For a single processor system the choice is pretty simple; Windows
Millennium Edition or Windows XP. Windows 2000, and its predecessor
Windows NT are used for running business applications in a secure environment.
If you have Windows 3.1 or newer versions, even on diskette, you can
buy the upgrade rather then the full version. Windows Me and XP have
the added features of system file deletion protection, enhanced networking,
and system restore protection.
During the install, Windows 98 and Me will ask for verification of
purchased Microsoft products, simply insert the windows 3.1 diskette
and the install will continue. The upgrade version has all the features
of the full version.
If you want to use two CPUs on one motherboard, then Linux, Windows
NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP Professional is a must.
For those that haven't upgraded to Windows XP yet, you might be interested
in our article, Windows
XP Upgrade Guide.
There are various office suites like Corel Office (with Word Perfect
and Quattro Pro) and Microsoft Office (with Word and Excel). The most
compatible and most used is Microsoft Office.
Antivirus and Firewall
A good anti virus program is a must these days. Buy one that also protects
email and downloads from the Internet if you are going online. You do
need to download the latest antivirus information at least once a month.
If you have a high-speed Internet connection (cable or DSL) then you
should run a firewall program. Firewall programs keep hackers from gaining
access to your computer.
More information on antivirus and firewall programs can be found in
our articles; InfoHQ Computer
Maintenance Tips, and Fighting
Back Against Email Spammers, Internet Hackers, and other Web Thieves.
There are various desktop publishers, Adobe Pagemaker ($500 ), Microsoft
Publisher 3000 ($90) and QuarkXPress ($770 ). Unless you are a professional
Desktop publisher, I think Microsoft Publisher is good enough. Possibilities
include making fliers, brochures, booklets, newspapers and small magazines.
Again lots of different choices with different options, Photoshop 6
($600) for professional graphics users or Paint Shop Pro ($100).
Recommendation: Paint Shop Pro 7 or Photoshop 6 ($600)
Printshop / Creativity
These programs allow you to make greeting cards, banners, labels, crafts
and come with lots of clipart (color drawings and pictures). Various
different titles like Print shop and Printmaster. Windows XP also has
a very good picture printing utility.
Recommendation : We have had good results with Printmaster Platinum,
Quickbooks 2003 (Business) $100, or Quicken 2003 (Personal) $40.
Computer Systems >>
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