These are a lot of common questions that are asked all the time and hopefully this article will help you make some decision with “how to be smarter than your computer”!
First of all – What kind of computer do I need?
This question has a really simple answer. What will you be using your computer for? These days the choices are limitless when it comes to computer options. Desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones all serve a purpose but which do you need to serve your purpose? Gaming to surfing the net, in all different colors and price points are some of the considerations that need to be discussed before making the investment into your computer system.
In addition to power and portability, memory and processor is also a very important consideration. The more memory and better processor you have, the better your device will perform. Hard memory is not such a big deal these days because storing everything is moving toward the cloud. With the cloud, you don’t have to worry about destroying or losing your hard drive, just losing your account information (which is almost retrievable).
Computer accessories are just like car accessories. There are many available options at all price ranges. What you will be using your computer for will help you decide which if any accessories you will need, and many of them are for convenience anyway. For example, speakers and a mouse pad are usually included with a laptop purchase, but many people decide to connect upgraded speakers and a wireless mouse when they use their laptop.
I bought one – now what?
Congratulations! You were able to make a confident purchase with no buyer’s remorse. Now you have to configure everything. Software and Operating Systems are very user friendly these days. There are typically very clear instructions and for anything you’re not sure about, there are always tutorials on YouTube. I know what you’re thinking – if my computer is not set up, how can I watch YouTube??? Believe it or not, your local public library typically have computer for use free of charge. You can easily watch instructional videos first before, or as you are setting up.
There are also great customer support options as well. Computer companies have realized that the customers calling for help are not the most computer savvy people in the world (that’s why they need help!) Customer service representatives are well trained in the technical aspect of their products, as well as how to be nice and patient with people.
Many times you can ask your own computer or device for help. Computers are able to self-diagnose if there is a problem and what can be done to fix it without having to bring it to, or ship it to a service center for repair. Big box stores like Staples and Best Buy have computer repair service desks but a self-test should always be a first step before having to commit to spending money. Believe it or not, one of the best tricks that many computer repair technicians will recommend is to turn off your computer (unplug it too!) and then turn it back on. Many times, this will re-set the software programs at startup so everything will function as it is supposed to again.
If the on-off trick does not make the computer function correctly again, then maybe it is time to seek professional help. Typically, there are many different options when it comes to computer repair, and there are not any requirements for minimum education or license to fix computers. So how does someone find a good computer repair business? Why Google of course! However, just because they come up on the first page of a google search doesn’t necessary mean they will give you the best deal. The best tried and true strategy of shopping around is still your best bet, and reading reviews that other customers left will also help drive your decision of which computer repair company to trust your computer with.
Prior to bringing in your device to a local company, always check your warranty information to see if any repairs can be covered by the manufacturer. If your device is defective, many times they will replace it free of charge, and may even pay for shipping.
Email and Internet
Surfing the web is the greatest time waster these days. Some will even argue that Facebook is the biggest culprit when it comes to sucking peoples’ time. But we all agree that we cannot get away from email and/or text messaging as the most used form of communication. So, since we can’t avoid it, we need to make sure we practice due diligence when it comes to using email and the internet.
Anyone can get free email accounts from Gmail, yahoo, MSN, etc. Accounts are usually also available from your internet service provider. However, the advantage of using the free email addresses from the big companies is that you don’t have to change your email address if you change your internet service provider. Typically, the big companies can also offer many features that the smaller companies cannot.
Being safe on the internet is critically important these days. NEVER open an email or click on a link from someone you don’t know (even if it says they want to send you $42,000,000 dollars!) Always make sure your anti-virus protection is turned on and up to date, and your firewall protection is activated.
Ultimately, the needs for your computer can be accomplished by many different devices. A wise man once told me: since technology is always changing at an incredibly fast pace always buy as much computer as your budget allows.