Byte Me Article 401 – PC for what?

Welcome to the first of our mini-series on the A-Z of computer purchase.  Existing PC owners probably want to skip this section, but anyone sitting on the fence of computer ownership should read on.  I started in the IT field back in 1996 when it was simply easier to type my University Engineering & Business assignments on a PC rather than a typewriter!

 It made perfect sense to simply type something the once, not worrying about liquid paper to edit mistakes, being able to move sentences and paragraphs around and being able to keep a copy of everything I wrote.  Before long I also purchased a basic printer and a dial-up modem – with an Internet connection through CQ Net and an email address. 

The email address came in handy for communicating with my lecturers and I could access some of the Uni’s library resources direct from home.  Otherwise, at the time there were very limited Internet resources for research – but there was always the game of Doom for some non-productive relaxation!

 Fast forward to today and you will not find a hobby, topic or fact that is not covered extensively from a multitude of viewpoints on the Internet – for free!  Without thinking anything of it, computer users ask search engines like Google a billion different questions every day.  Who led The Charge of the Light Brigade, what horsepower will a 2019 Dodge Viper have, how many breeds of cats are there, where is Timbuktu and what is the price of tea in China will all get very accurate answers. 

Now the Internet has become such a resource that not only is it informative, but it is vital for communication with essential services, consumer services, consumer markets, government agencies and private organisations.  All of these entities have their wares listed via a website just like a large portable menu – that can be pulled up for us to view on our screens – in our homes or even on a smart phone.

 It is due to the power of the Internet that we have even pulled out of Yellow pages advertising this year because people just Google us now!  Besides access to Internet based resources, it is hard to exist without an email address.  Emails can be thought of just as their name suggests – and electronic form of mail.   

Emails are a letter without need of a stamp, that can arrive next door or on the other side of the world in the blink of an eye, that can only be opened by the intended recipient, that can be sent to multiple people at once and that can be replied to instantly or in good time – or ignored at the whim. 

Growing in popularity, especially since we all paid for an NBN is the likes of communication programs like Skype – where a small computer mounted camera and microphone can allow us to talk and see friends or relatives that have a similar setup – regardless of their locality.  Technology such as this and Facebook is helping to bring people together (if they want) like never before. 

And once again – if you are retired like Kel, then programs like YouTube can provide endless hours of viewing short movies that are entirely relevant to any hobby that you would like to name – from stamp collecting to sky diving.  Next week we delve into computer types, brands and models.  Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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