Computer Purchasing Advice from Cindy O'Hora
Some of my readers have written asking me for advice about what products to buy. I'm not going to give specific product advice. There are just too many parameters about your Mac and how you use it today and will use it in the future, to give individuals sound advise. I will, however, give you the strategy I employ to reach a comfortable decision.
First, I go to MacWorld Magazine's site.
I check out their Buyer's Guide. Searching for a rating on the specific product I'm after.
I also look for articles in general about what I am interested in purchasing. They often have very informative articles comparing products like scanners, monitors, digital cameras, modems, categories of software and so on.
Once I arrive at a decision on a specific product I go to deal-mac's web site.
- They track the prices of Mac stuff available on the web, in catalogues and in retail stores. Specific postings are contributed by readers as well. Search the archive for what you are looking for. The site is updated frequently.
There is no charge to check their resources before you plunk down your hard earned cash. I think they should be sainted!
I have gotten RAM at the best price along with software deals like Stuffit for $29.95 thanks to their timely info.
- c/net also offers a price comparison web site for tech purchases.
I resist immediately jumping on the new stuff bandwagon.
There are many examples of people who buy fancy new software/equipment when it is released. They find themselves discovering conflicts or incompatibilities the developer was not aware of. This can lead to minor or major problems which negate the value of your purchase.
I wait at least a few months. I watch the net and check at my local Macintosh User Group for any problems. Every meeting someone brings up a product and sounds members out about their experiences using it. This dialog alone makes it worth joining your local MUG.
" He who hesitates is sometimes saved." ~unknown
Develop some vision of your future use of your computer.
- Are you considering making a web site?
- Are you drooling over the idea of scanning images?
- Are you still using a Plus, LC or Performa (pre PowerMac)?
- Are you considering going into serious desktop publishing?
If you are using your Mac for personal correspondence, internet access and email, or the occasional database mailing label adventure, you can do that effectively for many years without upgrading.
I have friends who have souped up an old Mac to meet their need for years. I would suggest though that they have met their match with the release of OSX.
OSX is the future for Mac and its' release is right around the corner in Q3 1999. I know that I'm not going to upgrade my Performa 637CD (040) to run it. It is time for me to look at and save up for a G3.
I won't buy the top of the line G3. I'll watch for a run of price drops of a mid level G3. When the price holds in the low 1000's. I'll upgrade. (I scan the catalogues each week for the specials!)
The good news is that since I my monitor is separate from my CPU, I don't have to buy a new monitor! That saves me at least $300 on a new computer. (I'm not fond of all in one computers for this and other reasons.)
Good Luck on your purchasing!
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©2001 Cynthia O'Hora All rights reserved. Posted 10/2001
This site is an entirely volunteer effort. I am not associated with Apple Computers or any of its subsidiaries.