Listed are answers to questions that are occasionally asked of me, or things that I want to find out for myself.
Should I upgrade to Windows 11?
Windows 10 was meant to be "the last version of Windows", unfortunately, this no longer appears to be the case. Windows 11 was released in late 2021 and introduced a variety of visual and lifestyle upgrades over the previous version.
Windows 11 does look nicer visually, however, it also launched without a lot of key features that were promised as well as a long list of features from Windows 10 that have been removed, and these might have been important to you.
The biggest change in Windows 11 that you will probably notice immediately is that the 'Start' button and the taskbar has moved. In older versions of Windows, the taskbar was aligned to the bottom left of the screen. In Windows 11, the taskbar has been moved to the bottom center of the screen. If you have been using Windows for many years, you will probably find this change quite alarming. However, you can move the taskbar back to the bottom left if you prefer it where it used to be.
Ultimately, whether you decide to upgrade is your choice, but as usual, I would recommend you wait a year or so to give Microsoft the opportunity to fix any bugs and finish polishing new features.
Should I buy a laptop or a tablet device?
Personally, I find that the answer to this question really depends on what you want to do with the device you purchase.
For the vast majority of people that ask me this, I actually recommend they buy a tablet device. If you need a device to stream videos, enjoy your photos, listen to music or access websites or social media — a tablet device is perfect for consuming content and generally cheaper and less bulky to carry.
However, if you need to 'create' content; either by doing a lot of writing, or graphic design, or video editing, or coding – a laptop is definitely the choice for you. Although you can do all of these things on a tablet device, it's going to be much more efficient and faster to perform these tasks on a computer or laptop.
What mobile phone should I buy?
When it comes to mobile phones, you have a lot of choice, but innovation has definitely stagnated in recent years. Most modern smartphones have beautifully large displays, top quality cameras and plenty of memory. If you're in the market for a new smartphone, your decision comes down to which operating system you prefer and ultimately, both of the market leaders are very similar. Apple's iOS is only accessible on their iPhone hardware, whereas Android is mainly accessible on Google's devices, as well as third-party handsets from Samsung, Sony, or Motorola etc.
If interconnectivity is important to you and you use an Apple laptop or desktop computer, then the iPhone is definitely worth your time. Their devices synchronise well together with iCloud, giving the impression that everything "just works" well together. However, Apple's "walled garden" approach will make it difficult for you to leave if you do decide you want to use a device from a different manufacturer.
If you really don't mind which operating system you use and you definitely need a smartphone, I would probably recommend an Android device. The "Pixel" range of Android smartphones from Google are, in my opinion, the most sophisticated on the market for the price.
If you would prefer not to use a "smart" device as a mobile phone, there are plenty of alternative "feature" phones on the market. Feature phones in general focus on simplicity and simply acting as a phone, rather than trying to accomplish everything all at once. The most eye-catching of which in my eyes is the Punkt MP02, but it does have a hefty price-tag. Alternatively, Nokia currently have a brilliant line of feature phones at very reasonable prices.
What is Linux and how do I use it?
Linux is the name for a set of open-source operating systems. Most device manufacturer's would like you to think that there are only two flavours to choose from: Windows or Apple, or on mobile, iPhone or Android. However, Linux is an incredibly sophisticated alternative to the brand name operating systems for your desktop or laptop computer.
Because Linux is open-source, anybody can create their own alternative versions (often called 'distributions', or 'distros'), which leads to a lot of choice. I would say that Ubuntu is the most widely known and well supported.
Personally, I think PopOS from System76 is the best all-rounder Linux distribution that I have tried. One thing PopOS does really well is simplify how you can install and manage applications with the "Pop!_Shop" application.
If you're coming from mainly using Apple devices, Elementary OS might be the distribution for you. Elementary looks absolutely beautiful, with a real focus on aesthetics and usability.
Finally, if you're looking for a very security concious distribution, Tails allows you to create a temporary operating system which can disappear without a trace when you turn off your device.
Most Linux operating systems will allow you to install them onto your computer device by setting up a USB stick with the installer programme. Once you have chosen a Linux distribution to use, you will be able to download the installation programme from their website. However, it is worth remembering that, when you install a new operating system on your device, you will lose everything that you have currently on your computer so definitely don't forget to back up your important files!
How can I make friends?
I've found that making friends is quite simple.
Ultimately, people want to be listened to and recognised. My advice? Make eye contact, ask questions and truly listen to what people say to you, whilst trying not to offer solutions unless asked. That's it!