Steve Smith, host of your TQA Weekly, explains what questions you need to ask yourself before purchasing any new computer, laptop, or tablet.
Episode #2-34 released on May 20, 2012
There comes a time in your life, maybe a few times, that you are aware that you need to get yourself a new computer. Whether you have it built, or buy a buy a company made computer you have a lot of choices you have to deal with these days. Today, I'll help you get the best computer for your needs.
The first thing we need to look at is use, and potential future uses. This means if your looking for a work computer and potentially a gaming computer, you should be asking if this computer has an upgradeable graphics card, hard drive and ram.
The next question is whether you can upgrade the computer for future iterations of software that will require more speed and memory. This can mean adding more ram, or even swapping out the processor.
And, the last question, the cost of upgrading versus the initial cost of purchase. If the computer is to cost more to upgrade than to purchase a more powerful computer, you may be running into the issue of buying an under powered computer.
Now, which type of device suits your needs? Is this for home use? Do you need a mobile solution? Do you need a full laptop or an ultra light laptop? Do you need a touch screen with a keyboard, or just a tablet. How big a tablet do you really need? Will you use the device for multimedia? Do you do graphic intensive and/or processor intensive tasks? These are only a few of the few dozen questions you should be asking yourself before ever buying a computer, laptop, or tablet like device.
How about we now describe the possible uses of each device before you purchase any of these devices and let's start off with the smallest.
Tablets and tablet like devices are typically designed for light weight gaming, social networking, light business and homework tasks, some music and video editing.
Ultralight laptops, those that exclude the optical drive, can be used like any other laptop, excluding the ability to natively store to or read from an internal optical drive. You do video editing, audio editing, gaming depending on the hardware specifications, business and school related tasks, go onto the internet, etc...
Full laptops can be used like a portable desktop, and provided the specifications are high enough can replace a full desktop. Besides being portable, you can easily do anything a desktop can.
Desktop computers from manufactures like HP, Dell, Acer, etc... typically have various levels of hardware performance, and you can purchase computers for various types of tasks. If you believe you may be interested in high end, graphic and processor intensive tasks, opt for a more powerful desktop, and consider purchasing extra or better ram from a computer store to save on the costs usually incurred in ordering the expensive and underpowered ram offered by these companies.
Custom Desktop Rigs, or Mods, can be built for a virtually unlimited type of tasks. You need to take care in purchasing the right motherboard to be able to expand and improve your performance. When having a custom Desktop built, spend a little more money for a pro-mod computer box that allows for better cooling, and/or quieter performance. This is the option you should consider if your gaming fan, or you could always spend the extra cash to get an Alienware Laptop or Desktop from Dell.
Now, I haven't referred to operating system, and there is a very good reason for this. When you purchase a new computer, short of looking specifically for an Apple or Linux device, you most likely be getting yourself a Windows computer, and this usually means that most, if not all, of your current software and hardware should remain compatible for your new computer. Just to clear up a few details, Apple is not safer than Windows, it is just as easily infected. Linux is safer than both but may require some tinkering with to get it to work exactly the way you want. Ultimately, when you buy your computer, you should, also, consider buying an external hardware, or cloud storage solution to make backups, just in case the unforeseeable does occur.
Next week, I'll dive into the Voodoo that is wireless networking and Linux, explain how to get the perfect Linux solution for your wireless devices, and explain why wireless may not always be working exactly as wanted. Then, the week after that, I'll be taking about MySQL, Password hashing and salting the results, my current program I'm developing and my future experiment into an optional advertisement free web-sites, for a tiny fee, of course.
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Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions
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