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SELECTING YOUR FIRST COMPUTER
There are still a lot of mail order dealers and regular everyday people
performing their daily office and accounting duties by hand. This is unfor-
tunate because a computer system will cut your workload up to 80% _ thereby
leaving you more time to market and develop new products. Plus _ it's fun.
There has not been one single person that I have trained or knew, that after
learning what a computer could do for them, thought it was a bad idea. In
fact, everyone couldn't understand "how" they did without one and will never
go back to the old method again.
Of course, most people are either "afraid" or don't feel they have the time
to learn a computer system. They like the old way of doing things because it
works for them. But _ if you want your business to boom _ you must invest in
some type of computer system.
For the beginner to the world of computers, you really don't need a system
with a lot of "frills" to complicate your learning process. There are lots
of older XT's and word processors on the market in the $250-$400 range.
That's about the same amount you would pay for a typewriter and it's much
A basic system will handle mundane tasks without error, keep your mailing
lists updated, labels printed and basic accounting functions. The best place
to begin looking for a computer system for YOUR particular needs is a
national, monthly publication entitled "Computer Shopper." Their address is
PO Box 51020, Boulder CO 80321 and a 1-year subscription is currently $21.97.
This gigantic book/magazine It's packed with over 700 pages per issue of the
lowest prices and highest quality computer services around. In addition,
if you study the contents you will gain a terrific computer education. Don't
be afraid to call manufacturers and ask specific questions on a system they
are selling. Explain your needs (and possible future needs if you know them)
and ask the sales person for advice.
Don't take everything the salesperson says as "gospel" and call around. Don't
be worried about not understanding computer language. If you study the ads in
your "Computer Shopper" things will begin to make sense. (To a lot of people,
this magazine is the bible of the computer business.)
Check with other manufacturers to find out what they have to say. Compare
prices. The only thing you need to keep in mind is determining exactly what
you are planning to use your computer system for. Not everyone needs desktop
publishing, engineering functions and costly word processing software. You
may be able to obtain your software programs through Shareware and Freeware
(low-cost or free programs). Take your time and ease into your new
computerized office very slowly. You'll love the change!
In the meantime, here are a few low-cost computer systems you may want to
check out. Just keep in mind that things change over time and these prices
may not be current at the time you are reading them. However, they will give
you some type of starting point until you get your hands on a "Computer
286/12 Computer System with 40 megabyte hard drive, 1 megabyte of RAM (random
access memory), 3 1/2" floppy drive, 5 1/4" floppy drive, 14" black and white
monitor. $499 from H&J Electronics, 800-275-2447
386SX/40 Computer System with 125 megabyte hard drive, 2 megabyte RAM,
3 1/2" floppy drive, 5 1/4" floppy drive, 14" color monitor. $799 from
Midwest Micro, 800-572-8844
486SX/25 Computer System with 120 megabyte hard drive, 4 megabyte RAM,
3 1/2" floppy drive, 14" color monitor. $1,295 or $50 per month from NCR
(an AT&T Company), 800-398-6346
Used Computers and Equipment. Just call General Electric Rental/Lease,