Chapter 1. Getting a Computer Ready for the Internet

Get ready to ...

  • Pick Hardware to Match Your Computer Use

  • Know What Hardware Options to Look For

  • Shop for Your Computer of Choice

  • Browse for a Browser

Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you that you need really fancy equipment to get started online, but you must have a computer. These days, there are more choices than you can imagine for joining the online social scene. If you're in the market for a computer, you've got a few choices, which I tell you about in this chapter.

Shopping for a computer can be a dizzying experience. As a matter of fact, it's downright confusing. I suggest you go to a store and kick a few tires (or try out a few keyboards) before you make a decision. Also, recognize that your decisions about computer equipment depend on how and where you plan to use your computer. Follow my advice in this chapter to evaluate your computer use and find the right source for your equipment.

Along with your hardware of choice and an Internet connection (see Chapter 2), you need just one more item — a software program — to interact with online social sites (such as Facebook and Twitter). When you get a computer, you get an Internet browser for free. A browser is the software program that lets your computer talk to the Internet. It's like having your own private cyberchauffeur. In this chapter, I also tell you a little about the common browsers that are readily available.

Pick Hardware to Match Your Computer Use

  1. I confess, I have a ...

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