Many of us have old games laying around and realize that they just don’t work right. This can be due to many issues, but today we will cover DirectX issues using WineD3D for Windows.

WineD3D for Windows is a “DirectX 1-11 to OpenGL wrapper based on WineD3D”. Normally WineD3D is used to run DirectX games on Linux, but some old Windows games do not run on Windows anymore. Lets take Star Wars Battlefront 2 for example. On Windows 10, some maps have issues displaying the right colors. To fix this we will need a replacement for DirectX 9.

You can download WineD3D for Windows here.

Getting it Working

There is a readme in the zip folder that WineD3D come in. For Battlefront 2, we will copy the d3d9.dll, libwine.dll and wined3d.dll into the data directory that the game’s executable is located. BattlefrontII.exe is located here.

When you load it up, the game works as it should.

Battlefront2

Battlefront 2 Data Directory.

WineD3D

WineD3D for Windows Zip File.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The game should now run properly. This works with many games, but is not guaranteed.

WineD3D is far from perfect and has issues: Some games will not work, stutter, or lock to low resolutions. If you would like to help improve it, it is open source under the GNU LGPL Version 2.

2016 has been an interesting year. Random Thoughts has produced a series of articles Introducing Computers, another Simpsons joke came true, and many other things came to pass.

Technology

We plan to continue our computer series with some more specialized tasks throughout 2017. An overview of VLC Media Player and some HTML for example.

I (Matthew Lamont) will be taking more classes at college this spring semester and will not have as much time to write. To make up for this, there will be more smaller articles and tips. Occasionally I will share a keyboard shortcut, a small settings change, or a browser plugin that is useful. These short posts will not replace the long form content, but serve to complement it. There will be at least one tip a month with two or there being the norm.

Philosophy

Philosophy posts will be few and far between as they will require more research and time to write on my part. We will have articles ranging from materialistic scientism to Plato over time.

Random Thoughts will always encourage respectful and logical debate here. We want philosophy to be fun for everyone. That being said, it is not always fun to have your core beliefs questioned. We ask that you come in with an open mind full of questions.

2017 and Onward

We will be trying to get as many articles as we can converted into a video format to increase accessibility. This action will be of a lower priority than writing articles due to the time and hard drive space required to edit and keep videos. All computer articles should get a video to accompany them over time.

At this point Random Thoughts is run by just one person. I hope to bring others into Random Thoughts and increase production quality over the next year. This will allow for more detailed articles in subjects that I am not well antiquated.

We will open a Patreon account if we get enough traffic and popularity. This will allow us to accept donations to fund more complex projects and increase production value.

“The maps produced by modern materialistic Scientism leave all the questions that really matter unanswered; more than that, they deny the validity of the questions.” -E. F. Schumacher, A Guide for the Perplexed

Does this not represent much of what we are taught in schools nowadays? If we ask questions or say things that are not wanted, controversial, we are shunned by the institution. We are told that only a fool will believe such things. That a close minded child would think that. That only a bigot would question that. The status quo is what is right, though they say that it is in the future.

Contradictions

We may live in a society of contradictions, but the oppression of free thought is one of the largest. When we are told that you may not question “science” as if science where inclusive as religion is. When you are told that you have the right to think differently as long as you think the way they say is right. When you see men and women losing jobs and being attacked by the media for thinking differently. When you see all this, you know our society is not free.

Over the past few years it has gotten worse. Will a man be able to say “There is a God” ten years from now without being a bigot? Will a woman be able to say “I want a single income family” in time to come without being a part of the ‘problem’? By the same token, will the opposite be true? Perhaps a negative movement will gain steam pushing in the opposite direction and move too far. Perhaps with all this rabid leftism a rabid right will move? When it is said that you are free as long a you agree does that not make the other side want to push back the same way? What about the ones in the middle? Will they have to chose from one extreme or another, without be told they have another option?

