is it time for a new computer?

The computer you are using to view this web page may be getting a bit "long in the tooth".  Perhaps it takes longer to boot-up after being shut down, or it won't run some programs or features on certain websites.  Will a software clean-up suffice, or perhaps a few select component upgrades?  Or is it time to bite the bullet and buy a new computer.  The answer, of course, is never quite as simple as we want.

If your computer originally came with anything older than Windows XP, it should be replaced.  Windows 95, Windows 98, and Windows Millennium Edition are all built around a framework (called the "kernel") that is fundamentally different than the kernel of Windows XP, Vista, or 7.  Windows XP may lack some of the features and security enhancements of Windows 7, but fully updated, it can be a relatively secure platform.  No amount of updates, patches, or security add-ons can change the way older versions of Windows fundamentally interact with the world. 

The key question to ask though, is "what do I want to do?"  Depending on your needs, the addition of some memory or a larger hard drive may be enough.  In most cases, both of those upgrades can be done in the $100 range.  Because of the strange economics of computers and the way technology advances, it can be more expensive to upgrade than to buy new in many circumstances.

If you want to get another 3 years use, or play whatever game came out last month with life-like graphics, a new computer may be your best option.

If you aren't familiar with the technology underneath, it's a wise move to sit down with 'the family computer geek' and assess your options with your proposed budget in mind.  I will be more than happy to consult with customers, free of charge (regardless of where you choose to spend your upgrade budget) and help them to make an informed decision.