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How to Choose a Computer

            How to Choose a Computer for the Home .
             In the 60's, there was not a telephone and TV in every household. Forty years later, not only is there a TV and telephone in every household, but some homes have several TVs and cordless telephones. If history repeats itself, the same thing will happen with the computer. As computer prices continue to drop, more people are buying computers. There are still a lot of consumers that do not know the difference between software and hardware. The rest of this essay will cover the basics on how to choose a computer for the home.
             Since ninety-eight percent of the computers sold in the retail stores have the Microsoft operating system pre-installed, the only choice is between Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition and the Professional Edition. The operating system software runs the PC's basic functions. It instructs the PC on how to interact with the internal and external devices connected to the computer. If the computer is going to be used at home for remote access to a business network, then the Professional Edition is the right choice. Otherwise, if the computer is going to be used only for the Internet, games or email, the consumer can use the Home Edition.
             Once the consumer decides on the operating system to use, he or she is going to ask the question ""what is software and hardware, or what type of software should come with the computer."" Software is a program or application that runs on the computer, such as Microsoft Word. Other examples of software are Quicken (for finances), Eudora (email utility), games (like the Matrix), etc. Software can be installed from a CD or downloaded from the Internet. Most computers will come with some kind of software office product, such as Microsoft Word or Word Perfect. Hardware is items that can be physically touched, such as keyboards, hard drives, and printers.
             The computer has four main hardware components, the Central Processing Unit (CPU), Random Access Memory, hard drive and video card.

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