Consider changing your password

Every three months Windows reminds about changing password. And Windows 7 does in unobtrusive way:

Consider changing your password: Your password will expire in 3 days.

Consider changing your password: Your password will expire tomorrow.

Windows XP shows a dialog box asking whether you would like to change your password now, when you log in or unlock your computer. You have to click a button to continue working. I like the way Windows 7 does it better. Moreover there are email reminders sent in 21 days before your password expires.

Users don’t see such messages at home: Who wants to make oneself change one’s password every three months?

Do you have a password on your home computer?
Have you ever changed it since you setup Windows?

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Antivirus

The time has come to change my antivirus software suite. For a long time I’ve been using Kaspersky Internet Security, and I’ve had no issues with it until recently.

Last year in October, my desktop started to be sluggish after it wakes up from sleep. I contacted technical support. The support ticket is still open, I regularly do tests they ask me to do, add more details… There’s no solution. I already have no hope to get my issue fixed.

A similar problem occurred on my new laptop several times. Although I do not believe KIS is the source of hangs, it surely contributes to the issues with system stability.

So now I’m looking for alternative solution. I’d like to have a complete suite with antivirus and firewall, anti-banner is also a plus. Anti-span is not crucial anymore because I mostly read email online.

What antivirus do you use? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

Problems with laptop

Statistics of reliability monitor on the new laptop does not make happy:
Stability index diagram in Reliability Monitor

Something hangs. Often it happens when resuming from sleep or when switching users. It does not stop responding completely: mouse cursor moves on the screen but there’s nothing else but blackness. Sometimes the system works yet it becomes sluggish. There are service timeout errors in the system log.

I tried to turn off the majority of additional services and software installed by HP. Unfortunately, it didn’t help.

Then I updated video drivers. Neither helped it.

I changed video card usage setting in BIOS from dynamic to fixed and selected high-performance card in the system. This even reduced the time where the laptop works. The system stopped responding rather easily.

Then I switched to using energy-efficient card. The system became more stable, yet occasionally it stopped working…

Lately I updated the fingerprint and sound-card drivers. I hope it helps…

Does anyone face such problems on HP Pavilion dv7-6b54er?
How do I make the system stable?

New Fast Laptop

So I’ve bought a new laptop:

HP Pavilion dv7-6b54er
HP Pavilion dv7-6b54er

Entertainment Notebook PC

It’s just amazing!!! I’m delighted with it!

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No more DST in Russia

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On the next Sunday, October 30, at 3 o’clock Russia would have adjusted clocks one hour backward and returned to winter time from summer time or Daylight Saving Time. But it will do it no more. According to the Law of Time Calculus, Moscow time zone is always UTC+4 instead of the usual UTC+3, with an added hour for summer time.

The corresponding updates have already been applied to Windows 7 and Windows Vista:
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Activate Windows 7

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After I had changed the motherboard in my home computer, almost all devices were reinstalled. Naturally, Windows wanted to activate once again:
2 days until automatic activation

A balloon notification provided more details why activation was required again:
Balloon notification: Activate Windows now

During Windows setup, activation was performed automatically and I was not afraid of this procedure.

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8 GB

Now I have 8 GB of RAM in my home computer.

Motherboard replacement and increase of RAM have not affected Windows Experience Index:
Windows Experience Index: 8 GB

Windows Experience Index is still 5.9 although memory has become faster and its amount has increased. Actually none of the values has changed. The base score is 5.3, by performance of 3D graphics.

Nevertheless the system has become faster because of RAM increase. There are about 5 GB of free unused memory right after Windows boots. As the system is used, amount of memory used by cache rises up to 5.5 GB, and amount of free memory drops to 178 MB:
Total: 8191 MB, Cached: 5641 MB, Available: 5764 MB, Free: 178 MB

It is clear what Total and Cached values mean. The meaning of Available and Free is not as clear. I am confused by the fact that the sum of Cached and Available — 11,405 MB — is greater than the amount of memory installed. The article See details about your computer’s performance using Task Manager tries to explain the values.

  1. Total is the amount of RAM installed on your computer, listed in megabytes (MB).
  2. Cached refers to the amount of physical memory used recently for system resources.
  3. Available is the amount of memory that’s immediately available for use by processes, drivers, or the operating system.
  4. Free is the amount of memory that is currently unused or doesn’t contain useful information.

In my opinion, the article does not clarify the values enough. And there is no Free value in Windows Vista, only Available exists.

Does anyone know how to interpret these values?