# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

It’s a Family Affair

YouEUR(TM)ve spent the last four years thinking about it, and now you finally splashing out on that awesome new PC. YouEUR(TM)ve sorted out your megabytes from your screen resolution and your bits from your bytes, and now youEUR(TM)ve got a Net ready PC in its big new boxes, but you donEUR(TM)t have a clue what to do next.
Will your kids be lured away from home by on-line pedophiles lurking in chat rooms? Will your partner indulge in an adulterous affair via email? Will you become uncontrollably addicted to porn? Will you run outrageous phone bills and end up in bankruptcy?
ItEUR(TM)s easy for media scaremongers to dream up these catastrophic scenarios, but all these things have happened. ItEUR(TM)s best to get off to the right start so you can reduce the chances of these disasters happening. ItEUR(TM)s also worth having a look at whether your family is making the most of its Net connection. There are dozens of brilliant educational sites for kids and recreational pages for stressed out moms and grandparents making the most of their retirement.
Now that youEUR(TM)ve got your PC, check out how long you can afford to be on-line each week. Keep costs down by limiting your access to weekends. Figure out how many hours everyone can spend on-line each week, and then ration this out and buy filtering software to make sure everyone complies.
You might also want to buy an off-line browser so the kids can download sites during cheaper times.
Where to Put the Computer
It depends who wants to use it. The main points to consider are:
1. Who will be allowed to use it? If you want to restrict kids access without any fiddly software complications, you can use a room with a lock on the door.
2. Be aware that PCEUR(TM)s are inherently very noisy. It probably doesnEUR(TM)t seem that way when youEUR(TM)re using it in an office, but the constant whirring of the fan and tapping of the keyboard will drive you crazy at home. DonEUR(TM)t even think of trying to watch TV when someone is playing games.
3. Have plenty of ventilation and donEUR(TM)t place your PC directly against a wall or next to a radiator, where it might overheat. Be careful to never cover the cooling fans inlet and outlet grills. Dampness can cause short circuits and dust is bad news for your PCEUR(TM)s delicate inside components.
4. DonEUR(TM)t share an outlet with high wattage electrical appliances, because if a fuse blows youEUR(TM)ll lose any unsaved work.
5. Use ergonomic equipment. The best setup is a desk with an extra lower shelf for your keyboard, an adjustable monitor stand, a comfortable height adjustable chair without armrests and an adjustable footstool.
6. Make sure your screen is free of glare and reflection. Use a wrist support next to the keyboard. Have sufficient room under the desk to stretch out your legs, and use a desk light if necessary.
7. Buy a fast PC and quality software to minimize frustration and delays that means you spend hours getting anything done.
Avoid Computer Related Afflictions
Anybody who uses a computer for more than a few hours a day risks ailments such as repetitive strain injury (RSI), bursitis, tendonitis, tenosynovitis, and frozen shoulder. While these conditions arenEUR(TM)t life-threatening, they can be painful and inconvenient. They often develop gradually over many years, so its important to make sure your kids donEUR(TM)t spend too long staring at the computer screen, clenching a mouse or joystick in one fist.
Its not all Bad
ItEUR(TM)s a great idea for families who want to stay in closer touch. Busy moms and dads who may be traveling, children in college or different locations, grandparents and young children, and even extended family spread around the world.
Once youEUR(TM)ve sensibly dealt with the hurdles, there are many positive aspects to using the Net. Despite the scare stories thereEUR(TM)s no cause for alarm when you connect your family to the Internet. If you take the right precautions and teach your kids how to use it, the Net will soon become an important addition to the family.
Sandra Prior is an advertising marketing consultant. She runs her own advertising website at Florida Computer Hardware Classifieds.