Still using OpenOffice? if you are your behind the times. LibreOffice is a free and open source office suite developed by The Document Foundation as a fork of OpenOffice.org. It is largely compatible with other major office suites, including Microsoft Office, and available on a variety of platforms. LibreOffice has no licensing fees, is available in a large number of local languages and gives users the opportunity to participate in its development.
LibreOffice is a hybrid word, meaning “Free Office”. Libre means free (as in freedom) in French and Spanish. Between January 2011 (its first stable launch) and October 2011, LibreOffice was downloaded approximately 7.5 million times. It is the default office suite in many Linux distributions, such as Fedora, Linux Mint, openSUSE, and Ubuntu.
LibreOffice can be run on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger or newer, and Linux-based systems running Linux kernel version 2.6.18 or newer. (more…)
Now this is quite a fascinating story, it seems the latest development is the accidental development of new super-malware strains created by viruses infecting executable files of worms. Worms are generally executable files and well, viruses infect executables – so you can imagine what happens.
Ten years ago, there was a clear-cut distinction between Trojans, viruses and worms. They all had their own features specific to one family of malware only. As more people connected to the internet, cyber-criminals started mixing ingredients to maximize impact. And here I’m thinking Trojans with worm capabilities or viruses with Trojan features, and so on. (more…)
The Linux computer operating system turned twenty in August this year. But, despite having reached that fine age (in computer terms), it remains on the fringe, with relatively low usage levels. Mostly, it has suffered from its reputation for being complicated, with many thinking it’s exclusively for geeks and nerds who know each line of code by heart.
But the reputation is undeserved. Linux hardly makes any special demands on users and is far easier then Windows or Mac OS, once you become accustom to the user interface.
Another reason that Linux it is not very popular, is due to the fact that OEM’s, are locked into Windows due to licensing with Microsoft, but that is slowly changing and set to become rather sub-standard now due to Android. (more…)
In a move that is likely to anger the antivirus industry, Microsoft is adding security features from its Security Essentials program to Windows 8. This is good news for consumers, but bad news for the antivirus industry. Microsoft should have been doing this since the release of Windows 95. While many of us do simultaneous facepalms and giggle at a decade-late decision, others question the legality of doing so. A multi-billion dollar industry has grown, based on the absolute porous operating system that is Microsoft Windows.
That’s right. Microsoft this week began offering U.S. customers its free antivirus program via Windows’ built-in update service, a move one major security firm said may be anti-competitive. Microsoft is adding features from its Security Essentials program, which is currently available as a separate download for Windows users, to the Windows Defender package already built into Windows. This means that Windows 8 users will get out-of-the-box protection against malware, along with firewall and parental controls from within Windows without requiring users hunt down a separate download or buy new software. (more…)
If you need a second or third computer but money is tight, you don’t need to buy a full system. You can build a surprisingly speedy Linux PC that will excel at everyday tasks, and cost less than $200. I highly recommend this with young children in the home, or for use as a dedicated banking computer. Why?, because you will NOT have to deal with it getting infected with a virus to boot.
No one who expected the languid economy to have fully revived by now can be cheered by the way things have gone this summer; the volatile stock market alone has been a constant dispenser of heartache. So if you’re in need of a computer, even just a small one to do basic, everyday things, you may have put it off because of the uncertainty currently surrounding, well, everything. But it’s possible to build a PC yourself for an obscenely low cash layout—less than you’d spend on pretty much any full system on the market.
In fact, you can even do it for as little as $200. And no, that’s not a typo.
This was written about last year , back when it looked like the economy’s most turbulent days were behind it. But because money issues have persisted, and because relative luxuries like technology are usually the first line items to be cut from most home budgets, we wanted to revisit the notion. We started browsing our favorite Web components outlet, Newegg.com, with the intent of answering three questions: Could we do it again? Could we build a better computer this time around? And could we do it for significantly less than we had the first time?
The answer to the first question was a no-brainer: absolutely. Even as recently as several years ago, the PC industry hadn’t yet advanced to a point where a threshold this low would result in a complete PC of any recognizable kind. As hardware has improved, that quality has slowly filtered down to the lowest price ranges, making good components both cheaper and easier to find.
