Search form

The Home Computer Hunt:

Computing the Cost

Perhaps you only have Internet access at work. Or maybe you can only surf the Net on your lunch break. Do you feel pressured to share the computer with others? It could be time to look into purchasing a home computer for your use and your convenience. On the other hand, this could also entail bringing work home in the evenings.

But as you know, computers do not necessarily equate with work. They are a source of information that is untouchable by any other resource. You can plan a vacation, book a hotel, or even order a pizza via the Internet. In addition, you can create a mailing list for your Christmas cards, balance your checkbook, or write a letter to a friend.

Computer possibilities are endless and the benefits are priceless. Are you concerned about the actual price tag on the machines? Of course, any major purchase takes some time and research.

All of the technology lingo can be intimidating, but with the help of online dictionaries, you can be talking like a computer pro. Check out these sites to help guide you through brushing up on the latest computer buzz words. Soon you will be chatting with terms like: internal cache, net lag, infobahn, and spam.

Yahoo! is a great place to start with a listing of free computer dictionaries.

Go to This page will give you a listing of specific dictionaries to choose. These sites cover definition of basic computer hardware to the newest Net surfing terms. Some sites include:

Now that you are geared up on the computer lingo, it is time to start looking at the prices. Luckily, costs are dropping as computers are becoming more of a necessity at work and in homes.

Deciding what to buy is a challenge, as well as when to buy it. Will you snag a bargain deal or wait for a better price? Remember the possibility of getting a system at a good price and adding to it later as prices drop on other components. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that as you purchase a computer and get it home, it has already become obsolete. Do not let that discourage you, upgrading is always an option.

Here is a listing of some sites that can help guide you through comparison shopping, pricing, and educational information regarding computer products.

  • The Computer Price Cruncher - You can search for any product and the "cruncher" will indicate who sells it and how much they sell it for. It also includes a directory of computer resources and a source to cruise the inventory of any store.
  • PriceWatch Computer Index - Find a great price by clicking thru categories or typing in the search box.
  • Computer ESP: Smart Shopping - Never overpay for software or hardware. ComputerESP now scans and compares over a million prices from major computer cyberstores in US and Canada and updates over 100,000 prices a day.
  • PC Today Home Page - A full listing of PC Today articles with material covering every aspect of PC’s.
  • - Features price trend graphs for a variety of hardware. Each month, they track price trends in selected categories from PC Today’s Buyers’ Directory.
  • Computer Shopper Buyers Guide - Offers a link to "Buyer’s Guide to Home PC’s" with many articles to refer to when shopping for what you want.
  • NetBuyer - Everyone can compare thousands of computer products, consult Ziff-Davis product reviews, and buy form the widest selection of vendors on the Web. It offers: search, compare & buy, get buying advice, vendor special offers, and spotlight.

A good site to browse before making your home computer purchase is:

  • Purchase Agenda: Outline for Inexperienced Buyers - Walks a rookie computer hunter through the pieces of a computer system with easy to understand language. It gives an extensive outline of the components needed to guide your personal computer needs.

If you are ready to purchase, check out one more option available to educators. The new Apple eMate 300 is the first of a new class of affordable mobile computers that work as a companion to MacOS and Windows-based PCs in a distributed learning environment. It was designed in conjunction with educators, who were involved in every phase of development. To find more information, please check the following Web sites:

These links include information including: press release information, quick fact sheet, eMate 300 FAQ, eMate 300 solutions, eMate 300 reviews, and pricing offers. If you have more questions regarding the eMate 300, please call 800/795-1000.

Initially, the eMate 300 was only available exclusively to K-12 institution customers, but now teachers, parents, and students can purchase the product directly from Apple, or from a campus reseller. It is a real bargain at only U.S. $799 through the Parent Buy and Campus Direct Purchase programs. Check out their Web sites for more details.

Article by Karla Mickey
Education World™
Copyright © 1997 Education World