We have an age where people are polarized to one side or another. Many in the middle laugh at the regressive left’s push to censorship, but the alt-right pushes the same and gains momentum for each victory of the other. What can the middle do when they are deprived of philosophy and history? Some will stay behind to learn, but the others will naturally join one side or the other, they will try to preserve themselves by adapting, forgetting themselves.

A Warning for the Future

Situations that have been popping up lately where people have been oppressed in the name of protecting someone from being offended. From teachers speaking out against censorship on campus to media bias that may have cost people lives. We live in an age where being an individual, thinking differently, and opposing extreme ideologies are seen as bigotry and must be punished. Because you think that a pet can where cloths or that bathrooms should be gendered you are hated. Because you are not in agreement you are despised. If you are “one of us”, but said “one of them” is not bad, you betrayed “us”. We move to a future not bright if this is mentality is to stay. When a man wants to debate but the other says “The talk must be made, but only after we agree on…” then there is no debate and no path to truth. This idea is on both extremes leaving many in the middle nowhere to go.

We should be of philosophy and seek truth, not get caught up in the extremest notions of today. Otherwise we will see a future where there is only room for one extreme.

Earlier we mentioned how to customize Firefox. Personas are like wallpaper for Firefox and give some basic customization, but what if you wanted to make your own instead of using the ones provided by others?

Fortunately you can with some photo editing and a Firefox addon named Personas Plus. This little addon will give you the ability to create your own personas.

Creating the Persona Images

Custom Persona

My attempt at making a persona.

To start you will need some images to use as the Firefox Header and Footer. The header is the image that is displayed at the top of your browser, behind the toolbars and tabs. The footer is the image used for the addonbar at the bottom of Firefox. These two images should be simple as to not interfere with text.

The files have specific requirements:

  • Header: 3000px x 200px, PNG or JPG format, 300 KB maximum file size.
  • Footer: 3000px x 100px, PNG or JPG format, 300 KB maximum file size.

You can use your favorite image editing program to crop larger images to size if you wish or make your own.

Persona Plus Settings

Persona Plus SettingsNow that you have your images, you will need to install Personas Plus. You should find an icon for the addon on your toolbar. When you click on the icon a menu should appear with the option to edit a custom persona. This will give you a menu where you can chose your header, footer, text color, and accent color. Make sure that your colors do not conflict with the persona you made as this will be the text color for the toolbar.

Now you you can have a unique theme for your browser. There are more complicated ways to make and edit Firefox themes, but that would require some css. Perhaps we will touch on it in the future.

The reason we chose Firefox as our web browser in the Introduction to Computers series is due to its great customization features. By using Extensions and Personas we can make Firefox our own. Make sure that you have the program installed before continuing.

Personas: Firefox’s Skin

The easiest way to customize Firefox is with a Persona. These are similar to wallpaper on your desktop, but cover the browser toolbars. You can find them on Mozilla’s Firefox addons site under themes. To apply a Persona just click the “+ Add” button. You can also test a theme without installing it by hovering over it with your cursor. Persona ExampleIn the past Firefox had a much more powerful theme system that could change the whole layout of the browser. Due to some unfortunate design decisions they have simplified the system and made it more difficult to achieve system wide changes.

If you would like to know how to make your own persona you can, we will go over how to do so in a future tutorial as it will require some image editing.

Extensions: Make Firefox Better

Firefox is rather powerful on its own, but some things that should be default are not and some things need to be fixed. This is where extensions come in. These are bits of code that add functionality to the browser. All of the extensions that are peer and Mozilla reviewed, if something is bad it will not stay for long if it ever gets approved in the first place. You should not install addons/extensions from untrusted sources.

We will go over some of the most useful and fun extensions in this article.

Adblock Plus/uBlock Origin

Disable AdsMost websites make money using ads, without them we could not afford to keep in business. There comes a time, however, when ads are obnoxious or even harmful. Video ads, animated ads, scams, etc. Ads slow down your browsing experience. These two extensions are the most known and respected ad blockers around. Either one will work, but Adblock Plus has had some shady deals with advertisers and has some issues with high CPU usage.

