Byte Me Article 181 – Where should I buy my pc

Where Should I Buy My PC

Part 3 of 10 – Computer Ownership

This article is the third of our 10 part mini-series of self-help articles covering all facets of computer ownership.  This week we cover the topic – where should I buy my PC?  This is not as simple a topic as you would think as there are many factors to consider.  With the proliferation of IT devices & their increasing use, everyone wants to get in on the IT retail act with many retail vendors saying ‘any sale is a good sale’ however the flip side to this is not always true.  Not every purchase is a good one.

We get to see a large number of customers that have purchased from a diverse range of vendors – from local back yard sole traders to online purchases from large computer retail outlets in Brisbane.  One of the important considerations is – what level of IT proficiency do you already possess? In other words – what happens if something goes wrong?  With all of the ‘so called’ advances in computer power and intelligent software one thing is for sure – the setup and use of computers is NOT getting any simpler!

You may strike a super friendly salesperson at a retail outlet but who will you be able to deal with if you need support on the setup of your emails or a wireless printer for instance?  Who will you deal with if you have a virus or software corruption (never covered under a manufacturers’ warranty) & who will you deal with if the hardware becomes faulty?  In the above cases, will the PC need to be sent away or will it be fixed locally and what are the time frames for these various scenarios?

The next thing to consider is whether you need information transferred to this new PC from a previous one?  If you do need information transferred is it just some photos or do you also want all of your emails and address book, your Internet favourites, your documents, your family tree maker or even your accounting software transferred as well?  It rarely works well if you are buying a new PC from shop X but getting IT business Y to transfer everything.

From last week’s article about software – is the salesperson aware of the differences between the various versions of Microsoft Office and the fact that it is illegal to use Office Home & Student in a business situation?  Does the salesperson know exactly what you want to use the PC for?  The best idea here is to make a list of all of the software that you use on the existing PC and take that list with you to lessen the chance of a regretful purchase.

When you consider the above points it becomes clearer that if you are only after a tablet PC with a simple Android operating system and if you are already proficient with the use of such a device then your place of purchase options will be very broad.  If however you want a more complex PC and have specific software or hardware requirements then you need to be talking to a professional IT sales & support company that has been around for a while.

Below are a few more PC purchase problems that we have seen.  PC’s purchased with a home use operating system such as Windows 7 Home Premium for use on a businesses’ domain network – no use without an upgrade.  PC’s purchased for use on a wireless network when they didn’t have a wireless network card.  Desktop PC’s purchased for use on a rural power grid without proper power surge protection such as a UPS.  Expensive high end gaming PC’s purchased only for basic Internet browsing and emails which often fail because of their overall complexity and extra failure points.  And standard PC’s sold as network servers to unknowing business customers.

Because of all of the hardware and software options the purchase of a PC is way more complex than even the purchase of a car.  When I need to talk to a customer about such a purchase I plan on spending around 30mins to an hour to go through all of the options including a backup system!  Next week’s topic – what happens when I get it home? 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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