Managing Computers

Laptop and desktop computers are similar in many ways but operate quite differently to mobile devices.
This section discusses desktop and laptop computer usage and management.
It is not aimed at showing how to use application software in depth.
For detailed use of application software please refer to supplier tutorials.


Do I need a computer or a mobile device?

Mobile devices and computers have different abilities, performance and qualities.
Although some tasks can be done on both types of devices, it is a matter of evaluating your own needs to determine if you need a computer, a mobile device or both. Many young users prefer to have most activity on a mobile phone as it is always with them.
Others prefer to choose a specific device to suit the task. This is OK if you can afford multiple devices!

To compare the relative values of each type of device Click here


General discussion about security can be read in the Security (Click here) section and in Good Practice (Click here)
Desktop and laptop computers have a broader range of security issues that must be considered in addition to those of mobile devices. Partly these issues relate to these devices having more flexibility with accommodating multiple users than mobile devices. Click here for more details of user accounts and security issues.

Using Windows O/S

The most common operating system on desktop and laptop computers is the Windows Operating System (O/S).
Currently the most popular Windows version is Windows 10. Windows 10 has been made to make it easier to control so that it works the way that you, the user, prefers. This section discusses some of the management and operating issues when using Windows 10

Important items include:

  • Windows 10 Start Menu - The start menu lists programs and links to other features (Click here)
  • Settings - like mobile devices, Windows has a range of settings to be managed (Click here)
  • Windows 10 Desktop - the desktop is where you do things so get it organised and tidy (Click here)
  • Mouse/Touchpad/Other tracking devices - there are a few options to move the cursor around (Click here)
  • Keyboards - The basics of keyboards are generally well known but what about those extra keys? (Click here)
  • How many windows can I open - What apps can be open? Should I close before shutdown? Close all windows? (Click here)
  • Accessories - there are a number of Windows components that not everyone is aware of (Click here)
  • File Management - windows file management is more flexible than mobile devices (Click here)
  • Privacy - the privacy settings within Windows are quite extensive (Click here)
  • Administrative Tools - checking the computer 'health' (Click here for more)
  • Cloud Computing - like mobile devices, computers can be connected to 'the Cloud' (Click here)
  • Connect to other devices - connect the computer to printers, scanners and other equipment (Click here for more)
  • Virtual Desktop - set up complete desktops for different purposes and switch between each. (click here for more)
  • Remote Connection - built in and third party apps can provide control from one device to another (Click here)

More Help with Windows 10 computers can be had at the Be Connected website provided by the Federal Government (click here)

Privacy Online

There are privacy settings in Windows but also with online service providers.
Privacy needs attention to ensure that it is well managed rather than just accepting default conditions that usually favour the service provider rather than your own privacy. (Click here)

Parts of a Computer

In broad principle, desktop computers, laptop computers and mobile devices are all computers and have similar component functions although they differ in size, power and cost. To learn more about the parts of a computer (Click here)

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