The premise: A beautiful Saturday, with a cool breeze, a cloudless sky, and the outdoors calling my name.
The catch: I had work to do.
The problem: I turned on my computer to start working, and could barely even see the screen.
Now, one might automatically assume that I needed glasses (I don’t), or that the bright sun was reflecting on my screen (to taunt me), but this was not the case.
It is now officially the last week of spring — until next year. Have you finished your spring cleaning yet?
More specifically, have you cleaned your PC yet, or did you just clean around it, not entirely sure how to go about cleaning its various surfaces safely?
It turns out that computers are not quite as easy to break as one might initially believe, so pull out your dust blaster, clean cloths and a paintbrush; let’s get to work.
Windows and Linux, as two of the most popular operating systems on the market today, are often pitted against one another.
Some people have have very decided opinions on the topic of which is better, but I find myself in the category of ambivalence.
I use both, but it wasn’t always that way. Early on, my experience was limited to Windows, simply because that was what was installed on my PC.
But learning curves, although sometimes difficult, are good exercise for the brain.
Since the 1980s, personal computers have been moving into our lives (and taking over?).
Operating systems became a necessity to manage both hardware and software, as well as provide us with easy-to-use graphical interfaces.
But where did they come from? To answer that question, I worked up a brief history of the three most prominent players in the game.
It is my firm belief that everyone needs a good, solid backup plan.
Whether that plan involves backing up on an hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly basis, depends only on how much you want to lose.
Prior to developing good backup habits, the process can sound a bit daunting, but I can assure you that the result is worth the effort!
Anyone who has ever lost data, either due to the lack of a backup or a failed backup process, will know exactly what I mean.
Everyone else — well, allow me to spare you that particularly painful learning experience and the stroke that it can cause.
The subject is not mis-spelled.
Well, it might be a little, but I did that on purpose.
Allow me to explain: This lesson is not about food. It’s about data storage.
Data (preferably pronounced DAY-ta) is information.
In the context that we will be discussing it today, data is information that is stored in electronic memory.
Operating systems are essential to electronic devices because they handle all of the operating details, such as controlling hardware and running programs.
A common shorthand when referring to an operating system is “OS” (pronounce each letter).
There are several types of operating systems available, but the most common are Windows, Linux, OS X and Android.
Software is the driving force behind the devices that we use every day.
Without software, our computers, tablets and phones are just marvelously assembled parts, with great potential and no actual function.
With software, you can power up a device and explore its unlimited possibilities… or you can get some work done. How about both?
Computers require some assembly when they are moved or first un-packaged.
Despite the fact the back of a computer usually ends up looking like a tangled mess of cables, the setup is rather simple.
It’s all a case of plugging the right cables into the right sockets (or ports), which is made easy by the fact that for most cables, there is only one similar port available.
What comes to mind when you hear the word “computer”?
Do you envision a “tall box with buttons, slots and lights”, or do you see a screen with a mouse and keyboard in front of it? Do you see all of those individual parts as a single entity?
If I’m “on the computer”, that does not mean I’m sitting on top of a metal case looking bored. It means I’m sitting at my desk in front of my monitor, usually with one hand on my mouse and the other on my keyboard and a look of intense concentration, frustration or amusement on my face.