It was also obvious that our new desktop would be superior in terms of performance. We didn’t want to build exactly the same system this year, but we’d been concerned that the final product wouldn’t be different enough to justify a second attempt. But once we started shopping, it didn’t take us long to discover that prices had fallen enough in the last year for us to get some more impressive parts. You’re still not going to confuse this PC’s capabilities with those of a more expensive desktop, but even in just a year the possibilities have considerably expanded.
As for whether we could spend a lot less this year than we could in 2010… Technically, yes. But that would have violated our most important precept: This had to be a computer we could really use. Building a system that costs this little already requires major compromises in some areas, and shaving off too many additional dollars would have seriously hobbled usability and upgradability. We could have put together something for closer to $150, but we didn’t want something—we wanted a computer we could feel good about integrating into our lives right away, and feel comfortable about tweaking and expanding in the future.
What follows is a look at how we accomplished this: the parts we chose, why we chose them, how we put them together, and what we gave up along the way. We’ll also run through a list of some “budget-busting” items that we couldn’t include if we wanted to stay below our $200 ceiling, but that we’d definitely investigate if we had another few bucks to rub together.
We understand that building the least-expensive computer possible isn’t something that will appeal to everyone. As we said last year, this is as much a thought experiment as it is an actual build project—you can do it, and get great results (we still use our original sub-$200 PC regularly), but under most circumstances you would make different, more expensive, and (we admit it) more exciting choices. What it proves, however, is that you should never feel constrained by your bank account, even if it’s as empty as a politician’s promises. When you’re building computers, almost anything is possible at any price, and with a little bit of research, a little bit of thought, and a little bit of sacrifice, you can get what you need without courting bankruptcy. In economic times both scary and spirited, that’s something worth remembering.
Once you remove Microsoft from the picture, you start saving $100′s of dollars. How, you may ask? Well you can obtain a complete OS like Linux Mint online and download a full office suite like LibreOffice for $0.
Ten years ago this, Microsoft released Windows XP, which became one of its most popular flavors of the Windows operating system — largely because what came after it, Windows Vista, was so terrible and a complete failure. Windows 7, and all its glory was so great it took two years to surpass XP.
This month marks the first time that Microsoft Windows XP has dipped below 50 percent market share among personal desktops and laptops worldwide, after having peaked at about 75 percent in 2007, according to NetApplications.com and Statcounter.com
The 10-year-old operating system is notorious for its security holes. It’s got much less protection against viruses, Trojans and other malware than do its successors Windows Vista and Windows 7, and even the National Security Agency itself advised against XP’s continued use in a document released earlier this year. Yet it maintains a strong presence worldwide, especially in China and Russia, and that huge installation base makes it easier for malware writers to spread their wares.
Savvy users might blame XP’s enduring popularity on the naivete of less knowledgeable consumers, but the real culprit might be Microsoft’s own naivete when it comes to how consumers make their decisions.
“Users in general are averse to taking time out of their schedules to come up to speed on the newest features which, at the end of the day, they don’t view as significantly improving their productivity,” said Tom Halleran, a service delivery executive at a global IT services provider.
Microsoft is slowly but surely abandoning XP. Mainstream support was officially retired in 2009, and the software giant will discontinue all support — likely including security patches — for XP by 2014. The company’s motivation is clear: Compared to streamlined modern operating systems such as Linux, XP has become an embarrassment. I have a XP counter at the bottom right sidebar of my website, don’t wait to act and to make a decision on what operating system to migrate too.
Aside from perpetuating security holes that were never fully addressed, XP makes other operating systems more attractive to consumers looking to trade up. Comparison shopping between Windows 7 and Apple’s Mac OS X is a more or less level playing field; comparison shopping between XP and OS X is no contest.
So why are XP users reluctant to upgrade? There are four main reasons.
Price is an obvious factor, and not just because Windows 7 starts at $200. Mainstream consumers tend not to upgrade their operating systems until they buy new machines. Microsoft expects its customers to respond to upgrade deals, yet ignores the fact that the cost of the hardware itself — a new desktop or notebook — is the real stumbling block from a financial perspective.
