At another Connections conference show, Richard talks to the one-and-only Mark Minasi about his keynote at the conference in this RunAs Radio podcast. Mark aims his sights at cloud computing, asking the important questions about pricing, reliability and implementation challenges.
When Mark Minasi attended his first lecture about computers in 1973, he learned two things. First, computers are neat. Second, many technical people are very nice folks… but they can put you to sleep in an instant while explaining technical things. Mark transformed those two insights into a career making computers easier and more fun to understand. He’s done that by writing over a thousand popular computer columns, several dozen best-selling technical books, and explaining operating systems and networking to crowds from two to two thousand.
Awarded “Favorite Technical Author” by CertCities four times out of four, Mark is probably best known for his Mastering Windows Server and Complete PC Upgrade and Maintenance books, both of which have seen more than 12 editions and sold over a million copies. An audience member at a recent talk remarked that he believed that Mark could “do a talk on watching paint dry that would be so good that people would be motivated to go home and paint a wall just to experience the joy of watching paint dry.” While this has led to many very tempting offers from Sherwin-Williams, he’s decided to stay with his first and best love… technology.
I am not a rich man. Pretty run of the mill, I would say. And my computing needs reflect this well, I believe. So when I found myself in a position to begin thinking about purchasing a new computer, I initially started off on some of the most common tech related shopping engines.
After locating some fairly reasonable deals for motherboard combos, bare-bones, etc., I then began doing what I always do: research the heck out of the company! Boy, am I glad that I thought to do this early on. Almost immediately I found entire threads showing just how easy it is to be suckered into buying open box items being sold as retail. This might not sound like a huge deal, but who wants to buy a “used” product being sold as new? Not me!
To wrap this up, suffice it to say that when you are looking to purchase a new computer (or build one from parts) online, consider the following.
- More often than not, you will get what you pay for. Saving a few bucks now might very well cost you much more later on.
- Purchase your findings with a credit card, NOT a debit card. Because if something goes horribly wrong, you are much more likely to be able to work it out with the bank if a credit card was used. AmEx is the best, in my opinion.
- Repeat your buying habits. If you purchased from a vendor in the past and had a good experience, chances are it is worth repeating rather than “hoping” to not be ripped off by another.
- When utilizing shopping engines such as PriceWatch.com or eBay power sellers, buyer beware. Neither engine/site has any control over who is selling to you really. So when in doubt, err on the side of caution.
- Reasons I avoid TigerDirect myself: Systemax, Cybertron, Visionman. People want computers, guys, not Transformers…