The Real Deal

Shopping Guide

Ready to go PC shopping? Here are some important questions you'll want to ask:

1. What are the PC's basic components? Find out about processor speed (we suggest starting at no less than 233 MHz), memory (get as much as you can possibly afford) and hard-drive size (3GB minimum). What extras does the PC come with?

2. Is upgradability an option? You'll be able to extend the life of your equipment if you can install additional hard drives and memory. Find out exactly how much you'll be able to upgrade your machine.

3. What kind of communication capabilities does the PC have? Ask if it comes with a modem (if so, what speed?) and any special communications software.

4. What about additional capabilities? For instance, find out about specifications for interfacing with external devices, slots for installing such extras as a network or sound card, etc.

5. What kind of service contract is available? You'll want to know what company is offering the service and the basic contract terms, including length of service, type of service (on-site, phone support, etc.) and the costs for purchasing additional service.

Contact Sources

Business First Inc., 120 E. Uwchlan Ave., Exton, PA 19341, (610) 280-7960

Integrated Technology Systems, (212) 750-5420,

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This article was originally published in the August 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Real Deal.

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