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Novice Karate Group (ages 8 & up)

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We Buy Any Computer

If you can give up the portability of a laptop and have a spot that you can devote to work, school, or just browsing online, you should consider a desktop PC. Desktops typically last longer, and are easier to repair and upgrade, than laptops. A standard tower is also cheaper and easier to upgrade than a mini PC or an all-in-one computer. You need a monitor and a webcam (and in some cases, a keyboard and a mouse) to go with your desktop, but those separate accessories will be better than what you can get from most all-in-ones.

we buy any computer


Andrew Cunningham is a former senior staff writer on Wirecutter's tech team. He has been writing about laptops, phones, routers, and other tech since 2011. Before that he spent five years in IT fixing computers and helping people buy the best tech for their needs. He also co-hosts the book podcast Overdue and the TV podcast Appointment Television.

But ultimately, relying on any one app to protect your system, data, and privacy is a bad bet, especially when almost every antivirus app has proven vulnerable on occasion. No antivirus tool, paid or free, can catch every malicious bit of software that arrives on your computer. You also need secure passwords, two-factor logins, data encryption, systemwide backups, automatic software updates, and smart privacy tools added to your browser. You need to be mindful of what you download and to download software only from official sources, such as the Microsoft App Store and Apple Mac App Store, whenever possible. You should avoid downloading and opening email attachments unless you know what they are. For guidance, check out our full guide to setting up all these security layers.

With the price of gold hitting an all-time high, you might be wondering if your old computer parts are worth anything. While most components are not worth very much, hard drive platters can be sold for a decent amount of money.

Until 1984, people bought home computers the way they buy cars, through retail dealers like Best Buy. Then, a 19-year-old named Michael Dell offered to sell computers directly to the public, by mail order. His recipe for success: build the computer exactly to the customer's specifications, after the customer orders it; cut out the middleman and dramatically cut the price.

In 1985, Dell's first year in operation, his company grossed more than $73 million. Now, many people buy their computers directly from the manufacturer, while others who prefer a different shopping experience buy from a local computer store. Computer prices have dropped dramatically, and Dell is a multibillion dollar company.

For prices like that, you would think that customers get exactly the car they want. Not so. While people can order exactly the type of computer they want, their choices for cars are, in practice, much more limited, because the car dealer is anxious to move out of the lot those cars already there.

If you want a test drive, a salesperson (salaried, not on commission) will arrange one. If you want to buy a car, you go to the Web. The showroom will have a computer you could use, or you could use your home computer.

If you're looking to buy a new computer sometime soon, you may well wonder how to properly time your purchase to get the best deal. Are there certain times of the year that are better for buying a new computer?

Back to school season: Many children and college students are in the market for computers at this time, and so that's a good time to find deals, especially if your state has a sales-tax-free weekend in the summer to encourage shoppers to open their wallets.

That said, while tax holidays can be an advantageous time for students and adults to buy a desktop or laptop, there are sometimes limits on how much the computer can cost to avoid sales tax. You may get a sales tax holiday on a $1,000 laptop but not a $3,000 desktop, for instance.

For much of the early 2020s, the best time to buy a desktop computer, laptop or whatever electronic device you wanted was immediately. If you were in need, and you found one with a good price, you were advised to get it, then and there.

When shopping for a new computer, prioritize what you're looking for: Do you want the best price or the newest product? While you can find discounts for desktop and laptop computers during the holidays for all brands, you may want to buy an Apple computer at a different time if the goal is to get the lowest price. In other words, if a new Apple product comes out, you'll want to look at what the new desktop or laptop replaced. You may want to buy an older version, which is likely to be offered at a steep discount.

Price. Dan Gudema, founder of SEO Turbo Booster and a software developer based in Boca Raton, Florida, says that the bigger your family, the better the odds that you should not purchase a new computer every time you need to buy one. "We don't believe it is necessary to buy new computers and often an upgrade is all you need to take what you have and make it work better," Gudema says.

