Buying a Computer

Sometimes it is as important to know what not to buy as it is to know what is good to buy. This blurb offers both.

First, what to buy. Apple, apple, apple. My own personal favorite is the Macbook. Not just any Macbook. It has to have at least 2 gig memory, intel hardware, superdvd drive, external 1gig USB storage, airport card, wireless mouse and keyboard, video cable to use an external monitor, spare battery, powersupply, externally powered USB hub, at least a 120gig hard drive, and another external passport 120gig drive for the time machine backup software.

All the items described above will allow you to use the most recent OS-X software, WindowsXP in dual boot (if you must), default to the most reliable system available (OS-X). This setup is an excellent desk top solution and still provides the best in portable operation. The system is as fast as anything else out there and fully multi media capable. It can even do Netflix on OS-X as well as WindowsXP. Only use WindowsXP professional with ONLY SP2 and no versions of Explorer more recent than 7 with 6 preferred. Get updated and disable automatic updates. Get a personal firewall installed. One that monitors when programs want to connect to the internet. Then disable all those stupid programs that insist on calling home everytime you use them. Just disable the calling home feature, not the program itself. It is not good to let the software supplier update his software without letting you know in advance how that update will effect you. This is particularly true about software that is rarely used.

All that above software and hardware will cost around $2000 or less depending on if you buy new or used. It will be a complete and final answer to any computer needs you may ever have as concerns a personal computer.

Most all the above features can also be had at lower cost ($1000) by opting for a used iBook to support all the peripherals. It will be slower and less capable but the only feature you loose will be the ability to run Windows.

Now, what not to get. The easy answer is everything else. Specifically, avoid Dell, HP, Acer, and other first and third party vendors of complete systems. If you must to the PC route, build your own. Don’t use budget parts. Get new parts and go for quality. Read user reviews before you buy. Buy on-line mail order to avoid having to pay sales tax.

Do not try to build your own laptop. Panasonic and Sony make decent laptops. All others are junk.

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