Options

Help me jazz up my new desktop computer

ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
Hey! After many long years of hemming and hawing I finally got myself a new Desktop PC and I am looking for suggestions for fun things to do with it other then grading papers and playing games. =)

Specifically... where can I find great desktop themes and screen savers? What about any cool apps for information? Maybe something that gives me the weather forecast? I'm pretty easy to amuse.

I don't want to download some malware ridden piece of crap, or something that drains my system resource. So id love to hear what you guys use and like!

Posts

  • Options
    SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit Tandem Electrostatic Accelerator Registered User regular
    Hey! After many long years of hemming and hawing I finally got myself a new Desktop PC and I am looking for suggestions for fun things to do with it other then grading papers and playing games. =)

    Specifically... where can I find great desktop themes and screen savers? What about any cool apps for information? Maybe something that gives me the weather forecast? I'm pretty easy to amuse.

    I don't want to download some malware ridden piece of crap, or something that drains my system resource. So id love to hear what you guys use and like!

    Not sure if serious, but if you want to avoid malware, don’t install any of that stuff at all, ever.

    You can check the weather using a web browser and screensavers are useless now that screens can go into standby hence saving the screen and not wasting power.

    The browser is really one of the most multi purpose tools ever invented. You can do almost everything you need to do with just a browser now.

    Steam - Synthetic Violence | XBOX Live - Cannonfuse | PSN - CastleBravo | Twitch - SoggybiscuitPA
  • Options
    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    thanks @Soggybiscuit I would really like to have some nice wallpapers for my computer, so still looking for that. I guess its been a while since i have tried to do anything with a browser. Do you have any suggestions for good plugins for the browser? What browser would you suggest? I typically use Chrome.

  • Options
    SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit Tandem Electrostatic Accelerator Registered User regular
    thanks Soggybiscuit I would really like to have some nice wallpapers for my computer, so still looking for that. I guess its been a while since i have tried to do anything with a browser. Do you have any suggestions for good plugins for the browser? What browser would you suggest? I typically use Chrome.

    Depending on how you feel about adblockers and script killers, one of those at least. Most browsers have built in pop up blockers so you shouldn’t need that. I don’t use Chrome, so I can’t make any specific recommendations. You should also be careful, malware has been distributed through browser extensions before. Only install the ones you need and trust.

    As for wallpapers, I tend to favor science stuff, like eso.org for astronomy photos.

    Steam - Synthetic Violence | XBOX Live - Cannonfuse | PSN - CastleBravo | Twitch - SoggybiscuitPA
  • Options
    spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    For blockers, go with uBlock Origin as your adblocker.

    Recommend you also check out 1Password to help collect all the pws in a repository.

    Your best wallpaper tool is gonna be Wallpaper Engine on Steam. Absolutely bonkers cool stuff on there, tons and tons of it. Also a metric ton of anime porn so be aware that the nsfw stuff is not kidding.

    Also yeah, get Steam. This is ostensibly a videogame forum after all!

    Edge is good now. It's crazy, I can't believe it. But Chrome is fine.

    Notepad++ is a must-download on all my machines.

    Discord lately too. Don't use it in the browser. Ventrilo and Teamspeak are dead, don't bother.


  • Options
    syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Seconding the use of Edge here. Kinda funny how Chrome started as a fork of webkit (apple's open source safari engine), then they built it out into its own open source chromium engine, which Microsoft has now forked and used for Edge. And it is reaaaaal close to chromium, to the extent that every single Chrome plugin works exactly the same, dev tools are the same, etc.

    It even has those shared device capabilities if you install it across your phone and computer and other devices, so long as you are logged into the same microsoft account (live, o365, hotmail, etc).

    Biggest change is that Microsoft is less data-harvest trigger happy compared to Google, so if you care about that thing it's a good choice.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • Options
    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    Thank you for the great suggestions @spool32 I will check that out. I will try out Edge as well, @syndalis Im sure thats an easy transition. Those space pictures on eso.org are gorgeous! Now, if i could just get some federation starships in there too!? lol. Thanks for the help! I do plan on getting Steam too, there is a game Among the Trees that looks really nice that I am eager to try too! Thanks all!

  • Options
    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    What's a good Virus program? I had used Malewarebytes in the past to run ad hoc system scans and then whatever free virus program was best at the moment, I think Avast was the last one. Is the built in windows virus program good enough? Is it worth while to pay for something now? I am going to have kids 10 & 7 using the computer too. I plan to set up separate profiles for them to limit how much they can damage the system.

