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The Best Computer on the Market: If this heading  gives the impression that I know which is the best computer on the market,  it is a false impression.  There  are many good computers on the market.  Many of the brands are well known and readily available at any  of the major computer, office and discount stores.  Many good ones are not well known and are mostly available from  catalogs or at web based stores.  In  addition to this there are many computers that are built by local companies.  So how do you make an intelligent choice when selecting a new  computer?

Choices - To start with, there are two basic choices.  About eighty five percent of the computers on the market today are  PCs (Personal Computers) also known as IBM compatibles.  The other fifteen percent are Apple computers also called Macs, which  is short for Macintosh.  The  arguments regarding which of these two are the best can be lengthy and intense and, to my way of thinking, a waste of time.  I suggest you purchase the one that best suits you regardless of what  anyone else believes.  I have  always been a PC person so my choice is always clear.  However, I know that Apple makes excellent computers and you won’t  make a mistake purchasing one.

IBM Compatible PCs - Because my experience is with PCs, I will concentrate on them. I have worked on many different brands of PCs including, Packard Bell, Hewlett Packard, Dell, eMachine, Compaq, IBM Aptivas and others including computers that I built myself and some others built by local companies.  For the most part, they have a lot in common.

Locally Built - Units built by local companies have the advantage of lacking proprietary components and software. This usually means easier and less expensive upgrades but they often lack good support because of the limited budgets of the manufacturers. This is not to say that all large manufacturers provide good support in spite of their larger budgets.

Technical Support - So what do you look for when buying a computer?  Whether you are buying a new or refurbished unit, the first  consideration should be technical support.  Sooner or later any computer will give you problems.  When that happens, the good technical support will make the important difference.  For me the first step would be to check the manufacturer’s  web site.  Check the support  that is available for older models.  After all, it won’t be long before your computer will be an older model.  What happens if you have to replace the hard drive on your computer?  Will all the software drivers you need be available when your  computer is two years old?  A  good manufacturer’s website will have the drivers you need for almost  every model they have built.

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