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Do I need new hardware?

This newsletter will help you determine whether you need new computerhardware equipment.

First, what is "hardware"?
Literally, it is any computer equipment that you can trip over. Any piece of yourcomputer that you can grab and toss across the room is hardware. Including theCD-ROM and/or floppy disks that your software comes on!

Now, here is my question to you:

Does your current hardware do what you want or need it to do?
No?  Then, of course you need new hardware.
Yes?  Then leave it alone!

Exception — Year 2000 Compliance
There is an important exception to the above question.  Is your hardwareYear 2000 compatible? One way to check is to ask your hardware vendor.

Do your office workers need to share data, printers, faxingcapability, etc.?
No?  Then you're fine!
Yes?  Then you need a computer network.

A network is a system of two or more computers connected togethervia cables and other hardware that can give an office the ability to share data,file storage space, printers, faxing capability, Internet access, etc.

For more information about networks, see our Newsletter, Whatis a Network? Why Should I Network?.

Why do you need new hardware?
If you need to use any of the software being sold today, you need at a minimumhardware no older than four years old hardware — possibly with memory and/orhard drive upgrades — in order to keep it singing and dancing.

You can use older hardware, but can this can get to thepoint where you find yourself waiting 20 minutes for your system to start so thatyou can wait another 10-20 minutes for your software to start so that you canthen wait another 5-10 minutes to open your file so you can work… Time enoughto brew a pot of coffee and practically drink the whole pot. Don't laugh —we've replaced such systems!

For more information about software, see our Newsletter, DoI Need New Software?.

What is the difference between "clone" and "namebrand" hardware?
“Clone" hardware — hardware that is IBM compatible — comesin two flavors:

(1)  Those produced for the general public by many retailoutlets including mail-order, computer "super-stores" and small retailshops. These systems are sometimes put together with the cheapest parts that thebuilder can buy and last about as long as you'd expect for a low low price. 

(2)  Those produced by reputable systems service businessesthat have an idea of what name brand pieces work together based on their yearsof experience in the field. An advantage that clone systems have is that you canget parts for them literally anywhere.

"Name brand" hardware is hardware made by a large corporationthat numerous people know and have bought from for one reason or other. Thesecan vary from "they had the lowest price" to "well, they make greatprinters!" These companies use most of the same parts that any good manufacturerwould, sometimes along with hardware that they manufacture themselves. A disadvantagewith name brand systems is that you can usually only get parts from the manufacturer,period.

Computer Technology Solutions builds clone systems from known good componentsand we have excellent results with them.  For instance other than hard drivefailure (which has increased 600% in the last 3 years) we have a repair rate ofless than 10% on our quality systems.

When do I need new hardware?
You may need new hardware under the following circumstances:

  • Usually when you upgrade your operating and/or network system. You may needmore memory, bigger hard drives, faster video cards and/or whole new computersystems to run these items.
  • Sometimes when you add software. This can be as simple as needing a biggerhard drive to hold this software, or your computers might not be up to the jobof running that software.
  • You hire new employees.
  • Your computers are wearing out or just too slow.

As you can see, the hardware you use does make a difference! Determineyour needs and the hardware's capabilities and recommendations well before buying,or you'll be waiting a long time with your coffee…

How can Computer Technology Solutions. help my business?
We can help you find out what hardware you really need for your business. We canhelp you install it, set it up, and organize your data in a manner you would organizeyour paper data so you can find it easy to use.

If you need a network of computers, we can design a one to fityour office's needs, help you organize it, provide you with good equipment ata fair price and support it.

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