Recommendations for Free PC Security Software

Working at a small business, my co-workers often ask me for recommendations regarding security software on their home computers. What anti-virus should I install? Is there other software I need? Since these are questions I don’t see going away anytime soon, I figured it was time for me to write up an “official” article about my preferred software choices. Now, most home users tend to be a bit frugal when it comes to their computer. Getting them to invest in the security of their system can often be a challenge. So, for this article, I’ll be focusing on the free security solutions that I typically recommend.
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Installing Microsoft Office Data Connectivity Components

Pretend for a second that you are an application developer, developing in VB.Net, and you find yourself needing to work with an Office-based data file (like Access or Excel). So, you write your code, put together your connection string, and go to run your program. Maybe the program works on your workstation, maybe it doesn’t. The real problem is that the code bombs out when you run it on your web server. You get an error that looks like this:

The ‘Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0’ provider is not registered on the local machine.

Now what? Well, the error should be pretty clear to anyone working with OLEDB or ODBC connections. Whenever you go to make a connection to a database, using a database API to do so, you need to have the appropriate drivers installed. If you have the latest version of Office (2007+) installed, then you may already have the necessary drivers. If you don’t (and you really shouldn’t on a server), then you’ll need to separately install the drivers. They can be a bit hard to track down, but here is what I’ve found.

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Building the Blog Part 3: Customizing the Blog

A look at this blog's theme, before and after my customization work.

One of the key features of WordPress is the large number of themes available. You can find a theme to suit any purpose you like, and many are extremely flexible. WordPress, designed to meet almost any website need, has an ecosystem of themes covering every type of website you could possibly desire. Standard blogs, image-heavy Pinterest-style blogs, corporate websites, e-commerce portals, and so on. Most users will select a pre-made theme, apply it to their website, and go on with their life. Well, I guess I’m not “most users.”

I tend to be a bit picky with website design, combing every inch of a design, tweaking even minor details. While there are many talented theme developers out there, none will ever release a WordPress theme that meets every bit of criteria important to me. That is to be expected, of course, and is why many businesses hire designers to create a customized theme (versus select a free, pre-made theme). So, if you can’t find a theme that suits your needs, what are your options? Basically, you have two. You can either create a whole new theme, from the ground up, or you can simply modify an existing theme. I chose the later.

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