Moving to a New Computer  


Whether you're a consumer thinking of getting a new computer, or
a small business in need of a technology overhaul, there are three questions to ask:

  1. Should I repair my computer, or should I replace it?
     

  2. If I replace the computer, what should I buy?
     

  3. How do I get back up and running quickly?


Repairing vs. Replacing a Computer

The general rule of thumb is this: if you were happy with the computer before its current problem, and if repairing the problem will not cost more than a replacement, then you are better off with a repair. There are two financial reasons for this: technology deflation, and the value of your time.

Technology deflation is an important consideration that can be summarized this way: if a repair allows you to put off a purchase for a couple of more years, then by the time you purchase your replacement computer you will be getting more bang for your buck than if you purchase now. This is because the technology industry has been driving up power and driving down costs at a steady pace for decades.

The value of your time is another important consideration in the repair vs replacement equation, because any time you switch to a new computer, you will spend at least some amount of time migrating from one computer to the other (although as you will see below, we can help you with that too.)


Buying a Replacement

You can buy a computer anywhere, including local "big box" retailers, office supply stores, and online. However, before deciding, there are some important things to keep in mind. At the retail end of the market, computers are a commodity item. That means the manufacturers and retailers make little or no money, and consequently they cut corners. They will heavily promote "numbers" such as memory size or hard disk capacity, while internally using cheap parts. They also make marketing deals with various software vendors and pack those computers full of mostly useless junk software that you don't want and gets in your way. Further, the retailers will work hard to sell you a non-manufacturer extended warranty because that's the only way they can make money. These warranties can become worthless if the retailer goes out of business (e.g., Circuit City), or can tie you in to using the slow repair services provided by the retailer. Another factor in buying retail is that you need to know that some retail brands have worse reliability than others, and even good brands push poorer quality "consumer grade" computers through the retail channel.

So what do you do? You might check with us first for current advice on brands and components to avoid, though we can't get more specific on this web page for liability reasons.

If you'd rather avoid the purchasing process, we're happy to do it for you. Give us a sense of what you are looking for, and we'll research and propose a quality solution for you. Our preference is to purchase business-grade computers even for non-business customers, because customer satisfaction is higher, although the cost is generally still very good. Our goal is to propose a computer to you that combines solid value with solid quality, therefore our focus is not so much on "numbers" as on the likelihood that you will be happy for years to come. That means we don't push either unrealistically cheap products or overpriced hardware that doesn't really give good value compared to cost. We purchase only new computers from quality manufacturers - usually Dell, and if you want an extended warranty, we will get it straight from the manufacturer rather than a third party.

Is there a downside to this strategy? Only time - custom ordered computers usually take a week or so to be configured and shipped.


Migrating to the New Computer

Getting up and running quickly on a new computer can be a major hassle. If you are knowledgeable on computer internals, or you have plenty of time to kill, you can do it all on your own. However if you're like most of our customers, you're busy and would rather have someone take those many hours of migration hassle off of your plate.

Whether or not you buy a new computer through us, we can help you with the migration process - that is, removing manufacturer "junkware", optimizing the operating system for peak performance, reinstalling your important programs, setting you up with virus and backup protection, and moving all of your data (documents, pictures, videos, email, favorites, etc.)  Our goal is to make moving to a new computer as painless for you as possible.

Best of all, if you do buy your new computer through us, we'll package the migration service as part of the purchase price, so there is no extra charge.