When I was a kid living out in the country, I learned to improvise when it came to finding the right tool for the job. When you are miles away from the nearest Walmart and you need to fix a piece of equipment in a pinch, improvising is the way to go. However, it never hurts to have the right tool from the start. In fact, it saves a lot of time. Over the years I’ve learned that it’s worth spending a little money on the right tool if it will save you valuable time wasted on a makeshift solution.
Since churches generally operate off of donations, it’s not uncommon to find a lot of old and donated computer equipment in use in churches. There are instances where this is perfectly acceptable like setting up computers that will only be used for Microsoft Office. There are other times, like setting up your worship service computers, when the right equipment is a must. Just like you can hear the difference on sound equipment and instruments, you can see the difference on your screens.
When purchasing a computer for a specific purpose, it’s important not to let price be the only factor in your decision. Over the years I’ve seen cheap, off-the-shelf computers from big box stores that severely lacked the power to do what was needed. I’ve also seen special order computers that cost twice as much, yet still lack the proper hardware for their purpose. The budget may be limited, so how do you make sure that you’re getting the right computer without paying too much or buying way more computer than you need?
TIP #1: Find out the anticipated purpose of the computer.
What is expected of this computer? Much like a car, computers are built for a purpose. For instance, if I needed to purchase a car for my commute to work, I would purchase something small that gets really good gas mileage. However, if I needed to pull a large trailer filled with equipment, I would look for a truck with a powerful engine.
When it comes to computers, if I wanted to play video games on a computer, I would want the computer to have a really fast processor, powerful video card and lots of memory. On the other hand, if I’m just going to surf the web and write my memoirs, any off-the-shelf computer will do.
TIP #2: Look at the specs of the software you want to use.
Finding the specifications of all your software is even more important than trying to get a lower price. The best way to determine the specifications is to check the hardware requirements for the software you will be using. This is the key to buying the right computer. Most software companies have system requirements on their website or printed materials. System requirements consist of information like Operating System, CPU, RAM, Hard Drive and Video card specifications. Once the specifications are known and understood, let the shopping begin! If you run into any questions about the specifications, call or email the company. They will be happy that you reached out before purchasing a computer.
These two simple steps will save you time, money and a lot of guess work.