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Back to Basics

Ready to outfit your home office with the tech essentials? Here's what you need.

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This story appears in the February 2004 issue of Start Up.

Congratulations-you've taken the big step and decided to start your own business. You've also figured out that a home office is right for you. You've selected a room or space to work in, but now you're faced with a wide expanse of empty desk space. It's time to fill in the blanks with some home-office technology basics. The hardware and software you choose will be the tools that help you run your business smoothly, so there are important decisions ahead. We're going to look at the bare-bones items you need to get up and running on a budget.

The logical first step is to buy a computer. Before the merger, Compaq Presarios were popular home-office desktop machines. Though Hewlett-Packard now owns the Presario line, they're still hot items. What's especially appealing about the HP Compaq Presario S6000 is that you can configure it online at www.hp.com to fit your needs. The basic S6000Z model starts at $359 (all prices street) with a 2GHz AMD Athlon processor, 128MB RAM and a 40GB hard drive. Those specs will handle most light jobs like Web surfing and word processing. If you plan to use more demanding applications and expect to network PCs eventually, you'll want to customize your computer with higher-end components like Windows XP Professional Edition and more RAM.

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