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               Computer Buying Information

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish?

It’s best if price is not your first consideration.

Many customers have expressed dissatisfaction with their computers running the Windows Vista operating system.
Thus I encourage everyone to consider buying a Mac as they are usually less hassle if you are willing to make the transition and pay the premium. Also they are not susceptible to most viruses and malware.

Don’t want Vista or a Mac? Want to buck the market momentum and order a computer with Windows XP on it? It is worth considering and you can find them no problem on the net. I recommend using www.Froogle.com and search for Computer Windows XP or Laptop Windows XP.

Search for reviews of the product you’re considering.

A cheaper computer is usually built with cheaper components.

The computer market has all sorts of catches that make it hard for an end user to make an informed decision. For example, a Celeron processor is always cheaper than a Core 2 or Pentium of the same vintage. However,
a 2.5 gigahertz (ghz) Celeron is slower than a 1.6 ghz Core 2 duo. Dig to understand what you are buying.

There are countless features to consider such as wireless internet.

Protect your investment – The best insurance is to protect what you have. Buy a surge protector. Keep a up to date antivirus subscription – Especially on Windows!

As for Printing, the same cost-benefit comparison applies. The printers usually given away free with a computer are worth about that much. Expect to spend a good bit on ink unless you rarely use it. Do you print a lot of pages where color is not important? If so my recommendation is to send your pictures to a photo website for printing and get a cheap black & white laser printer. You can print for a long time never changing the cartridge, the overall page cost is less, there is less motivation for the kids to print all kinds of ink wasting stuff.

Computers for games – I feel it’s better to buy a seperate game machine instead of buying a bigger, better, faster computer to play games unless you have a specific reason.
The game box will be better and less hassle at what it’s designed for and that way someone can play games while someone else uses the computer. Or you
and the family could go outside and play ball or go hiking, sailing, or anything else other than vegging out. I’m a little biased.

Looking for a used computer?
You should know that the average computer lasts 3-5 years before needing at least one internal component replaced. That might be a hard drive, power supply, or CD-Rom. If it’s a laptop the battery would be pretty worn by then.
It’s more of a risk to buy a used computer, but since there are many good parts left someone with the know-how can put the best components together to make a good computer at a reasonable cost. To do the job right it involves replacing the hard drive,
which holds your data and has an average 3-5 year lifespan. When that part fails the computer stops working and it becomes a gamble and expense to get your data back, so when I
refurbish a computer I replace the drive. This allows me to offer a 6 month hardware warranty. I usually sell used computers for $300-$350 depending on the age and parts. This may raise the question,
why not get a new computer for that or just a few dollars more? First, if it says Refurbished or Off-Lease, it’s not new, and ask the vendor if they replace the hard drive and go over it thoroughly. I can’t make that decision for you, life’s a gamble and I’m offering this free advice. If so, that cheap computer is guaranteed to be made with cheap
components. You won’t know its quality until it has proven itself. In the same vein you don’t know the value of a used computer from me until it proves itself, and I can’t test it forever to prove it either. If you’re having trouble deciding, flip a coin.

by William Small