elec999

Computer a bad audiction

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I found my self over the years, spending and spending lots of money of computer parts. Some of the parts I need, some I just WANT, I am rather adicted to the fact of always buying computer hardware, even tho I dont really need. I look at my old computer, a p3 450mhz which still does the magic, for servying the web, email, blahaha, which I ussaly do, no games for me. And then I wonder why did I buy that xp2400+, or my previous xp1800+, did I really need it, dO I really use it. What you guys of your computer needs vs wants, others.

Thanks

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For myself, I tend to buy once a year when I get my tax refund check from the ATO (Australian equiv. to IRS), and use that money for upgrading. Becuase the amounts are rather small ($200-$300), I tend to get the best-bang for buck upgrades... It's also a good way to set limits on both amounts and when I spend...

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I have too many other hobbies like cycling, wine, photography, and hiking keeping me practical in the computer department. Being spread thin like that really makes you focus on what you *need* and what steps are actually worth the money. I'd love a sea kayak for example, there are a couple camera lens on my longterm wishlist, and I could really use a lighter tent or a new racing bike :rolleyes:. And I absolutely need a warmer sleeping bag if I'm going to do as much winter camping as I hope to this coming season. Wearing two layers of long underwear and most of your clothes to go to sleep gets old really fast, and the odours over a couple days aren't exactly kind on your company either ;).

Until recently I hadn't upgraded my main PC for more than 3.5 years, except once to add some extra storage. So, like Chewy, I'm usually looking for bang for the buck equipment. Luckily, I'm not a computer gamer at all, which is a tremendous advantage. I really couldn't afford to be. Computer gamers are pretty much being stretched on the rack continuously.

I did recently splurge on a 1GB SODIMM for my laptop though. What with the Canadian dollar being so much stronger and all, I figured it was a good time to make computer-related purchases :unsure:.

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I upgrade when I can double processor gigglehurts affordably. Pentium 75 to 233 to 450 to AthlonXP 1700 to P4 3.0. It looks like I'll be stuck for awhile. :angry: Hey, I can always waste money trying to make this toaster quiet. :D

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I upgrade when I can double processor gigglehurts affordably. Pentium 75 to 233 to 450 to AthlonXP 1700 to P4 3.0.  It looks like I'll be stuck for awhile.  :angry:  Hey, I can always waste money trying to make this toaster quiet.  :D

My upgrades have been 6502@1MHz -> 16MHz 286 -> Cyrix P120+ -> P233MMX -> P4@1.7GHz -> P4@2.66GHz -> 2xOpteron 242.

That type of strategy is also a good one to keep yourself on track (and under control)...

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I build new system every ~3 years, and keep it alive with memory upgrades, new HDDs and such.

History of my "main" systems.

-------------------------------------------------

6510, 0.985MHz (~1985)

Motorola 68000, 7.14MHz (~1988)

Intel 80486DX, 33MHz (~1994)

Intel Pentium 120MHz (~1996)

AMD K6-2 300MHz (~1998)

Intel Pentium II 400MHz (~2001-2004)

Intel Celeron 600MHz (~2002->)

AMD Athlon XP 2600+, 1917MHz (2004->2006?)

-------------------------------------------------

My monitors seem to last at least through one upgrade. My 19" CRT is ~6 years old).

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My upgrades were done mainly to the CPU if I felt lugish performance, then the H.D and last the video card.

Pentium 133MHz, 16MB RAM, 1.7GB H.D.D - First PC

Pentium 166MHZ, 64MB, 1.7~3.2GB H.D.D.

Celeron 300MHz, 64MB RAM, 1.7~3.2GB H.D.D.

Another Celeron 300MHz, first one died and to replace the Pentium 166MHz with an added DM+40 40GB.

P3 EB600MHz, 128~512MB RAM, 3.2~40GB.

Last but not least, my EB1,000MHz P3.

Every time I upgraded I bought CPU's that were cheap but not slow. Right now because of the things I do, I do not require a faster machine for the moment and if I do I use my Mothers P4 I just built. I'm thinking about an Athlon-64 3000 as my next upgrade, but I still don't use any software that makes my current setup a bottleneck. Also, I have many other P3's around which do other jobs instead of having my Main Computer doing it, just like I have many Hard Drives for different jobs.

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Replying to the poster, the only reason why you would buy top of the line, or close to it is because you WILL be using all of that speed. For every day regular software such as a Word Processor or simple Photo editing, you do not need a lot Processing Power for these tasks. I usually did small upgrades in the begining because the need for gaming required it or else I couldn't play the game at all. Once I upgraded to the 1GHz P3 I pretty much stopped playing 3D games, the only one I play and think will be the last on is DiabloII LoD. I enjoyed the Guild Wars preview and it ran fine on my machine, of course the GF2 I have is real crap so when I was in a very open field the Video performance went down but I think this is it for me and gaming.

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Shocked: Glibo's Canadian?

