The Mind and the Computer.


    First and foremost, EDUCATE yourself!  Read!  Study!   That's what those pretty manuals are for.  Find  someone who is really good at this computer stuff and let them be your guide, even if you have to pay them a few bucks.  Is it really logical to spend around $1000 or more for a "toy" that you have absolutely no idea how to use?  I've seen more people do this, then in less than six months (usually within a month) they're bringing in a broken down machine that has a bunch of junk programs running when it starts up, has sub-standard peripherals, maybe a few viruses thrown in, and isn't stable, and when I tell them my preference for building a machine, many times for hundreds of dollars less, it causes some eyes to be opened quickly.

    You should know EXACTLY what you plan to do with this machine, and plan to upgrade.  FACT: The shiny new devices rolling down assembly lines all over the world at this very moment were ALREADY obsolete before the ink was dry on the schematic sheets.  It was already casually being replaced by a faster machine before the specifications were fully accepted.  That's how the computer industry survives.  Sell much product before bankruptcy, merger, or career change.  Get used to it.  Don't think you can get a super-duper gee-whiz fireball machine and never have to have an upgrade or repairs, although current machines might satify most users for a few years until you replace a part here and there. 

    Read my other articles thoroughly to find out the basics of how a computer operates and find out what type of speed and memory suits you.  Don't get a machine like your neighbor's just because you're impressed with it, because you may need one with slightly different capabilities. You don't necessarily need the biggest, baddest, fastest thing on the block either, unless you're a professional race car driver.  It can mean a difference of hundreds or thousands of dollars.  Get information from your local computer pro or even on the net from other pros about brand names and products, their pros and cons, performance issues and don't think that just because a company can sell a thousand computers in a day will make their tech support any better if it breaks down.  Some of those people might be temps, or from other countries, and not really know their stuff if they aren't building the actual units themselves.   If you do get a computer, especially one that runs any version of Windows even if it was relatively "cheap" or a "gift" you should ALWAYS try to get the disks that came with it, just in case. It can save you a good bit of time if it has to go to the repair shop. I speak from experience, us busy computer techs aren't thrilled about having to search for old disks and drivers for a computer that are your responsibility in the first place.

    Finally, remember that you, as the biological entity in this scenario, are responsible for telling the computer what to do.  Don't be intimidated by it.  It's just a tool that lets you do and create neat things.  If carpenters were scared of their tools, how could they ever get a house built?  Let a more experienced person (5+ years experience is a bonus) guide you in the normal operations.   Keep in mind though, that so-called "normal operation" doesn't mean that you should go tinkering and "experimenting" with every file, folder, and setting that the thing has.  In all versions of Windows, that's a sure-fire way to screw something up.  Then you may be paying the pro to fix your mistakes. 


This article Copyright 2001 Zalmegra Studios.  If you use this for educational purposes, please give credit to the author, and do not edit any of the contents. 


Back to Protips


Hit Counter