Good Advice

If you're buying a new computer, check this out.

It's a situation everyone faces at some point. The computer you've got is old, hopelessly outdated, and simply has to go. But, what will you replace it with? And, more importantly, how will you decide what to get?

If you're starting to ask yourself these questions, Mark Knapp of Gear & Style's CheatSheet has some advice for you. No, he doesn't tell you what to buy. Instead, he talks about 15 mistakes too many people make when buying a new computer and discusses how to avoid making these same mistakes yourself. Knapp points out the importance of knowing what you want and not buying items or features that you really don't need. He also talks about how to make sure the computer you're looking at really does have the features that you want and that it will do what you expect it to do. Following Knapp's advice and doing your homework will help ensure you have a better buying experience.  

Supporting Web Links

Discussion Questions/Activities
  1. Poll the class to see how many of the students have purchased a computer recently. How did they go about it? Did they get help from a family member or friend? Did they rely on the salesperson's information? Did they do their own research? How was their experience? And, are they happy with the device they purchased?
  2. Divide the class into small groups and ask each group to identify a low-end, mid-range, and high-end computer and then compare and contrast their features. Students may use one or more of the articles from the Supporting Web Links section or they may choose to use store circulars, conduct online research, or go to a nearby store to view the current selection. Each group should create a poster comparing and contrasting the three computers they selected.
  3. As an individual project, ask students to locate information about improving the performance of their current computer. Students may wish to read Speed up Windows 10: Tips for a faster PC to get an idea of what they can do. If desired, students may wish to implement some of the suggestions from the article(s) they find. Students should write a brief paper outlining the suggestions they find to help improve performance. If they tried any of these tips, students should also discuss the results - did it affect their computer's performance?

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