Just purchased my first computer

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by MikeH1, Aug 21, 2002.

  1. MikeH1

    MikeH1 Screenwriter

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    I have never owned a pc before I have always used my roomates but now since I live on my own it was about time to get my own. I won't have it for a few weeks. Its a Dell Dimension 8200: 2 Ghz 256 ram 80 gig HD with a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz soundcard(a good soundcard was a must). One of the first things I'll be doing is getting a firewall, probably the zone-alarm.

    My big question here is: any suggestions of what the do's and don't are as a first time pc owner? I am familiar with general stuff but any thoughts would be great.
     
  2. Steven K

    Steven K Supporting Actor

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    Some Dos:
    If you are running the FAT 32 File System, defrag often (once a month)

    Install Virus Protection ASAP

    Some Do Nots:

    Do not much around in the Windows Registry (unless you are VERY familiar with Windows)

    Do not delete applications simply by deleting the folder they are in. Instead, use "AddRemove Programs" from the Control Panel

    Do not enable "File Sharing" unless you haveare behind a firewall
     
  3. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

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    first off...good choice with the santa cruz

    -make sure digital audio for CDs is enabled.....in control panel under multimedia....then go to the cd music tab (at least for my computer this is how you get to it)....if the little digital audio for cds box isn't checked...check it....by checkin this you are using your soundcards DAC instead of your cd-roms DAC for audio cds.
     
  4. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>Install Virus Protection ASAP
     
  5. Jason Wilcox

    Jason Wilcox Supporting Actor

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    a friend of mine just got his dell...he ordered a cd burner and did indeed get one...but they threw in a DVD-RW (mighta been DVD-R) disc rather than a CD-RW disc.
     
  6. Andre F

    Andre F Screenwriter

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    I'd also recommend NAV. I've been using it for years and have been very happy with it.
     
  7. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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    DO:
    * Backup your data files REGULARLY to a DIFFERENT MEDIUM, whether is CD-R, Zip, floppy, or tape. The apps and drivers can always be re-installed, but personal data will be lost on a crash.
    * Do keep your system up-to-date with drivers. The reason why new drivers are given is for improvements or fixes. Don't fall in to the false assumption that "what I have works, so why bother?"
    * DEFRAGMENT your hard drive regularly. I have my system scheduled to automatically defrag once a week without my intervention.
    * Download/purchase anti-virus software and use it often.
    * Install some kind of firewall, whether hardware or software, to prevent intrusion while on the Internet.
    * Consider Netscape, Mozilla, or Opera for web browsing. The hundreds of security flaws in IE should be enough to justify the time it takes to download, install, and use something other than IE.
    DO NOT:
    * Use Microsoft Outlook for e-mail. AND I MEAN IT!!!! All of the major e-mail trojans have been based on exploiting system hooks that are ingrained into OutLook! You don't even need to fully OPEN your e-mail for a virus to activate! I am a UNIX and NT system and network administrator by profession. I have cleaned up messes from Outlook-based viruses on several occasions! Use Netscape's mail client or Eudora (both free) instead since they are only vulnerable to attachments that you manually run yourself, in which case you deserve what you get.
    * Run any attachment without running it through an anti-virus scanner first. Even if you know the person who sent it, how do you know that they know they are infected?
    * Install every blessed thing that you download because it's so "kewl". Be vary careful of what you install. Many programs are including "spyware" that tracks your habits and reports that back to the company. Your browsing habits are none of their business, and those "kewl" programs always take up resources.
    * Fall victim to the "It will never happen to me" syndrome and not back up your data. Hard drives are mechanical devices that will (not might) fail eventually.
    * Share your files unless you have a home network, and even then make sure that you password-protect the drives that are being shared.
    I think that's enough for now. [​IMG]
     
  8. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>* Do keep your system up-to-date with drivers. The reason why new drivers are given is for improvements or fixes. Don't fall in to the false assumption that "what I have works, so why bother?"
     
  9. John_Berger

    John_Berger Cinematographer

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  10. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    If you DO install NAV and keep it updated, than there is no reason not to use Outlook.
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    don't forget to open it up and give it a good cleaning with some compressed air once in a while.
     
  12. Barrie_B

    Barrie_B Auditioning

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    Just get an abacus...

    Computers are the Devil's work.
     
  13. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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  14. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>Actually you should be able to buy a years worth of Live Updates from Symentac for $4.95.
     
  15. DougRogers

    DougRogers Stunt Coordinator

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    Download and install Adaware Run it weekly. I don't like NAV but that is me. I use AVG Antivirus It automatically updates and scans all incoming and outgoing email and it's FREE.
    I tried ZoneAlarm one time and hated it. I went out and bought a DI-704P and it is much less intrusive than Zonealarm IMHO. However Zonealarm is free the last time I looked.
    Oh yeah, use Eudora. It's free and I would contend, better than Outlook.
    Doug
     
  16. AaronNWilson

    AaronNWilson Second Unit

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    Do you guys ever defrag your NTFS systems? I tried to start it last week but it got 1% done in about 5 mins [​IMG]
     
  17. DougRogers

    DougRogers Stunt Coordinator

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    I use NTFS and have been for about 2 years and I never defrag. I probably should but I usually run until my hard drive is full, backup important files, format, reinstall everything all over. That usually happens about once every six months and has taken place over the last 8 years. Back when Win 95 came around I formated about once a month. What a buggy POS that was or it could have been my POS Packard Bell. [​IMG] Sorry for the Off Topic rant there.
    Doug
     
  18. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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  19. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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  20. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I disagree: if stuff works, then leave it be. New drivers don't always improve functionality; updating drivers is not always a painless process and can cause problems.
    But more importantly, buying from Dell (or any other PC maker) means that your hardware is likely a version built for Dell and has some specific drivers that are not identical to the ones for retail products. Updating your drivers from the hardware manufacturer instead of Dell doesn't always work so well. (As a pleased Dell customer, I know of what I speak).
    My experience: check Dell's website for new drivers every few months (they are infrequent). Don't fool around with other sources until you're comfortable doing "dangerous" things with your computer (similar to playing with the Registry), because it doesn't always work well.
    Enjoy!
     

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