My 2 Cents: Changing world… Changing computers. Are you keeping up without a headache?
Let’s take a ride in our virtual DeLorean time machine through the world of computers. It’s hard to believe that the general public has been part of the computer cycle now for over 30 years. For the young sect, those were the olden days. For a crowd more seasoned, that’s just when we used to drink Zima and might even still have a pair of denim studded jeans in our closet.
If you didn’t have a personal computer until the mid 90’s, you were not alone. Mainstream families and business owners with money to spare were playing the original purchase game which began in the 80’s with computer after computer and upgrade after upgrade just to keep up with the technology boom. Things picked up for mainstream households in the 90’s for those who were ambitious and didn’t want to be left behind. But it’s been a costly game. Do you still have a floppy disc in a drawer somewhere? Did you upgrade to the external Zip drive introduced in 1994 to back up your very important computer documents? Or, even pay that very high cost to have a zip drive installed as a slot in the next computer you bought? Are you laughing now that I refresh your memory the zip drive discs held only 100 megabytes of storage in its beginning days? So, forget about saving a picture back then. They ultimately upgraded their discs to accommodate 750 megabytes before they were phased out in the early 2000’s in place of the USB drive, again, beginning at about 100 megabytes. In between there was a competition of who had a computer with a CD drive, CDR (recordable), and of course you were the envy of all your friends if you had a CDRW (re-writable) drive— and the cost of those discs back then! OY!! If that didn’t frazzle you, then you surely kept up with bandwidth, cache, encryption, firewalls, gigabytes, modems, restoring, routers, servers, trojans, viruses, and of course, the world wide web (WWW). Was it necessary to deal with the agonizing decisions at the release of every new operating system and when to upgrade before your current system became obsolete? Remember DOS, Unix, NewDOS, NewUnix, MACOS, Windows, Windows NT, Windows 95, 97, 98, WindowsXP, Windows 2000 and so many more. Have a headache yet? Can you believe we went through this and still do?
Purchasing a computer now is no less stressful. If you are shopping for a desktop or laptop system, the good news is that hardware now seems to last longer than the older systems with the proper maintenance and if you can afford it up front, purchase your system with enough memory and speed along with a super graphics card to withstand the ongoing world of new programs. Most computers now are made for specific purposes, so be sure to get the computer that is right for you. For instance, if you are a big gaming player online, you will need a much different computer that is configuration with specific hardware and software just for gamers. This is a much different computer that is used only for word processing and email. If you are a student, you’ll want a computer that can withstand the length of your education or you might find yourself scurrying in the middle of a year three mid-term to upgrade because your system all of a sudden became too slow to even access a website you need for research. If you are a designer of any kind whether it be graphics or web-based work, I would recommend a workstation. Note: PC has come a long way for designers and with a PC workstation they are up there with the Mac’s when it comes to graphics design now.
Beware: Some computers now come with specific size memory and speed options and they may not be upgradable. Do your research and get the most you can afford with your purchase. With proper housekeeping, your computer will last for many years, but this housekeeping includes not just dusting, but learning how to maintain your investment by regularly running anti-virus and anti-malware programs, cleaning your registry, clearing out your cache and deleting dated files. Learn how to manage and file your documents properly on your computer and defragment your system when needed. And, if you are on the internet at all, maintain a secure firewall.
My computer operating agenda includes regular operations of the following installed software downloadable programs which I highly recommend for any PC desktop and laptop user:
- Anti virus: I like AVG antivirus – free download.
- Spyware/Malware: SuperAntiSpyware offers a fabulous free edition.
- TuneUp Utilities: Also an AVG product is a must-have for quick fixes, registry cleaning, defrag options and more. The small cost for this software is worth every penny.
- CCleaner will virtually clean up and securely remove all of your internet cookies and computer junk slowing your system down and can easily un-install programs and all their veins and claws so you won’t have remnants hanging around like DLL files that are unassociated with other programs.
- Did you delete files or photos by mistake? You can recover these with Wondershare Data Recovery. Free download for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP. (Side note: Ask yourself….Are you really still running Vista or XP— WHY?)
If you are nervous about these programs and are local on Cape Cod, send me an email. I have some recommended people who are professionals in this field and will take care of your computer needs from clearing out viruses properly and entirely, restoring crashed computers, and ensuring programs like the ones I mentioned above are successfully installed on your computer. They’ll also teach you how to use them.