Looking to purchase a laptop?

We often encounter requests for insights when people are looking to purchase a new laptop.  It’s not surprising that the field of options is overwhelming when one isn’t normally engaged in the field of RAM, processors, etc.

So, rather than try to dig up past emails we are posting our current recommendations.  Please be aware that they will be outdated in the near future.


  • RAM – 4GB or more
  • Hard drive – at least 250GB
  • Processors – faster is generally better but they are hard to compare.  Go with an Intel i5 if possible.
  • Pay attention to screen size and resolution.  Higher resolution screens are always good.


  • We don’t shy away from refurbished units.  We have had a lot of success and they have to pass thorough inspections
  • We tend to pay attention to several sites for deals.


Be a WISER Googler

Many people execute a Google search when they want to find some information.  Few people have probably invested any time to learn how to search more efficiently and skillfully; such an activity is probably common with the “geeky” people.

However, if you would like to gain a few skills to search more skillfully and remove results that are not pertinent, investigate the infographic provided by hackcollege.

Do I really need to buy Office?

People often ask me if they really need to buy Microsoft Office for their home computers, and I understand where they are coming from.  Office is relatively expensive, but it is so widely used that a computer is virtually useless without the ability to create and edit Office files.  So, what is a good dutchman to do?

Downloading illegal copies of the software is not only unethical, it is dangerous!  Illegally downloaded software may contain, at best, software that will cause annoying pop-ups on your computer; or, at worst, viruses and spyware that may destroy your data or steal your identity.  Illegal downloading just isn’t worth it!

Alas, there is hope!  OpenOffice is a free, open-source office software suite that will easily handle the needs of virtually any user!  Just go to http://www.openoffice.org and click on download to get  your copy today.

OpenOffice comes with several components, including:

  • Writer – your alternative to Word
  • Calc – spreadsheet software that rivals Excel
  • Impress – alternative to PowerPoint
  • Base – a good database program
  • Draw – use Draw to create diagrams, charts, and other graphics.

The great thing about OpenOffice is that it will read and write in the proprietary Microsoft Office formats.  This means that you can send an Office file home from school or work and be able to open it.  Or, you can create a word processing document, spreadsheet, or presentation at home, save it in a Microsoft Office format, send it to school, and be able to use it there.