Back to school is a busy and exciting time for many people. Many of the students I deal with are purchasing their first Mac or sometimes even their first personal computer. Although the Macs come with much of the software people need, there are a few programs and accessories most people don’t realize they will also require. I take pride in helping clients discover all the tools and accessories they might need even if they might not recognize it until half way through the semester!
Our most popular 3rd party software program is Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint). Many schools and businesses use the Microsoft suite as their default publishing format. For ease of use (and file format) I can definitely recommend this program for ALL students and home users alike. Even if you’re not a huge writer, chances are someone will send you something as an attachment via email that you’ll need to have MS Office to open it.
An external hard drive is a must for anyone serious about their data. I can’t stress how important this is, even if you don’t think you’ve got much on your computer. The truth is it’s always easier and less stressful to plug in a device and have everything drawn back to your computer after a hard drive failure than to have to reinstall programs, set up all your settings to the way they were, do all of your updates and waste precious bandwidth. In a worst case scenario you’d also have lost photos, videos, and documents (including those pesky 15,000 word essays that need to be rewritten the night before they are due)!
For those of us using mobile devices (and lets face it,most of us do), there are more and more options to synchronize and cross utilize them. The Apple TV and Airport Express for example are fantastic accessories and devices in themselves for the mobile crowd. I, for example, use the Apple TV to project my class lessons wirelessly to the TV so that everyone can see them. I don’t have to bring bulky laptops, a rat’s nest of cables, and strange power adapters. At home I’ve got an Airport Express in my kitchen that I can wirelessly play my tunes through without any cables which keeps things clean!
So there you have it, just a couple suggestions in a sea of accessories and software for what I feel are the most important and useful. If you’ve got any questions or would like to learn more about these suggestions or anything else feel free to drop by the store or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org