TLA Systems , LLC
Practical Solutions, not just buzzwords.


Useful Links:

Note: Please keep in mind that all of these links are to web sites that we do not have any control of, so we cannot be responsible for anything they say or do.   Things on the Web change quickly, so it is entirely possible that any of these sites could say or do something with which we disagree entirely, before we become aware of it and take them off this page.


In our opinion, there are 3 best anti-spyware products.   2 are free for personal, home use: AVG Free Anti-Spyware from Grisoft, and Ad-Aware from Lavasoft.   The third is the best of the lot, but costs (the perfectly reasonably price of) $30: SpySweeper from Webroot.   The other two cost about the same, for business use.   We recommend using at least two different anti-spyware products.
Here, the field is much less crowded.   The best-known products (which we won't name here because we don't want to be sued) all have very serious technical issues, which lead to all sorts of problems when people use them.   Our favorite is AVG anti-virus, which is available in both a free version for personal, home use, and a paid version for business use.   The paid version is about half the cost of the better-known ones, and it works much better, in our experience.   Try it; you'll like it.   Note: generally, using more than one (1) anti-virus program on your PC is a very bad idea, and causes all sorts of problems.   Since they are much more effective than anti-spyware programs, you should only need one, if it is a good one.
Usually, we shy away from blanket recommendations, since so few companies do more than one thing especially well, but if you're looking to download something, a good place to look first is   You will have to carefully read the description of what you are getting, but you can at least be sure of not getting spyware or viruses, and you can read the C/Net Editors' reviews, and those of other users (you can even write your own), and compares users' ratings before you download.
File Sharing & Online Backup
Please note that there is no reason why you could not use all of these options.  Each gives you 2Gb free, and allows you to upgrade to much more storage for a reasonable monthly fee.  Each will also give you somewhat more space if you use the referral link on this page.

Dropbox is what you need if you want to share files between a couple of computers, or with your friend(s).  It has a bunch of cool features, but the best thing is that it just works. 

SilverOak is another choice.  It offers more configuration options than Dropbox, and theoretically may offer better security for your data, if you are concerned about that.  Technical types may prefer it.

Mozy Backup is another excellent choice. 

Web Browsing
We don't recommend that anyone should ever use Internet Explorer unless there is a web site that (shame on them) does not work right with other browsers.   Partly because it is used for 50% of all web browsing, and partly because of sloppy programming, the vast majority of viruses, spyware, phishing and all sorts of malware are spread by exploiting flaws in (or "features" of) Internet Explorer.   To add insult to injury, all of the alternative browsers are nicer to use, besides.   Our favorites: Firefox (more compatible), or Chrome or Opera (faster).   They are both completely free, for personal or business use, and overall nicer and much safer than IE.
We recommend against using Outlook and Outlook Express, for exactly the same reason as Internet Explorer (above).   We recommend using Thunderbird (by the same people who make Firefox, above) which is completely free, for personal or business use.

Online Resources:

PC Pitstop
Find out all kinds of things about your PC.   Takes about 5 minutes.
House Call
Does a virus and/or spyware check from your browser.
Windows Updates
Check here for updates to Windows™.   Only works with Internet Explorer.
Office Updates
Check here for updates to Microsoft Office™.   Only works well with Internet Explorer; click the link near the top-right, then do it again.
Check your Internet Bandwidth
Are you getting the speed you're paying for?   Click Here or Here or Here to see.


Buying an HP printer?
This articles suggests you should think twice.   And three times.
How Bad are Internet Threats?
Even the terrorists are worried about it!
Browser Wars: Origin
This is an article from 1998 taking Microsoft and Netscape (since bought by AOL) to task for failing to make their browsers really work according to the W3C standard for HTML (the language that makes the web work).   This is why some web sites work better with one browser than another.   Remember: this article is from '98!   If anything, the problem is worse today than it was then.   Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
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