NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article
Upgrades - Thoughts About Needs and Wants
by Betty Davis, Vice President - September 97
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Let me start with a caveat...these ramblings are as of September 1, and I may change my mind again before this reaches you, but I've been giving the whole business of upgrades a lot of serious thought the past week or so.

I urge everyone to do the same BEFORE you definitely decide to upgrade. Sit down and ask yourself what you use your computer for. Word processing? Bookkeeping? E-mail? Internet? Games? Publishing? Or all of the above?

Let your usage dictate what you need in a computer. My old machine was adequate except that the CD-ROM kept freezing and I was running Windows 3.11. Some of the software I was interested in was on CD-ROM only and Win95 only. So I considered changing the CD-ROM and going for Win95. Also, I had a 486SX/33. That is a very slow machine in this day and age, and the SX means it didn't have a math coprocessor. Several times I've run into software programs where the minimum requirement was at least a 486/66. So I decided to get a faster CPU, also.

And I've been irritated with the desk space I have. There is only one place in the house where I can keep my computer and the monitor was nearly crowded off the desk, so I decided I would like a tower while I was at it.

I'm a fanatic about doing backups and spend a lot of time feeding disks into the machine. ..after awhile it's like feeding quarters into a losing slot machine. Anyway, I figured I could use my time more constructively...like scrubbing floors, or something. (Let's face it, my hard drive is a lot cleaner than my floors but I don't plan to eat off either of them). So I thought a Zip drive would be nice, too.

Somewhere there is a moral to this, and I guess it boils down to: If you really need something, go for it. But if you want an upgrade just because someone else has something bigger and better, think carefully about it because most people use their computer at about 30% of its capacity. If you aren't going to use the upgrade then it's a waste of money, and you wind up with a one way ticket for an expensive guilt trip.

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