Then there’s another concern: compatibility. Corporations may have to buy new machines for entire departments to keep up with operating-system requirements. Home users often prefer to have all their machines running the same operating system — the unpredictable network mismatches that can arise are often too difficult or time-consuming to troubleshoot — and at $200 per Windows 7 license, it may be easier to stick with XP across the board.
Home and corporate users also don’t like the learning curve of adapting to a new system. XP users are used to their work flows; they know where to find what they need, and they like it that way.
Microsoft is mistaken in thinking that every new version of its flagship OS must be a substantial change from the last. Windows users have set tasks to accomplish when they boot up, and taking time out to re-learn how to accomplish those tasks is not what they signed up for. The waste of hours (and, potentially, corporate resources) is a strong deterrent to upgrading.
Some advanced users might consider the above three reasons for resistance to be limited to the less computer literate, but many coders and developers find a fourth reason to avoid updating: preference.
“Tech-savvy users who understand the security benefits of upgrading are often unhappy with what they see as an increasing lack of control over their system,” Halleran said.
With both Vista and Windows 7, Microsoft has been pushing toward a sleeker, more user-friendly, but less user-controlled model. It’s no coincidence that these developments have been compared to Apple’s standard look and functionality. A quick Google search for the phrase “more and more like Mac” turns up nearly half a million results, and even a cursory glance at the text excerpts suggests that this isn’t what a lot of Windows users want.
If it’s attempting to win over Mac users, Microsoft has failed on two counts: Mac users exhibit tremendous brand loyalty, and PC power users tend to stick with Windows precisely because it isn’t Mac. If anything, this race toward a shiny OS singularity only encourages power users to adopt alternative operating systems such as Linux; and indeed, as XP’s market share has dwindled, Linux has gained ground.
In mimicking the Mac model, Microsoft is alienating its hardcore demographic. Despite quirky ad spots to the contrary, the choice of “Mac or PC” these days is usually based on mere preference, not technical factors.
At the same time, Microsoft’s unrealistic assessment of consumers’ willingness to upgrade to unfamiliar systems at high prices means that the world will likely be saddled with XP for years after support is completely abandoned.
Facing the glaring security problems of an XP-infested future, Microsoft might need to rethink both its OS development and its business strategy. The company can sweep XP under the rug, but it won’t be easy to smooth out the big lump that remains.
While many of us may be looking to migrate from Windows 7 to Windows 8 when it becomes available (I’m not, I have no need for either) — no date is set, but it could be late next summer — there are still plenty of folks using XP for many of reasons. However, with the economy as it is and getting tighter, now is the time to look at a decent operating system, such as Linux Mint. The benefits are enormous and you are missing out! There is no reason to go out and buy a new computer, just because Windows XP is expiring or even upgrade. Windows 7 has no feature benefits worth spending the money on; the only difference maybe you get Internet Explorer 9, but who needs that when you have Firefox and Chrome, which are are supported with extensions.
The advantages of Linux are five fold:
- Cost – The most obvious advantage of using Linux is the fact that it is free to obtain, while Microsoft products are available for a hefty and sometimes recurring fee. Microsoft licenses typically are only allowed to be installed on a single computer, whereas a Linux distribution can be installed on any number of computers, without paying a single dime.
- Security – In line with the costs, the security aspect of Linux is much stronger than that of Windows. Why should you have to spend extra money for virus protection software? The Linux operating system has been around since the early nineties and has managed to stay secure in the realm of widespread viruses, spyware and adware for all these years. Sure, the argument of the Linux desktop not being as widely used is a factor as to why there are no viruses. My rebuttle is that the Linux operating system is open source and if there were a widespread Linux virus released today, there would be hundreds of patches released tomorrow, either by ordinary people that use the operating system or by the distribution maintainers. We wouldn’t need to wait for a patch from a single company like we do with Windows.
- Choice (Freedom) – The power of choice is a great Linux advantage. With Linux, you have the power to control just about every aspect of the operating system. Two major features you have control of are your desktops look and feel by way of numerous Window Managers, and the kernel. In Windows, your either stuck using the boring default desktop theme, or risking corruption or failure by installing a third-party shell.
