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Prepare for a Life Unplugged

Before you disconnect completely visit your computer manufactures web site. Download the latest drivers, application notes, and manuals, including any service manuals that show how to take out the hard drive, replace memory, etc. Look at all the software that is already on your machine. Ask yourself if you know how it got there.  Do you have the files/disks to rebuild it? If you don't feel comfortable converting your computer from the basic operating system installation into the fully loaded machine it is today, you might want to learn. Someday you'll be in that exact situation, you can almost count on it!! If you have an existing computer that was randomly filled with software downloads, make sure you have the install files for anything that is critical. In the future, when you download an executable from the internet ALWAYS select the "Save to Disk" option. Build a Folder that has all the installation utilities, along with a journal about how to replicate the installation procedure. We call our folder "New Computer Install". Make sure you include dependencies (all the plug-ins like Flash, Active-X etc) and document the installation order along with the software license keys you'll need. I even extract the files from my installation CD's so I don't have to lug them around. I recently bought an inexpensive used computer in Singapore and had it up and running the way I wanted it in less than two hours. During that time the computer was doing most of the work, while I was enjoying my beer!

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