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Computer Buying Guide, Computer Training, FAQ

Setting up your new computer, when the equipment hits the table.

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You should have a location picked out and your tools and computer components at the ready. Go ahead and use your utility knife to open your boxes and unpack the components, setting aside you manual and warranty cards for later reading.

Once you have all your components and cables sitting on the table you should be able to match up the included cabling with their respective ports on you computer. Most of these cables can additional lengths added to them to increase the flexibility of your setup. There are some however that need to stay with the length of cable they were shipped with. A USB device for instance is one of the items with a fixed cable length; additional length may cause problems with the way that the device communicated with your computer. There are ways to expand your USB array but for now we should take notice of the length of the cables and stay to that constraint for placing of the components.

Back in the early days setting up a new computer was not nearly as easy as it is today. Today all the different connections are color coded, as well as only being able to be inserted one direction. So the actual assembly should be a fairly straight forward affair.

The standard items that may be in your computer setup would include a monitor, keyboard, mouse, and of course the computer CPU itself. Other additional items that are commonly added to a package would be a printer and a scanner. There may be other items such as joysticks and such - their installation procedures should be covered well with their included documentation.

Start placing your components into their final locations, making sure that their power cords can reach the sockets on the power strip/surge protector. Do not plug the power strip into the wall just yet. Some of the items may ,unbeknownst to you, have their power buttons in an on position. Plugging some items into a computer that is energized may cause damage to the equipment.

Of the items to be assembled the CPU is the one that has the drive opening in the front and ports in the rear. The CPU should also have a power cord included (not necessarily attached to it) this cord is plugged into the back of the CPU as well as the power receptacle. The monitor has two connections that need to be made. There will be a power cord from the monitor to the power supply as well as a cord that will go to the back of the CPU. This connection can only be hooked up to one port on the back of the CPU and should be labeled "mon" or "monitor". The pins that are screwed into the back to secure it in place are sometimes difficult to get a good grip on. If you have problems screwing them in with your fingers you could use the screwdriver in the slots to twist them easier. The keyboard and mouse both only have one cord and both ports on the back of the computer will be labeled, generally with small representations of a keyboard or a mouse. Like I said above, computer assembly has been made very simple these days. The printer and scanner will have two connections each to be made. Both will have a power cord and both will have a communications cable. There are a few different types of cables that are available at this time, so I will not go over them here. Both will have matching ports on the back of the computer and will be a simple operation to plug them in.

Once everything has been assembled and plugged into the power strip, plug the power strip into the wall. Some components might come on, others may not. Turn on those items that are not already.

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