From: Craig Phillips [] on behalf of Craig Phillips []

Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 2:42 PM


Subject: Cocktail Talk - PC Santa


Cocktail Talk

Bits and bytes of computer chat-chat
to help you through those dreary Cocktail Parties.

November, 2009

Our Topic

PC Shopping


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Cocktail Talk

Dear Craig,

Cocktail Talk
Welcome to
CN Consulting's "Cocktail Talk".

Cocktail Talk is a casual monthly newsletter intended to arm you with amusing bits and bytes of information on whats happening in the computer world.  Topics sure to break the ice and capture an audience at many a social or business event.


 Cocktail Talk is archived at


Cocktail Talk and any documents, files or previous messages attached to it, its content and all persons portrayed are ficticious and not intended to represent anyone living or dead, real or implied, including cute furry creatures and unicorns.

PC Shopping

Cocktail TalkChristmas is coming and there will probably be alot of PCs purchased before December 25th.
PC shopping is usually overwhelming. There's just so much to think about. Here are some buyer's decision points  and information to help ease the pain.

1) Purpose
Why do you want one? Knowing why you want a new PC helps.
Used for internet and email, speed and memory is more important than storage (disk) size.
Used for video, pictures, and music, disk size becomes more important.
Used for work, to access the office, or to take to the office, buying the right version of Windows is critical. Buy the wrong one and you have to go out and buy the right one. Once you've upgraded to the right one you've lost that clean "new car smell" and have to deal with the problems you've caused yourself.

2) Price
Advertised prices are not always real prices. Look-out for traps.
Saving $100, or getting a free monitor, by signing a 2 year, $1,200 contract for internet service, is not a deal. At least not for you.
"Free" software, that expires in 90 days, is not free. Uninstalling it is probably more of a hassle than biting the bullet and buying it though.
"Free" printers aren't free either. Replacing ink cartridges costs almost a much as a printer off the store shelf. And no, you don't get full ink cartridges with a new purchase, barely a sample.


3) Performance
Whatever you see in stores or on-line is already obsolete. Whatever you're buying is better than what you have. Waiting for the next great model is like chasing Rainbows.
PCs just don't last that long. We don't depreciate them over 5 years anymore. They won't get you through 4 years of college either. You're filling a 2 year need. Nothing more.
There's also something called the "Price / Performance Curve". Simply put, a PC that's two times faster costs three times as much. Go for the even money. Maybe take your Significant Other to Vegas for a few days on the savings. SOs don't depreciate nearly as fast as PCs.

4) Problems
You're not going to like this, buy the extended warranty.
Making a call and having somebody (Dell) come to your house with the right parts and repair your PC is nice. So many parts used are proprietary that you can't find them even if you knew what was wrong. Many times you won't, and why should you?

5) Status
Most importantly though is the status associated with owning the PC. It doesn't matter if it suits your needs, is a good value, is fast as lightning, or has great warranty service, as long as you look cool. Red ones for AIDS, Pink ones for Cancer, African Tribal Mask art, you name it, they've got it, and you can go to Dell if you don't believe me.


6) Hulu*.

Make sure Hulu looks good on it. Make the rat faced kid from Geek Squad demo it in the store. He knows how to get to the "good stuff" anyway and its not like you're going to ask your own kids.

Hulu is all that and a bag of chips. Imagine, TV brought to you free by comercial advertising. What a concept! What's next? Black & White?


7) Get it.

Just to get this out in the open, if you select Windows XP and upgrade to WIndows 7 you have to do a complete install. This is Microsoft saying this, everything you have goes away. From Vista, you upgrade to 7 without your programs and data going away. From XP you have to reinstall all your programs and data. So get Windows 7, I mean really, can it possibly be worse tha Vista?


Get 7, go Hulu, or not, that's your call, and that's Cocktail Talk.


Thank you for reading,



Craig Phillips
CN Consulting, Inc.


* - You can watch Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Shawn of the Dead, City of the Dead, Shopping Mall of the Dead (filmed in Milwaukee) all the Dead movies! Free. 

CN Consulting, Inc -
Computer Consulting for Business!
Serving the Chicagoland and Greater Milwaukee areas since 1990
CN Consulting is a female owned and operated company



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