Hints & Tips

Some Helpful Information

When buying a new computer it is important to make sure the central processing unit (CPU) is able to run the software you want. As a rule, Celeron processors can run most application software, such as Microsoft Office, but will fail to run the modern games. For these you need an intel i3 or better processor. Make sure you get enough computer memory (RAM), its cheap enough so look for at least 4GB but preferably 8GB. If you are buying a computer mainly to play games it is very important to check the specification of the graphics card (VGA Card) and make sure it is compatible with the games you want to play. Most computers you can buy today come with substantial hard drives with a capacity of at least 1,000GB and even 2,000GB, also known as 2 Terabyte (2TB), so this shouldn't be a problem.


Backing up your data

The worst happens and your computer crashes. The engineer reloads Windows and all your other software and then asks you for your backups so that he can restore your data. Most times the response is "what backups?" It is very cheap and easy to back up your treasured photos and other important documents onto a CD, DVD, USB memory stick or USB hard drive. You don't necessarily need any special software as you can use the facilities already provided within Windows itself. For more complex backup needs you can buy software packages that can be tailored to meet your needs, but whichever method you choose, make sure you always backup your data. If you have a fast broadband connection you can consider 'cloud' backups.


Reducing the risk of virus attacks

Probably the biggest problem for both home and business computer users today is the threat of viruses and the havoc they cause. Most of the time viruses are just an awful nuisance and cause your computer to run slowly and mess around with your internet browsing software and other programs. But there are a lot of viruses that are written and distributed with the purpose of disabling your computer and rendering it useless. The most important step in the fight against viruses is to use reputable antivirus software and always keep it and your Windows software current by applying the latest updates. There are lots of free antivirus packages around but they do not offer the same level of protection as a retail package. Virus software is definately in the "you get what you pay for" camp.


Those annoying 'pop-ups'

Most people are familiar with annoying windows, called 'pop-ups', that seem to appear at random, normally when you are browsing the internet. One of the easiest thing you can do to try and prevent them is to enable the pop-up blocking feature within your browsing software, but even this is not completely successful at eradicating them. The problem is that some web pages use legitimate pop-ups and these can also be rejected if a pop-up blocker is used. The best rule regarding pop-ups is if you don't recognise them or you did not expect to see them never click anywhere on them. Even clicking on the cross to shut them down can activate them and install any malicious software they bring with them. Some of the more common pop-ups are those that tell you they have found viruses on your computer and if you download 'their software' it will remove them. In reality it does the opposite and installs one or more viruses on your computer, so avoid them.