Now that you´ve got your computer, what do you do first?
A new computer is a wonderful object, clean, bright and shiny. It goes like a bat out of hell all eager to please and show off about what it can do!
This lasts until you start to fill it with pictures and music and software that pops up and flashes on some websites so annoying that you click on it just to shut it up! After the download that´s when you find that your computer misbehaves and your browser takes you on a magical mystery tour. Then is the time to contact your local computer guru and find out what can be done to restore your computer to a friendly state.
You can avoid costly computer repair bills by making just a few decisions early on.
1. If your computer comes with software disks keep them in a safe place. If you are advised to make disks of the present operating system on first start up follow the instructions and MAKE them. (3 or 4 DVD´s are needed, approx £14, better that than £100 for new system disks from the manufacturer)
2. You can usually delete trial software pre-installed on your machine, manufacturers like to throw in ´extras´. If it´s a trial of antivirus software, make sure you know how long the trial is for. Antivirus software is the one area you do not want to fool around with!
3. There are free versions of antivirus software that are excellent AVG and Avast being just two. The free versions are principally for personal, domestic and non commercial users although they have no official support from the manufacturer, they do perform to the same high standards of the paid for versions.
4. On the back of your machine there is a serial number, part number, and other information take a note of all the information and keep it in the same safe place with the disks.
5. Fixed to one of the side panels of a desktop machine or the bottom of a laptop is the COA. (Certificate of Authenticity) Make a note of this number because it can become damaged or in the case of a laptop, fade with wear.
On a new windows machine you may find that you have a trial for the latest Microsoft office software or an opportunity to buy a license. There is an open source office suite called Open Office used throughout Europe that can read and create Excel, Word and PowerPoint files.
Why do I need a registry cleaner and a defragmenter program?
With every piece of software you download, install and uninstall, small files are
inevitably left behind (almost like sweeping up spilt salt on a kitchen floor,
grains are always left behind) these small orphan files clutter up your hard drive
and eventually the space is used up unless you install and run a registry editor.
Why do I need cd burning software?
"CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components." To hear that glowing explanation of what CDBurner is (from www.cdburnerxp.se) Who wouldn´t want CDBurnerXP?
Information about browsers
A browser other than Internet Explorer is also useful. Opera (www.opera.com) is a good alternative as it has a ´turbo´ option (making the best use of your fast broadband connection) and can also narrate text if you have the correct accessibility setting loaded.
Please try to resist the temptation to download many different software companies´ versions of registry cleaners. Malware stoppers, and spam stoppers, more is not better, more is war which slows down your machine to a crawl.
Finally, a small cautionary tale about toolbars. Toolbars are often tacked onto a gadget that you really can´t live without! But, they collect information on where you browse, where you shop and sometimes lead you astray. Having multiple toolbars on your browser can take up window space and duplicate the same function many times over!(weather forecast, msn and aim sign in helpers and facebook and twitter updater´s)