If you're technologically ignorant like me, you'll want to read closely.

Buying a new computer or updating the one you have can lead you down the road to debt. Or it can leave you reading things you don't understand and buying things you really don't need.

We've asked computer experts in Steamboat just what to look for and how to get the most for your money.

Bill Robinson, an information systems consultant for Springsips and Northwest Data Services, said look for a computer with the most processing capability and the most memory.

"Everything changes really fast. Get the most processing and memory that's also RAM you can afford," Robinson said.

If you're buying your child a computer, you don't need Microsoft Office. However, with all the different games, you want to get the best monitor and sound system, Robinson said.

"And for a business, you want to think about what your needs are and look for a machine to suit those needs," Robinson said.

Robinson recommends sitting down with a professional for $50 to $75 who can talk you through the best systems and software.

Eric and Karen Bailey of AWC Computers said knowing a local vendor can help buyers with questions.

"The idea is to see it work, see what you're going to buy," Eric Bailey said. "And check out the reputation of the vendor."

In the AWC office, the Baileys have a quote posted on the wall from John Ruskin, a British author and essayist.

"It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little. When you pay too little you sometimes lose everything because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that, you will have enough to pay for something better."

Compiled by Kelly Silva


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