Excellent suggestions, Beldaraan. I can tell your hubby knows his stuff, and you've clearly learned a lot yourself! I've learned everything from my hubby too. It sure comes in handy being married to a computer wiz, doesn't it?! (This site wouldn't have happened, otherwise!)
I hate programs that hijack your preferences, and are difficult to uninstall! MSN messenger sounds like a pain in the butt. Real Player is another example. It's probably the most invasive program ever made (it's almost virus-like!) which is why I have a link to a Real Player Alternative, instead of the original, on the front page of this site.
KnittingHelp Queen Bee
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman