When its time to buy a new PC

So the time has come to get a new home computer. The ones I have at home are old, taking up valuable real estate while not quite pulling their weight any longer. One of them I built from scratch, the other I purchased at a yard sale for $20.

I really hoped these two would mate and produce netbooks

I really hoped these two would mate and produce netbooks

My usual MO for buying a desktop is to get the best processor I can and max out the memory, and make that puppy work until Judgment Day. Alas how I use computers has changed quite a bit. For one, since Wi-Fi now exists I am no longer tethered to a desk. To that end, it is more enjoyable to sit outside on my back deck or front porch as I write my posts.

I’ve also gone over to the Dark Side and got an iPad and have to admit, I find it easier for surfing and email than a clunky old desktop. That said, I’m not quite ready to give up the old dinosaur concept of a desktop in favor of the new all-in-one touchscreens. Sure they are probably the direction we are going until we succumb to just having our smart phone fused into our brains and accept our evolution into the cyborg/Cylon world.

So back to the desktop. Even though computers are more powerful than ever before, until next week when they release the new HPDellAsus 3000a with better tint control, the basic guts remain the same.

  • Processor or CPU.
  • Memory or RAM.
  • Hard Disk space or the place where your files go to die if you don’t back up to the cloud.

I’m no longer versed in the latest GeekSpeak for types of RAM (DRAM vs. DIMM, DDR, DDR3, SDRAM) or processors. I went to the various websites to look at some computers and all that got me are ads showing more computers whenever I visit my favorite blogs.  And by the time I got some input from my fellow Geeks about the choices, the website had already removed the reasonably affordable yet quite servicable CPU option and now only have the really slow or the CPU on Meth options.

When it comes to any technology, I generally wait for the next new thing to be released — iPad, smart phone, toilet paper warmer– and wait a few iterations for them to work all the kinks out. Then I buy the best I can afford and make it last as long as possible.

Whenever I can, I try to Future Proof the item. That was the strategy when I bought my first desktop in G-school in 1999! I had the good sense to get a LAN port even though I didn’t know what the hell a LAN port was at the time. It’s actually an Ethernet port but in 1999 the Dell technicians were required to call it a LAN port because that was the currency at the time.

So I have to find the happy medium between finding a machine that can last me a long time, and my pocketbook. Given all the other bills I have, by the time I can afford to upgrade to one of those all-in-one touchscreens, the latest and greatest computer technology might just be your very own Cylon.


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Filed under: Tech Thursday

Tags: Desktop, RAM

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