Understanding Computer Operating Systems for Beginners

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Operating systems are the software that is central to the operations of a computer. Without the operating system (OS) the computer cannot run hardware or software. You can also think of the operating system as a translator between you and the computer – it’s the way you can communicate with the computer.

The Basics

When you use your computer, you usually have more than one program running. Even if you only open a web browser or only one document, several background programs are running to show you the desktop, give you sound, give you graphics, etc. The OS makes all this happen. All the programs work from the OS.

When you are typing a document and saving it, the OS does that too. Every time you tell the computer to open something, save something, move something, etc., you are communicating with the OS. All of these programs and commands that you give need to access the three main things of your computer’s functions: central processing unit (CPU), memory, and storage.

The CPU or processor is the thing that determines the speed and how many programs can successfully run at the same time without making the computer slow. The memory refers to the rate at which the computer can multitask. The storage is where you save all your files, pictures, etc.

The Options

There are many different operating systems on the market. You will find the three main ones that most computers operate on and then there also smaller or lesser known operating systems that can be used instead of or together with the three main ones. Most computers are sold with the operating system already installed, but you can upgrade or change this if you want. You can choose which operating system works for you.

Microsoft Windows – This is the most well-known and most-used operating system due to its user-friendly nature and because it does the things people want the best. The Windows OS comes standard with most computer brands, with the exception of Apple computers. There have been many different versions of which the latest is Windows 10.

Mac OS X – This operating system only works on Macintosh computers or Macs that are manufactured by Apple. Fewer people use this operating system because it only works on Apple computers which tend to be quite expensive. Some people prefer Macs, however, because of its look and feel and multi-media capabilities. Macs are generally considered to be good for people who work a lot with graphics, music, and other types of multimedia.

Linux – Linux is the least used OS in the world. It is open-source which means that it is free and that any person can make changes to it. This means that there are many different versions of it. Linux is mostly used by programmers who do coding and create apps.

Mobile Devices

Our smartphones have also become like mini computers and we now have tablets as well. Smartphones do not use the same OS as computers, but rather similar ones that are specially designed for mobile devices. The most used ones are Apple iOS and Google Android.

So, that is the basics of operating systems and what they are. Try out the different ones and see which one works best for you.

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Infographic by: visual.ly


9 Key Tips for Computer Maintenance

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Maintenance of your computer or laptop is very important if you want to keep it for several years. Both outside and inside cleaning is needed. Today, we want to share a few maintenance and cleaning tips for both computers and laptops. Desktop computers will obviously have more outside cleaning than laptops, but the basic idea stay the same.

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Outside Cleaning

Outside cleaning is for all the surfaces and hardware that you can touch and that gathers dust.

  1. Switch off your machine. It is important to switch off your laptop or computer before you start cleaning it. It should be unplugged and all moving parts should be off. This is for your own safety.
  2. Use a soft cloth and water. The best way to clean your computer is to use a cloth that is soft and will not scratch the surface or screen. Moisten the cloth and wipe away any dust and food, etc. You can also use products that are specifically designed for cleaning computers.
  3. Shake the keyboard. To get rid of crumbs and other particles between the keyboard keys, gently tip it over and shake it so the stuff will come loose and fall out.
  4. Clean all the extras too. Remember to give your tower, mouse, keyboard, external hard drive, speakers, etc. a good clean as well. They all work hard and deserve a bit of attention.
  5. Do this often. Clean all the outsides and hardware at least once every month or so to ensure that dust doesn’t damage your system.

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Inside Cleaning

Inside cleaning basically refers to the software and other programs on your computer.

  1. Uninstall unused programs. The first step to clean the inside of your computer is to remove any programs and other software that you no longer use. This will free up space and declutter your computer.
  2. Hire a Computer Guy. Fixing computers isn’t hard but the non tech savy, considering using computer repair in brooklyn. Most of these IT specialists will fix your computer and save you the headache.
  3. Defrag your computer. When space on your computer becomes limited, it starts saving files in fragments. For example, a little bit in one block and the rest in two other blocks. Defragging means that the computer will pull all the saved files back together and it will also speed up retrieval because it will be in one place.
  4. Scan your computer. Viruses and adware and spyware slows your computer down and also threatens the security and operations. Make sure that you have the necessary anti-virus protection and scan your computer for viruses and malware. Get the problems fixed. If the computer cannot fix or remove it, take it to a shop for repairs.
  5. Do regular updates. New versions of operating systems and software are released frequently Most computers will update automatically if your settings allow it. The most recent updates usually work better and often take up less space.

