The Programs Included With A New Computer

The Programs Included With A New Computer -
By Owen Jones

A new computer comes with a raft of programs, yet quite which programs you get depends where you buy your computer but it can also depend on which country you live in. For instance, in the UK, all new computers come with Windows pre-loaded, but in Thailand some come with Linux although this is a recent development.

How useful are these programs that come 'free' with your new computer? Well, it varies, to be honest, and in the rest of this article we will take a look at some of the most common pre-loaded programs.

Occasionally you receive 'Notepad', occasionally you get 'Wordpad' and occasionally you get both. Wordpad is a more advanced version of Notepad and it can open old 'Write' documents. It can also open all rich text files (.rtf) as well as plain text (.txt) files.

Most people see Wordpad as an upgrade to Notepad and in numerous ways that is what it is, but it does not have sufficient features to make me want to use it. I use Notepad every day, yet I very rarely use Wordpad. Wordpad can be seen as a halfway house to MS Word the documents of which it can also read.

Wordpad is a helpful program if you do not have Word, because you can make attractive-looking documents and embed sound and picture files and text can be coloured. Regrettably, there is no spell-checker, and it can open Excel files too, which can be convenient.

If you have the MS Office suite, then Wordpad is redundant. If you do not have MS Office, download OpenOffice, which is a free Open Source contender to Office.

Outlook Express is a competent email client that can actually perform some tasks that Outlook can not. It also has an address book. Outlook Express is useful enough for most people, but if it is not, download Opera and incorporate the email client and address book that comes with it.

The calculator that ships free with Windows is very impressive. The version that comes with Windows 7 can be turned into a mathematical, a scientific, a statisticians'', a programmers' calculator and several others besides. You will absolutely never require another calculator if you have this tool. In one word it is superb.

Paint is a passable image editor. It is not especially sophisticated, yet it can perform a number of useful functions. If you require more and there are a lot who will, you will be able to find much better free image editors on the Internet.

Windows Media Player is a very robust media player of sound, pictures and movies, yet occasionally you have to go hunting for a new codex, if you have to play something in an unusual format. This is not a big drawback. WMP is a very helpful and fully-equipped tool. You can play radio from all over the world through it too.

The system tools supplied with Windows are satisfactory. They will monitor system resources and help you take care of your hard drives, but many users move on to more specialized tools in the long run.

Internet Explorer is a good browser, yet again, lots of surfers drift away from it and use other browsers (|and there are quite a few). In short, the tools and programs shipped with Windows are all right to get you going (although there are a few gems), usually, you will want to upgrade, and this can often be done by downloading other programs free of charge.

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