The essential programs for your computer

Tips & Hints

Posted 11 September, 2002

Your computer comes with a lot of programs built in. Today’s computers come with a web-browser, e-mail and a basic word-processing package. The basics are enough to get you up and running but you will need a few more programs to get the most from your computer .

The software ranges from the very useful through to the absolutely essential. Some are free and some are not. Probably the most expensive and essential is the Anti-Virus program.


Most new computers don’t come with an anti-virus program. It is essential you get one, either ask the shop to include it or buy as soon as possible. Once you get it, make sure you update it.

If you do have an anti-virus program included with the package, make sure it is enabled and it’s subscription is valid. Many brand name computers come with short-licenced software that is only good for three months, after that it won’t update. The subscription to continue the updates costs less than $50.00 for another twelve months.

Compression Programs

These open what are commonly called zipped files. Files are zipped to make them smaller and easier to send by e-mail. Some formats, like MS Word, compress very well, others such as jpgs don’t. If you try to compress a file that’s already compressed you’ll make it bigger.

Common programs are Winzip, WinRAR and, for Mac users, Suffit. Once these programs are installed you just have to click on the compressed file to open it or save it to a folder. Make sure your virus checker is up-to-date before you start unzipping files.

Adobe Acrobat

Acrobat is one of the most popular ways to send documents over the net. The main reason for this is that the document looks the same on all computers. If you create a document in a word-processor or web page the layout will change to suit the other computer’s settings.

The reader program to let you to read Acrobat files is free. If you want to create pdf files you will have to buy one of the Adobe products. The basic Acrobat program costs over $500.

Microsoft Office Readers

Loathe it or tolerate it, you just can’t avoid MS Office. Even if you don’t have any Office programs on your computer you will receive files created in it. To read them, you’ll need a reader program.

Microsoft have available a whole range of readers for their products available (for free) on their website. You’ll need a reader for each product. This site is also very useful if you have an older version of MS Office which is having trouble reading files created in newer versions.

These programs are the most common but not the whole list. Depending upon your business, interests and friends there are all sorts of other useful programs to download. Be careful with what you download though, many free programs are riddled with all sorts of mal-ware.

PC Rescue Pty Ltd
Suite 236, 4 Young Street Neutral Bay NSW 2089
ABN 082 635 765
ŠTechnology Publishing Australia, 2011