Should I Fix My Computer or Buy a New One?

Unless you are a recent entrant to the world of computers, this is probably a question you’ve asked yourself before. After all, if your computer doesn’t work properly, you may have a strong instinct to throw it out and go get another one but keep wondering if it is worth fixing. This article is intended to help you decide which of these paths you should take to get a PC up and running so you can go about your work or play.

You may be thinking that since this is a computer repair technician writing this article, I’m going to tell you that in almost every case, you should fix your computer rather than get a new one. Not so. Just as there are a host of reasons to fix your computer, there are plenty of reasons to buy a new one instead.

Although the costs of consumer computers are nowhere near the costs of new cars, those of you who have had to decide whether to fix an older automobile or buy a new one may find it helpful to think about that process because it is similar. I would advise you to make two columns and write the reason to buy or fix in the appropriate column.

If you think it through this way, you will find yourself coming to a reasoned and reasonable conclusion. Also remember that if another person has your same PC model and the same problem, what he or she decides does not make their decision good for you. Keep in mind that there is not a right or wrong answer, only the best answer for you. While this article and others can help your decision process, the best answer for you is something only you can decide. Be wary of people who are certain that they know what you need.

Let’s look at some reasons to repair your current computer:

• Budget – Although the extra expense can be worth it, buying a new PC is USUALLY more expensive than fixing your current computer. If you are on a tight budget or are just a frugal person, fixing most problems may be best for you.

• Data – This second reason is related to the budget item. Whichever route you decide to take, you can (usually) keep your pictures, documents, music, emails, business files, and important personal information. It is easier, though, if you are keeping your computer because if you get a new PC, you will have to pay someone to transfer that information to a new PC. Many of you can do this without problem but not everyone can. Also, if your PC won’t boot to Windows and the data has to be extracted from the computer, most of you will need someone to get the data off the hard disk, which means you will be paying both for a new computer plus a service fee to a computer technician.

• Applications – If you get a new computer, you will also have to reinstall all of your applications. Some can be downloaded, like iTunes or Adobe Acrobat Reader. Any that you paid for, such as Microsoft Office, however, will likely be on CD/DVD. They must be installed from this media, along with the product key that came with them. My experience has been that both organized and unorganized people have a tendency to lose application CDs, particularly if they have had their computer for several years. Before buying a new computer, gather all your application installation CDs and make sure you have a disc for all the applications you use. You may be able to avoid this process and have all your applications as they were if you get your computer fixed. However, it should be noted that if the proposed fix to your current PC is to reinstall Windows, this issue is moot because all of your applications will have to be installed on a new Windows installation, just as on a new PC.

• Upgrades – If your computer is just a little slow or can’t do a certain thing, you can usually upgrade the RAM or video card, or the aforementioned USB 3.0 card much more cheaply than you can buy a new PC.

• Windows 8 – Have you used or seen Windows 8 or 8.1? If you get a new computer, it will have Windows 8.1 on it. This is important because for all its pros and cons (and I don’t wish to engage those questions here) many, many people find it hard to use and a significant departure from the interface of Windows 7 and earlier versions. Like anything else, you would probably get used to it, no matter how much you dislike it, but if it isn’t intuitive to you, why buy a machine that comes with it? Windows 7 can be put on new computers after purchase by computer technicians if you buy a copy online. But again, you would be paying more-this time for a new computer, plus a legitimate copy of Windows 7, plus the cost of a service technician to install Windows 7 on the computer.

• “Right Fit” – Buying something new is usually seen as “sexier” than keeping or repairing something used. So, if none of the reasons above grab you, think of this. If you were happy with your computer before it needed to be fixed-happy with its speed, memory, accessories, capabilities and performance, it is likely that that computer is the “Right Fit” for you. Why get another computer when you can probably spend less and get to keep something that fits you?

Now, let’s take a look at some of the reasons to replace your broken computer rather than fix it:

• Age – Although there is no specific age at which retirement and replacement kicks in, most people know it when they see it. If your computer was slow even when in tip top shape, that’s probably a clue you need to go to the computer store.

• Antiquated Accessories – If your PC has a factory-installed floppy disk drive or has a CD but no DVD drive, it is probably time to think about a new PC. Many people want fast peripherals through a USB 3.0 port. If you have a desktop, you can easily get a card installed, so I wouldn’t consider this alone a reason to trash the old PC, but if you’re keeping score, I would mark it in the buy column.

• Major Hardware Damage-If you spilled a Coke or such in the computer, ruining its motherboard, I would not invest in a repair.

