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 dozens of laptops and PCs for friends, family and myself. Here is my secret sauce for getting started:

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

P.S. If you are in the market for a new computer, you can just order one from Amazon or your local Electronics store, and set it up using this simple guide. If you have one already, you can optimize your setup with some of these tips…