What the pressmen always ask me…

by admin on August 7, 2008

Every once in a while, one of the pressmen walks into prepress and up to my desk to tap deeply into the fountain of insightful deep computer knowledge that is stored in my brain. What is the question that they always ask me? What do they so desperately want to know? What is the answer that only this prepress guru can give to their satisfaction?

"Hey DJ, what sort of computer should I buy for my kids?"

Well, I'm here to serve you with answers that are both delightful yet with a little bit of spice to add that special zing. Here goes:

You buy the cheapest computer you can find at Wal-mart. Or Costco. Or Dell mail-order if you are too lazy to drive.

Now I suppose you want an explain to go with the answer. The pressmen always do. It's like they don't trust me or something:

Eight years ago, waayyy back in year 2000, people used computers at home to 1) Play games 2) Surf internet 3) use Microsoft Office. At present, in year 2008, people use computers to 1) Play games 2) Surf internet 3) use Microsoft Office. And the only difference is that PCs in year 2008 are waaaaaayyyy more powerful than the PC sold in year 2000.

Now it's conceivable that the kid you have at home wants to play the latest version of Crysis and has to have the best NVIDA graphics card. But I doubt that very much because if the kid needed that graphics card, he would have told you already. Essentially, expensive computers are only needed by two types of people: 1) Hard core gamers and business travelers who are on a plane 200 days of the years and need the absolute lightest laptop with with the best batteries.

Now, why do I say you should buy from Walmart or Costco or Dell? Well, the most important thing to check with a PC vendor is the return policy. If your PC proves to be a lemon and blows in the first year for whatever reason, you want to deal with a vendor who has a great return policy. Translation: You don't want the computer fixed, you want it replaced. Ergo, shops with staff that (pretend to) fix computers are worst places to buy a computer.

Repeat: If your computer breaks down in the first year, you want it replaced not fixed. Walmart and Costco are great for that.

{ 2 comments }

Jim August 7, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Tell them to buy a Mac if they don’t want to be a virus expert and want ease of use. I do agree that the return policy is great at Wal-mart and Costco, but I have one better. Sam’s Club has a 6 month return policy no questions asked.

But I still say go with a Mac.

Jason August 8, 2008 at 8:14 pm

I always tell people that ask for advice to buy a nice monitor. 20″ plus LCD, for what they cost now. Most computers now come with an LCD though so it is less of a concern.

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