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The Computer World

Buying a computer has become an everyday affair, but once you get it home the fun begins. In order to be sure your computer upholds its part of the bargain 

Set up a New Computer for the Best Experience.

1.       Make sure all Updates/ Patches are installed: Go to Microsoft Update website or click on the “Start” menu and “All Programs” towards the top of the list will be “Windows Update”. Follow the directions on the screen. I usually run the custom update so I can see what is being installed and anything I do not need (like .net 2.x or 3.x) I will uncheck.

2.       Install your Anti Virus, and make sure it is working properly.

3.       Setup User Profiles: Click “Start” then “Control panel” and in control panel Click the “Switch to classic view in the left of the window. Double click “User accounts” and then the green arrow next to “ Change the way users log on or off”, Uncheck the “Use fast switching” box. This will prevent more than one user from logging on to the computer at the same time. Click “Apply Options”

4.       Setup your desktop: right click on your desktop and choose “Properties” On the first tab “Themes” choose “Windows XP” then on the “Desktop” Tab choose “None” for the background. I know this seems boring, but how often do you stare at your desktop? This will also make your Icons easier to see. Speaking of which, do not fill up your desk with icons as this also robs resources. Just put shortcuts to the programs and docs you use the most. While you are at the "Desktop" tab click on the "Customize Desktop" button. Now uncheck the Desktop Cleanup option at the bottom of the window. This will keep that pesky nag icon out of your system tray. Now the “Settings” tab, choose a resolution setting on the slider the furthest to the right as you are comfortable with. Remember the Internet today is designed for a resolution of 1280x1024 on most sites so if you run smaller (larger fonts) than you will have to scroll left to right to see the entire page.

5.       System Configuration:  On the “Start” menu right click “My Computer” (or “Computer” for Vista) and click “Properties” , click the “Advanced” tab and then the “Settings” button. On the first Tab (“Visual Effects”) choose the radio button for “Adjust for best performance” then scan down to the bottom of the list in the white box and check the box marked “Use visual styles on windows and buttons” and the 3rd item from the bottom "Use common tasks in folders" now  Click “Apply”. Now on the “Advanced” tab at the bottom of the window you will see “Virtual Memory” click the “Change” button. At the bottom of the page will be  a box with information, one item will be “Recommended”, type that amount into both small boxes in the middle of the window labeled “Initial size (MB)” and “Maximum size (MB)”, both will be the same. Then click the “Set” button then the “OK” buttons on all open windows to close them. Finally the window asking if you want to restart your computer click “Yes”.

6.       Install any additional applications you may have for your new computer. Be careful on this as some inexpensive programs come with added software that will install automatically if you let it. If given a choice I will pick the “Custom” or “Expert” install and look at what is being installed. If you see a gooha toolbar opt out on that one. Third party software is almost always obvious and almost always trouble.

7.       Right click on your Application bar (this is the bar running across the bottom of your desktop next to your “Start” menu) and choose “Toolbars” then “Quick launch”. Your quick launch menu will appear next to your “Start” button. We will modify this latter.

8.       Now you can organize your programs in the “Start” menu. (I can do that?) Yes we can. Right click on the “Start” menu and choose “Open” . A window will open with a folder called “Programs” double click the folder. Now you will see any programs that were installed under your Login. Right click the “Start” button again and choose “Open all users”, a new window with a folder “Programs” will open. This window may have additional items in it but double click on the “Programs” folder. These are the programs that have been installed under all users. In most cases you will want to leave your programs in the all users menu so everyone will have access to them. This may vary for some games or accounting programs you may want only on your login profile.  These programs you can move to the "programs" folder in your profile. Now in the "All Users" programs folder right click a blank area and choose New and Folder. Name the folder something like "Office Apps" and now move all your office related applications