Sure, you can make a gazillion mistakes with a computer, whether it’s deleting the wrong file or dropping the color laser printer on your toe. But I have narrowed the list. These are the day-to-day operating mistakes that people tend to repeat until they’re told not to, or they read about it here.
1. Not Properly Shutting Down Windows
When you’re done with Windows, shut it down. Choose the Turn Off Computer command from the Start panel, click the Turn Off button, and wait until your PC turns itself off.
- Don’t just flip the power switch when you’re done.
- Refer to Chapter 4 for detailed PC shutdown instructions.
2. Buying Too Much Software
Actually buying too much software isn’t really the sin here. The sin is buying too much software and trying to learn it all at once. The buy-it-all-at-once habit probably comes from buying music, where it’s okay to lug home a whole stack of CDs from the store. You can listen to several CDs over the course of a few days. They’re enjoyable the first time, and they age well. Software, on the other hand, is gruesome the first day and can take months to come to grips with.
Have mercy on yourself at the checkout counter and buy software at a moderate rate. Buy one package and figure out how to use it. Then, move on and buy something else. You learn faster that way.
3. Buying Incompatible Hardware
Whoops! Did you forget to notice that the new keyboard you bought was for a Macintosh? Or, maybe you thought that you were getting a deal on that FireWire scanner, and, lo, your PC doesn’t have a FireWire port. The biggest disappointment: You buy a new AGP expansion card, and all you have available are PCI slots.
Always check your hardware before you buy it! Especially if you’re shopping online — if you’re not sure that the hardware is compatible, phone the dealer and ask those folks specifically.
4. Not Buying Enough Supplies
Buy printer paper in those big boxes. You will run out. Buy extra paper and a variety of papers for different types of printing (drafts, color, high-quality, and photo, for example). Buy a spool of 100 CD-Rs. Get a few extra media cards. Keep extra printer ink cartridges on hand. You get the idea.