Step 3: How to Install the Software After You Build Your Own Computer.
Now that you have built your own computer and booted it up for the first time you are ready to install some software. Without software your computer is useless. Software is the computer programming that operates the computer. The first and most important software we will be installing is the operating system. I recommend Microsoft Windows Vista, but you could also use Windows XP or Linux.
If you haven't done so already, now is the time to Order Windows Operating System here .
Windows is an example of a GUI - Graphical User Interface. A GUI (pronounced "gooey") operating system makes using the computer more intuitive and easier to learn. It is also much more attractive and pleasant to use than then non-graphical operating systems that were common before Windows. MS-DOS and UNIX are examples of non-GUI operating systems where the user is required to type commands in order to get the computer to function. They have a much steeper learning curve because you have to memorize all the command codes before you can even use the computer.
The reason why Microsoft called their GUI operating system "Windows" is because it allows the user to open multiple programs at the same time -- with each one appearing in its own "window". With previous systems you could only run one program at a time. There have been many versions of Windows. The series began with Windows 3.1, then Windows 95, then Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP and now Windows Vista.
Most new computers on the market today come with Windows Vista as the operating system. Some users still prefer Windows XP for stability and compatibility reasons. I recommend Vista now because most of the hardware available today is fully compatible with Vista. Vista is also more powerful and secure than XP. Another alternative is Linux, which is a GUI version of Unix. The best reason to use Linux is because some versions of it can be obtained for little or no cost. Linux is a very good operating system, but it is much less common, harder to use and less compatible with other software such as games and productivity programs. Apple computers use the MAC OS operating system instead of Windows, but they are very similar in terms of appearance, usability and performance.
After you install the operating system you will need to install additional software to maximize the performance of the new computer you just built. Driver programs come with your hardware components and are quick and easy to install. Drivers allow the computer to utilize your hardware more efficiently and take advantage of any special features they provide.
You will also want to protect your computer from viruses and malware by installing some security programs that I recommend. I will show you some great programs that can be downloaded without any cost and they work very well. If you would rather pay for the famous names you can do that instead.
After that you can install the good stuff -- the games, office programs, camera software, instant messaging programs and Internet browsers that are the reason you want and need a computer in the first place.
Installing the software is a lot easier than assembling the components was. Most of the time you just insert the disk and follow the on-screen instructions. OK now we are ready to get started...