Today we will deal with an issue the most computer neophytes( or newbies ) dread. "How Do I Buy A New Computer?" To start with, I will qualify myself; I have been using computers since 1983, and buying/selling them since 1994. I am a professional "Integration Consultant" that advises businesses on their technology needs, and then implements it. I also service a lot of computers that I had nothing to do with in the first instance; I didn't build it nor sell it. My business grows steadily by word-of-mouth; I don't advertise at all. So okay, that out of the way, onto the interesting bits...
You want to buy a new computer? Great! But how and why and when and what, who and which? :-) DO NOT rush into this. I have seen many people stung by a poorly informed decision. Ask the questions, do your homework.
1. Why do you think you need a new computer? Did your 15 year old nephew suggest it because he cannot get "Blood and Gore II" to run on your current machine? Do you want to run a "Web Store" for your business, and someone suggested you'd need a new machine to do this? So many variables come into this equation. But the one I see most often, with the aging population, is "to keep in touch with my grand kids overseas". Ok, excellent. Figure out your REAL reasons, that makes it easier to make good decisions.
2. Who will provide you with support? I am surmising that as someone new to computing, you will need a helping hand to teach you. These are more complicated than the average toaster, after all.
Many elderly in this country join a club called SeniorNet, which teaches the seniors in the rudiments, giving them certificates for achievement, and another social network. I have spoken to these clubs and helped them too, and they are an excellent way to learn. Aside from that, if you are not elderly, you will need to talk to someone you trust, and preferably someone who is capably doing the work on a professional basis. This tends to rule out the pimply chap at the Big Box store who wants to see his next commission, but actually doesn't give two figs what happens after that.
3. What do you need it to do? Short list of common tasks: Email, web browsing, letter-writing, balancing the cheque book, seeing photos of the grand kids, listening to music, watching videos. Well, ok, the last two are not high on most newbie's agenda. These tasks are easily met by most machines these days.
4. What sort of computer? Now this question is the biggie! There are so many types of computers, so many "Operating Systems", and so many different tasks they are suited for. You will need to do a list of pros and cons, as well as sort out what is just marketing mumbo-jumbo designed to confuse you. Know your RAM from your BUS from your USB before you go anywhere. More on this follows.
To be continued... to ask questions, click "leave a comment" below, and fill in the form.
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