Computers – Getting Started

If you’re new to computers, and not very tech-savvy, you may be avoiding getting yourself a device of your own. But setting up a new computer is really not that hard to do. And, it doesn’t require much technical know-how.

I’ve been working with computers since the early nineties. In that time, I have setup or upgraded hundreds of laptops and PCs for friends, family and myself.

Here is my secret sauce for getting started:

  1. Given a choice, get a Windows-based machine (Windows 11 as of 2023) – I prefer Windows computers since they are easy to use, easy to service and easy to get help from friends & family, should the need arise
  2. I only use official, licensed software on all my machines – Local vendors or friends may offer you pirated copies of popular software, but it is always better to use official versions; You get official support from the software maker, and these are not prone to malware or viruses as much
  3. I use Microsoft Office (2019 desktop edition) for my productivity suite – Its ‘Home’ edition includes Word, Excel and Powerpoint, and it remains the world’s most popular office suite; If you are on a budget, you can also use the (free) online version of Office, but you will need a good Internet connection to access it whenever needed
  4. I use Google for Mail, Calendar and Cloud storage of files – Again, this is the world’s most preferred solution and free for use (up to 15GB of storage); Google’s online service also offers a powerful alternative to MS Office with Docs, Sheets and Slides, all free for online use
  5. I use a Microsoft account to log in to any and all Windows devices – This helps remember my Windows preferences, system setup, etc. It also works seamlessly with OneDrive cloud storage, which I use to work on any temporary files, or those that I need across devices
  6. I sync-up my profile and bookmarks via Microsoft Edge browser across all my devices (including mobile phone) – Edge is a fast, secure browser with built-in AI tools you can use, thanks to CoPilot; This also gives me access to my bookmarks across devices and platforms, with all my favorite services already logged-in!

That’s it! A simple, and straight-forward process to get you maximum mileage with minimum fuss.

Pro Tip: I save every thing using cloud-based software tools, and don’t store anything on my device. Since every thing is online, it is practically failure-proof, and easily accessible from any device or location. How I do it is a topic for another post, though.

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