NOW YOU DO.
Do you have a name-brand desktop computer you bought several years ago? You don't have to toss it out. It would still make an excellent paper weight or door stop. I got my first personal computer about five years ago. It was a x386 with a 33 MHz processor my company was tossing out. I also got some very sage advice at that time from a Chinese friend (Michael Chang, but not the tennis pro) in the computer business. He said:
"Don't waste your money trying to upgrade that thing.
Take what you can salvage from it and buy a medium tower case.
You should not care about a name brand on the OUTSIDE of the box.
Buy a plain white box and stock it on the INSIDE with the best name brand components."
He was absolutely right. But I was hugely disappointed that he did not call me "Grasshopper."
One major problem with many of the name-brand computers on the market is that they use proprietary equipment. You HAVE to buy components from the original manufacturer in order to upgrade the computer. Sometimes they even use proprietary RAM, so that you can only buy their RAM if you want to upgrade. Also, the video and sound cards are often integrated into the motherboards, meaning that, if you have a problem with the video or sound, you might have to replace the entire motherboard.
If you have a computer custom-made for you, using industry-standard, upgradeable components, you will have a computer which can grow with you. If you run out of hard disk space, you can add another hard disk. If it's too slow, you can upgrade the processor, add more RAM, upgrade to the latest sound or video card you've read about. You can keep up with technology and not be left in the dust. And you can have exactly what you want.
I know a lot about computers, because I have been building systems for several years. I'm the guy at work during my daytime job (telecommunications engineer) to whom people come when they have a problem with their PC and the Help Desk has not responded.
I have been in the Microsoft System Builder Program for years, and I tend to spend my vacation time attending Microsoft seminars and workshops. I also am a member of NASBA - The Association of System Builders and Integrators am a participant in many of the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) programs of manufacturers of major components (such as AMD for CPUs, ATI for graphics, Western Digital for hard drives, etc.) and spend some of my vacations days attending their technology events and have spent the better part of my waking days making computers for myself and for friends to help them find out why the World Wide Web has been the coolest thing since perforated toilet paper.
Every day I learn new ways to do things on my PCs. I have four of them in my home office, networked and sharing a single ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Line or "high speed access") connection. My daytime job allows me to telecommute twice each week, so I can roll out of bed, take a shower, put the coffee on and dress in something comfortable. My commute consists of walking down the stairs. No need to defy death again in Atlanta traffic that day. Life is good.
I have been an avid photographer since I was a child. It always killed me that I had to spend so much money getting film developed. Anyone who has ever really been a photographer has spent a fortune on equipment and the purchase and development of film, unless they had the luxury of a home studio, in which case they bought a lot of very expensive paper, more equipment and those wonderfully aromatic chemicals. And more than one of us, I am sure, has regretted that little ticket from the photo processing place explaining that, if they screw up your precious memories, they will replace the roll. Period.
Buying a digital camera changed my life.
I can take 500 pictures of whatever strikes my fancy and NOT HAVE TO PAY ANYTHING TO HAVE THE PICTURES DEVELOPED.
I can use software which lets ME control how the pictures will come out. Anyone who knows me well knows that I have been running a personal home page for several years and have boatloads of pictures on it, most of which were taken with digital cameras. I decided to take the leap recently and started selling my services as a professional photographer. And my PC can handle it.
I have also been an amateur musician for many years and recently had the good fortune to hook up with a couple of extraordinary musicians and have recorded music with them digitally, on their PCs. We did not have to pay anyone $ 50 per hour to use their microphones and equipment, because these guys have invested in the best equipment money can buy. And they have computer systems which can handle it.
If you are someone who wants to get a very inexpensive PC, ("Bottom-line, what's the cheapest?") I would gladly refer you to any number of fine retailers in the area. They have inexpensive, name-brand computers, which come pre-loaded with just TONS of software and a handy disc, which will enable you to "repair" your PC by formatting the hard drive, reinstalling the operating system and the basic software it came with and DESTROYING ALL OF YOUR DATA. Unless of course, you heeded a friend's advice and BACKED UP YOUR DATA. Sure. And I bet your virus definition files are up to date.
The truth is, there is absolutely no way that I can compete with the major electronics outlets and computer stores in the area. They have the ability to buy hundreds or thousands of components or entire systems. I go to them all the time. I end up buying a lot of stuff at those stores. I am an "early adopter" of many technologies and know where to buy the best components. The difference between most people and me is that I know what I'm looking for at those stores.
PCs are like cars. You can buy the latest Korean import, whatever the best-selling car in America is, an old rust heap from a friend for a couple of hundred dollars, perhaps. Maybe you are the kind of person who has reached a point in your life where your hard work and ambition have paid off and you can afford a wonderful luxury car, precision engineered by Germans, the most anal-retentive engineers in the world (I'm half German - I can say it).
You can have a run-of-the-mill clone or you can have a CUSTOM car. With all the best stuff under the hood. You don't have to worry about whether or not it's got enough horsepower to get you on to the Information Superhighway, whether or not you can hook up more stuff to it, like that digital camera you've had your eye on, or whether or not it will be able to handle the computer game you were thinking of buying or maybe even recording a track or two of you and your friends, when they come over to play guitar.
It can handle it and when it can't, it can be UPGRADED to whatever becomes the latest and greatest.
I am a consultant. I am selling my expertise. If you are interested in getting the kind of computer which will enable you to follow your dreams, then lets talk.
Let me make a computer for you.
Thanks for your time,
Stephen H. Moore
phone: (678) 521-4265
address: 1303 Townley Place
Marietta, GA 30066-4062
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