Tech Talk #4 – July 18, 2015

You only need a new computer when you can’t do what you need to do on your current computer. If your computer is broken or too slow or can’t run that new software, you need a new computer.


I’m scared, what should I buy? What you use the computer for determines how much computer you need to buy. These are my recommendations for when you go computer shopping:

  • Casual user – Internet, email, streaming music, online games
    • Intel Pentium or AMD Vision A4 processor, 2-4GB of RAM, and a 1 terabyte (TB) or smaller hard drive
  • Frequent user – Internet, email, word processing, spreadsheets, streaming music and video, gaming, multitasking
    • Intel i3 or AMD Vision A6 processor, 4-8GB of RAM, and a 1TB hard drive
  • Power user – Internet, email, word processing, spreadsheets, streaming music and video, gaming, intensive multitasking, photo editing, graphics programs
    • Intel i5 or AMD Vision A8 processor, 8-12GB of RAM, and a 1TB or more hard drive
  • Professional user – Internet, email, word processing, spreadsheets, streaming music and video, high-performance gaming, intensive multitasking, multimedia editing, high-definition video editing, graphics design/3D modeling, launching satellites, ruling the world, etc.
    • Intel i7 or AMD Vision A10 processor, 12-16GB of RAM, and a 2TB or more hard drive


It’s OK if you just want a new computer, too. The same definitions and recommendations apply.



Windows 10 – If you don’t have a “Get Windows 10” icon  on your taskbar and you’re running Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.1, make sure you do all the Windows Updates for your machine. If you’re still running Windows 7 without Service Pack 1 or Windows 8, you can fix both of those by doing all the available Windows Updates. Windows 8.1 is available in the Windows Store on Windows 8. All of these updates and Service Packs are free and once complete, you should see the  icon.


And yes, Windows 10 is a free upgrade. If you upgrade to Windows 10 in the next 12 months it won’t cost you a dime. And no, your copy of Windows 10 doesn’t expire at the end of that year. It’s still yours. For free.


If you don’t upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1 during the next 12 months, Windows 10 will cost between $120 and $200 depending on which version you need.


Sorry Windows XP and Vista users, you’ll need to buy Windows 10 at retail to have the latest Windows version. But your computer will probably need bigger hard drives, faster processors, and more RAM to run well. And really, why are you still running XP or Vista, anyway?



Did you know? – When opening any of the Office 2013 programs, you’ll see a page of templates of various types of files you can create. But what if you just want to get to work on your Word document and don’t need to see a zillion templates for blog posts or business trip checklists or an event planner? Luckily, you can disable the start screen and go right to your document. Here’s how to do it in Word:

  • Open a Word document
  • Click on File > Options
  • Click on the General tab if you’re not there already
  • Near the bottom of that tab, clear the check mark next to Show the Start screen when this application starts
  • Click on OK


Do the same thing in Excel and PowerPoint. Now they’ll all open up to a blank document, spreadsheet, or presentation every time.


If ever you need to see the templates again, click on File > New and there they are.



When you think about it…

Wikipedia – We know everything!

Google – We can find anything!

Amazon – We have everything!

Facebook – We know everybody!

Twitter – We talk to everybody!

Internet – We bring you all of the above!

Electricity – You are all nothing without me. Just sayin’.



Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at                                                                                                                                                                                

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