What should I consider before buying a computer?
The best way to deal with obsolescence is to
realize, as with calculators in the past, that after about 4 years,
you will need to consider getting a new computer. Plan to get the
benefit of your investment over the computer's useful life. Buy a
computer with consideration for your current needs.
One of the greatest advantages of a computer is
its ability to expand. A computer that is expandable will allow you
to add more storage space, memory, and other peripherals. This
prevents you from having to purchase up front what you are not
convinced you will use immediately or at all. Expandability will guard
against your computer becoming obsolete too quickly.
You have to plan to be careful with your computer. If it
is portable, you have to be particularly careful. You must be on your
guard against theft and consider getting a "rider" for the computer on
your renter's insurance policy.
When you own your system, it is up to you to keep the
information on the disks secure and "backed-up". Computers sometimes
fail; when they do, it is usually at the worst possible moment. It is
important to treat the data on your disks as a valuable commodity that
needs to be protected.
You must be ready to repair your computer if it fails.
If you are willing to take a risk and are able to replace parts on
your computer yourself, you can save money and learn more about your
machine. Otherwise, consider extended warranties or a maintenance
agreement for your computer.
For more information about Computer-Aided Engineering's recommendations for a new computer purchase, see