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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

more efficient.

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,