Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
COM 26
Type of
additional applications, such as a spreadsheet, a database,
or presentation graphics, consider purchasing Microsoft
Works, Microsoft Office,, or Sun StarOffice,
which include several programs at a reduced price.
Web Site
Web Address
CNET Shopper
PC World Magazine
BYTE Magazine
Avoid buying the least powerful computer
Once you know the application software you want to use,
you then can consider the following important criteria about
the computer’s components: (1) processor speed, (2) size and
types of memory (RAM) and storage, (3) types of input/
output devices, (4) types of ports and adapter cards, and
(5) types of communications devices. You also need to
consider if the computer is upgradeable and to what extent you
are able to upgrade. For example, all manufacturers limit the
amount of memory you can add. The information in
Figures 40 and 41 can help you determine what system
components are best for you. Figure 40 (on COM 27 to
COM 28) outlines considerations for specific hardware
components. Figure 41 (on page COM 29) provides a Base
Components worksheet that lists PC recommendations for
each category of user discussed in this topic: Home User,
Small Office/Home Office User, Mobile User, Power User,
and Large Business User. In the worksheet, the Home User
category is divided into two groups: Application Home User
and Game Home User. The Mobile User recommendations
list criteria for a notebook computer, but do not include the
PDA or Tablet PC options.
Computer technology changes rapidly, meaning a
computer that seems powerful enough today may not serve
your computing needs in a few years. In fact, studies show
that many users regret not buying a more powerful
computer. To avoid this, plan to buy a computer that will last
you for two to three years. You can help delay obsolescence
by purchasing the fastest processor, the most memory, and
the largest hard disk you can afford. If you must buy a less
powerful computer, be sure you can upgrade it with
additional memory, components, and peripheral devices as
your computer requirements grow.
PC Magazine
Yahoo! Computers
MSN Shopping
Dave’s Guide to Buying
a Home Computer
Macworld Magazine
Switch to Mac Campaign
For an updated list of hardware and software reviews and their Web
site addresses, visit
Hardware and software reviews.
Know the System Requirements of the
Operating System.
After deciding what software you want to run on your
new computer, you need to determine the operating
system you want to use. If, however, you purchase a new
computer, chances are it will have the latest version of
your preferred operating system (Windows Vista, Linux,
UNIX, Mac OS X). Figure 39 lists the minimum computer
requirements of Windows Vista versions.
Vista Versions
Computer Requirements
Windows Vista Home Basic
• 800 MHz processor
• 512 MB of RAM
• DirectX 9 capable graphics
Windows Vista Home Premium
• 1 GHz processor
Windows Vista Ultimate
• 1 GB of RAM
Windows Vista Business
• DirectX 9 capable graphics
Windows Vista Enterprise
Windows Vista Enterprise
• 40 GB of hard disk capacity
(15 GB free space)
• DVD-ROM drive
• Audio output capability
• Internet access capability
Consider upgrades to the mouse, keyboard,
monitor, printer, microphone, and speakers.
You use these peripheral devices to interact with your
computer, so you should make sure they are up to your
standards. Review the peripheral devices listed in Figure 40 on
pages COM 27 to COM 28 and then visit both local computer
dealers and large retail stores to test the computers on
display. Ask the salesperson what input and output devices
would be best for you and whether you should upgrade
beyond what comes standard. Consider purchasing a
wireless keyboard and wireless mouse to eliminate bothersome
wires on your desktop. A few extra dollars spent on these
components when you initially purchase a computer can
extend its usefulness by years.
Hardware requirements for Windows Vista.
Look for bundled software.
When you purchase a computer, it may come
bundled with software. Some sellers even let you choose which
software you want. Remember, however, that bundled
software has value only if you would have purchased the
software even if it had not come with the computer. At the
very least, you probably will want word processing
software and a browser to access the Internet. If you need
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