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Do-It-Yourself

This area is under construction as I add answers, tips, and solutions. Check back often to see what's new.

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Do-It-Yourself

This area of Aplus Computer Aid is where you can find advice for getting things done--and doing it yourself. I have tried to put this infornation into categories and rate the difficulty level of each project. Remember that if you just do not feel comforatable trying some of these things all on your own, I will be glad to assist you with my phone or Secure Remote Assistance services.

I am well aware that each of you has your own experience and comfort level when it comes to dealing with PCs, and I will do my best to walk the fine line between losing the novice and insulting the power-user. I have broken this section down into topics, and those topics into categories, and those into projects, so that you can navigate, by clicking the links, right to the subject you are interested in learning about. And you can skip those you already know.

A good place for the Novice to start is with The Basics.

Don't throw your machine in the dumpster just because it has gotten older and isn't "cutting edge" any longer. These projects will inject your machine with speed, improve their capabilities, and add the features you want--without the expense of buying a whole newDon't waste your money... system.

Upgrading your aging PC and giving it today's capabilities can be done by adding either...

Hardware

Software

  • Newer version of Windows

  • Photo/Video/Music Editing

  • Speech/Text Recognition

  • Website Design/Publishing

  • Improve Security/Encryption

 

*** For all of these tips and projects I will use a common symbol syntax to outline the steps. The > symbol indicates a single click to continue, and >> means double-click (which Opens/Launches/Activates the application). To symbolize a right-button click, I will always use the } symbol.

So, for example: "Start>Programs>Accessories>>Calculator" is the progressive order of navigating to, and launching the Window's Calculator utility.

"Start}My Computer>Properties" will open your computer's System Properties window. (click the Start button, right-click My Computer, and click once on the Properties choice.)


BEFORE YOU BEGIN A HARDWARE UPGRADE:

Since upgrading hardware requires opening your PC's case, I must caution you on the dangers of static electricity. A very small charge can damage the sensitive circuits on the boards inside the machine and render them completely useless. It is very important therefore to discharge any static before reaching inside the case. ALWAYS TOUCH A METAL PART OF THE INSIDE FRAME BEFORE TOUCHING ANY OTHER COMPONENT. Do this each time you reach inside the machine.

A better choice is to purchase and use an anti-static wrist band. These are fairly inexpensive (Belkin sells one online for $3.08) items that you clip onto a solid ground and they continuously drain away any static charges. I recommend you wear one anytime you work with printed circuit boards or other sensitive electronics.

That said, it's time to start giving your aging machine a make-over. Just click on a topic in the list above to get started.

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