walking tech “wikipedia”… He, as several others, has been a mentor to me. Yesterday, TechPaul reached a milestone of over 500,000 visitors to his blog at “Tech-for Everyone”.

TechPaul’s blog is focused on helping others with computers and information technology by posting  Tech Tips, Tricks, and Advice. This accomplishment can only be described as an awesome achievement. A half million visitors to a blog is more than the population of some communities.

To congratulate TechPaul, I encourage you to routinely visit his blog; “Tech-for Everyone” and help him reach that million mark…

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Understanding the Windows Vista Sidebar

April 28, 2009

It is my finding, and I think most techs will agree, that the Windows Vista Sidebar is probably the most underutilized and most misunderstood feature in Vista. I also do not see many articles written about the sidebar and this may be due to the thinking, by techs, that the sidebar consumes system memory or it is nothing more than eye candy.

If you are a Vista user and you do not know what the sidebar is, it is an area, usually inhabiting the right edge of your desktop that contains gadgets (such as a clock, picture viewer, calendar, etc…).  What most people do not know is that you can install, add and remove gadgets from the sidebar and you can also drag gadgets from the sidebar and place them anywhere on your desktop; thus, making the sidebar an useful feature.

To assist you with Understanding the Sidebar
I have compiled the following, easy-to-follow tutorial

Did you know…

You can move the sidebar to the left side of the screen (or to a secondary monitor); make it stay on top; OR make it start each time with Windows.  (Right click in the sidebar area and select properties).

Sidebar Properties

You can toggle the sidebar “on” and “off”. To turn the sidebar “off” “right click” the sidebar icon in the system tray notification area and select “exit”.  To turn it back “on”,  click on “Sidebar” under “Accessories” from the “Start Menu. A quick way to load the sidebar, is click the “Start Menu” button, select “run” and type “sidebar”.

Sidebar Tray

You can move any of the gadgets from the sidebar and place them anywhere on your desktop.  By placing your pointer on a gadget, a handle will appear.  Place the mouse pointer on the handle, hold down the left mouse button and drag it to the desktop. You can move your gadgets “to and from” the sidebar or around the desktop using the handle.

Sidebar Handle

You can configure and customize a gadget (depending on what the gadget is).  By placing your pointer on a gadget, a “wrench” will appear.  Click on the “wrench”.  Some gadgets have more configuration options than others.

Gadget Configure

You can remove a gadget from the sidebar.  By placing your mouse pointer on a gadget, an “X” will appear.  Click on the “X” to close the gadget and remove it from the sidebar or from your desktop.  When you close a gadget it is not deleted.  It is transferred (stored) in the Gadget Gallery.

Gadget Close

You can add gadgets by adding them from the “gadget gallery”.  To add a gadget, “right mouse click” a blank area within the “sidebar” and select “add gadget”.  This will prompt the gadget gallery to appear.  You can “left double click” on any gadget and it will be added to the sidebar.  Simply “close” the gadget gallery when done.  You can also add gadgets and invoke the gadget gallery by right mouse clicking the Sidebar tray icon and selecting “add gadget”.

Gadget Gallery

You can “uninstall” (remove) any gadgets from the “gadget gallery”.  To completely uninstall a gadget from your computer, “right mouse click” a blank area within the “sidebar” and select “add gadget”.  This will prompt the gadget gallery to appear.  “Right Mouse Click”, select “uninstall” to remove any gadget from your computer (and from the gadget gallery).

Gadget Uninstall from Gallery

You can add gadgets by downloading and installing them from the internet.  Installed gadgets are automatically added to the “Gadget Gallery”.  The “Gadget Gallery” serves as the depot for your gadget collection. Most of the gadgets reflected in the graphic above was downloaded from various internet sources.  A good place to start looking online for sidebar gadgets is:

Windows Vista Gallery – Personalize Windows Vista Sidebar

Look for quality when selecting your gadgets.
There are some really neat ones available.

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Tracking Outbreaks of the Swine Flu with Mapping Technology

April 27, 2009

Who would have ever thought the day would arrive where we could track outbreaks of disease or sickness and make that information visually and publicly available using mapping technology? This past week the Swine Flu has been the topic that has everyone concerned.

From December 2005 through February 2009, a total of 12 human infections with swine influenza were reported from 10 states in the United States. Since March 2009, a number of confirmed human cases of a new strain of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection in the U.S. and internationally have been identified. An investigation into these cases is ongoing. For more information see Human Swine Flu Investigation.
[ Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention ]

I found several tracking sources, that use mapping technology, but the one that I consider the most credible is the:

“HealthMap – Global Disease Alert Map”

HealthMap

About HealthMap

HealthMap brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of the current global state of infectious diseases and their effect on human and animal health. This freely available Web site integrates outbreak data of varying reliability, ranging from news sources (such as Google News) to curated personal accounts (such as ProMED) to validated official alerts (such as World Health Organization). Through an automated text processing system, the data is aggregated by disease and displayed by location for user-friendly access to the original alert. HealthMap provides a jumping-off point for real-time information on emerging infectious diseases and has particular interest for public health officials and international travelers.

HealthMap

A second source, is a Google map posted by a Google user, who is identified as a person of biomedical research [ CLICK HERE ]. The map depicts locations where the H1N1 Swine flu is suspect, confirmed or where death has occurred.

Swine Flu - Google Maps

Questions about the Swine Flu?
Check out “Health Blog Q&A: Swine Flu in the U.S. and Mexico”
[ Wall Street Journal ]

Addendum (April 28, 2009): The Wall Street Journal has posted a “Swine Flu Case Map” [ Click Here ] that depicts cases of the Swine Flu according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization and government officials.

Swine Flu Case Map

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