If you chose to install Adblock Plus, disable “Allow some non-intrusive advertising” option in the options.

Also consider adding us to your browser white list by clicking on the extensions button and clicking “disable on this domain”

You can add either one by simply clicking the “+ Add to Firefox” button.

Classic Theme Restorer

Classic OptionsI have already gone over this extension in the past. Remember how I said that Firefox use to be more customizable? This plugin gives some of that customization back. You can change the style of tabs, the menus, and more importantly the search box. One of the biggest issues with the design direction in the newer Firefox is the search box functionality. The decision prevents you from quickly switching between search engines in favor for one click searching. In the Classic Theme Restorer options you can set the behavior back to a more useful state.

Stylish

Keeping with the theme of Customization, Stylish allows you to to theme websites with custom CSS. Basically personas for websites. If you find that a website is too light or has a bad color scheme, you can change it yourself or in most cases find a theme that someone has already made for you. Though it is mostly cosmetic, it is useful to have and will surprise your friends when Google looks different.

Greasemonkey

Moving away from cosmetics and into functionality, Greasemonkey is the Swiss Army Knife of extensions. It functions similarly to Stylish. By itself, Greasemonkey is useless, but by applying userscripts you can change anything on the web. Userscripts are like mini-extensions written in JavaScript. Some auto-load the next page on Google, wist others change the way Facebook works all together. You will have to work at this one for it to be useful, but useful it is.

VimFx

VimFx brings Vim-style keyboard shortcuts to Firefox. It is a bit complicated to go over in this article, but keyboard shortcuts make everything faster. With VimFx, pressing “x” will close a tab, “t” will open a new tab, “o” will activate the search bar, and “i” will disable the shortcuts. The extension is not perfect, you cannot exit insert mode when on YouTube as it has its own shortcuts for example, but VimFx provides great shortcuts that will save anyone time.

Firebug

Firebug allows you to make live changes to a website’s source code. This may sound a bit complicated to a normal user, but it is very useful. Some website will have full page ads that block content and do not go away even with ad blockers for example. You can disable the ad by erasing the line in the source code or adding a new CSS rule. It is also useful for web developers and designers when mocking up website changes.

Disconnect

Most websites track you. Ads track you, Facebook, Amazon, even my website has some trackers. Sometimes they are harmless, just to keep you logged into your account. Often they are malicious. Amazon and Facebook do not need to know that you are looking into buying a computer and that random Chinese advertising agency does not need to know that you are talking to your grandma on Facebook. To help prevent these issues Disconnect blocks the invisible tracking elements on websites. This will often speed up website load times as an added benefit. Remember, you should never need to sacrifice privacy.

Add to Search Bar

Have you ever been on a website or custom search engine and wanted to search with it directly from the search bar? Unfortunately very few web browsers have a way to easily customize your search engines. Fortunately this extension gives you the ability to add any search box to your search engine list. If you are a student you can finally add that search database that your school uses to Firefox.

We hope that you have found this article helpful. What web browsers do you use?

The majority of what you will be doing online will involve Google and Email to some extent or another. Your email is more than just a way of contact, it symbolizes your online identity. To get the most of the internet you need an email address, just like you need an ID to get the most out of citizenship in most countries. Many of the services that you will be using will be run by Google, this will require an email address. Fortunately Google provides both.

Google

Google is the largest internet search engine and one of the largest advertising agencies online. At first Google was just a website that indexed other websites to make it easier to find others, but now it has its hands in every corner of the internet. Unfortunately this makes it difficult to avoid their almost omnipresent eyes. Fortunately this make things easier to manage.

Google’s main uses will be searching the internet and for email. Google also runs other services such as YouTube and Android’s main development branch. You have been touched by their influence, even if you have never touched a computer before. It is best to be acquainted with them.

Setting up a Google Account

Google Home

Making a Google account is easy and quick. The first thing you need to do is open up your web browser (Firefox/Chrome/Etc.). In the search box just type up Google.com. At the top right of the screen there should be a blue button that says “Sign in”. This will take you to a page where you can sign into an account or make a new one. Underneath the login prompt asking for an email address is a “Create account” button, click it.

