Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The New Machine

I have purchased a new computer.
I do not need a new computer.
At this I feel guilty and extravagant.
There are people at the Rescue Mission that have needs that my resources could have helped.
But I have been selfish.

It all started innocently enough.
You see, I like to follow the CPU war between Intel and AMD.
It is kind of like the Ford and Chevy guys.

After reading about the latest increment in the battle, I was thinking, “I wonder what it would cost if I were to procure a cutting edge computing machine?”
To scratch this itch, I did a Google on AMD (I do not buy Intel products because they are the biggest CPU company on the planet and do not need my business. In the same way that Coca Cola, Nike, Levis, and Micro$oft are.)
I accidentally found a very capable machine made by Hewlett Packard and sold at Wal-Mart for $568.00.
After doing some comparison shopping for similar machines from other vendors, I realized that this was a very good bargain.

This was bothersome to me because I expected a machine like what I was contemplating to be so expensive that it would be no temptation to me.
Wrong.

But I did not need a new computer.
My trusty puter has served me well and is chugging along very nicely.
Even being two years old, it is one of the fastest machines I have ever worked on.
This includes all the newish Dell desktops and laptops that I occasionally used at work.
So I put the new computer idea out of my head.

That worked for a few days.
Then I looked at it again.
Then I made a spread sheet to compare all the various and similar models and prices.
I even threw in a couple of Apple machines just to see how they all stack up.
The Apple machines were almost exactly DOUBLE the cost of the PCs.
$1200.00
Forget Apple.

Then I went to Walmart.com and looked at it again.
It was sold out.
Wo.
This puppy is hot.
But I did not need a new computer so I closed the spreadsheet and forgot about it.

For a few days.
Then I did some more looking.
I found a company that I had never heard of called aJump.com.
They sell make-to-order computers, just like Dell.
So I configured a machine similar to the one I had seen at Wal-Mart.
But I left off Window$.
The total came to $522.00.
Even cheaper than the Wal-Mart machine.
And shipping was free.
I did not need this.
I left the site and forgot about a new computer.

For a day or so.
Then my federal income tax refund appeared in my checking account.
$518.00.
I went to aJump.com and configured another machine just like the previous one,
just to see if the total came out differently.
It did.
It was LESS!
$516.00
Shipping was still free.

So here is what is coming to my house in about a week:

Inside a In Win microATX case –
- AMD Athlon64 X2 4200+ processor (2.2Ghz)
- 1 Gb PC2-4200 DDR2-533 RAM
- 250Gb SATA HD (7200 rpm)
- Sony DVD R/W (dual-layer)
- on board nVidia graphics
- on board 5.1 sound

And also coming soon, a new version of Linux to install on the new monster machine. (more on that soon)

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