Review: Visual Studio .NET 2003 Enterprise Architect

PROS – Easy to use and learn, MSDN library included

CONS – Takes too much time for installation, consumes huge disk space

Developers are always on a look out for new development products from Microsoft. One such cool product is Visual Studio .NET 2003. It’s named as Enterprise Atchitect because it includes more features than Standard and Professional editions. It comes in a had box with the required CD’s, manuals and a getting started kit. It also comes with MSDN Library.

The installation process took around 45 minutes on a P4 machine with 512 MB RAM. You can pick your option during the course of its installation. For example, I didn’t installed Visual C++ .NET by unchecking the box. Visual Studio .NET 2003 also comes with templates for Crystal Reports.

The advantages of this development tool is that you can develop robust Windows and Web applications using Microsoft’s .NET Framework. It ships with tons of new controls and samples. You can also install the samples during the installation process.

The disadvantage of VS.NET 2003 is that it consumes lot of disk space. So you cannot install this in old computers.

Overall, VS.NET 2003 is a mush have tool for every serious .NET developer.

Review – Microsoft Windows XP Professional

PROS – Easy to use, Very useful for developers and administrators


Windows XP professional is an extension to the Windows XP home edition. It completely removes the disadvantages of home edition by providing us with Interent Information Server (IIS). It also supports ASP and ASP.NET pages. ASP is available by default and ASP.NET will be available if you install Microsoft .NET Framework. You can install Visual Studio .NET and develop cool applications.

The whole installation process took around 1 hour. It depends upon your processor speed and RAM. The more the RAM the better the performance of XP professional. The OS automatically detects any new hardware.

You should bear in mind to update the OS by visiting Windows Update soon after the installation of the OS.

You can also install Windows XP SP2 on your system instead of installing the patches from the Windows Update.

The product ships with manuals which you can go through if you have any doubts.

Overall, Windows XP professional is an operating system meant for developers and experienced users.

Review – Microsoft Windows XP Home

PROS – Easy to use and learn

CONS – Not useful for developers

Windows XP home is an operating system designed and developed for home computing users. The product ships with a manual and the required CD’s. The installation process depends upon your processor speed. I installed it on my toshiba laptop within 30 minutes.

Windows XP is a cool product. It’s interface is different from its previous counterparts. The start menu looks great and the speed is very good as compared to Windows 98.

The internet can be connected within minutes. It automatically detects any new hardware without any problems. You can create users very easily from the new control panel.

It’s help system is also good compared to Windows 98. So also the search facility. Windows XP home ships with all the eseential tools and applications to get start with. Tools such as Scan Disk, Disk Defragmenter, System restore are very useful. It also comes with Piant, WordPad and the popular NotePad.

The big disadvatage of Windows XP home is that it cannot be used for developing softwares and .NET applications. It does not support .NET completely.

Hence, Windows XP home can be used only for non developmental tasks.

Review – Microsoft Office XP

Office XP is an excellent product which can be used for the purpose of office automation. It ships with all the essential applications such as Microsoft Word (For writing/editing documents), Microsoft Excel (For Mathematical Calculations), PowerPoint (For creating Presentations), Access (Database tool), FrontPage (For WebPage creation).

Word XP is packed with all the features for creating/editing documents. Various book authors, publishers are taking advantage of its comments feature to track editing and reviews.

FrontPage XP doesn’t ships with the support for creating ASP.NET pages. I hope the next version of Office will ship with the support for developing ASP.NET pages. From my point of view, FrontPage is a cool and lightweight product for WebPage creation. Developers can make use of all the features included with the HTML in FrontPage.

Powerpoint XP is an excellent presentation product. You can create presentations for any purpose. You can spice up your presentations by adding effects, sounds and much more. The product ships with a manual with which you can learn Microsoft Office XP if you are a beginner.

I would like to say that the product disappeared so quickly and Office 2003 was released within 1 year of the release of this product. Sadly, Office XP didn’t created any interest among users.

Review: AVG Anti-Virus Free Edition

I was in search for a good antivirus software ever since the expiry of my Norton AntiVirus edition. I’ve heard of AVG and decided to try this antivirus first. The download took only 10-15 minutes with a cable broadband connection. You will have to run an update after its installation and it will not take  less than 10 minutes. It comes with various tools such as Resident Shield, E-mail Scanner, Scheduler and much more. It automatically installs any updates depending upon the schedule you’ve given. I was previously using Norton and it slowed down my System very much. With AVG, my system runs faster and moreover scanning system runs in the background. It also detected few viruses while I was downloading e-mails few days back. I can’t imagine a day without AVG anti virus. I’m planning to install this on my laptop as well because of its excellent performance.

I would highly recommend this anti virus for all users and a million thanks for the developers.

Review: Microsoft AntiSpyware

PROS – Easy to download, install. Removes and cleans all kinds of spywares
CONS – The product will expire after certain time

Actually, I was fed up with lot of third party firewalls. They didn’t removed all spywares from my system thus causing lot of problems. PopUpwindows will frequently appear thus disturbing work. It was at this time Microsoft released its antispyware tool and I must say that this tool really rocks. It instantly removed all spywares (around 30) from my system within 15 minutes. Moreover, you can schedule the tool to run during specific time every day. The tool will perform an automatic update whenever it detects new definition of spyware. I highly recommned this tool to everybody and I hope that this will be a number one product and will surely beat others in spyware tools marketplace.

Even though the product is now expired and available as Windows Defender, I still use the product which I installed one year back and it checks each and every spywares.

Review: Zone Alarm Firewall

PROS – Easy installation, Free version available
CONS – None

Nowadays firewalls are a must for every PC. There are around dozen threats being reported everyday and it is important for you to protect yourselves from intruders and hackers. Windows firewall which ships with Windows are not much effective. AZone alarm is an excellent alternative. I didn’t experience any trouble during the installtion of the product and the process was smooth. A wizard will help you to configure the software. You can even checkout the professional version for 15 days or you can choose free version. An interesting point to note is that free version doesn’t include all the features of pro version but is is sufficient for hoem users. Pro version can be opted by administrators. You can allow access to programs by using its built-in feature. There are different kinds of access levels which you will see from the configuration screen. I very much liked its logging utility. It shows the logs of each and every attack on your system. Overall, this product is a must have for every serious interent user. Last but not the elast, prevention is beetr than cure and hence install a reliable firewall such as Zone Alarm and guard yourselves against hackers.