Question: Ok, first thing, I'm consciously incompetent so go ahead and believe I'm a Neanderthal, since this is so easy a caveman could do it. I recently bought a Sony laptop w/Vista. It’s cool and all but I keep getting these windows popping when I use the word processor and similar functions that tell me I can only use it so many times before I have to register the software. I registered with Microsoft/Sony when I initially booted the thing up. I followed links etc and can't work out where to get this # from. Also, Adobe does this when I read a PDF file. I followed the link to register Adobe8 and they wanted like $500-What!? I'm missing some info and didn't have anyone to ask, thanks.
Answer: Many new computers come with trial versions of popular software such as Microsoft Office. They install it on the computer and you have usually 60 days to try it and then you have to buy it or it will stop working. But other times if you get the more expensive computer it will come with the software installed and you just need to activate it by putting in the key/serial number. If this is the case with you then you should have a piece of paper or CD jacket that has the key on it. For Microsoft products it will be a yellow sticker of some sort. If you have the trial version then you can only use it for the 60 days and then you have to buy it or buy something else. Keep in mind that you can use WordPad that comes with Windows for basic word processing. It should be under Accessories on your computer.
For the Adobe 8 it sounds like they want you to buy the Professional version which you don't need most likely. It should have come with Adobe Reader 8 which is free to anyone and can be downloaded from the Adobe website. They may be asking you to upgrade or they may have installed a trial version of Acrobat Professional 8 on your computer and want you to pay for it but they usually don't come with Acrobat Pro even as atrial. If you do have Pro and want to change it to where it uses the free Adobe Reader to open PDF files then you can change the file association for PDF files.