Ken's Corner 

nosy questions explainedIf you’ve been to the Connecting Point Computer Center store in the last few years, it’s likely I’m the person who helped you. If so, you might have noticed when you told me you needed a computer I asked what might seem to be a nosy question: “What are you using your computer for?”

Relax, I’m not trying to pry into your personal life as much as I’m trying to see what you need in a computer. I’ve said before it’s not my job to sell you a computer as much as it is to help you get the computer you need and computers aren’t a “one size fits all” item (In fact, I don’t believe there really IS such a thing.) Your requirements for a computer are different than other people’s.

Let’s say all you want to do is check your mail, pay your bills, surf the web a little, and play solitaire. That tells me you don’t need an ultra-powerful computer with all the bells and whistles. A basic system will meet your needs without emptying your wallet. By the same token, if your goal is to play the latest video game at maximum resolution, a dual-core processor computer isn’t going to begin to fill your needs.

Likewise, if photography is a passion and you need lots of storage and the capability to edit multiple photographs at a time, that requires a different computer entirely. Knowing what you want to do with your computer helps make sure you’re happy with your final purchase.

Be a little wary of what others might say you need. Friends’ advice is often helpful, but if they imagine themselves as an “expert” on computers, they can convince you what you “need” is a LOT more than you really need. A few years ago, a couple came in to buy a computer for working on their family tree. A friend had insisted they not buy anything without a top-of-the-line processor, a massive solid-state drive with a terabyte of storage, and several other features that would have put a $3,000 price tag on a computer Bill Gates would be proud of. Ultimately, they got a computer that cost less than a third of that. They were very happy with their computer and I was able to sleep at night.

I understand the temptation of “needing” the latest cutting-edge technology. A little while ago, I saw a computer I fell in love with. It had a high-powered processor with a 2 TB SSD storage and enough memory to run several programs at once without any “lag” (“Lag” is a slowdown of your computer that happens when your computer receives more information than it can process. This situation usually happens when you’re working with high-intensity video applications: Online computer games.). When I looked at it again with a clearer head, I realized it had much more than I could ever need. While I appreciate what it could do, it wasn’t what I needed in a system, and decided I’d rather be able to pay rent than waste my money on features I would never use.

If there’s a question you’d like to see covered in Ken’s Corner, please let me know. Send me an e-mail at or call me at the store at 815-223-1052.