The Perfect System for You

Calibrating a new Computer.

Some of the professional nomenclature of the computer industry may appear just as mystifying as the Latin language of a physician.

You will find that most of the essential characteristics are in fact just synonyms for speed and capacity.

I speak your language and will guide you through the process using familiar terminology.

The latest developed high-end components in a computer are the most expensive ones. If you work with sophisticated graphic, sound, or video programs that require some particular exclusive hardware, you are likely to be familiar with their specifications. For all other purposes, you will be well served by choosing more affordable standard solutions.

Clearing the Software Jungle.

The computers software is another jungle that has to be conquered. The easiest way to master this terminology is to think of the system as a layered structure in the order the components are installed and activated at startup.
Layers
  1. Defining hardware is intuitively straight forward;
    any component that has a physical existence.
  2. The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) resides in a chip at the motherboard. It performs an initial hardware check
    and then loads the operating system.
  3. The operating system (Windows, Unix, Mac or Linux) is
    the platform for the user programs and the user’s interface with the system.
    It may be preinstalled on the hard drive. If not, or if you prefer a different operating system, you may have to buy one separately.
    (To add to the confusion, most operating systems include some user applications )
  4. User programs are installed on top of the operating system and ideally activated by the user as needed. Microsoft’s Office Suite and Adobe’s Creative Suites are examples of advanced user programs. But this family also includes antivirus and firewall programs, drivers that interact with peripheral hardware, and configuration programs.

I can design a software setup that ensures reliable productivity and capacity compared with ample security at the most affordable prices.

Laptop vs. Desktop?

The laptop should be a supplement to the desktop, never an alternative.
The components in a laptop are often miniaturized versions of those in a desktop computer and they have limitations and weaknesses.

With the appropriate configuration your laptop can become a valuable remote extension of your office system.

Peripherals.

Computers can link up to a vast array of electronic devices and gadgets and the list keeps growing.

Once you have decided that you need a given device, you need to know if this particular peripheral is compatible with the system on your computer. This is almost a given with the latest Windows versions, but if you use one of the less prevalent operating systems, it may not be the case.

Especially when using handheld devices, make sure that you do not jeopardize the security of your system by copying sensitive data from a protected to an unprotected media. Caution is required with any device that can store data (text, images, sound, or video) as they have the capacity to become sources of virus- or malware infection.

Trouble Free Installation, Configuration, Maintenance, and Repairs.

How safe is a new computer?

Some new computer from the dealer's shelf are born with an array of inherited problems:

  • Some computers come with a vendor specific installation of the operating system.
    If this happens to be your favorite choice of operating system you are fine. If not, you will have to pay for another operating system as well as the installation.
  • Appropriate protection against intrusion and malware attacks may or may not be included.
  • Computers often comes with a bunch of software and add inns which at best represents a nuisance and sometimes potential security risk.
  • Crapware is the common name for this uninvited additional software.

    There are vendor specific as well as general ‘decrapifier’ programs available to help you clean the PC up, but you still need to know what you are doing.
  • Included software can include teaser versions of user programs with very persistent pop-ups that urge you to buy (register) the product.
  • Often you will also find add-ins that pretend to make your Internet surfing easier while they monitor your consumer behavior.
  • Make sure a firewall and an antivirus program from a reputable software house is installed and active before you connect your computer to the Internet.
  • Be selective with the automated updates for the operating system and the user programs. If they are security related it may be advisable to install them. But sometimes they create new problems while they patch old ones. If you don’t experience the problem they aim to remedy, you probably don’t need them.

 

As long as a computer is reliable, fast, and sturdy, the brand has very little significance.

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