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You bought a new computer, what now?

Physical Connections.

You will need to connect at a minimum, the video monitor, a keyboard and a mouse and finally the power. Older computers use a 3 prompt power cable, newer models might use a D/C connector on the computer end (that of course is connected to the A/C outlet)

Additional hardware like a printer or scanner should not be connected until much later. Many components like printers need to have the drivers and/or software installed before you plug them in the computer. 

Typically a DSL or cable box can be connected before you turn on a computer when you first set it up, it will be automatically detected by the computer when it boots.

Windows Setup.

When you buy a new computer you will need to perform an installation procedure. Typically this is a mostly automated process consisting of following prompts that basically ask you some simple questions and you use the mouse to click an on-screen button such as "next" or "continue" until the process has finished.

You will need to have the computer connected to the internet so that it can register the Windows operating system. This is a one-time only process and is in most cases transparent and done in the background without your knowledge. If you are not connected to the internet you will be presented with a window that allows you to delay this process to another time.

At this point you should be able to at a minimum turn on the computer and see the desktop.

Within the first day and in the future, the computer will automatically check the Microsoft web site and download updates to the operating system. These updates can take anywhere from a few minutes to a lot longer to download and then install. When updates are installed the computer will reboot and you should allow it to finish the installation and shut itself off when it is done. A prompt will be presented to you when this happens.

Sometimes these updates can be long such as a new Service Pack for Windows or a new version of Internet Explorer.

The same goes for other software which will routinely check their websites for updates, in the background and allow you to install them.

A Typical computer will come with a minimum and often not very useful set of programs. For home users, the Microsoft Works program is sometimes included and can give you the ability to use documents and spreadsheets.

But very often the computer manufacturer will add programs that are fully functional but limited to how long they will run before they expect you to buy them. This can consist of a trial period of several days or of a limited number of times you can operate that program.

Microsoft Office is often included along with anti-virus programs like Norton or McAfee, 

Some Add-On Software

There are several software that will be needed in most cases as you start to use the computer more. Most are free downloads as described below.

The Java and Adobe products are free downloads

  1. The Java Application - This application comes with Windows but will most likely need to be updated very soon after you turn on the computer and will let you know of the need to update with a pop-up window.
  2. The Adobe Flash Add-on - This application comes with Windows but will most likely need to be updated very soon after you turn on the computer and will let you know of the need to update with a pop-up window.
  3. The Adobe Reader Add-on - This application comes with Windows but will most likely need to be updated very soon after you turn on the computer and will let you know of the need to update with a pop-up window.

Things you need to do for the long run

Only one firewall can operate at any one time.

Windows comes with a firewall, but so do other programs that you can buy and install which will turn off the default windows firewall and use the one you purchased. (More Info on Firewalls ...coming, see below for a free download of a firewall)

These programs typically can be relatively inexpensive to buy, but are like giving away a razor to make money on razor blades , after a limited time such as 45 days, you will need to buy a "subscription" that might cost $5 to $10 per month so that you can download new virus definitions.

How to Operate the Computer 

Things that can increase your chances of the computer having problems

Add-on programs to Internet Explorer are the most common causes of computers running slower and a higher chance of infections

A good rule of thumb is that if an add-on programs is "really cute" it can cause problems. When you are tempted to install an add-on program ask yourself, "why would anyone spend hundreds of hours and provide the usage of their server to the world for free?" , if you follow the money you will probably find the add-on is sending information of your computer usage habits to its home server to be sold to marketers.

Programs to avoid are "toolbars",  and things like "weather menus" and such. The category these programs falls under is called "Third Party Browser Attachments".

If you do find them useful and install/use them, just remember  there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Free Stuff for you computer.

 

Very Important To-Do Items -

 

 

 

 


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