Interest-free deals can be enticing but the power and speed of the latest models may be unnecessary for users who will never go beyond basics of email and text-based fiddling, viewing and editing an image occasionally and researching websites for senior citizen entitlements.
Computer sales staff have a mission to 'hard sell' an upgrade or two and prey on insecurities of anyone with a hint of computer phobia.
Obviously, no one wanted to be caught with their RAM down but memory upgrades may not be warranted.
THIS warning comes from my shopping for a dongle to put free-to-air TV on my screen. The salesman tried to bundle in a gigabyte or two of RAM but I read the box which said it would run on less than a quarter of what he told me.
It's 35 years since I first sat at a computer keyboard and my heritage in a country noted for thriftiness has previously featured in this space.
Today, I look past the commercial 'big boys' and into nooks and crannies of the computing universe to try to save a buck.
That's why I recently installed the free operating system Ubuntu after the XP fiasco pushed me toward a future with less dependence on Microsoft.
And it's why I always browse the Computers columns of the Classifieds, where a recent notice has announced the services of Rescue Reporting, a new business founded by Andrew Swanborough.
ANDREW doesn't share my distaste for the computing mainstream because it provides a platform for his enterprise helping small businesses save money by getting more out of their existing systems.
The field is called software development, and Andrew's goal is “to decrease the administrative overhead”.
“I automate computing tasks that would otherwise need to be done manually,” he says. “Every modern business keeps records digitally but often when it becomes time for an internal review or to present this data to a third party stakeholder a considerable amount of tweaking, reformatting and calculating needs to be done.
“This is the kind of work computers were made for, there is no need for a human to spend hours
when a computer can do it in seconds.
“The kind of solution I deliver will be tailor made to mesh with your existing system, can often be delivered in only a few days and will cost you about as much as if you paid someone to do it manually.”
Andrew is available for EOFY consultations.
This column appeared in The Redland Times before the launch of its successor the Redland City Bulletin.