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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April, 2005, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Click Tips
Rob Freeman
By Rob Freeman
Click tip-ster

Rob Freeman, Click Online's very own Mr Fixit, troubleshoots your PC problems.

E-mail provides an immediate archive of your letters and business contacts, but that is less true of video chats which you have over Instant Message software.

Frans Driessen wants to find a way to save valuable video records:

I teach networking and I would like to be able to record NetMeeting sessions, so that I can use them as resources for my classes, but I can't find any software that records video. Any ideas?

NetMeeting is Microsoft's rather elderly videoconferencing software, and it is available for all Windows PCs. In fact, you have probably already got it on your computer without knowing it.

NetMeeting predates most Instant Message software, which now allows you to chat with your friends and contacts via the keyboard, voice or video.

I would say that most of these are much easier to use that NetMeeting, but the ability to record online conversations seems rare.

I started by looking this up in Microsoft's Knowledge Base, wondering if there was something hidden within NetMeeting which you need to turn on.

I found the right page and, unhelpfully, it says in no uncertain terms: "Currently, NetMeeting does not enable recording of NetMeeting conferences".

They wrote that about four years ago. Luckily, in the meantime some third-party applications have come along which can record a videoconference.

The first is Virtual Desk, which is a piece of shareware that costs about 25. It claims to record not just NetMeeting, but several others as well, including the popular ICU2.

You may also want to try NetMeeting Toolbox, which boasts a suite of tools to add to NetMeeting, including multiple video conversations and video recording.

There must be more, but maybe I am not looking in the right place. If you use something different please let us know.

Some countries have rules about recording conversations, so you might want to check them out, and of course it is good manners to tell someone you are recording them anyway.

It is time for one of our regular looks at anti-virus software.

This is one of the most popular topics I get asked about. The question is generally: which are the good free ones?

We will look at three freebie virus packages, and I must remind you that you download these at your own risk - something for nothing means there is no support from the authors if anything goes wrong.

That said, opinions on the internet are generally pretty good about this bunch.

The first is Grisoft AVG. It is from the Czech Republic, has been around for a few years and is one which several viewers have recommended to us in the past.

It does clean all the common viruses, including things like the Sasser Worm, however it can also falsely detect problems with innocent files... but it is free!

Second is BitDefender from Romania. There is more than one free edition available there: Linux, Windows CE devices and Palm handhelds are all covered.

Finally there is Avast 4 Home from Alwil Software, another program from the Czech Republic.

Unusually, for a free bit of software, it includes e-mail scanning for viruses.

New viruses come out all the time, so once you have got some protection, make sure you do not let it fall out of date.

Free protection is better than none at all, but do give some thought to the benefits you will get from upgrading the free versions.

They are all around 25 and I think that is a bargain.

If you have any questions or queries, please visit "Contact us" (link on the top right-hand side of this page) to get in touch.

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