- Software - There are so many software choices when it comes to doing any specific task. Sometimes its a simple modification or feature enhancement of a already existing piece of software, sometimes its a brand new application. In addition, software on Linux tends to be packed with more features and greater usability than software on Windows. Best of all, the vast majority of Linux software is free and open source. Not only are you getting the software for no charge, but you have the option to modify the source code and add more features if you understand the programming language. What more could you ask for?
- Hardware - Linux is perfect for those old computers with barely any processing power or memory you have sitting in your garage or basement collecting dust. Install Linux and use it as a firewall, a file server, or a backup server. There are endless possibilities. Old 386 or 486computers with barely any RAM run Linux without any issue. Good luck running Windows on these machines and actually finding a use for them.
Either way you look at it, you will be forced to relearn Windows 7 when you leave XP, then yet again when you leave for Windows 8. Look at the advantages Linux can offer you and make the decision to try something new for once. You will have to eventually as Windows is totally change the user interface and killing off the start menu. http://jet-computing.com/microsoft-kills-start-menu/
Linux is one of the most secure and stable operating systems around, and yet even with Android devices becoming ubiquitous with 550,000 plus activations daily, you would think that Linux would be more prevalent on the computer desktop. Obviously, on the back end side of the network, Linux servers do support the majority of the web and those services we are normally expect, namely Google, Facebook and a host of others.
However, what about the rest of us? However, if you, like any other Linux user, are disappointed by the current market share stats, we can tell you some simple tips that will help you convince your Windows or Mac-crazy friends into using Linux.
Now, many Linux users have already tried to coax their friends and family members to try out this popular and newbie-friendly distro called Linux Mint. A select few have succeeded and many have failed. So here, we will give you some important tips to help you spread the word about Linux without sounding like that arrogant nerd who has nothing but contempt for Windows or Mac.
Show, don’t tell
Yes, this is the first and the most important thing you need to do if you have to convince a Windows or a Mac user into using Linux. Ubuntu, Linux Mint and many other distros look extremely beautiful, and honestly, the latest version of Ubuntu (Ubuntu 11.10) looks just as good as a Mac. But hey, if you’re just going to just tell that to them do you think they’ll believe you? Even if they do believe you, they’ll still have no idea what Ubuntu or whatever you’re talking about looks like. My suggestion is, you take your own Linux laptop, hand it over to them and let them play around with it. If you’re on Ubuntu I’d recommend opening a new Guest session and handing over the laptop to them. That way, they’ll have a better idea as to how beautiful even an uncustomized desktop looks like. If, at all, it is impossible to show the desktop to your friend, send him or her a YouTube video of the desktop.
Stop telling them Windows is bad, they already know it
For a Linux user trying to convince a Windows user into the light side, there’s always the Windows-bashing that comes in handy. At least that’s what many Linux users think. Windows-bashing is great, everyone curses that dreaded operating system, but there’s no point telling a Windows user about it. I’m pretty sure he or she already knows about it. There must at least be a thousand Windows users cursing Microsoft even as you’re reading this article. But no way are they going to switch to something different. I wrote about why that is yesterday: http://jet-computing.com/linux-deters-computer-viruses/
If they get stuck
Don’t emphasize on the “free” part
Don’t, and I say it again; don’t ever start your pitch with the “free” part. In fact, it would be better if you drop the whole thing out of the conversation. Sometimes, they’re so impressed by Linux that they eventually end up asking you about its cost. Just look at them casually and say “it’s free” and wait for their reaction.
Linux is an alternative operating system, such as Microsoft Windows or Apple OSX. However, it is far superior as Android, which is built from Linux, is surpassing Apple’s beloved iPhone and all the while, Windows Mobile phone looks on wondering what is happening. The open design of Android and Linux is becoming readily apparent.
Computer experts say that Linux has much of the same applications, it not more then what the other operating systems currently offer. All of the major Linux distributions come by default with a word processor and internet browser of course, but the advantage is it gives you a decreased footprint to catch a virus or have a some nefarious piece of malware hose your computer and work.