  • Options
    SoggybiscuitSoggybiscuit Tandem Electrostatic Accelerator Registered User regular
    What's a good Virus program? I had used Malewarebytes in the past to run ad hoc system scans and then whatever free virus program was best at the moment, I think Avast was the last one. Is the built in windows virus program good enough? Is it worth while to pay for something now? I am going to have kids 10 & 7 using the computer too. I plan to set up separate profiles for them to limit how much they can damage the system.

    The AV built into Windows is pretty decent. I personally haven't used a third-party one in a long time. It won't stop someone determined but it should catch most of the crap before too much damage is done.

    Setting up separate profiles without administrative access would be an extremely good idea. I can't count the number of times I had to clean utter junk off the system that my stepmom's grand kids were using and the reason I had to that is because I was too lazy to set up separate profiles for them and they would literally install anything. The thing would hit 80% CPU usage idling after a month or two.

    Steam - Synthetic Violence | XBOX Live - Cannonfuse | PSN - CastleBravo | Twitch - SoggybiscuitPA
  • Options
    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    Thats crazy that they will install anything, but the truth. My kids are just the same, just keep clicking! Thanks for the tips on the Microsoft Defender

  • Options
    spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    yep, don't let your kids run on your profile. You will regret it otherwise! For years (and years), your environment will always be broken or wrong, your kids will log into your discord servers and talk to your friends, get your LoL account suspended for griefing, use your google drive for their homework and then beg your for your email password while you're in a meeting, leave themselves logged into deviantart and cause your partner to wonder wtf you're looking at, burn your amazon premium twitch sub on giving Summit1g even more money, and eventually you'll either buy them a PC or they'll move out but either way you'll have to reformat the whole thing just to make it run right.

    Never again.

    Microsoft will let you create child accounts that connect to yours and give you a very large degree of control over how the PC is used, look into that.

    Also seconding soggybiscuit's advice to just use Windows Defender. It's fine, and with uBlock running you're going to screen out 99% of the viruses and other crap. Basically every virus protection tool nowadays is just malware by another name - Windows Defender just does the whatever... I haven't had a virus problem in years and I'm on the internet basically 100% of the time.

    spool32 on
  • Options
    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    I'll go ahead and pitch a defense for MalwareBytes here. Defender is good enough for most of us! But MalwareBytes is fucking intense. It doesn't nuke just malware, but also adware, PUPs, and even ads that are hinky. I'm a big fan. It's not a must install, but if other people use the computer it's worth thinking about.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Options
    JazzJazz Registered User regular
    edited February 2022
    Shout out to Firefox as well, still my go-to browser (Edge is my secondary, Chrome is installed purely for the handful of things that stupidly only work in it).

    As well as Steam you're probably going to need other game storefronts/launchers eventually (Epic, Origin, Rockstar Social, Ubisoft Connect, etc), but it's up to you if you want to install them in advance or just as needed. Just be aware of them.

    I find the desktop WhatsApp useful too, and it piggybacks off the app on your phone so is super simple. Speaking of your phone, Your Phone (Microsoft's own app) is a handy tool too for bridging the gap between devices.

    Jazz on
  • Options
    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    Haha, that is quite the ominous warning @spool32 I will be sure to set up the child account. =) Also, I will try with Windows Defender to start, I have used MalewareBytes in the past as a secondary thing, running ad hoc. I never had it as the primary running. @Shadowfire do you have MalewareBytes as the primary always on in the background?

  • Options
    ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Me personally? No. I keep it on my computer and run it occasionally, but I'm pretty careful and my kid can't use my computer (she has her own she can fuck up on her own time). But for my more.. at risk clients, I highly recommend it.

    WiiU: Windrunner ; Guild Wars 2: Shadowfire.3940 ; PSN: Bradcopter
  • Options
    spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Haha, that is quite the ominous warning @spool32 I will be sure to set up the child account. =)

    We have three, ages 22, 24, and 26. They all cut teeth on IDE ribbon cable and have been in and around PCs as long as they've been alive... and all of them trashed our computers at least once each. This computer still has like 35gb worth of mystery data in a profile one of them made when they visited for a holiday that I haven't bothered to delete, but at least it's not in mine.