Google Account CreationThis page asks for some basic information. Your name, the username you wish, a password, birthday, gender, Phone#, and email. Remember that you do not need to use your real name, but what name you use will be an important identifier for many online actions.

You can omit the phone# and email. You will need a phone that can receive text messages or a call to verify your account on the next page. This is a safety measure that cannot be avoided easily. They will not use your phone # for any other purpose unless you allow them. They will send you a verification number. Enter the number and continue on.

Congratulations on your new Google account. Your email will be what was entered as the username with an @gmail.com.

Gmail

You will be given a short tutorial on what each button does and be sent back to the Google home page. If you look at the top right of the screen, in place of the login button, there is a icon of the first letter used for the name of your account. Near that button is an array of 9 squares set in a 3×3 arrangement, click it. This will bring up a list of Google services that are available. You will want to check your email first. Over time we will explore what these other services do in detail.Gmail

Click Gmail. This is Google’s email system. A short promotional slide presentation will play. Afterwords you should get access to your inbox. As you can see the interface is quite simple. On the top of the page you have a search box for your emails and the same options on the right as everywhere else on google. Underneath is your inbox and options for each option such as moving messages between folders and deleting them. On the left sidebar is a list of folders. Some will contain messages automatically, others you will have to populate yourself.

The Inbox is where all messages that you receive are stored. You will want to keep this as empty as possible by always organizing your email into other folders once read. The Starred are emails that have been marked as important, sometimes messages from people you often write back to will automatically be stared. As you can see the message that is in our inbox right now has a white star next to it, if you click it the message will be stared. Sent Mail is self-explanatory, these are messages that you have sent to others. Drafts are messages that have been started, but not completed. If you click the More button you can see the spam mail you receive and create a new folder by clicking the “Create new label” button.

Above your Inbox is a couple of tabs that are designed to help organize the inbox. This can be both helpful or a hindrance depending on how much email you receive and how you teach Gmail. Depending on how you read and write messages and what you mark them as for organization will determine the effectiveness of organization. You can move an email from one of these tabs to another by clicking and dragging it over to one of them.

Click an email to start reading it.An emailYou can see who the email is from and their email address, the day and time the email was sent, and some options for staring and replying to the email at the top. Then follows the email’s contents. The email that is resting within the inbox by default is just a promotional mail for other google products, but it is a good example. After the contents of the email there should be a little reply box. This email is auto-generated so you should not reply to it, but if you are emailing your friends it is much easier for organization to reply instead of starting a new message.

Composing a Message

Go back to your inbox and then click on the compose button.Email

You type the email address of the person you wish to write an email to in the first line. If  you already have them in your contacts you can just type their name and it will automatically type their email. Then you have the subject line. It is important that you fill this out. Most email that lacks a subject will be regarded as spam and even then it is rude.

The main body of the email is after the subject line. You fill this out just like a letter. By the send button you have text options to modify the font and create bullet lists. Next to that you can upload attachments using the paper clip button, this is an easy way to share small files. Other options are to include files for google, send money, insert a picture, link photos, and emoticons. At the end of the screen there is the option to delete the email and the arrow has more options like moving the email to other folders and checking for spelling mistakes.

Once you hit send, the message will be sent to the email address you intended. You can send an email to multiple people by entering more than one email in the subject line.

For more information on how to use Gmail you can look at the account setup option underneath your inbox.

Not that was a long and boring track, but now we can get into the more fun parts of computers. Look forward to more articles in the future.

A Complete Email

Now that we have an understanding of how to get around, we will go over installing software and the internet. We will only cover the minimum here, in the future we will go over email, Facebook, and other things.

There are a couple of programs we will be installing to get you up and running properly on the internet. These would be a web browser and a firewall.

An Overview

The internet is, in its most basic form, a connection between computers. These computers can send data between one another. For our purposes your computer and a web-server will be communicating.