I am trying to budgent my computer purcahsed, but I really have no other hobbies so it becomes easy to afford computer parts.

I try not to upgrade more than once a year. At that I typically buy RAM and hard drive and leave skip CPU.

I would estimate my average annual computer spending to be atleast $300, but less than $1000

I recently spent about $600 on a file server, but I did it with the intention that I wouldn't upgrade it until atleast 2 years had past. I'm almost 1 year down and seem to be ontrack with my estimates. In another years time I may upgrade the hard drives and leave the rest of the hardware the same.

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I used to spend too much on hardware. Then I got a girlfriend and moved in with her (yep, smart me found himself one with a furnished and freshly painted apartment :) ). She's more attractive than my PC's so the upgrades became less frequent. Then we got a kid which makes computer upgrades seem like nickle and dime. Bought a house and another kid. I think my next upgrade will be when something breaks or when I REALLY need those 3 sticks of 1 GB DDR RAM.

My first upgrades were typically an entire machine, now I tend to keep stuff I don't need to upgrade like a vidcard - I don't play games enough to spend even €100 on a vidcard. Don't need the fastest of anything really, just something that's fast enough and reliable. Whenever I upgrade again, most money will go to lots of memory, then disks and only then mainboard and CPU. Vidcard has become so unimportant to me that I'd be perfectly happy with onboard stuff.

Pentium 90 MHz 16MB RAM

Pentium Pro200/512Kb 64 MB RAM (later a whopping 256 MB RAM)

K6-2 300 32 MB RAM (later 96 MB and after that 384 MB)

Celeron 366@550 128 MB RAM (later 512 MB RAM)

Dual PIII 550 512 MB RAM (later 1 GB RAM)

Duron 700@933 256 MB RAM (later 768 MB RAM) - when the CPU fried I got a TBird 1 GHz which didn't feel a thing faster

Athlon XP1600+ 256 MB RAM (later 512 MB, now 384 MB)

Athlon XP2400+ 1 GB RAM

I have at least 2 PC in use - one to work with and at least one testing machine. That's where I shuffled around with the RAM so much.

The machine I liked best were the PPro (mainboard, CPU and 64 MB RAM were FREE - some idiot who thought he had fried them gave them to me) and the Duron because of it's incredible overclocked speed and stability, even with the KT133A chipset. The PPro remains my favorite to this day considering how long it's useful life was. It ran NT4 and W2K admirably compared to those plain Pentium MMX's and my K6-2 300.

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HisMajesty, upgrading your girlfriend (a new breast and alike) can be far more expensive. you'd better had stuck with hardware ;)

However, we upgrade our hardware so frequently because :

1- it is a passion

2- we can affoard it

People are used to spend a lot in their passion. Because, beside passion, computers can be so useful, it ain't that bad finally.

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I don't know about your respective partners but mine doesn't need any upgrades, I'm happy to say.

That's what I'm talking about ;).

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Ive done the same thing over the years... spending wayy to much on the newest and bestest stuff out there (paid $400 for geforce 4 card when it came out, and earlier $200 for SB card 2 weeks after release).

Now I build for longevity... my last system is a dual xeon 1.8ghz with 512ram and a couple of u160 scsi drives and that geforce 4 card. The thing is 3 years old, runs games just fine, surfs, plays DVDs, does video editing, programming and generally handles anything I can throw at it. Not cheap when I got it.. but well worth the investment.

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The secret is to live in the US, and then have your own consulting business, and then take the equipment purchases off your taxable income as a legitimate business expense. If you are in a medium level or above tax bracket, it's like automatically getting a 30%+ discount when you figure in the tax breaks. I'm pretty sure that's how Supercaff justifies his purchases, as well as others that have killer systems.

The key, as in so much here in the US, is NOT TO BE A W-2 EMPLOYEE. They get screwed by the tax system - no tax breaks except kids and houses, really. Those that own their own companies (doing ANYTHING) are writing off 30% of the cost of computers, cars, office space in the home, etc, etc, etc.

I never would have spent $2000+ on a new notebook except that as I am now self-employed it counts as a legitimate business expense...

Future Shock

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FS, but when you're a permanent employee, your employer buys you your new notebook. They pay 100%. Plus, you don't have to pay an accountant to file quarterly returns, and you get lots of other benefits..... I agree, however, when the contract market is strong, being a contractor is good money.... The grass is always greener. I switched from contract to permy in 2000 and have been pretty happy with my decision. When the contract market is weak, as it was from about 2001-2004, being permy was the way to go.

Of course, you have to be in good with the boss (or be the boss) to get that new notebook when you want it, but that shouldn't be too hard for you if you're savvy enough to run your own show.

There are so many worse addictions out there than computer hardware.... take cheap asian hookers for example.... About the price of a nice dinner for two, and you don't have to snuggle or listen to her problems.... She luv u long time....

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Or just screw the system. Someone I knew needed a new car but a loan for a car is relatively expensive. He went to the bank, got a loan for renovating his house and took someone else's invoice to "prove" it. With the money he bought an Audi A6.