There is one characteristic of the Linux operating system that stands out. That is, because Linux is open source software whose source code is published and made available to the public, enabling anyone to copy, modify and redistribute the source code without paying royalties or fees. Open source code evolves through community cooperation. These communities are composed of individual programmers as well as very large companies. No one single entity has control of Linux and it’s kernel base.
Linux is completely free, no gimmicks. All you have to do is download one of the popular systems like Ubuntu or Linux Mint and burn it onto a CD, then install it onto your computer. If you have an old computer laying around, or one that has been rendered inoperable form an infection of some sort. Go ahead and try it!
Everyone is using Linux and you are not, you are missing the boat! http://jet-computing.com/who-uses-linux-everyone-does/
As time moves on, it is imperative that you make some changes. This is especially true in the computer world. Sadly, many people do not welcome change and insist on continuing as they are, even when it is apparent that change is sorely needed. Which is fine with me, I will continue taking in their money.
When someone gives me a computer to repair, very often I will demonstrate Linux to them after I repair what was wrong, which typically is software related as Windows becomes a mess at times. However, even shown the benefits and advantages with a short personal tour, there are still those that will not budge.
Here are five reasons why people do not change, this can be used in any venue.
- Fear - Most people are happy in the situation that they are in. In fact, they often presume that making a change could turn out to be worse than they had been expecting. This is basically fear of the unknown. When not conquered, it keeps people stuck with what they know however painful it may seem to someone on the outside.
- Assumptions - People assume many negative things when they think about making a change. They think that they may not be able use a new operating system, or that it would be way too hard to relearn everything all over again. If you have done your research well, then there is no reason to assume anything negative. Assume the best until and unless you are shown otherwise.
- Time - Many computer owners are willing to accept change – but might think that the time is not yet right for the step. Unfortunately, this is a symptom of procrastination. In its most pervasive form, it results in nothing getting done.
- Trust - As a computer user, you might not be ready to trust anyone who is advising them to change. The point is — if a suggestion is made by someone, consider the source. It they are a credible professional, colleague or family member, you would do well to at least consider their advice.
- History - Anyone not wanting to change might cite examples from the past to prove their point. They might point to previous ideas that have not succeeded, and convince themselves that history will repeat itself if they go ahead with the change.
Refusal to accept change is a computer user’s worst enemy. Change is a part of life — you can either accept it, or watch as people surpass you.
For more about Linux, or for a wider selection of Linux distributions, visit http://distrowatch.com/
Microsoft recently killed the Start Menu, and their explanation for it seems fairly straightforward: no one used it. This may be a bit of an exaggeration, but Microsoft explains that use of the Start menu dipped by 11 percent between Windows Vista and Windows 7, with many specialized Start functions — such as exploring pictures — declining as much as 61 percent.
When you can’t figure out the easy way to launch stuff, look in the Start Menu. This is change for change’s sake. How is someone suppose to use this? You can’t, without much anguish. Why?..because they didn’t like the look of the big, floor-to-ceiling look of the old XP system, they shrunk it all down so that it only shows 5-6 items at a time and has a scroll-bar. In short, they made it harder to use and less functional than the XP Start Menu, and to everyone’s amazement, people stopped using it, and then they claimed it was some sort of UX triumph.
Ditto with the control panel – rather than one big screen with 100+ tiny icons on it, they reworded a few things (“Display” becaome “Personalization”, and there are 2-3 different UIs rather than the tabs on the old-fashioned XP display.cpl) and made them all look like web-apps. Now that it’s unnavigable with words or icons, everyone uses “search” and it “feels faster”. You can’t write documentation that says Start-Settings-ControlPanel-Display-Screensaver, you have to say “search for ‘screen saver’ and clicky on whatever pops up”… *sigh*
Much like Firefox, most UX innovation is precisely that. If you don’t get the results that match your pet UI design philosophy, move the feature around, and while your users are trying to find the feature you don’t want, accumulate enough telemetry to claim your users aren’t using it as often, then take it away. (Status bar, full URL in the URLbar, etc.)
