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What Computer Do I Buy?

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What computer do I buy? This document is intended to help you make that choice. Hopefully you will be more prepared when you think about buying a new computer and get the right configuration for your needs. Considering you are starting a business from home, it is almost a must to have a personal computer in your house. But even if you weren't, computers and the Internet already form a big part of today's life, and you don't want to be left out. Hardware You want to buy a computer that lasts. If you buy a computer that is already outdated, you might run the risk that you are not able to run the latest software on it. A computer is as fast as it slowest components. This means that you can have a fast computer, but if a components like a hard disk slows down the computer, you might have just wasted lots of money on a high speed CPU that will never be fully utilized. That's why this document also talks about some technical specifications that might be important for you. Computer options, hardware CPU The CPU (Central Processing Unit) or processor is the heart of the computer. There are many different types of CPU's and with different types of speeds. The CPU in a large part, determines how fast the computer will be and what capabilities your machine will have. Older computers might still have 486 CPU's but all new computer have a Pentium chip. These Pentium CPU's come in different types and speeds. You have a choice of Intel Pentium III, Pentium 4 or Celeron CPUs, and AMD Athlon XP, Athlon, and Duron CPUs. ...read more.


32X, 48X, 72X etc. DVD-ROM, is a different kind of CD-ROM that can read the same kind of CD's as a standard CD-ROM, and on top of that it can read DVD-ROMs. One single DVD-ROM can store up to 6.4 GB of software which is 8 times the size of a conventional CD-ROM. DVD-ROM also gives you the possibility to view Digital movies on your desktop, although you also require a MPEG2 decoder card. A CD (CD-RW) gives you the possibility to record your own CD's, both data and/or Music up to 800 MB of data or 80 minutes of music. The speed of writing a CD is from to 2x to 12x. At 2x speed it takes 1 hour to record 800 MB of data, at 12X it takes less than 5 minutes. CD-recorders can be purchased for as low as 50 pounds and blank CD's are approximately 50p-�1 each. A great way to make backups for your work, copy software and create your own music CD's. A DVD ReWritable (DVD-RW) drive functions in the same way a CD-RW but has much greater capacity. Recommended as optional equipment: 1 DVD-ROM 10X or faster (only if you want to watch movies on your computer) and 1 CD-ReWritable 8X/32X or faster (for backing-up your work). Modem Modems are used to either connect to the Internet through a phone line or send or receive fax documents through a phone line. Most computers come with a modem. Most modems are 56K V.90 modems which indicates the speed of the modem. 56K is the maximum speed you can achieve with a so-called dail-up modem. To get more speed for Internet usage, you will have to go to DSL or Cable modem connections. ...read more.


Recommendation Norton Anti-virus 2000, this version has the automatic update so it will detect and download updates every time you're online. (This will save you from having to remember.) Desktop Publishing. There are various desktop publishers, Adobe Pagemaker (�375), Microsoft Publisher 2000 (�65) and QuarkXPress (�575). Unless you are a professional Desktop publisher, I think Microsoft Publisher is good enough. Possibilities include making fliers, brochures, booklets, newspapers and small magazines. Photo editing. Again lots of different choices with different options. Aldus photo styler, Adobe Photoshop LE (�69), Microsoft Photodraw 2 (�70 ), Paint Shop Pro (�75). Recommendation: In my personal opinion Paint Shop Pro is excellent as beginners and professionals can use it. Printshop / Creativity These programs allow you to make greeting cards, banners, labels, crafts and come with lots of clipart (color drawings and pictures). Various different titles like Print shop and Printmaster. Windows XP also has a very good picture printing utility. Recommendation : We have had good results with Printmaster Platinum, cost �40. Basic Book keeping. Quickbooks 2000 (�50), Quicken 2000 (�30 ) Additional Information Where to put the computer The best spot to install your computer is the living room. This way, if you have children, you have control over what they do on the computer. Also a computer is an instrument to make life easier. A computer can be used to work but it can also be used to play, help you find information, and let you become more creative. Problems and Support You can buy a computer from a company like Dell, or Gateway and get technical support with it. I have only had good experience with Gateway's technical support service as long as you keep buying everything from them (both hardware and software). As soon as you buy something through another source, they will not support it and tell you to contact that manufacturer. ...read more.

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