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Summing Up

It's been a bit of a long ride, so let's see what we've got.

You Own Your Computer

You bought it; you have the sales receipt. There should be no doubt whatsoever. Yet your computer will be accessed by a number of sources throughout its use, some of which are malicious, some of which are exploitative, some of which are just plain dumb. The key to smart computing is to be aware of these sources and to thwart them.

Stopping Access From The Internet

Surfing the net is not a passive experience like listening to radio or watching TV: You are both interactive with the sites you visit and are really and truly 'out there' and identifiable. Smart computing in this context means being aware of how this interactivity works, and at the very least installing a firewall so you can control the flow of data out of your machine.

Making Your Puter Purr

Even when offline your system may be made to suffer at the hands of bad software. Smart computing means learning to recognize bad software to avoid it, and even more to recognize what good software is and stick exclusively to it.

Final Word

There is no reason ownership of a personal computer should be an unpleasant experience. Running a personal computer successfully - 'smart computing' - means learning a little about how the machine really works, how it can be brought to work even better, and how to avoid things which would make it not work at all.

Follow the guidelines in this series; read up on your own on the net; and learn to be smart with your box. Learn to practice Smart Computing.

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