Sunday, September 24, 2006

What kind of computer should I buy?

A couple of years ago I found this letter in a dustbin by Big Benny (as I call it) and decided to hold on to it until blogs were invented so that I could blog it. It's from Samantha Screech:

"To whom it may concern:

I want to get a new computer, but when it comes to computers I just don't know what I'm doing. When it comes to getting a new one, I know even less, which means I know a negative amount I guess. What kind of computer should I buy? What are the details to look for? Should I get Windows or Apples? Should I get a zip drive or a hard drive?

Oh, this letter is horrid. I'm going to crumple it up and throw it away and start all over again.

Samantha the throw awayer."

Well, Samantha, assuming you still need help, here I am. I will help you because you're too stupid to make such a big decision on your own.

Buying a computer is like buying a slave if you lived in the Roman days: you want to pick the right one because you want it to run fine and have good memory, you don't want it to crash or get a virus and die, not to mention they come in different colors and may come from other countries and should have a number on them. There are some that work fine forever, and some that take forever to do what you tell it to. Overall, it is a very important decision that will have a profound effect on your life. Fortunately owning a computer is not illegal like slavery is now, but us programmers have to be careful not to accidentally program a consciousness into the computer or else it might be illegal and we have to shut it down.

There are certain specs (short for "specifics" I think) that you need to be aware of when computer shopping. Does it have enough RAM? Does it have enough ROM? Does it have enough of the other important stuff?

Of course, exactly what specs you should look for depends on what you want to make the computer do. Just as a Roman wouldn't buy a crippled slave to build the Parthenon, you don't want to buy something like a Mac if you want to do something useful. Instead, you would buy a Bill Gates computer.

RAM stands for "RAndoM" I think, which somehow has to do with memory. When I was talking to a computer expert at a conference, he said RAM is like a desk, and the more stuff you have on the desk the heavier the desk is and if it's too heavy in breaks apart. So don't put too much stuff on the RAM, just stick it in your computer and leave it alone. I repeat, leave it alone!

The hard drive is important. That's like a computer's brain if it were alive. So is the processor, which is a little thing somewhere on the motherboard, which is a green thing with shiny lines going all over the place. Basically, you want to make sure the harddrive has enough bytes. I know what you're thinking, what are bytes? Well, a bit is a 0 or a 1 because computers use binary to talk to itselfs. Eight bits make a byte, and so many bytes make a kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte, terrabyte, and so on and so forth, you get the idea. So make sure it has enough of those.

(By the way, there's a funny joke I know: There are 2 types of people in this world: those who know binary and those who don't. He he he!)

Lastly, a lot of people say the speed at which your computer can go is important, but since most people never move their computers, I don't think you really have to worry about it. You'll probably just leave it on a desk or the floor for years and then you will throw it away. I think speed is more for people who get on planes a lot or have to move a lot like celebrities who have to go to the places where they're filming the latest movie that they're in.

Sorry for such a lengthy response, but this is a purchase you don't want to mess up, so you have to know a lot like me. Remember boys and girls, when people tell you to look on the bright side, they're probably hiding something better on the dark side. Email me your questions at . Thanks for throwing away your question, Samantha the dunderhead.


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