• The Laugh Factor – Although I have never laughed at my customers, I have, on occasion, laughed at a machine that is brought in. Why? Because it is so old, so full of dust and cigarette smoke, so slow, that it is almost a joke that someone is actually paying me to fix this computer. If this is your computer, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about but if you don’t already know, deep down, that you need a new computer then take that message from this article. If you decide not to fix it or you just keep your computers for a long time, make sure they inside is cleaned our regularly, whether you do it yourself or bring it in for a cleaning. That dust and smoke residue doesn’t just look bad, it can overheat your computer and cause its death

The question of whether to fix or whether to buy anew can be confusing. I hope that these questions and commentary have helped you make a solid decision. If you decide that you want your computer fixed, call Tom at (903) 650-9483.

Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Desktop Computer

People certainly aren’t camping outside stores in the rain to get the latest and greatest desktop computer these days, but PCs are far from dead. Simply put, there are certain functions that mobile devices and laptops either can’t do or can’t do nearly as well as a desktop.

Not to mention, there’s no beating the price. A budget desktop is going to be miles ahead of a budget laptop. It’s expensive to make things small. The small size is what appeals to some people when choosing a new computer, but these days big honking towers aren’t your only choice.

Styles of desktop computers

There’s a lot more variation and choice in the desktop form factor, which is great in some ways, but also makes the buying process that much more complicated. You can find computers in each of these categories at a variety of price points, so the most important thing to keep in mind is how you plan to use your desktop.

Tower

The classic desktop form factor, towers have stuck around for good reason. It’s hard to fit a lot of power into smaller devices like a laptop or tablet for a reasonable price. The power to price ratio of tower computers is pretty much unbeatable.

There’s also a lot more flexibility with a tower. There’s more room to upgrade and expand the system when newer technology comes out, whereas with smaller devices you may just have to buy a whole new system.

Towers do, however, take up quite a bit of space and if space is at a premium in your home, a tower could be out of the question. They also require a separate monitor, keyboard, and mouse. There are some cases where those accessories are included, or you can get a discount if you buy them at the same time as the computer, but plan for buying those when you’re making up your budget.

All-in-One

All-in-one computers offer a simple and space-saving set up. These are, in essence, a cross between a desktop and a laptop. They feature a large monitor with all the necessary components built into the back or base.

The small design gives you a lot more flexibility with placement and keeps your work area clutter free. Plus, because everything is all in one, set up usually just involves plugging it in. You do still need a separate keyboard and mouse however.

Because these computers are smaller, they aren’t as powerful as a tower and you can’t customize and expand them (although this also makes them much simpler). There’s also the issue that if the monitor breaks, you need a whole new computer.

Mini and Stick PCs

These computers use mobile components to keep them small (like all-in-ones). As such, they’re not very powerful, but they’re extremely portable. Mini PCs are small enough to be hidden behind a monitor or TV set up and stick PCs are slightly larger than a thumb drive. Because of the small size, they’re not very powerful and internal expansion is limited to impossible.

While you won’t be able to do any advanced gaming or multimedia editing, they work great for day-to-day tasks, browsing the Internet, and watching media. Set up is extremely easy and they’re quite versatile in that you can use it as a home office during the day, and then plug it into a TV for a home theater at night.

The different operating systems

The question of which operating system (OS) to go with isn’t asked as often with desktops as it is with tablets and smartphones, but it’s still something to consider.

Windows 10

This is definitely the most common desktop OS so you’ll have a big selection of hardware as well as compatible third party software. It’s designed around a touchscreen interface, though it still works great with the classic mouse and keyboard, so if you don’t buy a touchscreen monitor you won’t have any problems.

macOS Sierra

If you’re in a family of Apple lovers, then Mac could be for you. Sierra is only found on Mac computers, so you’re limited in your hardware, but these are well-made computers that historically have fewer problems with viruses. A Mac will also pair seamlessly with your other Apple devices and programs.

Chrome OS

If you’re just looking for simple, no-frills computing the Chrome OS will be right up your ally. The OS runs custom apps and cloud-based programs as opposed to other operating systems that run software. It’s not suited for demanding tasks like gaming, but it’s great for email, file-sharing, and browsing. You will always need to be connected to the internet, but that’s usually not an issue with desktops.

Types of desktop computers

Not everyone is going to use a desktop for the same reasons, and how you use it will influence the type of computer you buy. After all, you don’t need a complex, high-powered machine just to check your email.

Business PCs

These PCs are stripped back, no-frills machines that don’t allow for advanced computing, but are easy to service and upgrade. They also usually offer extra security, software and hardware certification programs, software support, and some even have on-site tech support.

Workstations

These are specialized PCs that feature multicore processors and intense graphics. They’re perfect for scientific calculations, media creation, and other high-powered tasks that wouldn’t be even remotely possible on a laptop.

