I suggest you follow this plan in order to successfully transition to your new computer. It makes no difference if you are installing a computer with Microsoft Windows, Apple OS X, or Linux Mint. These steps will ensure you have all necessary items to be able to enjoy a well-planned and functional workspace.
1. Plan the location in your home for your new computer.
- Make sure the computer furniture you select has plenty of desktop space.
- Be sure to have a comfortable chair, preferably with good back support.
- If lighting in the room creates a glare on your screen you should consider a floor lamp that provides indirect lighting.
- Allow room on the furniture desktop for the tower or laptop, keyboard, mouse, monitor, printer, & internet router.
- For the desktop tower unit I recommend placing it on the desktop. You risk magnetic damage and excessive dust problems when placed on the floor. This location also provides better ventilation which reduces heat.
- Make sure that your computer is near an electrical outlet.
2. Purchase the desktop or laptop computer of your choice.
- Decide before going to your vendor what style of computer you wish to purchase.
- Desktop computer would be your choice if you will do most of your work at home.
- Laptop computer would be your choice if you need mobility for the workplace or for the classroom.
3. Recommended features for your new desktop or laptop computer
- 8 GB of RAM (random access memory) This amount of RAM is accepted as today’s minimum standard for good overall performance.
- 1TB hard drive (for adequate storage) – Mechanical drive – This drive will be slower in response but have far greater storage capacity for your data.
- 256GB SSD (Solid State Drive) hard drive – This drive will be much faster in response than a mechanical drive. However, it will offer far less in data storage capability.
- [Tips] Buying a Computer Monitor – This article by Bob Rankin is well worth reading when selecting a monitor for your new computer.
- Desktop unit: Minimum 21″ monitor, preferably with height and tilt adjustments
- Laptop unit: For mobility minded users, a 15″ monitor unit. For primarily desktop usage, a 17″ monitor unit.
- Microsoft Windows 10 Pro operating system. The Windows 10 Pro edition has features which will give you more options and flexibility which the Home Edition does not provide. The Pro edition will cost a few dollars more but is well worth it.
4. Additional necessary equipment
- APC (American Power Conversions) uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The UPC will greatly enhance the ability of your computer to survive a lightening strike, power brown-out, or power outage.
- If you do not wish to invest in a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) you should definitely consider a high quality surge protector. Click here for complete information on surge protection.
- External USB hard drive – capacity equal to or greater than the hard drive in your computer. You can store your backups on this source. More on the subject of backing up your data later.