In the beginning find your OWN Word, says Our Favourite Nerd!


Here at VoiceoftheNorth we don’t encourage contributors to self-promote or advertise themselves unless we feel they really DO have something to offer our audience. In the case of Our Favourite Nerd we make an exception. . .

I HELPED SAVE A CLIENT’S SANITY this week! Despite endless discussions and complaints she was still having problems with a computer TWO YEARS after she bought it from a major, worldwide PC retailer.

Fed up but unable to resolve the issues, she decided to buy a new laptop from a different dealer; happily and luckily for her, she asked me to configure the machine.

The new PC was Windows 10. It was a simple job to plug in, set up a LOCAL user account and ask it to check for and install any necessary updates from the Microsoft servers. 

A word of advice here: don’t let Microsoft persuade you to set up a Microsoft or online account: doing so might cause you problems later and most home users neither want nor need a Microsoft account unless they are upgrading a previous account.

I installed various bits of software and apps, including Spotify, Dropbox and Microsoft Office. Computer purchasers no longer receive an install CD as part of the package when buying Microsoft Office: instead, the install must be downloaded, so it’s important that your internet connection is fast enough to do so.

Another tip: Microsoft will try to persuade you to install Office 365, a subscription service that offers the most up-to-date tools from Microsoft and can be used on a number of devices. Microsoft want everyone, businesses and schools too, to switch to subscription-based software, but beware: it might NOT be the best option for you.

Office 2016, part of the same download, is sold as a one-time purchase: a single licence for one machine and one upfront cost. There is no upgrade option though, so if you plan to upgrade to the next major release, you’ll pay the full price again when you re-purchase.

So Microsoft will naturally do their best to persuade you to click on the Office 365 installer, while the Office 2016 install is ‘hidden’ further down the page. At this point many an unwitting ‘none-Nerd’ will already have chosen the wrong installer but I AM a Nerd, so I can steer my customers in the most sensible direction. 

We got the right option for my client and she was very happy once I’d moved her personal data to her new PC and all was working well.

So, you ask: what about her old computer, the  less-than-satisfactory laptop she had bought two or three years back?

It was running Windows 8.1 which is not very good, in fact was never very good; indeed, Microsoft’s swift upgrade from 8.1 to 10 (which was itself a reversion of sorts to Windows 7) tells you all you need to know to avoid Windows 8.1.

Anyway, I wiped the troubled laptop, installed Windows 10, restarted it and, as if by magic, all historic problems – from Start Up to strange pop-ups after login – disappeared.

My customer left happy. And sane! So if you need help with your technology (and sanity) you know who to call. . .


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