Reminder: Pack Software Updates Before Heading Home For the Holidays
If your Thanksgiving weekend didn't feature a round of troubleshooting relatives' computers, the odds are that this upcoming weekend will. (In my case, both Thanksgiving and Christmas involve this task; it's yet another one of this job's many perks.)
Should your Christmas/Hannukah/etc. family time be similarly blessed, you may find the advice I dished out for Turkey Day tech support to be useful. Note, however, that since then Apple has released another update to Mac OS X Leopard, the 10.5.6 update discussed here last week, and it's waaaay too big to contemplate downloading over dial-up.
If your family's haul of presents includes a new computer, you've got a different situation to deal with -- although you'll probably have to download a batch of updates, you'll also usually need to remove a lot of the extra crud that most Windows computer manufacturers feel compelled to pre-install. You'll also most likely want to change a few system settings (for instance, turning on the firewall on a Mac).
Thursday's column, much like the column I wrote at about this time last year, will go into detail on what to remove, install or reconfigure on a new Mac or Windows machine to get it shipshape. You can help with that: If a non-technical family member asked you to help set up a new home computer, what changes would you usually make to it? Post your suggestions in the comments.
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