A computer network is a group of connected computers that
allow each other to make resources available to other computers. A client
computer must have an operating system that allows it to share its resources.
The computer can have Microsoft Windows, Linux, or Apple, etc. For our
series of lessons, we will use Microsoft Windows 7. Any version will be
If you purchase new computers in a store or from a web
store, the computers will most likely have an operating system already. At the
time of this writing, most computers sold in stores have Microsoft Windows 7
Home Premium. Some other computers, such as netbooks, run Microsoft Windows 7
Starter. Both OS versions should be fine for a basic computer network.
If you have built your own computer(s) or you acquired
"barebone" computer(s), once it's ready with the necessary hardware parts,
you must acquire and install an operating system.
Operating System Installation
A new installation of operating system (OS) is suitable if:
- You have a computer with no operating system at all
- You have a computer with an operating system but you want to overwrite it;
that is, you want to install a new OS and you don't mind loosing
whatever files already exist in the computer
- You have a computer with an operating system but it doesn't support an upgrade from that existing operating system
Upgrading the Operating System
At the time of this writing, most computers sold in stores run Microsoft
Windows 7 Home Premium. If you already have one (or more) computer(s) that
you plan to use as workstation(s), it (they) may be running a previous
operating system such as Microsoft Windows XP or Windows Vista. If you want,
you can upgrade it.
For our network, we will use Microsoft
Windows 7. Any version is fine for our peer-to-per network: Starter, Home Pre Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise. Among the ways you can acquire the
upgrade is to purchase it, from the Microsoft web site, from a computer store, or from a web store.