I'm going to need some feedback on this one.
My neighbor's computer died. She's borrowing one of my old ones for the time being. She's on a fixed income and it will be a little while before she can buy a new one.
I'm the most tech savvy person she knows, so she was talking to me about what she should get. A little bit of back ground, she's retired, in her sixties, and uses her computer mostly for email, financial stuff, and some cheap mind-challenging puzzle games.
So - I told her, you can get a brand new desktop for $300 or less - actually $200 if you got with a gPC or similar. (And I explained what a gPC was.) She then followed up with a "Yeah, but I think I'd rather save up a little while longer and get what I really want."
I don't have a problem with that line of thinking - except I don't think she knows what she wants. I mean, the old clunker she's borrowing can do everything she wants to do, it may be a little slow in doing it, but it works. A new computer - even the cheapest on the market - would do it all and be faster than the 3 year old PC she had that died.
Here's my thinking. I'm not worried about how long she borrows my old PC. It's not like I was using it. If she wants to save up $600 or $700 and get a powerful desktop - that's her business. I just think you could save up your $600 - spend $300 of it now, and get a very useful machine - and set the other $300 in a cookie jar, wait a year, and get a more powerful computer for that $300 then than you could with your $600 now.
- Am I being too generous to Moore's Law? Would next year's $300 desktop be more powerful than this year's $600 one?
- Keep in mind her basic uses of the PC - no hard core gaming - no terabytes of pirated movies to store - no video editing or 3D rendering taking place - no galaxies to map .... What could you get for $600 that you can get for $400?
- Should I suggest her get a $600 laptop instead of a $600 desktop? She does travel to see family pretty often. (Read - several times a year.)