Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Sep 2012 19:36 UTC
Apple I bought a brand new iMac on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure this will come as a surprise to some, so I figured I might as well offer some background information about this choice - maybe it'll help other people who are also pondering what to buy as their next computer.
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A traditional option
by zima on Tue 2nd Oct 2012 21:51 UTC in reply to "A third option ?"
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I have been thinking for some time about a third option : going to some local computer shop that I trust, telling them what I want, getting a price and a component list from them, and quickly checking on the web if their proposal makes sense before accepting their offer.
This way, I get all the benefits of a homemade machine for relatively little extra cost (the cost of manpower is generally relatively cheap

I would say it was the way in quite a few places, for a while - one went to a small shop, selected components, and after a short time a new PC was waiting. Even without any explicit manpower costs, it was understood that paying for the listed price of all those components was more than enough - not a small sum, after all. And also that the machine will include a pirated 98, 98SE, or XP...
Mass-produced commercial brands were even hardly visible in consumer market, pre-laptops.

Though it wasn't perfect - some shops were seemingly popular mostly because of weird word-of-mouth between the people who were paying for the PCs, not their primary users (parents vs kids); popular, while being at best nothing special. Also some weird practices, almost-rituals, or ignoring quite elementary things... cases sealed with a sticker; ridiculously loud cooling fans (I remember that once, when I specifically asked for "as quiet as possible" CPU fan, the salesman looked at me as if I were an alien, apparently he just didn't think on that level prior to that ...and he still gave me IMHO ridiculously loud one; think how much human thought, creativity, was wasted by those whining fans); some hardware that "must" be there for some reason (in the era of first Celerons, most of them worked on Slot 1 motherboards with slotkeys - what for? They were never upgraded to Pentium2, it only added cost; also, SB Live! soundcards were pointless in most cases, especially considering...); pushing pitifully low quality speakers that weren't worth the energy/food required to throw them into trash container; thoughtless fascination with numbers (it was hilarious/sad when nice Celeron Tualatin setups were "upgraded" to Celeron Willamette - yeah, the clock was almost 2x higher, but the new PC was slower; in 99 or so I've also heard ~"oh, Matrox G200 8 MiB? No, no, you need a 16 MiB GFX card to do anything on a computer" in one shop); except, always neglecting RAM amounts.
Of course, it was largely still in pre-Internet era, so some complications stemmed from that...

But at some point, in the middle of the naughties, everybody just started getting laptops - after some time (not immediately) even typically with a licensed Windows. Overall, probably a good thing that times changed.

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