Gaming PCs

These are (as the name suggests) made for gaming. They feature specialized graphics cards, extremely fast multicore processors, and many have flashy design elements although those generally cost more. Upgradability is a must as newer and more immersive games are released.

Learn the lingo

There’s a lot of terminology you need to know before buying a PC so that you actually know what you’re buying. This list from PCWorld goes into further detail, but here’s a quick breakdown of the terms you should know and understand.

Processor (CPU)

This is the brain of your computer. Processor speed is measured in gigahertz (GHz) and generally, the higher the clock speed, the better the performance and the higher the price. The more cores a processor has the better the performance as well. Desktops either have an Intel or an AMD processor.

Memory

The random-access memory (RAM) determines how good your computer is at multitasking. The higher the RAM the better, especially for high-powered tasks like gaming. For simple tasks like email and web browsing 2GB is fine, but for anything more advanced than that, look for a computer with 4GB or more.

Internal Storage

The amount of storage your desktop has determines how much stuff you can keep on your computer. Desktops almost always have more storage than laptops and for a fraction of the cost. It’s also easy to upgrade your hard drive for more storage, or upgrade to a solid-state drive.

Wait for the best price, but don’t wait too long

Once you’ve figured out which computer you want (and have read plenty of reviews to ensure that it’s actually up to snuff), it’s time to buy. This can be tricky with a desktop because they can be pretty expensive and technology is always evolving.

While it can be tempting to just buy the computer when you’re ready, you might miss out on a great deal or the latest tech. Shop regularly for a stretch of time instead of spending an entire day looking around. You’re more likely to catch a deal that way. Also check the release dates of new models. You’ll most likely get a good deal on an older model, or you might just want the latest technology.

Waiting for a sale also means you can bump up your computers specs with the money you save, meaning your computer is a bit more “future-proof” than if you were to just go for the cheapest one you can find.

However, this is a balancing act. If you spend too much time waiting around for the perfect deal or the latest model, you’re never going to end up buying your desktop. So be patient and wait for sales, but once you find the model you want in an acceptable price range, go ahead and buy it.

Increase in Digital Crime and Rise in Security Concerns Shall Pace the Computer Forensics Market

The computer forensics market is expected to experience an upsurge on account of the increase in sophisticated digital crime and terrorist attacks and economic growth in developing countries. Computer forensics which refers to analysis and reporting of digital data for a legal purpose is the most prominent market within the overall digital forensic market. Computer forensics have become much dynamic in the field of cyber-crime, to perform a structured investigation, in order to detect hidden facts for accurate investigation results. A variety of techniques are used by investigators to inspect and search hidden, encrypted or deleted files or folders.

Computer forensics have gained wide-popularity in developed regions such as North America and Europe owing to technological advancements and increased cyber-crime rates. While, rise in corporate fraud has increased the demand for computer forensics. The UK and other European countries such as Italy and Germany, have observed an increasing trend for computer forensics as the various industries in the region have become more aware about safety and security of their data. Consequently, manufacturers are exploring innovative products and services to strengthen their market presence and meet the growing demand. Computer forensics have also gained popularity in developing countries such as India and China owing to the increased piracy threats and cyber-crimes, coupled with increased governments expenditure in digitalization of sectors such as banking, law enforcement, defense, and information technology, among others. Rise in disposable income and increase in the number of educated consumers have also supplemented the growth of the market in the region.

The recommendation of computer forensics as a necessity for proper investigation by government organizations, has rapidly increased their adoption rate in both developed and developing economies. For instance, in order to maintain integrity, the governments of different countries in regions such as China and Brazil among others have formed new regulations that are based on the access to data and penalty in the case of modification of data or wrong entry in data records.

To compete with established players, other manufacturers such as Paraben Corporation, Binary Intelligence, and Digital Detectives, among others plan to develop new computer forensic tools to gain consumer attraction and increase their market share. However, the major players in the market such as, Access Data Group Inc., Guidance Software, Inc., and LogRhythm Inc. have been utilizing economies of scale to meet the rising demand for computer forensic. The established brands have adopted product launch, partnerships, and business expansion as their growth strategy to strengthen their foothold in the market. For instance, in February 2015, Access Data Group Inc. announced the development of newly improved software version Summation 5.6, which provides case assessment, processing of comprehensive data, and management, final review and transcript management. The main aim of this product launch was to reveal the enhanced feature of this software among consumers, to gain popularity in the market. However, rising complexity of mobile devices and increased utilization of cloud based applications may hamper the growth of digital forensics market.

Geographically, North America has emerged as the largest market for digital forensics. Increase in cyber-crime rates and technological advancement make this region favorable for growth in the forecast period. However, Asia-Pacific is projected to have the maximum growth rate in the digital forensics market driven by increase in cyber-crimes and rise in consumer awareness in developing countries such as China and India.