New Computer

But I Just Bought You a New Computer

January and February can be pretty dark months around our house. Not only is Geoff a golfer who’s going through golf withdrawal by this time of the year, but he also suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder which results in severe dissatisfaction with whatever car we currently own and/or his computer. This year it’s both.   The car we need a plan for but as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing wrong with his computer. “I just bought you a new system less than two years ago.” I told him. “Are you sure it’s not just your techiness coupled with the lack of sunlight that’s making you want to buy something expensive?” My insight into his motivation was not well received. I could see this topic was not going to go away as easily as the car discussion, so I tried again. “I don’t understand how your computer could be old.” I said. I pointed out that we had already upgraded his hard drive and the amount of RAM to meet the needs of the software he’s added since we bought the system. “Well, that’s the problem.” Geoff said. “We receive updates to our installed software on a fairly regular basis, just like everyone else. Updates require resources, as do some of the other items we’ve started using, like our new camera and the networked printer.” I still wasn’t convinced. A new computer is not a small investment and it seemed to me that the life cycle of Geoff’s machine was getting shorter and shorter with every system we purchase. “You are right about that.” Geoff said. “There are two factors that are working against each other in this situation. Technology is advancing rapidly and some of the new features being offered are well worth upgrading the computer in order to take advantage of them. The second factor is age. Our age. The older we get, the faster time seems to fly by, so even though it seems like I just got a new computer, the reality is that this system is now coming up on three years old and I could really benefit from getting a new one.” As I pondered the shot at my ever advancing age, I did begin to realize that it had been longer than I thought since Geoff had a new computer. I had one more card up my sleeve. “I thought that we could anticipate replacing your computer every five years. Now you’re saying it’s more like every three years? Does everyone need a new computer?” Geoff pointed out that even if his computer wasn’t meeting his needs any longer, it was still better than the computer I was using, which was better than Debbie’s computer.   “As I’ve said before, a computer is only obsolete if it can’t meet your current needs. On the other hand, as technology advances and more items are available to use with your computer, the sooner a system can become obsolete in relation to an evolving lifestyle.” Geoff did point out the cost has never been lower for computers, making a new purchase a lot less painful than it used to be. “Unfortunately, if a system is over three years old, it has started to fall behind with the rest of the technological world and that’s when we start to see things like software conflicts, slow performance and possible security issues.”

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