Remember That You Control the Computer
You bought the computer. You clean up after its messes. You feed it CDs when it asks for them. You control the computer — simple as that. Don’t let that computer try to boss you around with its bizarre conversations and funny idiosyncrasies. It’s really pretty dopey; the computer is an idiot.
If somebody shoved a flattened can of motor oil in your mouth, would you try to taste it? Of course not. But stick a flattened can of motor oil into a CD drive, and the computer tries to read information from it, thinking that it’s a CD. See? It’s dumb.
Realize That Most Computer Nerds Love to Help Beginners
It’s sad, but almost all computer nerds spend most of their waking hours in front of a computer. They know that it’s kind of an oddball thing to do, but they can’t help it.
Their guilty consciences are what usually make them happy to help beginners. By passing on knowledge, they can legitimize the hours they while away on their computer stools. Plus, it gives them a chance to brush up on a social skill that’s slowly slipping away: the art of talking to a person.
Use Antivirus Software
It’s a sad statement, but to really enjoy your computer, you have to invest in some antivirus software. You really need the protection such a program offers — even if you’re careful. Every PC that’s running Windows and connected to the Internet is at risk. There are no exceptions.
I recommend Norton AntiVirus. It’s the leader of the pack and very efficient. The McAfee virus protection program is also a good choice. But I don’t recommend Web-based antivirus scanners. Get a real program. Pay money for it. If your data is important, it’s worth the cost.
Understand That Upgrading Software Isn’t an Absolute Necessity
Just as the models on the cover of Vogue change their clothes each season (or maybe I should say “change their fashions” each season), software companies issue perpetual upgrades. Should you automatically buy the upgrade? Of course not! If you’re comfortable with your old software, you have no reason to buy the new version. None!
Don’t Ever Reinstall Windows
A myth floating around tech-support sites says that the solution to all your ills is to reinstall Windows. Some suspect tech-support people even claim that it’s common for most Windows users to reinstall at least once a year. That’s rubbish.