Before you go to the store to buy software write down your
computers specifications. You'll need the type and speed
of the processor. How much ram your computer has. What
kind of video card? How much disk space is available?
Usually, these things are easy to find on your computer.
On Windows you can navigate to "Programs >Accessories >System Tools." Then click on "System Information" and you should see a summary containing your computers operating system, processor, and memory information. Next click on the plus sign to expand the "Components" category. There under "Display" you will find your computers video card specifications. You may also need to know what kind of sound card is installed. Select "Sound Device" to see the name and manufacturer of this device. Under "Storage" you can select Drives to check how much available disk space you have. This will be labeled "free Space." Other information you may need, depending on the type of program, are network
and modem specs.
Once You have selected a piece of software make sure that it
is compatible with your computer. Most software programs
come on CDs now and will include their minimum requirements
somewhere on the packaging. They may require that you
have a special video card or adapter. It may require that you have a particular type of processor, so make sure that your computers processor is equal or better. Make sure you have enough ram to run the program. Usually, they will give a minimum and a recommended amount, but I have always
found that it is best to go with the recommended amount.
Another thing to take into account is pricing. Sometimes you can save a lot of money by purchasing an earlier version
of a particular piece of software. Just make sure that it has all the features that you want and that it is compatible
with your computer. The best place to look is on the Internet. You can compare pricing without having to run all over town. Go to your favorite search site, and search for the software that you are looking for. Sometimes you can buy online for less, but make sure you check the shipping costs.