*hello. i am new here, i have never joined a computer forum (except reluctantly once.. and it was terrible - lasted no longer than 30 mins due to the terrible condescending attitudes that alot of self appointed intellects carry with them) and i hope that i will not aggrivate anyone by my inferior knowledge of computers. i have read the rules already, (and apparently people are urged to be polite and thats a relief) and through a quick search, did not find any threads about my question. but keep in mind, i am new. if i missed it, due to improper navigational skills in this particular forum, i am sorry. please do not reply if you do not want to waste your time with me. rather than spend 2 weeks watching everyones navigational actions around here, i considered and settled on creating a thread so that i can do my homework now, not two weeks from now. (can you tell i am a bit defensive, from terrible experiences? i mean no disrespect to anyone, but am illustrating my frustration for a peers understanding)*
1.) I am not terrible or great with computers. i have had my laptop for about three years, and its pretty good to me, i use as much common sense as i can while navigating the internet. unfortunately, going to websites like the dictionary, have malware and spyware (sorry, i didnt read the internet terms glossary cover to cover yet, so if i use a word in the wrong place, i apologize again.)
hanging about. and i may catch things without knowing. i only use free avast at the moment, and i was wondering if there is a combination people know of for antivirus (didnt see firewall in the program, but it could have a different name) and antispyware. (free, by the way. if anyone would like to expound upon the reasoning for actually purchasing protection, i would gladly listen to that side of the case. but i have heard too many times that the free programs are just as good to consider dipping into my life savings for annual fees.)
2.) i am definitely interested in learning the basics of computer troubleshooting. surely, not everyone here went to school to learn to find and get rid of a virus, or spyware manually when their free stuff didnt work out too well because it was, well, free. computer operating systems are so different year to year, and the layouts change too. maybe not sooo different, but different enough when you are used to one and dont know where certain parts of internal software are usually supposed to be located, or you used to find things because the older computers had a search option and help bar everywhere.. i guess what i am trying to say, is, i knew/learned what i needed to know, because of the paint program and photoshop 3 and old microsoft word, if i wasnt drawing with the mouse, when i was still in highschool and i didnt have but a basic aol and internet was still kinda new for the daily household and spyware was not quite so rampant.. instead of people handfeeding me step by step (which is still a way that people DO learn, so i am not knocking that) what to do about my computer when its running painfully slow, or adobe air is telling me there are errors when i try to upgrade it (and am not able to) so that i may create my own pdfs so i can read things on the 'nook' (with sdcard) i need to read and understand for school while not in front of a forever-wall-plugged laptop, burning out my eyeballs (i have sensitive eyes that cause headaches daily, and the eink is preferred). going into control panel, to uninstall adobe and affiliated air, reader, and flash, because i read once that if its ruined, you must uninstall and reinstall.. realizing that there are probably alot of "bloatware" programs not necessary, but understanding that i DO NOT know that for sure... not knowing which questions to ask to get desired answer, my conclusion is that, tired of being berrated for not having credit before aquiring credit (metaphor for computers, for linear only thinkers), i must learn on my own. but, like i mentioned, i dont know where to even begin! i am asking if anyone knows of websites that can point me in that sort of direction.. to gain a basic understanding of not merely computers, but the combined interaction of smoothly operating computers that use internet for research, and downloading of files (not software programs) and a comprehensive grasp of a individuals personal computer, including aspects of control panel and programs (not just for install/uninstall). does such a place exist?