Article Of The Day From ArticleMotron.com

June 10, 2006

Buying a New Computer

Buying a New Computer by D. David Dugan

 Purchasing a home computer can be one of the most nerve-wracking experiences if you don’t do your homework first. Since most of us are non-technical, wading through all of the specifications and deciding what is right can be overwhelming.

While price is important, there are many other factors that should be considered when purchasing a computer. Doing research before entering your local office supply or computer store will help you from spending more than you wanted to and also get you the best deal on the quality that you need.

Spend some time thinking about how your computer will be used. Make a list of what needs that this computer will need to fill.

What software is an absolute necessity?

Will you need non-standard hardware like a scanner or fax in addition to your computer?

Are you more interested in word processing or gaming or both?

Thinking about what function your computer serves for all the members of your family will help you narrow down your choices.

After you’ve determined what function your computer serves in your life and the life of your family you will want to consider the speed of your new computer.

The Central Processing Unit or CPU is the brain of your computer. The CPU is the largest contributor to the overall speed of your computer. It controls all of the functions and capabilities that your computer will have.

The newest computers come with CPUs that range from 1.6 GHz to 3.2 GHz. If you are involved in graphics or want to play high-resolution computer games, you need the highest GHz that you can afford.

Another consideration is the memory or virtual storage space of your new computer. While computers are available with 128 MB of memory, you’ll want to have at least 256 MB on your machine. Memory is essential to achieving maximum speed and performance from your computer. It is recommended that you purchase your new computer with as much memory as you can get for the best price.

Memory upgrades can cost as little as $30, so if you need to build your system slowly over time it is certainly a viable option. You can always add more memory, but you can’t replace the CPU and increase your processing speed. If you have to choose between the two, go with a higher GHz processor and add more memory as you can.

The monitor can make a big difference in your enjoyment of your new computer. Although most people just accept whatever monitor comes with a computer package. However, it really does deserve more consideration.

Size is the most important factor. If you go any smaller than 17 inches, you may end up spending most of your time squinting and causing yourself unnecessary eyestrain. If you can upgrade your monitor to something larger, go for at least a 19-inch monitor.

Another option you may want to consider is getting a wireless mouse and keyboard. Going wireless with these necessary pieces of equipment will help to pare down the cords beneath your computer desk.

There are a ton of other options you need to consider when purchasing a new computer. It’s a good idea to ask people you know what types of options have worked well for them. Also, you do not need to purchase the very latest in computers. The best value is usually found with a computer that was brand new and the fastest thing going 6 months to one year ago. That is where you are likely to get the most bang for the buck. I hope this little guide has been helpful to you for buying your next computer.

D. David Dugan personally helps to maintain a computer shopping site at http://www.greatpcdeals.com as well as a Spyware Information site at http://spyware.dugancom.com.

Article Source: http://www.articlemotron.com

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May 30, 2006

Professional Help with Your Computer May Be Cheaper Than You Think

Professional Help with Your Computer May Be Cheaper Than You Think by D. David Dugan

 We all deal with them, those little computer problems that aren’t quite big enough to warrant a call to the Computer Guy.  You know, like every once in a while your camera won’t transfer its pictures the right way.  Or like the times when all of a sudden your computer shuts down for no apparent reason and with no warning whatsoever.  Don’t forget those odd “Run Time Errors” with the crazy numbers in them.  I love those.

The worst part is, you could probably fix some of these things yourself if you just had a little help or guidance.  Calling a professional, while sometimes necessary, can be both a greater inconvenience and of course a greater cost.  It may take forever to contact them, and when you do get in touch with the help desk, they always make you reboot the thing twelve times before you get any real advice.

Let me be clear on a couple things before we continue.  First, I am a professional computer technician and have been working in the industry for over 15 years.  There are numerous occasions where a professional is needed to help with or repair your PC.  It is often my advice to have your system evaluated at least one every three months.  On top of that, there are many things a novice should not try on their PC for fear of causing more harm than good.  Not everything is this way though.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  Your best way to help maintain your computer is by staying informed and educated.  I’m not suggesting everyone run out and get a Computer Science degree, but I am suggesting you use some of the top notch free resources that are available to you.  The largest these days is of course the internet.

Don’t get nervous yet, I’m not suggesting you look up some super hi-tech article and study it until you know it inside and out.  You don’t have to.  The net is full of people who already understand these things and are more than willing to pass some of that understanding on to you.  They do this in forums.

Forums are a wonderful thing.  A lot of forums are actual cyber communities of people who love to talk about various topics.  They have people of varying skill sets, all interacting in a friendly supportive way.  I know there’s a free computer support forum out there with people in it just waiting to answer some of your questions.

So next time those pop ups are driving you crazy, and you can’t reach your favorite help desk, stop by a computer support forum.  You’ll be surprised at how good an experience it can be.

-Dave

D. David Dugan is the president of DD&C (http://www.dugancom.com) and personally helps to maintain their computer support forum at http://forum.dugancom.com as well as their Spyware Information site http://spyware.dugancom.com.

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