And the problem fundamentally isn’t that the Start Menu is too complicated. It’s that they’ve never provided a good tool for *managing* it. So the average person, being unaware that it’s just a bunch of directories and shortcut files, suffered with the floor-to-ceiling scrolling menu from hell. M$, on noting their complaints, responded by taking away most of the menu. This led to a different set of complaints, since now no one can find anything and the reaction is to give up on the start menu entirely.
But it still didn’t solve the real problem, which as I said is still that there’s no good tool that average non-savvy users can turn to for *managing* the Start Menu. How hard could it be to make a nice little interface (not relying on drag-and-drop in the live menu, which in my observation is usually a disaster) geared toward letting average folks sort out their programs into reasonable hierarchies, so the Start Menu isn’t always One Huge Mess??
Me being an avid user of Linux Mint , I much prefer using Cairo Dock and Mint Menu, both of which are configurable. I have to chuckle over this, and just shake my head.
It would be fine if I never changed computer, or never needed to re-install the OS, however, any time you used a different computer / OS, you would need to re-organize things, go against the defaults. The other problem I had was that sometimes it was hard to perfectly categorize things. Googles Chrome browser and it’s ChromeOS is working to conquer this aspect.
Without the Start Menu, how do I shutdown? Hold the power button down for ten seconds, just like always.
So in Windows 8 (for those that tried the demo, yes I downloaded the ISO and setup a VM to try it) they replaced the simple little menu in the start button with a whole screen monstrosity that takes the entire desktop. Taking over my whole desktop because I pushed the start button isn’t the answer to this problem. IMO people don’t use the start menu much because they put icons of their most used programs in the quick launch tool bar and on the desktop itself. Instead they take a simple menu, blow it up full screen and if you decide you don’t want to pick a program and go back to what you have running, there is no logical way to do it (there isn’t a close button that’s obvious, ESC doesn’t work, right click doesn’t work).
Gnome3 and Ubuntu’s Unity solution to doing away with the start button is far better than what Microsoft has cooked up and I don’t really like those either but I can see them working better). If I fail that badly using their “NEW AND IMPROVED” start menu I can’t even comprehend how disastrous this will be for the less computer literate. The best part is, you cannot bring back the old start menu that I could find. It’s not in the control panel, the options are gone from the right click menu, etc.
Microsoft is making a huge mistake overlaying their Windows Phone 7 Metro interface on windows. This is a huge mistake that’s obviously being done to use the windows monopoly against the phone competition. It’s going to backfire and damage windows just like Vista did.
Microsoft killed the Start menu because they want to force everyone to use Windows Phone, even if they aren’t (initially) buying a Windows Phone. They failed for years to sell phones that look like a Windows desktop, so instead they’re changing the Windows desktop to look like their phones, and hoping that iOS and Android end up looking “foreign” to phone users as a result.
People click on the Start menu when they want to find something to Start. Imagine that. The bottom line is that the Windows 95 UI (which is to say, Microsoft’s ripoff of the RiscOS UI [guidebookgallery.org]) was the pinnacle of personal computer desktop UI design. Everything that’s happened since then has been change for change’s sake and has only served to annoy users and get in their way.
There is really nothing wrong with a start menu. Microsoft however never enforced a good practice with their start menu, the signal to noise ratio is VERY low. It’s cluttered with company names, uninstallers and readme files. Why should I have to know the name of the company if I want to use a program, looks very much like advertisement to me. Instead of enforcing a good practice they have extended the start menu with “most used programs” which really doesn’t cure the underlying problem, and to me it’s even more cluttered. They should get rid of everything but the program starters in correct folders, Games in games folder and so on, one program has one menu entry, this was probably how it was meant to be by the original designer but never enforced. Look at Gnome, very simple, and very effective. And now Microsoft have come to the conclusion that nobody uses their cluttered mess of a start menu, and are killing it. I say it could be fixed, but Microsoft doesn’t seem to know what’s wrong with it.
Students! Don’t get scammed for back to school computer shopping. There is only a few days left before returning to school and technology companies are gearing up for one of the most busiest seasons of the year.
