Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Computer Help Sites

This post is for my own reference as well as yours. See, over the years I have needed extra help tweaking, fixing, (and sometimes fixing after tweaking!) my computer(s).
My first experience of any substance was using my father-in-law's Gateway about a dozen years ago along with one at a radio station I worked for. 9 years ago got my own and then 5 1/2 years ago got my first laptop. My first Windows experience was Windows 3.1. Eventually I worked with Windows 95 and Windows 98, but when I first bought a new laptop and desktop computer in 2002, it was Windows XP. With the growing reluctance of Windows Vista and even the backlash against Microsoft, I have explored ways to get my work done using alternative software.

My first computer was one I inherited after my Mom passed away. Hers was custom built by a local computer geek. About 6 months later, I went to the Gateway store and handed them $3,000 for a laptop, desktop, a couple of printers, and all the connections I would need. The Laptop was for work, Desktop for the family. The Laptop lasted about 15 months and developed problems with the power cord socket. I bought a replacement Toshiba laptop from Circuit City after investigating for about a week my options, and knowing that I had a limited amount of time to transfer my stuff from the Gateway to the Toshiba before the Gateway would be dead. The problem with Laptops is that they need to be sent away for repairs instead of being done locally. Hopefully that will change one day.

Well, after 10 months of excellent service from the Toshiba, the screen started having problems. Not wanting to spend the money to replace it, I was glad it was still under warranty. However, since this was my work computer, I still needed a replacement while my Toshiba was being fixed which would take up to three weeks.

So, I ended up buying an Acer laptop on line from Circuit City, because I liked the price and I could pick it up in 20 minutes from my local store. When I went to pick it up and saw how big it was (17 inch compared to my 15 inch) I had doubts about keeping it, but at least I would use it for the time being. It took me a weekend to transfer files and install programs on the Acer before I could return the Toshiba for the screen repairs.

When I got the Toshiba back, I transfered everything back again. Well, a year later the screen on the Toshiba started going out again. This time, I knew how to transfer files and programs and it only took a few hours instead of an entire weekend.

As I write this on my Acer laptop, the Toshiba is sitting in a drawer at home waiting for me to decide whether to spend the money to fix it now, later, or never.

I have also played around with developing blogs and websites and am great full for all the templates that have been created by others that make it easy for someone like myself to do as much as I am able to do without having to learn "Code" (That's computer language).

So, on to the links: Kim Komando has been doing a radio show for several years. I trust her advice. She has links to all kinds of software and you can subscribe to her newsletters.

By the way, I recommend only going with the free software (known as freeware). Otherwise you could end up paying money needlessly. All the recommendations I am making are free, although some have optional premium packages that you can upgrade to.

Switch to Firefox as a web browser instead of Internet Explorer.

Try Thunderbird instead of Outlook.

And if you want internet based email, which everyone should have then go with G-mail from Google.

Be careful using the following tweaks. Always create a system restore point BEFORE you make changes. And if you don't know what you are doing, ask someone. The main thing is that with enough curiosity and caution, you can fix a lot of problems without having to pay tech support.

Here you go:
Free software-1
Free Software-2
Free Software-3
Free Software-4
Free software-5

Free Fix it guides and tweaks-1

Free Fix it guides and tweaks-2
Free Fix it guides and tweaks-3
Free Fix it guides and tweaks-4
Free Fix it guides and tweaks-5
Free Fix it guides and tweaks-6
Free Fix it guides and tweaks-7
Free Fix it guides and tweaks-8
Free Fix it guides and tweaks-9
Free Fix it guides and tweaks-10

And if you still can't find what you are looking for, Google it!

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