Re: Advice sought re:office setup (fwd)

Subject: Re: Advice sought re:office setup (fwd)
From: Steve Fouts <sfouts -at- ELLISON -dot- SC -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 1994 10:17:38 CDT

Andreas Ramos writes:
|} The only remaining issue is costs. Line up all of the items which can
|} perform a task: The PC, due to terrific competition from manufacturers
|} around the world, is very cheap. It is easy to get programs, books,
|} repair, service, parts, products. PC fax/modems are $20. Take your laptop
|} to Colombia or Indonesia or Denmark: no problem. Anywhere you can find
|} service and support at low cost. A solid PC machine for a writer, with no
|} frills such as 100 Mhz chips etc, is very affordable. I just bought a
|} desktop PC for my wife's legal secretary: 486 50 Mhz 8MB RAM, ideal to run
|} Word 6.0, for under $995. That's list price. No fake student ID's, etc. To
|} advise a newbie or low budget writer to buy a machine that costs triple,
|} with high end prices for every add on, with the promise that it'll run
|} "just like a PC" with Word or WordPerfect, is unrealistic or unfair.

I hate to rain on your Utopian parade, Andreas, but the PC is far from
standard. As a member of a group that manufactures both hardware and
software for PCs, I know from experience that every G.D. one of those
millions of PCs out there is an individual. You go out and buy your basic
bargain basement PC, or worse, assemble your basic bargain basement PC
from parts, you're going to spend HOURS on the phone with various
customer support hotlines telling you, ``oh, our software doesn't support
any VGA cards built around the XYZ chip,'' and all kinds of similar
garbage. (That was from Microsoft, by the way!)

J.D. Power and Associates gives the average five year cost of ownership
for a PC and a similarly equipped Mac at dead even. Reason? The mean time
between failures on that bargain basement crap you can buy for your PC
is just what you'd expect. Very brief. Advising someone to go out and buy
the cheapest pile of spare parts that they can find and inviting them to
make a living with it is just plain dumb.

Buy a solid machine from a reputable manufacture and you can be reasonably
sure that someone is going to be there to help. Buy a machine assembled in
someones basement with a case from Uncle Ernie, a motherboard from Joe's
Discount Emporium, a VGA card from some Asian country that you can't find
on your latest National Geographic map of the world, and a monitor from Aunt
Lucy, you may get a functional (?) machine for real cheap but when the
magic smoke escapes, who yah gonna call?

_______________ _____
/ ___ __/__\ \ / / _\ Steve Fouts
/___ \| | ___\ | / __\ sfouts -at- ellison -dot- sc -dot- ti -dot- com
/ / \ | \ / \
/_______/__|_______\_/________\ "She understood, as he did, that all writing
was infernally boring and futile, but that it had to be done out of respect
for tradition" --Stanislaw Lem

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