These servers hold the data that makes up websites and other things that you download.

Why access this data? For many reasons: The Internet holds vast amounts of information from encyclopedias to movies and games, you need to know how to use it effectively to hold a job and there is much fun to be had as well.

Getting Online

Wireless Icons

Wireless on the Left and Wired on the Right

Before you can do anything related with the internet you need to be connected. In the notifications area you should be able to see your connection status and if you are not connected, connect to a network. The icon for this will very depending on whether you are using a wired or a wireless connection.

If you are connected by Ethernet then you have nothing more to do, but if you are using wireless you will need to click the wireless icon. A new menu will appear showing all available networks. You will need to click on the network that belongs to you and enter the password for it.

If you do not know the password it may be on the router that you are using. A router is a devise that routs wireless connections, either your service provider sent you one or you will need to buy one to get wireless.

Now we have one more step, that is open up a web browser. We will be using Microsoft Edge at the start of this tutorial, but will be changing that really soon. There are multiple ways to open Edge, the ‘e’ icon that is on the task bar and start menu, in the start menu you can click all apps and find “Microsoft Edge”, or you can open the start menu and start typing “edge” and hit enter when it appears.MS Edge

Getting Around and Installing Better Programs

Now there are a couple of things you can do now; you can check the weather, make a Facebook account, or watch a movie, but we will be getting a new web browser and an anti-virus.

“Why do I need another browser?” Though Microsoft Edge is far better than what Microsoft had in the past, it is not powerful and is completely controlled by Microsoft. As said previously, we want to keep dependence on them to a minimal.

There are much better options out there than Edge, the two I recommend are Firefox and Google Chrome. This depends on your philosophy and how much power you wish over your browser. Firefox is founded on the principle of privacy and freedom to control the browser as you see fit. Google Chrome is controlled by one of the largest data collection organizations in the world, who just so happens to control a large amount of the internet. With Chrome you do not have control like in Firefox and privacy is questionable, but you have full integration with Google’s services and an easy to use interface.

I will be using Firefox for this tutorial, but the same principles apply to both browsers.

In the search box, the box on the top of the page, you should type wish to find, in this case “Firefox”. A web page should appear with a list of search results. Click on the blue text “Firefox Web Browser – The Official…”, this will take you to the Firefox website. There should be a button that says “Free Download”, click it.Firefox Bing Search

At the bottom of Edge there should be a download status that gives you information on the download.

The first thing you wish to do once the file is downloaded is click “Run”. You will see a green extraction bar and then a warning asking if you would like to run the file, say yes.

Installing Firefox

The installer is a fairly self-explanatory, click next once it opens. You are then presented with options for a Standard or Custom install. For most programs you will want to do a Custom Install when it is an option, as some software will do undesirable things to your computer unless you disable them. Firefox will not do said things, but it is best to get in the habit of doing things this way.

7 Firefox_Install_0

Next you will be asked where you wish to install the program. You are best leaving this alone, but take note how things are set up. You are given the folder that the program will be installed into, how much space is required for the program, and how much you have on your hard drive.8 Firefox_Install_1

The next option given you is to install the “Maintenance Service”, you will want to have this. You should always have your software up to date, this keeps it secure and keeps you from getting a virus.

There will also be the options to have an icon on your Desktop and in the Start Menu. You will want to have the start menu, but there is no need for a desktop icon as we will have a quick launch icon on the task bar shortly. Thus you will want to uncheck the desktop option.

You will be given a summery of the installation, where the program will be installed. All you need to do is click “Install”.

A green progress bar will show you how things are going and then you can just click “Finish”. Firefox will start automatic unless you unchecked it.Firefox, Gateway to the Internet

Follow similar steps if using Google Chrome.

Firefox and the Internet

You are finally here, you have a competent web browser and are connected to the internet. Now there is some simple setup needed for Firefox.

