...When Buying a New Desktop and Fixing Your Old One.
Welcome to a new mini-series of blog posts I've decided to start writing. To begin with, let me tell you why I'm doing this. I'm doing this because so many people don't know enough about computers. Even I have tons of questions to be asked, and almost all the people I know are completely clueless! The other problem is that most people that don't know the answer can just go down to their local CompUSA, Circuit City, Best Buy, etc. and the "friendly sales people" will give them all the answers they need, right? WRONG! That just about brings us to tip number one:

1. Sales people, IT Guys, and Computer Technicians only want your money. This may seem kind of wrong, but the vast majority (not all) of the people listed above only want as much money as they can sucker out of you. I see it all the time. Most of these tips will inform you on the dangers of Sales People and their sinister ways, but let me just tell you this: Most of the ITs and Computer Techs I've talked to, I usually have question. Hard questions. Most of the time all I get is a stupid look on their face. All they know how to do is say, "Well, we have a wide variety of memory over here..." When you say your computer is running slow. They can't answers questions like, "If I have a 2.5Ghz Core 2 Duo E7200, do you think I could over clock it enough...". You get the point, right? They basically just want your money.

2. A faster processor/CPU doesn't ALWAYS make your computer run faster. I hear it all the time in Computer Stores. "My computer is runnin' slow. What's it need?". Rather than responding with a, "It may need some more memory, but it could also be spy ware and unused programs. I'd be happy to help If you bring it in...", you get a, "Well we just got some brand new Core 2 Duos in overstock. If you want we can get you one for only $204.00 with a brand new motherboard to fit it!." This is the OLDEST computer scam in history. When your computer is running slow, you mean, "My programs take forever to open up and respond." Correct? Then what you need is new or more memory. Or maybe less programs open. At the max you should have Word, Internet Explorer, and Outlook (email) open at the same time. Maybe your music program as well. Try not to have a million programs at once, okay? Also, you could have viruses and malware on your PC. Try getting that checked out, it could help.

3. Salesmen KNOW who to go after; women, rednecks, and the elderly. It's true. They will sucker you out of every penny you've got, because they expect you don't know any better. Instead of saying "My computer's runnin' slow...", say, "My computer's been acting a little funny lately, but I'm not sure what the matter is. It seems to be [opening applications slower/booting up slower/etc.] Can you help?". This brings a whole other level of respect to the deal, and most of the time the salesman will respond accordingly. Just try it, it always works for me.

4. Big time retailers aren't always the best places to go first. In my experiences, the best place to go when buying a new computer is smaller "Maw n' Paw" computer stores. They are usually friendlier, and can almost always get you a better deal. They may not always have everything you need, but I always start here. Look around! There's almost always one or two in you city or neighborhood.

5. Know their lingo, because they know yours. Here are a few phrases and terms you may need to know if you're buying a new computer, but don't know much about them:

  • RAM/Memory - Most people confuse "Memory" with "Hard Drive Capacity/Size". Your memory is not how much data you can store on your computer, but determines how fast it can open applications, files, start up, etc. It is the same thing as RAM. Most computers now- a-days need about 1 Gigabyte (or Gb) of RAM. Anything more than that is almost superfluous for Internet/Photos/E-Mail/etc.
  • Operating System/OS - You operating system is basically the desktop on which your computer runs. Most people have a Windows operating system, usually Windows XP. If you have a DELL, Gateway, HP, IBM, Acer, eMachines computer, etc., you have a Windows based PC.
  • Vista - Windows Vista is the newest operating system from Windows. BE FOREWARNED: Just because it's new does NOT mean it's better. While it does offer some nice new features not found in other versions of Windows, Windows Vista has been experience both software and hardware issues and I do NOT recommend it for anyone with little experience. Instead, stick with....
  • XP - Windows XP is an oldy but a goody. This is the most tried and true operating system available in my opinion. If you get the option between it and Vista, take XP. Just trust me on that one

Well that's about all the tips I can give you, but I will probably do some more "Tech Tips for the Uninformed and Elderly" posts in the near future, on different subjects. Until that time comes, Michael, out.

"The most overlooked advantage of owning a computer is that if they foul up there's no law against whacking them around a bit."
-Eric Porterfield.


Alex S. said...

hey this will really help the uniformed (maybe the elderly) but this has even helped me