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IT 105



In a time when information is flying around us at a dizzying pace, many people feel the need to own a PC. Whether you buy a machine to do word processing, electronic filing, accessing bulletin boards, the Internet and information services, some principles of buying the machine are held in common. This exercise is designed to familiarize you with the purchase of a personal computer.


1. Write a report (4 to 5 pages) that will detail how you chose a particular machine and software. (You also may consider any peripheral devices that will meet your needs). Generally, a person will first choose the software they wish to run, and then find a machine that will run that software.

2. The report should be written in sections.


This part of the paper will introduce your topic to the reader. This section can include information about the place of computers in modern society as well as any personal anecdotes you may wish to add. In addition, there is a library component in this paper. Please include a quote or two from a book or a magazine on PC's and footnote appropriately. The quote should reinforce you introduction or reinforce an important point you wish to make in this section.


This section explains why you would want/need a computer. What will you use it for? How will the purchase of the machine and software help you be more productive, save money, save you from headaches, etc? How are you going to go about the process of choosing?


Where are you going to shop? Why did you choose to shop in specific places? What are the pros and cons of the choices you made regarding where you would shop (be sure to include pros and cons of all of the following categories of places to shop)? Why did you exclude shopping in certain places? You may want to consider the following places as you shop:


What software are you choosing to build your hardware around? How will certain kinds of computers be eliminated and others be seriously considered, as a result of your software needs. Include in this your choice of operating systems and why you chose that system.


What peripheral devices will you need to meet your usage needs? How will these devices affect your choice of computers? Why are these particular devices important to you? How much cost is added to your overall system due to these devices? Are any of these devices included in the system "package"?


What computer system did you choose? Why did you choose this computer over others? You need to compare at least 3 different systems from 3 different sources. One of your sources must be a retail store. Beware of the salesperson; they may know a great deal or very little at all. In either case, include details of your experience with the sales help.

Please spend some time on this section. Make it very clear to the reader which computer you chose, and why you selected that computer over the others. Was it warranty and service, price, extra goodies they threw in? Did you trust the salesperson? Was the name brand important to you? Be as detailed as possible.

3. The last section of your paper will be a spreadsheet showing the important details of the computers you reviewed. The spreadsheet will contain the following headings, along with the specific information on each machine:

4. Please double-space your paper and use no larger than 12-point type. Include a title page, the 4-5 pages of your text, plus your spreadsheet and any supporting materials, brochures, etc.