Or get a self-employed friend buy some hardware. You pay less for it, he deducts it from his taxes.

BTW not only in the US can equipment purchases - or many other expenses - be deducted from taxable income.

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SF,

I've had my employers buy me great notebooks for over 12 years - never bought one myself until last week. My second choice was a new IBM T42, which I might have gotten via an employer. My first choice was a Toshiba M200 TabletPC, which is rare as hen's teeth to get as an employee...basically the only way to get it was to buy it myself. The other part of this is that right now, under my current contract, I am making enough money compared to being an employee (at least at my last job) that the cost of a $2000 notebook is almost inconsequential...

But think about the OTHER parts of it - that super Sharp Aquos TV/Monitor? I NEED that for my work, which is a lot of presentations and graphics (architecture and project processes) and huge project plans (I live in MS Project far too much to be considered sane). I could concievable write off that Aquos for my home office just for the sake of being more, er, productive. And upgrade my tired, old ATi AIW 9800Pro to something more suitable for that display? Why of course, I can justify THAT mr. taxman...no employee can make that claim and even have a hope of getting it past the IRS...

Don't tell me you didn't take a write-off on that Shuttle cluster?

FS

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There are so many worse addictions out there than computer hardware.... take cheap asian hookers for example....  About the price of a nice dinner for two, and you don't have to snuggle or listen to her problems....  She luv u long time....

You must be Navy; Air Force paid a lot less. :lol:

If I could give in to my Computer "I'm broke" addiction I would love to build a system with the Tyan Thunder K8W Motherboard. Duel Opteron's. 4GB Memory. I don't need it, but I want it. :o

My last upgrade was to make my system as quiet as possible instead of going for speed. :D

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I remember my first Computer Parts Fair in Houston Tx--about circa 1982. I had just started working at JSC and I think I had just transitioned from a Tandy Mod I to an IBM clone. Anyway they had this "parts fair" at a big convention center and it was like being a crack-head and thrown into Bureau of Narcotics evidence warehouse. 'course that was before we knew even computer hardware is only "sufficient" for about 2 weeks.

I think I still have printer cables and ribbon cables and power supplies and switch boxes and...and probably even some memory chips....They were just givin the stuff away! :-)

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Life's never about what we need, but what we want :) I'll be honest & say ~75% of my upgrades were without merit. I read a poll somewhere (MSN maybe?) where 200,000 households comprising of 218,000 computers were monitored. Every time a person used the PC, every program (game, browser, etc, etc) accessed was recorded.

In the end it was deduced that the average American (and I'm sure this is no diff anywhere else) needs only a P3 750, 256MB ram, & a DX7 class video card. The data was compiled in 2002. Of course I understand these are generalties so I don't need to hear any "I use photoshop" remarks.

As for my own upgrades, well I got into computers very late in life, but it has been a love affair ever since. I was 32 (about 5 yrs ago) when I touched a computer for the first time. My first PC was a "top of the line" P3 550 w/TNT2 Ultra that cost me a fortune. I used it for years until I upgraded to a P3 1400 Tually, then to a Barton 2500 & now to a 2.2GHz A64, with some duallies along the way. None of my upgrades were top of the line at the time of upgrading.

Funny thing is, I've never had the "pleasure" of using Win9x on any of my personal computers. I started off with NT3.51, then NT4 thru 6 service packs, then Win2K thru 4 service packs & only very recently to XP. Of course when I feel like inflicting pain upon myself, I reach for a Linux CD :)

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Most people don't need more than a PIII Katmai-class machine with 256 MB RAM, a large enough disk and a vidcard that renders fast enough for a nice internet experience. Of course a fast Coppermine (800 MHz+) or early P4 with 256 or 512 MB RAM would be noticeably faster and give a much nicer user experience. Anything above 2 GHz + 512 MB RAM is overkill for most people.

At my girlfriends' work they use HP and IBM PIII 450's with 128 MB RAM and Win9x. They're good enough for surfing the web, using their online agenda and MS Word. Their Dell PIII 1GHz's with 256 MB RAM and W2KSP4 are much better though. But their Athlon XP220+'s with 512 MB RAM don't feel much faster than the Coppermines for the stuff they do. Their file server, a cutting edge IBM Netfinity 3000 PIII 650 with 512 MB RAM and 3 9 GB 7200 rpm SCSI disks in a mirror + hot spare config is also more powerful than they'll ever need to serve files for 15 PC's.

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Ron-Jeremy,

I agree on the OS's. I always used Win98 for games and NT4/2K for serious stuff. I worked more on my PPro with NT4 than on my K6-2 for the year and a half I used both.

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Ron-Jeremy,

I agree on the OS's.  I always used Win98 for games and NT4/2K for serious stuff.  I worked more on my PPro with NT4 than on my K6-2 for the year and a half I used both.

The only game I've played regularly is Half-Life/Counter-Strike, & it ran like a jewel on NT4 :)

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