11_Firefox_Search_OptionsWithout a little work, Firefox is not as powerful as it could be. So we need to go into the menu and click on options. This menu is on the far right of the browser, just under the close button. Within the options you will find a tab that says Search, under that tab you will have the option to change search engines. You will want to change it to Google under the drop down list that says Yahoo. Just click on the button and it will open this list, then click Google. Yes, that Google.

Then you just close the options by clicking the ‘x’ on the tab that is in the top of the browser. These tabs will become very important in the future.

Windows comes with a simple Firewall and anti-virus, but they are rather simplistic and lacking in some areas. If you are comfortable with that, you are set for the internet. However we will be covering anti-virus software in our next article.

Sadly our short attention span culture means that this website would suffer if I continue here. Keep an eye out for our next step, installing an anti-virus and exploring the web.

We have gone over how to install Windows 10, now we will go over how to navigate the interface.

Getting Around

In Windows 10 you navigate using the mouse and keyboard. The mouse has to functions; the left button is used to activate whatever the cursor is on and the right button brings up additional options. The keyboard has many keys and many more functions, so we will introduce them slowly.

When you start up your computer and login, you will be greeted with the desktop. This place can contain files and program shortcuts, but it is always a good idea to keep it clean.

At the bottom of the screen you will see the task bar.

Widows 10 TaskbarThis is the key to the interface. From left to right: Start Button, Cortana Searchbar, Task View Shortcut, Quick Launch Shortcuts, Notifications Area, Time and Date, and the Show Desktop Shortcut.

As we will not be using Cortana and there are shortcuts using the keyboard for task view we will disable the buttons on the taskbar. To do so we need to right click on the taskbar. This will bring up a Context Menu, it is called such as it is different depending on where and when you right click.

Taskbar Context MenuYou will want to highlight the Cortana button in the menu, this will open up a submenu where you can chose to hide Cortana, click it. Click Show Task View button in the menu to hide it as well. Context Menus often give you access to many options that would otherwise be inconvenient to access.

Now that we have a clean looking taskbar, we can go over what everything is.

The Start Button gives you access to a menu of options and all of the installed programs. This will be the launching point of most of what you do on your computer. We will come back to this in a minute.

The Quick Launch Shortcuts give you the ability to access some programs without opening the Start Menu. This is useful for your most used programs.

The Notifications Area will tell you your internet connection status, volume settings, and many more. The button just left of the time will open up a list of notifications where you can see what has been happening to your computer. The arrow on the far left opens up a menu with more icons that will give you the status of certain programs. Some programs that you will install, such as a firewall, will place icons in this menu.

The time and date are displayed and when clicked will give you a monthly calendar.

The last button is a little hard to see by some, but it will hide all of your open programs and show the desktop when clicked. This is very useful when your screen is getting crowded.

The Start MenuThe Start Menu and Programs

Click the start button or press the meta key on the keyboard (It looks like the start button) to open the start menu. It is full of ads and looks unprofessional, but we will be replacing it soon and we need it.

This is the part of the interface that brings you to your programs. Lets open File Explorer by clicking on it in the menu.

File ExplorerAll files in Windows are stored in File(Also Called Directories). These file can hold pictures, music, videos, programs, and other files. You navigate these using a program named File Explore.

At the top you see the icon that represents the program, a properties, new folder, the name of the icon, a minimize, maximize, and exit button.

You should also note that the icon for File Explorer is highlighted with a blue bar under it in the taskbar. This indicates that it is open and active.

If you click the minimize button the program will be hidden from view, to bring it back up, just click on it in the taskbar. The Maximize button will make the program take up the whole screen. The Exit button will close the program.

If you hover the cursor along any of the edges of the program you can change its size. This is helpful if you have more than one program open at once.

We will go over File Explorer in depth in the future. For now you should have an understanding of how the widows interface works.

Last time we went over computer hardware. Today we will be installing Windows 10. Windows 10 is the most recent version of the Windows Operating system (OS). We will first go over installing the OS from a disk, if you bought a computer with Windows 10 on it you can skip ahead to part two.

