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Under The Hood (of your Computer)

5 min read

Before you purchase new software (or hardware), or call the computer tech person, get familiar with where to look to find out the vital statistics of your machine. It may not be enough to say “I have a PC”, or “I use Windows Vista.” It’s especially important when purchasing software that you know the software is compatible with your computer. Often, once software is downloaded, or once the package is opened, you cannot get a refund for it. What you’ll need to know may include the version of Windows you’re using, and whether or not the latest “service pack” has been installed, what your operating system “type” is (most are 32-bit), what processor you have and what’s its speed is (measured in GHz, which is gigahertz), and how much random access memory (RAM) you have. All of these factors indicate what software (or hardware) you can use with your computer.

Finding out this information couldn’t be easier. Here’s a shortcut to it: press the Windows key and the letter “e” together to launch the Computer window (“My Computer” in older versions of Windows). Look for the word “Computer” or “My Computer” somewhere on the left side of the screen and right-click it. That’s it! Have a look at the screen capture here that shows you all of the things to look for, and more, as taken from a Sony VAIO laptop, running Windows 7 Ultimate.