Included Programs

Included Programs

Programs Included With a​ New Computer
Are they good enough to​ stand on their own?
The Windows operating systems already comes with a​ useful collection of​ pre-installed programs and​ even some games .​
But one of​ the​ first things that people do is​ download a​ butt-load of​ new programs as​ soon as​ a​ brand new system is​ plugged in​ the​ wall and​ connected to​ the​ Internet .​
This article looks at​ some of​ the​ programs that are included with most new systems and​ then asks the​ reader to​ consider if​ they're sufficient.
NotePad and​ WordPad .​
All Windows systems include the​ two text editors, NotePad, and​ WordPad .​
Notepad is​ a​ plain text editor while WordPad is​ a​ rich text editor .​
Both files are capable of​ opening plain text, however WordPad can open Windows Write files (an earlier version of​ WordPad) as​ well as​ rich text files .​
WordPad can also save documents as​ plain text, rich text, and​ MS Word documents .​
So with WordPad having the​ ability to​ read and​ create rich text; embed objects (sound, pictures, and​ video); and​ manipulate fonts, we have to​ wonder if​ other word processors, which do the​ same thing, are really necessary .​
Although WordPad is​ certainly no match for​ Microsoft Word's internal spell and​ grammar checker or​ Word's Internet linking capabilities, we believe it's a​ great introduction to​ word processing in​ general for​ computer novices.
Address Book .​
There are hoards of​ advanced contact database programs floating around the​ Internet and​ on store shelves, but Windows provides a​ completely competent contact database of​ its own simply known as​ Address Book .​
This small compact utility allows users to​ organize contacts by name, location, group, or​ number and​ it​ give users ample space to​ fully describe each .​
Compared to​ Microsoft's Access database program, its user-friendly Address Book is​ a​ Godsend to​ new computer users.
Calculator .​
Calculator has been a​ Windows accessory even from its first debut in​ Windows 1.0 .​
For the​ life of​ us, we can't figure out why anyone other than a​ rocket scientist would want to​ install a​ different version than this free one that comes pre-installed .​
Windows calculator has two interfaces: an​ easy one, and​ a​ scientific one .​
So perhaps a​ rocket scientist could fare well with Windows Calculator after all!
Paint .​
Windows' Paint program allows users to​ make changes to​ existing graphics, or​ create brand new ones at​ no additional cost .​
Interestingly, we can count at​ least ten different graphics packages that are more popular and​ widely used than this free one .​
While it​ doesn't offer as​ many editing tools, it​ does provide the​ essentials and​ it​ can open/save graphics in​ .bmp, .gif, and.jpg format (the latter two being the​ most commonly format used for​ Internet eye candy).
Media Player .​
Real Player and​ QuickTime are the​ first programs we think of​ when we think about multimedia .​
But Windows Media Player, also free and​ pre-installed, does a​ fine job at​ transmitting Internet-bound sound and​ video .​
With this application, you can easily listen to​ .wav files, .midi files, and​ even tune into a​ little Internet radio if​ you like .​
System Tools .​
Although there are too many to​ list here, Windows provides more than a​ handful of​ useful utilities that will monitor system resources, organize files, repair damaged disks, and​ more .​
Yet and​ still, you can easily find similar tools for​ sale at​ computer outlets and​ download libraries .​
What's going on here?
The truth of​ the​ matter is​ that the​ programs pre-installed are great tools for​ the​ beginning computer user .​
At some point down the​ road, usage will dictate a​ need for​ more powerful applications .​
We may need a​ word processor that can convert a​ document into an​ HTML page or​ PDF document .​
We may need a​ calculator that solves geometric problems .​
Or we may need a​ multimedia tool that lets us create our own videos as​ well as​ watch them .​
These capabilities aren't included with new systems, but there's no reason why we can't exploit the​ tools that we're given to​ their fullest.

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