You will want to Select your Language

Windows 10’s Localization Selection

Part 1: Installing from Disk

To interact with menus in windows you will use the left mouse button to select items and the keyboard to type information.

The first thing you will see when you start installing the system is the localization settings. You will want to select your language, time and currency format, and keyboard to mach your region. In the screen shot we have everything setup for a United States computer. Then hit Next.

On the next screen you should screen Install now and a Repair your computer button. Click Install now.

02 Enter CD KeyWindows will ask you for your serial number. It will be on the case of the installation disk. If you do not have it you can click I don’t have a product key, but you will run into trouble later if you cannot find it.

The next window will ask if you want to Upgrade or do a Custom install. We want to do the second. Click Custom.

You will just need to click on your hard drive and then the next button on the next screen, unless you know what you are doing.

We will go over partitioning in a later article.

Windows 10 Install

Windows 10 is installing, it will only take a minute.

The next window will show the installation progress of Windows 10. This will take a few minutes. After it is done your computer will restart.

Part Two: Setting up Windows 10

Now we start setting up Windows 10 for use. This is where things get tricky for the uneducated user. Windows 10 will do everything in its power to get you to consent to giving more information than you should. If you do not care about your privacy you can ignore the next part of the article, but you should care. “but I have nothing to hide.” is an evil and dumb statement, never consent to giving your information when it is not required.

05 Express vs CustomizeThe next screen will ask you if you want to Use Express settings, you do not want to. Each point that the installer makes about why you want to use them is another piece of your private life that Microsoft can use for marketing and something that can be used against you.

There is a small Customize settings button near the bottom left of the screen, click it.

The next few windows will have a lot of options you will want to click off.

Microsoft's Privact Setting

Oh where art thou, oh where art thou privacy?

You will want to click each one of these option to off. These options will allow Microsoft to track everything you type, your location, your calendar information, and the

contact information of others. Most of the programs that use these “features” are more prevalent on cellphones, so you do not benefit much by giving this information to Microsoft.

Once you have everything off click next.

Connectivity and error reporting:

Computer security 101: Never connect to a network you trust, ever. The next three options are more dangerous to have on than just giving Microsoft your information. When you connect to a network you make your computer open to what is on it. You will want to change these to off.

Sending error reports to Microsoft actually sounds like a good idea, but in my experience diagnostics never return results. It is better not to give Microsoft this information as you will not see results and Microsoft will sell what they get from you.

More options to turn off:

Settings to turn off.

More things to turn off, hooray!

Windows 10’s SmartScreen feature is useful if you go to less savory websites, but in exchange, Microsoft gets to know where you have been online and what you are downloading.

Page prediction will be useless for us as we will be using a third party program to brows the internet. If left on, Windows 10 will send your internet and download history to Microsoft. Even if you do use the integrated web browser, you will not benefit much by having this on.

The last option will use your computer to send updates to others and allow you to receive them from others. This will use your internet connection, thus wasting bandwidth and slowing down your internet.

Turn these off.

Windows will restart after you click next.

Part Three: Creating a Local Account

We are almost done! Unfortunately Microsoft tries to ware on your willpower by making it easier to just hand over the keys to your life.

Windows 10 Account Setup.

It is a trap! Do not fall for it.

Windows 10 will ask you to sign in to or make a Microsoft account. This account will allow you to connect your devices and will allow Microsoft to put a name, address, email, and phone number to all the data they collect.

They make it hard to say no by making the Skip this step and Microsoft privacy statement buttons small. Read that privacy statement, it is vague and misleading, but it basically states that Microsoft will be sharing your information with the government, sending it to advertisers, and using it for the improvement of Windows 10.

We will want to Skip this step. There are some honest benefits to using a Microsoft account, parental controls and online backups, but there are alternatives that do not want to sell you ever chance they get.

Creating a Local Account

Local account setup.

This is the screen that they should greet you with.

We are going to setup the account for the first user on this computer, this will be the system administrator and will have full control over the system.