Having a laptop is not mandatory for college studies, students often justify the purchase by saying that they need it desperately for school. Several large computer stores that have ‘Back to School’ specials for students, are just in it for the revenue and scamming the customers. These large computer stores want to extract as much money as possible from customers and are willing to go the distance in confusing students and their parents in order to make that extra profit. For example, I was told shamelessly straight to my face when buying a netbook that the company does not make a lot of money from the sale of a laptop and that I should purchase something else.
This is why all associates are forced to upsell and skew the truth. These people tell you that you need a CD created in order for your computer to have a backup. This extra service is only $60. For extra $100 they will setup your computer to be “ready to use”. This is a major scam because anyone can do this setup by themselves with only a few clicks of the mouse when they boot up their system for the first time. I was once told that I can get a recovery disc created by them for only $100, as the laptop I was purchasing did not come with one. When I asked if I could do it, I was told that it wasn’t possible, however I could bring the laptop back later on to do so. When I got home and booted the computer for the first time, it gave me an option to burn a recovery CD which was a breeze to make.
However, even if you do not buy into the “setup your computer” argument the associate will tell you that there are tons of viruses out there that will destroy your precious data and you will have to buy antivirus. Another reason to try Linux Mint.
But don’t worry because its on special for just $80. Another tactic they like to use is to sell you extended warranty that is about $120 to $250. This enables you to bring the computer back to the place you bought it instead of shipping it to the manufacturer. Just a side note: Manufacturers have a great service and will replace your computer for free if its still in warranty and shipping is paid by them. I shipped several laptops back to various manufacturers and the service is very fast, professional and efficient. However, be careful with your data as you could lose everything!
After pressuring you to hand over hundreds of dollars for a laptop or a netbook, they try to sell you optical drives, mice, cases and many other peripherals. Many times I have overheard associates lying to customers about what they need just to sell the extra package so that they can get a bonus/commission or just to get their manager off their backs. Even though associates in these large stores try to be polite and smile to your face, they are scamming you for hundreds of dollars out of your hard earned money just because you are unaware about what you really need. And if that fails, many stores increase the price of the product and try to sell you the whole “better value” package, without having the option to buy the computer without those unnecessary “upgrades”.
Another money waster is when students drag their parents to an Apple store and demand the latest computer hardware for their University studies. Apple computers are very expensive but all that students see is the nice shiny box and the cool factor. Being like everyone else is not cool and PCs are hundreds of dollars cheaper and do the same thing that most Apple laptops do. Save yourself or your parents some cash and get a PC laptop instead. Apple products will not increase your grades and will not make you any cooler either. Better yet, get a decent used laptop and run Linux Mint.
Therefore, this back to school season do some serious research about what you need and don’t need and do not be pressured into buying additional things that you might regret later or realize that it was a waste of your money. Majority of these businesses are making huge profits on the ignorance of many individuals about technology and computers.
A few good examples that you should think about might include:
Do students really need the latest MacBook Pro for $2000 to type essays that can be done on a Netbook or a regular laptop?
Do you need to pay additional $130 for Microsoft Office if LibreOffice is free to download and use?
Do you need a firewall and Antivirus if you are smart about what files to open and follow some simple security rules? Or you can download AVG Free Anti-virus or Avast and many universities provide you with anti-virus for free while you are their student.
Do you need additional warranty for $200 if shipping to a manufacturer is free and can be easily set up online? How long do you expect your laptop to last you?
Do you really need to pay hundreds of dollars for an extended warranty if your netbook costs $350 and it is cheaper to buy a new one than keep fixing an old one in 3 years?
Campuses typically have computer halls brimming with computers for students to use. These typically go unused and are only full during mid-terms and finals. Part of your college tuition grants you access to some of the most cutting-edge technology and research in the world. From journal subscriptions to reference e-books to high-tech computers, you have all kinds of resources to help you with your school work, and won’t have to pay extra for any of it. So utilize it.
Try to see through manipulative associates in big computer stores that try to scam you for hundreds of dollars and make you think that you need every one of the things they offer or your computer will blow up. Play it smart and use the money you save for your books or tuition instead because those things are not getting any cheaper….