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.

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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

Security

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.

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. There are a range of changes that can be made to Windows 10 to make it work the way that you the user prefers. Important items include:

  • Settings - like mobile devices, Windows has a range of settings to be managed (Click here)
  • Windows 10 Start Menu - The start menu lists programs and links to other features (Click here)
  • Windows 10 Desktop - the desktop is where you do things so get it organised and tidy (Click here)
  • Accessories - there are a number of Windows components that not everyone is aware of (Click here)
  • Privacy - the privacy settings within Windows are quite extensive (Click here)
  • File Management - windows file management is more flexible than mobile devices (Click here)
  • Cloud Computing - like mobile devices, computers can be connected to 'the Cloud' (Click here)
  • Windows Ease of Access - (Click here for more)
  • Administrative Tools - checking the computer 'health' (Click here for more)
  • Connect to other devices - connect the computer to printers, scanners and other equipment (Click here for more)
  • Remote Connection - built in and third party apps can provide control from one device to another (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)

Applications

Computers usually use larger, more powerful and more sophisticated applications than those on mobile devices.
In many cases mobile applications (ie 'Apps') are adequate for many domestic purposes.
Again, the decision about what application and device used will reflect the needs of the user.
Click here for more details

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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