Gudema and his wife have two school-aged sons. In total, they have five computers; two are Gudema's for work. Sometimes, they'll purchase new computers, but Gudema has had luck buying used computers off of Craigslist. If you're interested in buying used Apple products that have been tested by Apple and come with a one-year warranty, check out the "refurbished" section on

Brown says that used Apple computers and desktops are often a great deal. "Like comparably priced PCs, Apple hardware is high-end and has a long life. For this reason, refurbs from the Apple store site can be a great option," she says.

Features. If you buy a cheap computer that doesn't work for you, you'll end up wasting a lot of money. If you're a serious gamer or are running a business, you might want to opt for buying a computer from a company that builds computers on demand.

Tim Lynch, owner of Psychsoftpc, an artisanal computer hardware manufacturer based out of Quincy, Massachusetts, says that while "many folks will be satisfied with a cheap machine" at big-box stores and office supply stores, you're taking a risk. "They will perform OK for internet browsing, word processing, email and the occasional non-complex spreadsheet, but will struggle to handle gaming, video streaming and will find virtual reality an impossibility," Lynch says. He says that with 64-bit operating systems, even the cheap machines should have at least 8 gigabytes of RAM.

Both Lynch and Gudema say that if you see a computer with 4 gigabytes, it's extremely cheap, and you should steer clear. Brown agrees that 8 gigabytes should be your minimum. "If you tend to keep lots of programs open at the same time, or lots of web browser windows, more memory will reduce the amount of time you spend waiting to switch between them or load new ones," she says.

It seems quaint to remember simpler times when computing was more or less defined by Windows running on desktop computers. In 2013 the world has embraced devices built on several different operating systems and hardware platforms that are more or less incompatible with each other.

Whether you're buying a laptop, desktop or tablet computer, it's essential that you take the time to consider the device's processor, hard drive, memory, graphics card and operating system before making your purchase. These five components make up the meat and potatoes of your computer. Ensuring that you buy the right hardware can make the difference between a computer that works well and lasts a long time and one that does neither.

The Central Processing Unit, or CPU, serves as the brains of your computer. Processor speeds are measured in gigahertz, or GHz. When selecting a processor, faster is better. But faster processors are also more expensive. When deciding on a processor for your company's computers, take the time to consider what you need your processor to do. If you're planning to use the computer for run-of-the-mill office work using Microsoft Office 2013, for example, Microsoft recommends at least a 1 GHz processor. If you're planning to do more advanced, graphics-intensive work, a faster processor offers improved performance.

The hard drive is the place where files, programs and other data is stored in your computer. As of January 2014, two types of hard drives are on the market: hard disk drives and solid-state drives. Solid state drives are faster, but they are also more expensive. When selecting a hard drive, speed and size are the two most important factors to consider. If possible, aim for a hard drive with at least 1 terabyte of storage space.

Memory, also referred to as RAM, works in tandem with the CPU to determine how fast your computer performs tasks. As with most things computer-related, more is better. The quantity of RAM is measured in gigabytes. For average computing tasks, you will want a computer with at least 4 gigabytes of RAM. When selecting RAM, be sure that it's compatible with your motherboard.

The graphics card handles how video is processed in your computer. When shopping for computers, you will encounter two types of graphics cards: integrated and dedicated. Integrated graphics cards are built into your computer's motherboard. Dedicated graphics cards are installed separately. In general, dedicated graphics cards are more powerful. If you're planning to edit video, play games or watch high-definition movies on your computer, a dedicated graphics card is recommended.

As of January 2014, Windows is by far the most popular operating system in the world, running on more than 80 percent of the world's computers. You can either buy a computer with Windows pre-installed or purchase a copy of Windows yourself if you elect to build your own PC. Several open-source alternative operating systems are also available, most of which are Linux-based. All Apple computers come pre-installed with Apple's proprietary OS X operating system.

If you haven't been able to buy a Raspberry Pi online, you're not alone. The British tech company and its resellers are creaking under the pressure of backlogs for the tiny computer, and supply can't keep up with demand. 041b061a72


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