View Full Version : Where do I get started

03-04-2001, 04:01 AM
I have spent several days just reading all of the messages that I can. You have peaked my interests so much that I would be interested in find out get certified. I am a newbie with computers. The type that only clicks and goes, so please start me out with the basics.
Thank you for this wonderful forum. This is the greatest site I have been to to get information about my computer. Beleave me when I say I have been to alot of sites. http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif

03-04-2001, 07:43 AM

I'm also new to this. The first form of certification most people do, is A+ this deals with operating systems & hardware. It is same as having 6 months experience. You will learn all about the working of the computer & fault finding. It is also not tied to one system,like most of the other certifications.

The other great thing about this certification, as it's an entry level certification, you don't have to spend out loads to get it. I was going to go to college to study for it, & then I did some reasearch & the general word is get yourself a couple of good A+ books (amazon are best for this) & a couple of old 486's & just take them apart to get your knowledge of everything pc related. That way you are also going to damage your home pc. If you get to you can also network them, as this exam does cover some aspects of networking.

I've been learning things for the last month & my A+ book arrive yesterday, so it's now down to serious study, after the A+ you have so many different exam routes, but this is the best one to get to start with, as it covers all the basic elements of the computer.

Hope this helps & if you want a study partner let me know, as I could always do with one. My husband now realises he doesn't know as much as he thought he did http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif


[This message has been edited by stacyk (edited 03-04-2001).]

Paleo Pete
03-04-2001, 08:44 AM
That sounds like pretty good advice, that's basically how I accumulated my meager knowledge of computers. I pick up cheap computers at resale shops and garage sales whenever I can and try to either fix them or put parts together from several to make one running machine. Most of the hardware issues are basically the same, but when you get into newer machines with ATX power supplies and CPU settings controlled in BIOS things do tend to be a bit different.

A couple other things, check another post in this section of the forums, some of these folks are trying to set up an online study group. That might be a very good thing to participate in if it gets off the ground, which I hope it does. I plan to participate whenever I have time.

The PC Guide site and forums should also be very good references, we have some folks here who give excellent advice, and you'll also pick up a lot of info from them that you'll never get from a book. Note though, I do strongly advise studying every good book you can get your hands on. I also think if you are serious about learning these infernal confusers, a CD copy of the PC Guide might be a good thing.

One good thing I've done is grab every book I can find in resale shops, they are often older, out of date books, but usually have good info. Any time I find DOS/Windows user's manuals I grab them, out of date A+ prep books, third party Windows books, anything related to computer upgrading and repair. Unfortunately, I had the bad luck to find a complete set of NT administrator's reference books at a resale shop and didn't have the bucks...about a dozen books I would give anything to have right now...

Things I have found though, that have been very good-Several DOS/Win3.x user's manuals, 3 different A+ prep manuals, several books concerning the original IBM XT machines, (if you can fix those you can fix about anything), GW basic user's manuals, (haven't even started on that yet,) same for 3 or 4 C+ programming books, some good 3rd party user's guides for win3.x and 95 and a few motherboard manuals you can't find anywhere on the net. I plan to scan those and send them to a couple sites that specialize in obsolete boards.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!
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03-04-2001, 06:04 PM
Just a couple of suggestions:
I'd try to start off with a Pentium machine in preference to the 486 (though I'm amazed at how much online vendors are asking for old stuff http://www.PCGuide.com/ubb/frown.gif ).
In addition to amazon (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/browse/-/3448/105-5249900-1900752), I've used fatbrain (http://www1.fatbrain.com/catalogs/training/home.asp) and Barnes & Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/bookshelf/computer/certification.asp?userid=2UASCETNBX) when shopping for computer books. Besides an A+ study guide, I'd recommend getting a general reference PC "repair and upgrade" book.

03-05-2001, 01:46 AM
Thanks for your help everyone. I am looking in to it. I have two books on programming. One is "Begining programing and C. But I thought they would be to advanced for me. Same as the study group. I am afraid of making a fool of my self with the limited knowledge I have. But still agree with the hope it gets off the ground. As for computer componets hubby goes to flea market every week-end so I can get the pieces I will need. I am going to go to the media play and check on the books this week can't wait to get started. Thanks for the tips. If you think of any thing else that might help me just let me know. I check this site every day. Pam203

Paleo Pete
03-05-2001, 08:27 AM
Pentiums are good for practice too, of course, I usually recommend 386/486 machines because they're less expensive. And easier to find. Then again I like tinkering with the really older machines, all the way back to XTs...

I find XT to 486 machines often in resale shops really cheap, usually under $10, while the only place I can find Pentiums is in the weekly sale paper, and almost always $200 or more. Big difference...if you can find them cheap enough, I agree Pentiums are great to learn on. Only Pentium I've ever found at a decent price was the Packard Bell sitting beside me, P-60, got it for $2, replaced the hard drive and added some memory, it's now running win3.11 and is the most stable computer I've ever had...OK except for the XT/AT machines running pure DOS...but that's an entirely different story.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines!
Note: Please post your questions on the forums, not in my email.

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