February 7, 2010

A checklist for buying a new computer

Posted by Ben Simo

Buying a computer has changed significantly in the past 25 years. Or not?

From Melbourne's The Age, 18 June 1984

Some features that are really important to me:
  • on-off switching (the most important feature)
  • security against blow-up (because I fear burns and shrapnel from exploding computers)
  • position of reset key (a reset key next to the shift key would be a pain)
  • big yellow bus (aren't computers good for education?)
  • radiation shielding (don't want to be sterilized while playing Pole Position)
  • movable screen (I might want to take the screen home with me)
  • ease of plug-in ROM installation (cartridges are better than tapes)
  • recognize commands in u/l case (I expect the computer to understand me -- EVEN WHEN I YELL AT IT!)
  • hard disc option (I prefer to save data to tape, but a hard disc would be a nice option)
  • stand-alone capability of slaves (I want slaves that can work without being micro-managed)
  • octave range (I need a computer that can sing soprano)
  • RS-232C port (In case I want to interface it to my lawn sprinkler system)
  • Paddles (to spank the computer when it misbehaves)
  • key-word dictionary (to understand this check list)
  • country of origin (can I get a machine made in the USA?)
  • dynamic debugging tool (certainly don't want a static debugging tool)
  • Logo (because I just love that little turtle)