New PC coming - set up tips

  rickus 10:35 02 Oct 2005

Have just ordered one of these

click here

and would appreciate your comments/advice on the best way of setting things up.

The PC is for home use - nearly all internet and some basic home office work. The only software I have ordered is XP Home Edition, my first use of XP.

1. Is getting go on XP and configuring it intuitive or are there some special things worth knowing up front or idiot's guide sites to look at?

2. Are there recommended ways to configure the latest versions of Internet Explorer and Outlook for security and usability purposes?

3. I am asuming that I can just copy across my IE favourites and Outlook address book from my existing W98 IE version 6 PC.

4. Am intending going for free software for the rest of the basics i.e.
- Download and install Zone Alarm and AVG right away (have been happy with AVG - any big reason to move to Avast)
- Install Adaware, Spywareblaster and Spybot
- Go for Open Office instead of Microsoft office. I do have the disks for MS Office 97 but have been told that could be a bit flakey on XP. Would it be worth installing it anyway to help me read email attachments?

Any thouhgts on the above or other items to consider would be much appreciated.


  VoG II 10:42 02 Oct 2005

You may want to consider the Files and settings transfer wizard click here to copy things from your old PC files.

Office 97 should run OK on Windows XP.

I would also install Microsoft Antispyware click here

  Stuartli 11:02 02 Oct 2005

Firstly, don't try and rush anything...:-)

You'll like XP, especially its stability. There are dozens of XP websites offering help and advice if needed, with particular reference to click here click here click here click here click here

There are many more.

Secondly, I used to use AVG and liked it, but Avast! has the benefit of automatically updating itself when online, so one less thing to worry about.

ZA, Spybot and SpywareBlaster are sound choices.

I would also consider using Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird rather than IE and OE, but this is a personal preference that has been justified by a dramatic reduction in necessary updating/critical updates etc requirements.

  Belatucadrus 11:16 02 Oct 2005

1.“Is getting go on XP and configuring it intuitive” Yes, if you set the start menu to classic view, it even looks the same. click here and click here may be of interest.

2.“Are there recommended ways to configure the latest versions of Internet Explorer and Outlook for security and usability purposes?” Yes, stop using them altogether, use Firefox click here and Thunderbird click here

3.“I am assuming that I can just copy across my IE favourites and Outlook address book” For IE go to File/Import and Export and run the wizard, save to suitable place and then transfer to new PC and run File/Import. For OE repeat using File/Export/Address book & File/Export/Messages.

4.“Am intending going for free software for the rest of the basics” Good idea, as to the avast!/AVG issue, both will do the job, I happen to prefer avast! As it has a better update system and more on-access coverage, but you'll find as many AVG users who prefer it. Their isn't much point in loading Office as well as OpenOffice, particularly regarding the e-mail file issue, Openoffice will open everything that office can and a hell of a lot more. The only issue you may encounter is when sending OpenOffice files to people without it, Office is notorious for it's lack of compatibility with files from other suites. Presumably if you're the biggest kid on the block and own the ball then you can play pretty much any way you like. However OpenOffice can save files in all Office formats, thus circumventing the problem. You can even go into Tools/Options/Load Save and set the default document format to Microsoft if you think it'll be easier that way.

click here for a link to a freeware page linking to a lot of good downloads. One comment, you said “ home office work ” remember that most of the freeware licences are quite specific in that they are for non profit use only. The minute your Home Office becomes an earner, then you become ineligible for the free software.

  rickus 11:56 02 Oct 2005

Some great advice there - really appreciated.
Now to go follow some of those links.
NB By 'home office' I meant personal not business use.
Thanks to all

  Diemmess 11:59 02 Oct 2005

--- AVG updates itself automatically too.

  Belatucadrus 12:08 02 Oct 2005

But quoting from the Grisoft website " Scheduling options in the AVG Free Edition are very limited (only one scheduled update per day, one scheduled scan per day etc.)".
avast! checks when you log on and at four hour intervals after that, it's one of the better update systems free or not.

  €dstowe 12:20 02 Oct 2005

As has been said, take things steady and do one thing at a time. Don't load lots of programs on and expect them all to work at once.

Rather than mess around with out of date MS Office suites, how about the latest version of Open Office click here which is an excellent alternative and, best of all, it's free. It is compatible with MS Office programs.

  sharkfin 12:22 02 Oct 2005

As soon as you get your pc and internet connection sorted, download the updates, especially Service pack to to update your OS.

  Stuartli 12:54 02 Oct 2005

I was fully aware of that fact but it's not as reliable as updates as and when necessary...:-)

Just as I'm typing this the blue Avast! screen has just popped up......

  stylehurst 13:35 02 Oct 2005

As an alternative to IEXplorer & Outlook Express you might also want to consider Opera which is now free & without the banner ads

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