These are very basic things but they will ensure that your computer operates well and for a long time. If you follow these simple procedures, you will extend its lifespan and probably save a lot of money on repairs.


6 Hardware Detection Tools for Your Computer

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Computer hardware is necessary for any complete computer experience. Knowing what you have and the specs involved is necessary for updates and repairs. Without the necessary hardware, the software would be useless. If you want to find out exactly what type of hardware you have on your computer, you need to make use of hardware detection tools. These tools will tell you about your processor, memory speeds, motherboard chipset, graphics card and more.

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System Spec – This tool displays all the hardware that it detects as well as all the information about the specs for each. There are more in-depth details available for the CPU, sound, memory, USB and more. The tool offers different menus.

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HWInfo– This is one of the most popular and most downloaded hardware detection tools and for good reason. It offers very comprehensive information about every possible hardware component. It will give you information about the CPU, temperatures, speeds, displays, memory, graphics, etc. There are some differences between the 32-bit and 64-bit versions, so check these before downloading. HWInfo is free to download.

Speccy– Different versions of Speccy is available for download. It gives you information about clock speeds, frequencies, and all the other hardware stuff you want to know.

System Information for Windows (SIW) – As the name says, this tool is specifically for Windows operating systems. It displays all the hardware information you want as well as extra information about Windows and other software components. It will also give you some information about your networks and also offers tests for speed, monitor, etc.

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BlackBox– BlackBox displays comprehensive information on the hardware components of your laptop or computer and also about other hardware devices that are installed. It is easy to understand and can be used by anyone.
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PC Wizard – This is another very popular tool that is free to download. It offers more and different features than most other tools. Apart from the normal display of hardware detected and each component’s information, this tool also offers tests for specific computer systems. You can check everything from temperatures to fan speeds and you can even pull up usernames and passwords.

Some of these hardware detection tools are only compatible with certain versions of operating systems. When looking for downloads, make sure to check the compatibility. These tools are available for free download but you will find them on different sites and some have more than one version. Check the details before downloading.


Reasons Why the World Needs Computers

post11 - Reasons Why the World Needs Computers

Does the world need computers? Most people will immediately answer YES without a second thought. This is why.

So many aspects of life in the 21st century is based, reliant on, or redundant without computers. Imagine for a moment a world without computers: You are woken up by the sun or a clock radio. You make breakfast and coffee with a pot on the stove or a normal, non-smart kettle. You maybe switch on the television for the morning show or news. You read the newspaper in its paper and ink form. You drive to work with a car that doesn’t think for itself or take a bus or taxi that works with paper tickets or actual money. At work, everything is paper-based and you have a desk full of files and pens.

Presentations are done on flip boards. If you are in the IT business or related fields, you don’t have a job. No such thing as emails – you get internal letters or phone calls to inform you of important information. No conference calls – you will have to drive or fly to meet that client. You again drive or take the bus or train home. No browsing the internet, no streaming movies, no live stock markets, etc. You watch television or read, maybe go for a walk or cook dinner on the stove. You can’t order take-out over the Internet, it doesn’t exist.

I bet for some of you that was an extremely difficult thing to imagine because computers have become such a big part of life. Life without computers may have been a bit simpler than it is today, but it brings so much good to our lives that we cannot imagine a world without it. Here are some reasons why we need computers:

Business – Businesses rely heavily on computers and related technology to build, operate, and be successful. Computers have made it possible for tasks that took weeks in the past, to be done within a day or even a few minutes.

Education and Research – Schools, universities and other educational institutions use computers to improve learning and increase access to information. Without the use of computers and the internet, many students may not be able to study and projects will take forever. Research is must faster and more efficient for both education and business purposes with computers.

Communication – Many people still remember when we had only landline telephones and you weren’t able to quickly text a friend. Back then it wasn’t a problem. Today, however, the advances in communication technology has made it possible to stay in contact with friends and family across the world. You can have emergency help in a matter of minutes or you can contact clients in faraway countries without flying there.

Medicine – A lot of hospital equipment work with computer technology. These help to diagnose and treat diseases and illnesses like never before. Many lives are saved thanks to computers and the technology that developed from it. Computer analysis programmes are crucial for medical research.

We haven’t even touched on government agencies, public transport, or entertainment reasons. Computers may have disadvantages in the sense that people tend to overdo things, but the advantages for general human life outweighs the negatives. The world has evolved and computers came with that. Today, life without computers seems impossible.