PC Doctor October 14, 2020

Have your computer questions answered here! Search the PC Doctor archive or submit a question of your own at info@athollibrary.org

Dear PC Doctor:

I have been borrowing a laptop for the past few months. It’s been great – I’ve been able to help an elderly relative do some online ordering, and I’ve been working on a wiring project. I think it’s really time for me to get my own computer. I don’t know what to look for; what kinds of questions should I be asking while I’m computer shopping?




Dear Elle:

There are a number of things you’ll want to decide before you make your purchase. What do you want your computer to be able to do? Do you want to use it at home only, or do you want it to be portable?

When looking at models in a store or online, ask how many gigabytes of memory, what kind of processor it has (dual core, quad core, etc.), how big the screen is, if it has a built-in camera for videoconferencing (some monitors don’t), and how long the battery will go on a charge (if it’s a laptop). Can it connect wirelessly to the internet or does it need a cable? Does it have a CD/DVD drive? (Many new computers do not.) Does it come with any programs installed, or will you have to purchase or subscribe to them after you buy the computer? What kind of warranty and tech support come with purchase?

It’s worth going in person and trying out the floor models in a store, as keyboards and screens vary and you will want to be comfortable when you use them. Bring your questions with you and ask them all!

Good luck!
Until next time,
Happy Computing!
PC Doctor

Editor's Note: Questions should be directed to PC Doctor, care of the Athol Public Library, info@athollibrary.org or Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., Athol, Mass. 01331, or dropped off at the library