Dwight Watt Georgia Kiwanian Article
Buying a new computer
It is the Christmas season and many are looking to buy a new computer for themselves or for someone else. What do you get? This month I have some suggestions.
If you already have a computer and it does what you want then there is no reason to get a new one. Older computers work well quite often for just doing word processing, e-mail and internet uses.
If you do want a new computer or for someone else here are my basic suggestions.
These are for the average user, not the PC gamer, graphic artist or other high
- 2.7ghz processor or faster. (AMD and Intel are both good processors)
- 512 megabytes oir memory or more. (you could get less, but pricing is such that you will probably find 512 is bottom price)
40-80 gigabyte hard drive or bigger.
- CD-ROM drive (To do better get a CD-RW or DVD drive)
- 100 mhz network card (need for a local area network(LAN), DSL or cable connection)
- 56 kbps modem (if using LAN, DSL, or cable it is optional; and could be a backup connection)
- 17 inch monitor (you could get 15 inch but price difference is minimal and view is significantly)
You can find excellent brand-name and store-brand computers at good prices if you shop. Look for 6-12 month old technology to get best deals. Whether brand-name or store-brand most computers same inside.
- Flat panel monitor (more desktop space, good viewing, but more money)
- Wireless keyboard and mouse
- DVD-ROM drive (watch DVD movies)
- DVD-RW drive (Record DVD or CDs)
- Speaker and microphones (comes standard with many computers)
- Video capture card (connect cable TV to computer or VCR to computer)
Once you get the computer and you now need to know how to use it I would suggest you contact your local technical college. They offer training both in credit classes and continuing education classes for everyone from no experience to experts. In addition check out any colleges or universities in your area.
- Windows XP (Home edition unless on a work domain network should be fine)
- Office (Microsoft is most popular, WordPerfect and Sun also have acceptable products lots cheaper)
- Install all service packs on Windows using Windows Update
- Anti-virus software (Norton and McAfee are leaders) Get new copy each year. My personal preference is Norton.
- Anti-spyware software (Spybot S & D and Adaware are available free for
personal use and good programs)