Should You Build Your Own PC?

Many people are intimidated by the inside of a computer case. At first glance all those wires and components look confusing and impossibly high-tech. The thought of actually putting all the parts together may seem impossible.

Not to worry! Even though they are the product of advanced technology, the various components of PCs fit together with relatively simple connections. Putting together a PC is about as complicated as repairing a toaster. If you can use a screwdriver and follow simple instructions, you can build your own PC.

Advantages

You are probably asking yourself why anyone would bother to build their own PC. After all, you can buy a cheap computer in almost any retail store. If cost is your only consideration, you are probably better off buying one of those cheap machines. But if you have special requirements for software or hardware, building your own PC gives you total control over the quality of the components.

You can save some money too. Although you probably can’t match the price of the cheapest preassembled PCs, once you start asking for customized hardware installation the cost of building your own computer becomes cheaper. And don’t forget — those super cheap PCs are bare-boned systems. Unless you only need a computer for basic word processing and e-mail, you will probably have to upgrade.

Building your own PC is a great learning experience. You will gain better understanding of how the various components work together – knowledge that can be useful when troubleshooting. If your computer ever breaks down you may be able to pinpoint and fix the problem yourself, saving on those expensive service bills.

Disadvantages

The major disadvantage in building your own PC is that you don’t get a system wide warranty. For example, if a malfunctioning motherboard fries your memory chips, you may be unable to get compensated for the damaged memory. If something like this happens with a store-bought system you could probably get the computer repaired under the warranty.

However, if you buy all the components at the same time and from the same retailer, they may be more likely to compensate you for this kind of situation.

Getting the Best

You are pretty well guaranteed to get the best computer when you build your own system. Big retailers often use cheaper OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) components to cut down on costs. Components like these can compromise the performance of a computer system. Although you can buy OEM components retail, the trade-off in reliability and stability is usually not worth it. Brand name components are usually just a bit more expensive and well worth the cost for the extra performance they offer.

The Bottom Line

Building your own PC has a lot to offer. You’ll be assured of getting the best components available which translates as the best and most reliable computer for the money. You will learn a lot about computer components and how to choose parts that offer the best performance. When it comes to servicing your computer you may be able to pinpoint the problem yourself and replace the problem parts.

Don’t be worried about the task of connecting the computer components together. Many of the internal connections are molded so that it is impossible to fit them together the wrong way. If you have ever assembled a child’s toy you are more than capable of assembling a computer!

Buying Toner Doesn’t Have To Break The Bank

I think we’ve reached a consensus that there’s a conspiracy afloat. You go to your local office supply store or membership warehouse, and find the deal of the century on a laser printer, photo printer, or inkjet printer. You take it home and are delighted by the quality of the prints, the speed of the printer, and most of all, that your new printer was incredibly inexpensive. The next thing you know, though, the starter toner cartridge that came with your new printer runs out, and you discover that the replacement cartridge costs about half of what you paid for the printer.

Yes, printer manufacturers are able to offer such low prices on printers because they make so much profit on toner cartridges. At least that’s the case when you buy an Original Equipment Manufacturer, or OEM, inkjet printer cartridge or LaserJet toner cartridge.

You are probably aware that there are other types of ink cartridges and laser toner cartridges available, but perhaps you’ve been wary of them. After all, printer manufacturers warn of dire consequences like equipment ruination unless you buy brand name (or Original Equipment Manufacturer) toner. The truth is, there are compatible inkjet printer cartridges and LaserJet toner cartridges that not only meet, but that actually exceed the specifications of the equipment manufacturers. These cartridges are brand new and provide you with toner or ink that will produce the high-quality prints you’ve come to expect – without compromising the parts or lessening the lifespan of your printer.

In addition to Original Equipment Manufacturer and compatible ink cartridges and toner cartridges, you can also find what are called re-manufactured cartridges. These are different from compatible cartridges in that they are OEM cartridges that have been used and refilled. Good re-manufactured cartridges consist of more than simply filling a used cartridge with ink or toner, though. For example, an inkjet printer cartridge and the print head nozzles will be cleaned. Then, once the inkwells have been filled with ink that matches the ink found in Original Equipment Manufacturer cartridges, the cartridge is extensively tested to ensure that it will do the job. It will, for example, go through tests to ensure it doesn’t leak, its circuitry is functional, and the pressure inside the cartridge is exact.

The key to finding the right kind of laser toner or inkjet ink at the right price is understanding the difference between Original Equipment Manufacturer products, compatible products, and re-manufactured products. Next, you have to find a reputable supplier of compatible toner cartridges and inkjet printer cartridges. The Internet is the best place to start. When you do, you’ll feel more comfortable with taking the plunge and buying something other than the pricey cartridges available at your local office supply store. You’ll be surprised that you can save a ton of money – as much as 85 percent! When you do, that low price you paid for your laser printer, photo printer, or inkjet printer will, indeed, be a bargain.

Hey Tosh Got A Toshiba?

Toshiba is a Japanese electronics company. It is short for Tokyo Shibaura Denki, the name of the company produced when two Japanese electronics giants, Tanaka Seizosho (established 1875) and Tokyo Denki (established 1890) merged in 1939. This new company was nicknamed Toshiba, and the company eventually adopted this name formally in 1984.

Today, the company is one of the worlds largest manufacturers of TVs, DVD players and laptop computers, among other things, and the worlds third largest manufacturer of computer chips. It focuses on digital equipment above all else, announcing in 2004 that it will no longer produce old-fashioned CRT TVs, switching instead to only manufacturing LCDs.

Generally, and similarly to other Japanese electronics manufacturers, Toshibas market position is that it is not cheap, but instead produces high-quality, well-designed products. Outsourcing has dented this reputation with some companies in recent years (notably Sony), but Toshibas reputation still holds strong they do outsource, but make sure to only choose high-quality manufacturers when they do.

Today, Toshiba is investing heavily in next-generation versions of several technologies, including HD-DVD (high density DVD, a DVD that can hold much higher-quality movies that current discs can) and SED (a display technology that is widely seen as the likely successor to LCD).

However, Toshiba has also seen its fair share of controversy, which makes some reluctant to buy its products. In the 80s, Toshiba sold equipment to produce quiet submarines to the Soviet Union, prompting a diplomatic crisis between the US and Japan and the arrest of two Toshiba executives. Most recently, Toshiba bought Westinghouse, one of the worlds largest manufacturers of nuclear reactors, hoping to cash in on many countries plans to build a new generation of nuclear power stations, and earning them the ire of environmental groups, who went as far as to hold a demonstration outside Toshibas headquarters.