  • Options
    JokermanJokerman Everything EverywhereRegistered User regular
  • Options
    honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    How about a nice mousepad to Jazz it up?
    71gizQ9qNML._AC_SL1200_.jpg

  • Options
    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    The computer was just delivered, so I will get a chance to set it up this weekend and take it out for a spin in the seedy world of the interwebs! Thanks for the advice! =) That mouse pad may be too cool for me.

  • Options
    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    A quick list of what I like on my personal computer in, more or less, random order. Some have also been mentioned by others. Anything on my list is free and can if you download it from who made it, then there is also no
    garbage payloads (never download a tool form a site that asks you to first download some download tool.).

    Firefox, add the Adblock+ add on to block ads.
    I've been a Firefox fan since day 1 and still I find it to be the best browser of them all. Just the way it handles tabs, letting you easily re-opens ones you closed by mistake for example and also that you can open multiple bookmarks as tabs with one click - like for example I have a handful of bookmarks with comics so when I am in the mood I just open them all in one go.

    Thunderbird
    Best mail client I can think of. It is somewhat related to Firefox and it just works, much more efficient than for example Outlook. The only thing I miss is for it to play different notification sounds depending on what mail box there is new mail in.

    Notepad++
    This or alternatively Textpad. Both great and powerful text editors.

    TreeSizeFree
    On a new system you won't need this, but eventually a tool to let you find out what branches in the file structure takes up space is handy.

    Game Launchers
    These will sneak in as you install games, but I will recommend getting the Epic one right away. They are giving away a game for free every weeks, not every game will be to your taste however their offerings are all over and it includes both a little older and rather new ones. Like I've picked up GTA V, Civ VI, Inside, Metro 2033 Redux, GC III, Control and more.

    MAME
    It is a platform for simulating Arcade games. Think Pac Man, Galaga...

    Delphi
    If you're into programming even just a bit I recommend checking it out. There is a free version one can sign up for.

    Open Hardware Monitor
    A tool for monitoring temperatures, fan speeds and so on. Depending on what you have and what you've done setup wise, it may be you have left available performance unused and/or fans running harder and thus louder than needed.

    Wall papers
    NASA has a ton, but also just using google to search and setting it to show only images as results seems to be a good way to find images. If you're into art there is also art museums that are offering scans of paintings.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • Options
    NaphtaliNaphtali Hazy + Flow SeaRegistered User regular
    use ublock origin over adblock. https everywhere as well. if you really want to lock things down, you can go noscript and have to slowly re-enable websites but lock out anything that you don't want them running.

    Steam | Nintendo ID: Naphtali | Wish List
  • Options
    JazzJazz Registered User regular
    Oh yeah, I forgot TreeSize Free. I find that a really invaluable tool, even for games it's a great one at nailing down where all your space has gone if you're like me and have zillions installed at once.

  • Options
    HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    Just glue @Jazz to your computer.

  • Options
    JazzJazz Registered User regular
    That'd work.

  • Options
    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    Thank you for the list @BlindZenDriver I have always wanted to learn programming, so I will for sure give Delphi a look. My desk is pretty full up for @Jazz but maybe if he is quiet? =) I tried the Wallpaper Engine from Steam and that was very cool. Also WindowsDefender and Edge are working fine. I downloaded Among Trees but have not tried it yet, will be the 1st game for the new system. Other then that it seems like WAY more computer then I need, but it sure is shiny! =) Thanks for every ones assistance.

  • Options
    BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Thank you for the list @BlindZenDriver I have always wanted to learn programming, so I will for sure give Delphi a look. My desk is pretty full up for @Jazz but maybe if he is quiet? =) I tried the Wallpaper Engine from Steam and that was very cool. Also WindowsDefender and Edge are working fine. I downloaded Among Trees but have not tried it yet, will be the 1st game for the new system. Other then that it seems like WAY more computer then I need, but it sure is shiny! =) Thanks for every ones assistance.

    You're most welcome. Enjoy the new rig.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • Options
    JazzJazz Registered User regular
    Way more computer than you need is almost enough. :wink:

    Enjoy it!

  • Options
    CaedwyrCaedwyr Registered User regular
    I have been using Playnite to combine all my launchers and non-launcher games and I am pretty pleased with it. It removes the hassle of having my collection spread out over multiple services and offline backups.

  • Options
    ThundyrkatzThundyrkatz Registered User regular
    Thanks @Caedwyr I will check out Playnite. So far everything is going very smoothly!

Sign In or Register to comment.