Well…that depends on what you purchased but the first step after registering it on the internet is the same for all.

Step One -> Do not load or use any other software. Do not surf the internet. Turn off Automatic updates (not necessary for Linux and the Mac). Do go to the manufacturers website and update everything until there are no more updates available. Then go to the operating systems website and do all the updates including custom updates. Turn On Automatic updates except on Windows.

Step Two -> After the millionth reboot or not, reboot once more. This is where we start having to do things different by operating systems.

On the Mac and Linux, while there are few viruses targeted at these operating systems. There are two virus protection systems I trust. F-Secure and AVG. I use AVG on everything I can and F-Secure on the rest.  My reasoning is strictly cost based because performance changes over time but these two perform consistently well and interfere least. Download the trial and pay for it after the trial is up. The internet is a dangerous place. Do a complete backup.

On Windows, Disconnect from the internet. From a clean machine, from Filehippo.com download the most recent version  and load on a flash drive  cCleaner, and Defraggler.

  1. Install cCleaner and run the Registry cleaner three times and then the Cleaner. You only need to backup the first time. If you don’t know exactly what you are doing, leave all the tools alone except System Restore. On Cleaner do not select wipe freespace if you want to use your computer anytime in the future. For this and normal use leave Autocomplete, Saved Passwords, FTP Accounts, Start Menu, and Desktop Shortcuts Blank. The same goes for applications check boxes. Check compact databases. After the last run, on the tools menu select all the restores but the first one and click remove. Reboot and delete the cCleaner backup.
  2. Install Defraggler and Run twice. The first time it will take a long time. The Second time will go much quicker.
  3. Install AVG or F-Secure from the web. You can use Windows firewall and it will be less intrusive for daily use. If you skipped my reasoning above, it is under Mac and Linux.
  4. Be sure to run the Virus Protection full disk Scan.
  5. Do a complete backup.
  6. Turn On Automatic updates .

Step Three-> Use your Computer. If an update appears on your screen, make sure it is not on a web page. Hoaxware tries to look like your computer. Otherwise, make sure you do the updates for all your software. This is the first line of defense against malware.

So After  A few things to keep in mind… and  Some Guidelines … the next step is to get down to Dollars and Cents. The following is based on the on sale price not retail.

For the sub $800 crowd, anything you buy will eventually (within the first “year” )  disappoint you. This goes for every computer, laptop, and tablet; even the iPad. These are throw away items so make sure you have a weekly backup plan. The only exception would be a quality manufacturer refurbished or repackaged item.

Above $800 look at the Lenovo ThinkPad Series T, W, and L. The MacBook Pro and iPad are also good choice.  Sorry for the small list but, they are what I would spend my money.

Desktops have different categories:

For general use: Lenovo M71 series and above (they include a 3 year warranty, everyone else is 1 year) , any of the Apple offerings. If you don’t believe me, read this Article.

For the gamer…or other high intensity graphics requirements desires if you can use an Apple do so. Otherwise, buy a Lenovo TS Series Xeon based server filled it with as much memory and the highest end PCI/PCIe video card you can afford (purchased separately), and Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit . Make sure you get both processors as the buy one now and get one later will create problems with Win7. It does not handle miss matched processors as of this writing. Let me know if you want to make your competitors even angrier with you. I have a killer networking set up. XUKQHR8X33SK

Refurbished links.

  1. http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals/mac
  2. http://outlet.lenovo.com/

Some Guidelines …

1.   There are 2 classes of computers. Consumer and Business. The differences besides cost are throw away with a short service life and cost effective repairable with a longer service life, respectively.

2.   Microsoft has taught us important lessons about operating systems. Always buy the professional version or better. Always…always use virus protection and have a weekly backup plan for personal use and daily for heavy business use.

3.   There are 2 kinds of laptops. Bottom sucking cooling and not bottom sucking. What do I mean? Well…. heat is the enemy of electronics, most laptops have the intake or suction located on the bottom and usually in the back right or left corner. ( keep in mind the hole we notice is on the side) Hmmm. It is a laptop so, when I set it on my lap ( bed, couch, or anything soft ) the cooling hole is covered. Whether it is planned obsolesce or lazy design, I really can not say. What I would say is …. Do Not spend your hard earned money on it.

4.   Video cards are critical to the longevity of serviceability of the computer. Almost all laptop video cards are not upgradeable, so for all practical purposes consider them not and get the best one you can. Desktops are upgradeable as long as there is room in the case and the power supply can handle it.

5.   Tablets – netbooks – others. The iPad class of tablets will do 90% of what 90% of the population does in their non-work life. The jury is still out on the work life part because it depends on the businesses implementation within the work environment. Netbooks for the most part are very use specific and considering #5 of “A few things to keep in mind…” I personally don’t need one.

At this point, you may be thinking tomorrow never comes. Well it will , I just want to be sure when it does you can quote me to your friends.

This is the Question I get asked the most.

A few things to keep in mind…

1.   I am operating system agnostic. I have owned and used a Macintosh since 1989. I still have at least one pre-Intel and it works fine. I have owned and used Windows machines since about 1989. I have and use machines with various forms of Linux on them. I am not an early adopter of anything. ( a good example is Vista ). I reuse as much as fiscally makes sense which means I have fixed many many computers. I prefer Intel based machines because they seem to take the heat better. I used to test and compare every piece of software I recommend every year and some of them quarterly but I have become more selective about my time because of their consistent performance.

2.   Budget is always a consideration even if you say it is not. Anyone can solve an issue by throwing money at it.

3.   Computers are commodity items. If you can go to WalMart and buy an item, the item is a commodity.

4.   If you have never purchased a computer before, there is no way on this planet you can make an informed decision. Technology changes so fast unless you are into it the trends you need to know will not be apparent.

5.   If you always buy the same Brand then you will never know if there is a better one.

6.   Everyone who has a computer thinks theirs is the best for you.

7.   Everyone buys a computer for one particular  reason and forgets that reason as soon as the computer does not do what they did not buy it for. ( I bought this laptop so my child could play educational games and he wants to play Gears of War. )

8.   Manufacturing quality systems are usually based on a 10% inspection rule by process. So, everyone … everyone produces a lemon once in a while. Therefore, the more produced the more lemons are produced. So, it is not how the lemons are produced but, how the producer deals with the lemon when you have one.

9.   Mechanical hard drives (long term storage for your files) that used to warrantied for 5 years are now warrantied for 3 years.

10.   I do not know everything about computers but the well is deep and not dry at the bottom.

If you can wrap your head around the above, then tomorrow I will have some decent answers for you.

This is a test post from my DROID X using the WordPress App. To think I have been seriously asked why I have WordPress as one of my tools!