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Which computer will work best for you?

NICK AGRO/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/TNSShelly Hu browses the Internet on a laptop computer at Woodbridge Manor in Irvine, Calif.
NICK AGRO/ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER/TNSShelly Hu browses the Internet on a laptop computer at Woodbridge Manor in Irvine, Calif. TNS

Technology is increasing at a rapid rate. And with the increase in technology comes an influx of words and jargon that can be overwhelming for even the most diehard computers users.

One of the first things you need to to know when contemplating the purchase of a computer is the various operating systems associated with a computer. The basic systems are Microsoft Windows, commonly known as a PC; Apple Mac OS X, also known as a "Mac," and Linux.

The operating systems exist over a variety of platforms (stages on which a computer program can run), including the home computer. But in the day and age when bigger does not necessarily mean better, many seniors are turning to tablets, notebooks and laptops for a more lightweight, portable option.

One of the most popular tablets is the Apple Ipad, which is about the size of a small magazine. An Ipad can be the perfect tool for those who want to browse the Internet, watch videos on YouTube, answer emails and use popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. However, the platforms of Instagram and Snapchat function best on a smartphone such as an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy.

Best of both worlds

Notebooks also are growing in popularity. A notebook is basically a tablet or notebook-sized computer that usually has a functioning external keyboard. Notebooks are fast and portable and basically serve the same functions as a tablet.

A laptop is exactly what it sounds like -- it's a computer that easily fits in one's lap. It has all of the power and functionality of a home or desktop computer but it can be transported easily and used on the go.

Once you've chosen your hardware, the next decision you will have to make is which browser would you like to use. A browser is simply the way one navigates the Internet. Some of the popular browsers are Google Chrome, Foxfire, Internet Explorer and Safari. All are adaptable to the various operating systems.

Learning the terms

With a browser comes a lot of terminology that can easily become confusing. One word you will hear that is associated with a browser is cookie. A cookie is the way your browser collects data on you, based on things you search for and the websites you visit. You can always go into the settings on your browser, which is usually located at the top of the screen in a toolbar, and turn your cookies off, but know that many websites may not function properly with the cookies disabled.

Another way data is stored on a browser is in a cache, which gives a quicker access to some data. From time to time, a cache will need to be cleared. Again, this can be going into your setting and clicking on browser history and clicking delete.

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