Also for my convenience, after years of setting up my PCs and those of an impressive number of friends and acquaintances, I am happy to publish some notes on what should not be missing from a well-made PC.
We are talking about a Windows 7 / Windows 10 PC (I have never liked Windows 8, I have a stable version of Windows 7 PRO running continuously since ... since 2011) And yes, I have been using the same PC since then. I will change it as soon as the pandemic ends, but let's begin.
Please note: this is an amateur guide. But the fact is that ALL the PCs I made or fixed for my friends are stable and remain stable ... despite everything ... 😊
First thing you can't miss in a PC is a good antivirus. Light, fast and reliable, and not annoying...
My choice has always been AVG or AVAST, which today are the same company. I have little to say: they have never let me down, they are light and they work.
The second thing to do is to separate the operative system from the data. Click onto this link to see, in detail, how to do it.
Once this is done, (to understand each other, you'd have a C: disk and a D: disk where the Downloads, Documents, Pictures, Music and Videos folders reside), then let's see what programs I suggest you use for your every need.
I suggest IrfanView, a very good program that you can downlaod from HERE, in their homepage you'll find two very nice red buttons to ckick in order to download the corret version for you (32 or 64 bit).
Irfanview allows you to correct many aspects of an image, such as size, resolution, "red-eye" effect, negative, replace one color with another, and - of course - save in a different format. There is no lack of rotations, a good gift of filters and - in short - everything that can be useful to a MEDIUM user.
IMy preferred audio-video player is VLC, Videolan, that youì'l can download from HERE
This player is perfect. It reads every type of audio and video, plus CDs and DVDs. It has a simple interface and I never needed other players.
Another exceptional program that cannot be missing on a PC is 7-zip, of which I will leave you the link HERE
This program compresses in various formats, including .tar, .gzip and .zip, and decompresses practically ALL, even being able to open the .iso file.
It also adds a context menu to the right mouse button, with a series of fast choices that are decidedly complete.
Here we can have two needs: as a PDF file reader I recommend Foxit Reader, which you can find HERE (you have to search for "Foxit Reader → Free download" )
I find it much lighter and more performing than the classic Adobe Acrobat, it has excellent integration with the Firefox and Chrome browsers, and a series of useful functions such as adding signature images, writing notes, filling fields, adding text. The only flaw is that foxit, with the latest update, has lost the function of installing a "virtual PDF printer" with which you could create a PDF file from EVERY application that can print.
Who cares? The alternative is CutePDF, and its converter, which you can find on this page.
Just be careful, during installation, not to install anything else (unless you need it) such as Phantom or other things, I find it correct that the company advertises its products, through the free one, but for user needs medium, only the reader is sufficient.
If you also need to split PDF documents into multiple parts, or merge multiple PDF documents into one, then my advice is Icecream Split & Merge or PDF SAM Basic.
you can search both with the search box you find on the left, and check which one you like best. Both have the basic functions active, and both correctly try to make you switch to the "pro" version.
Here a world opens up, and mine is a personal vision. Obviously in the PC you cannot miss an office suite, i.e. a set of programs to open, create and edit text documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
The first and most obvious choice is to buy the Microsoft Office suite, it exists in two versions, a stand alone (office 2019, as of today) or the Microsoft Office 365 subscription, which gives access to a series of advantages, such as apps even mobile, always guaranteed updates, 1 TB cloud, and online office.
The choice Microsoft guarantees that your documents are always compatible, since it is the most widespread platform ever.
A secdond choice is WPS Office, also for a fee, although less than Microsoft. I honestly don't know it, so I invite you to inquire, but you can try it for 30 days, so you can definitely get an idea.
The third choice is to use Google's online suite: GSuite. It is inconvenient, unless you always have a good internet connection available.
The last choice is to use a free office suite: here are the main ones, I invite you to try all three, to understand which one is better for you. From the information in my possession, I believe that the first one, Free Office, has the best compatibility with the Microsoft world.
- Free Office
- Libre Office (you can select language in top-right of the screen)
- OpenOffice (you can select language in top-right of the screen)
Internet browser, here I would limit the choice to the main three browsers: Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome and Opera, for each of the three a quick search is enough to find the download link.
As for e-mail, personally, I have only one choice: Thunderbird, born from a Mozilla's rib, now it's an independent project.
The best e-mail program, especially for its ability to move / Copy / save the entire mail and configuration archive by simply copying the "Profiles" folder elsewhere