You received a new computer for the holidays. It's brand new, you don't have to do anything to it, right? WRONG! A computer is just like a new car. The car might be brand new but if the mechanic didn't check the oil, you are going to be in trouble quickly.
Here's a few things to check on that new machine.
Does the computer have all the hardware that you expect? Look at the back of the computer. Do you see a place to plug in your keyboard, mouse, and monitor?
Your keyboard and mouse may connect to a ps/2 or a USB connector. Do you know the difference between USB and ps/2?
Q: Help! My husband has been receiving threatening pop ups from the FBI. The pop ups state that he under surveillance. He's afraid to go near the computer. What should I do? Jean, Dracut
A: First of all, if you were under surveillance, the FBI is not going to warn you about it. A trojan program must have been installed on your machine, you are the target of a joke.
How did that trojan get on your machine? You may have opened an email or an email attachment that contained a trojan. Most malware, another name for virus or trojan, is usually in an email attachment. It usually is not enough to just open email to get a virus. You have to open the attachment too. ...but before you get too confident, some email will infect your system by just reading the email. If the email is an html script, a command can be embedded in the email to do bad things to your system. Email that is an html script looks like a webpage when you read it. Don't panic but be careful.
Q: What is so good about microsoft XP? Why should I consider XP? Can't I just use old "reliable" windows 98?
A: A lot of folks think that XP is not stable because a blue screen pops up and the computer reboots. Believe it or not, the blue screen, affectionately known as "blue screen of death", is a good thing. Windows XP is telling you that it detected a program or driver touching something that it shouldn't be touching.
When an operating system like XP executes, it has a private area in memory that nothing else should be using. If XP detects a badly behaved program writing to its private memory, XP will display a blue screen and reboot. That blue screen looks like a bunch of gobblygook but it contains some key information about what caused the crash.
With everything on sale during the holiday season, it's a good time to upgrade your computer.
Does your computer need more memory? Don't forget, both physical memory and disk space are measured in mega or giga bytes.
The average windows 98, ME, or XP system will run just fine with 256 megabytes
of physical memory. Have you heard about too much of a good thing? Windows 98 and ME don't manage large amounts of memory very well. If you add more than 512 megabytes of memory, you are throwing your money away. The operating system won't even use it. XP can properly use more than 512 megabytes of memory but do you really need it?
Q: Why do I have to pay for software? Is it ok to load my software on my friend's computer? It isn't a crime, is it? anonymous
A: There are a lot of people who load unlicensed software on friends computers. They are probably not aware that they are committing a crime. Every software package has a license agreement that describes what you may or may not do with the software product. You need to check the license agreement when you purchase the software to check for limitations.
Some programs called shareware or freeware have relaxed licensing agreements. Shareware is a program that you can load on your system and share with your friends. After a trial period, you are expected to pay for it. Freeware is a program that is free for you to use and distribute to your friends.
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