The user name can be your name or anything you want. On this system I will be using “Random Thoughts”. The password is very important. This is what keeps others out of your computer. It would be a shame to have gone through all that effort to lessen Microsoft’s grip just to hand the keys over to someone else. Use the keyboard to enter one that uses a combination of Upper and lower case letters, symbols, and numbers. Unless you are expecting someone with physical access to your computer to brake into your computer, it does not need to be overly strong.

An example password could look something like this: hTF1%g%#Gl#6U

Never use password as a password.

The password hint can help you remember what you have entered here, if you forget your password you will not be able to access your computer.

Now Windows 10 will play an animation as it sets things up for the new user. Just wait wist it finishes.

We are done.

We are done, just one more thing to do.

Congratulations, Windows 10 is now installed. There is just one more step. If you have your computer connected to the internet already, you will want to decide if you want your computer viable to others on the network. If you are at home you can select yes. If you are using a laptop or a computer that is on a public network you will want to say no.

If you have no plans on running a server or doing anything regarding computers interacting with each other you are better off saying no, you can always change this option.

We will be going over the windows interface next time and setting things up for you to use. We will also install our first few programs in the next article.

Today, we are going to go over the basic computer hardware you will need to get up and running.

The Hardware:

The Computer: Most computers are housed in tower-like cases and are thus called towers. These towers hold all the components that make the computer run and have slots to plug peripherals into it. This is the most important and most expensive part of your system.

HDMI, DVI, and VGA are used to connect the monitor to the computer.

HDMI, DVI, and VGA are used to connect the monitor to the computer.

The Monitor: The screen that allows you to see what your computer is doing. This normally connects to the back of the computer in a  VGA or DVI port, but sometimes HDMI is used. These connections are color coated on most devices.

The Keyboard: This is the second most important part of the computer system hardware. You can get somethings done without a monitor, but you cannot do anything without a keyboard. The computer keyboard is much like a typewriter’s, but it has special keys that hold special functions for the computer, you should try to get a full sized keyboard that includes a number pad. Keyboards can go from just a few bucks to more than a thousand dollars(USD). This connects to the computer using either a PS/2(Purple) or USB port.

An example of a higher end keyboard is: Logitech Gaming Keyboard G110, much more than is necessary for normal use.

PS/2 and USB can both be used to connect a keyboard or mouse. USB can connect other hardware as well

PS/2 and USB can both be used to connect a keyboard or mouse. USB can connect other hardware as well

The Mouse: This device, wist not necessary, makes using the computer much easier for the layman to use. Generally they have a right and left button and a wheel in the center, but there are computer mice that have 16 or more buttons.You want to get one that curves naturally with your hands and is comfortable to use. This connects to the computer using either a PS/2(Green) or USB port.

Personally I use the Logitech G502 mouse, it gets the job done and is comfortable.

Ethernet is used to connect a computer to the internet.

Ethernet is used to connect a computer to the internet.

Ethernet Cable or Wireless Card: If you want to connect to the internet you will need an Ethernet Cable that plugs into the back of your computer or need a Wireless Card. Ethernet is the most reliable and secure you are going to get, but you need to be physically connected to the source of your internet. Wireless is more expensive and arguably less secure, but gives you mobility. Most wireless cards connect via USB, but some do connect to the inside of your computer. Ethernet has not setup required for most home solutions, but wireless in more involved and setup is different case by case. Read the manual if you do not know what to do. Most laptops have wireless cards built in and setup for you.

Speakers: These are self explanatory, they allow you to hear things. Speakers have color coded connectors to show you where each part connects to the computer. If your computer has ports on both the front and back of the computer, use the back ones first. You will want to save the ones on the front for headphones.

If you have a laptop this hardware will be part of the laptop itself.

Other things to consider: You will want to have as many USB ports as possible on your computer. You will be using them in the future for connecting Printers, External Hard Drives, and USB Flash Drives. Each computer is different and the way you connect your hardware will differ.

That covers all the major hardware components you will need to get started. Next time we will go over setting up Windows and learning the interface.

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