When purchasing a new computer, many of us find ourselves at the mercy of the salesperson at the store or the descriptions on an Internet site.
If you don't understand the complex jargon of the computer world, you may go on the assumption that the more it costs, the better it is.
Sure you can "call Dell and order the perfect PC," as the ad says, but only if you know what to ask for.
"In an industry that is constantly changing and upgrading, it is very important to know the right questions before purchasing new equipment or a new computer," Jan Rukstalis, owner of Circuits Computers, said.
John and Jan Rukstalis have been assisting the "technologically challenged" in Payson for nearly six years with their business.
"Today, technology changes so fast that by the time you decide to upgrade your present computer, provided it is capable of being upgraded, the components are no longer being produced," Jan said.
When upgrading is not an option and you decide to buy a new computer, Jan recommends considering these questions before taking out your checkbook.
- hat are you using your computer for currently? What about in the next two or three years? Is your only concern surfing the Internet and sending e-mail or playing resource-hungry games?
- What type of warranty do you need? Many large computer companies are going offshore for technical support, so you may be speaking to a technician in a foreign country if you have a problem.
Some computers do not carry a full-year warranty. Will you have to return the computer to the manufacturer at your expense if you have a problem? How long will they have it and will your data be there when it is returned to you? If it has an on-site warranty, do they have a local representative or will you have to wait for someone to come from Phoenix to get your computer fixed?
- hat kind of devices will you be attaching to your computer? Many new computers are made for USB devices (Universal Serial Bus) only. Do you have a serial device, or perhaps a printer or scanner? Do you need Firewire or wireless technology? Will the new operating system support your old devices and software?
- Do you presently have devices that use a special card or port in your computer? Will that card or port transfer to your new system?
- Do you have to transfer data? What will you use and will it be compatible with your new operating system/computer? Can you add other internal components?
If you don't understand the questions, it may be a good time to go online and find out, or talk to someone who can translate for you.
If a salesperson appears baffled by these questions, this is a good indication that you should shop elsewhere.
"A salesperson needs to know what they are selling, but often, they don't," Jan said. "Ask a lot of questions and do your own research."