Final Thoughts

Here are some ideas to keep in mind as you finalize your computer selection.


Training is like money. You can never have too much of it. No matter how skilled you are with computers, there is always more to learn. Identify the type of training you need and schedule it so it ends just about the time you take delivery of your new computer. That way, you’ll have something to practice on and your newly acquired skills will remain fresh.

Installation and Testing

It’s a rare piece of computer equipment or software that works correctly straight out of the box. Allow yourself some time to set up and test your new system after it arrives.

Tax Considerations

If you do any business at home, you may be able to depreciate some or all of the cost of your new computer on your taxes. Consult your tax adviser for expert advice.

Maintenance and Service

Sometime during the life of your new computer system, it will need to be serviced. If you bought a brand name computer, select a repair shop that’s part of the manufacturer’s authorized service network. Don’t buy extended warranties or service agreements. They aren’t cost effective. Instead, keep all your receipts and warranties and pay to repair your out-of-warranty equipment on an as-needed basis. You’ll save yourself a bundle.

Don’t treat your computer system as a onetime purchase. Treat it as an ongoing expense. Allocate about 33% of the total cost of your entire computer system (including both hardware and software) to annual maintenance, service and upgrades. Assume that all computer hardware has a maximum service life of three years. Assume that all your software will need to be upgraded every 18 months. Maintenance and upgrades can be delayed if your financial situation requires it, but a point of diminishing returns is reached sometime after three years. At that point, the effort required to upgrade hardware exceeds the cost of replacing it. Delayed maintenance may actually be more expensive in the long run because catastrophic system failures are more likely to occur as the equipment nears the end of its theoretical service life. In other words, delayed maintenance may result in higher long term costs.

Don’t Wait !

Never wait for better technology to come to market. That’s a prescription for endless procrastination. Better technology has a habit of coming to market moments after you make your purchase.

Don’t Second Guess Yourself

Don’t check the newspapers or magazines for prices after you make your purchase. There will always be a better deal somewhere and knowing it will drive you crazy and dampen your enthusiasm for your new computer. Although buyer’s remorse is very common, it’s also pointless. The key is to accept that fact that the computer industry is changing so fast that everything you buy will become obsolete within a very short time.

It’s Déja Vu All Over Again

After about a year, revisit all the assumptions you originally made when you first selected your new computer. It’s likely that the way you actually end up using your computer is probably going to be different from the way you originally envisioned it. Computer use tends to change over time so it’s very likely that your once brand new computer will need some upgrades and some reconfiguration.