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There are only two things that make a computer works, Hardware and Software.
Hardware is the physical part of the system. Those that you can touch e.g. Monitor, CPU casing, Disk Drive, Mouse, Keyboard etc
Software are code ( bits and bytes ) which make the hardware function. When they are compiled together, they form into what is known as a Program or Application for the computer to carry out specific functions. E.g. if its everything to do with Account, then you have an accounting software. If it generate letters, articles or magazine, then you have a wordprocessor program.
There are thousands and thousands type of software available in the world which you may not need. You only need to buy what suits you or your company. As more companies or programmers compete to produce better software, each category of software can be marketed by many companies in the market. The choice is yours !
What are the common software that you should have ?
1. Wordprocessing -- Microsoft Word
2. Spreadsheet -- Microsoft Excel
3. Presentations -- Powerpoint
4. Instant Messaging -- MSN Live or Skype
5. AntiVirus -- Norton Security, AVG or Norman
6. AntiSpyware -- SuperAntiSpyware, Adware 2008
7. Utilities Program -- CCleaner for System Optimisation, PDF Creator to create PDF files, WinZip for archiving files to saved space or transferring.
8. Adobe Reader -- Program for reading PDF files
9. Email Program -- Outlook Express, Microsoft Outlook, Incredimail
Dangers of downloading Freeware
Much of the time, when you come across a program that is free, there is spyware and malicious software attached to the download. This is not true for all free programs, especially if they are downloaded from trusted resources such as CNet, but it seems to be the case for many of them. You'll never know that such software is attached to the program you are downloading until it is too late. This bad software is often hidden within the download making it impossible for you to detect it meaning that it gets on your computer and attacks you before you have a chance to defend yourself.