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

By Amanda C. Kooser

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Congratulations-you've taken the big step and decided tostart your own business. You've also figured out that a homeoffice is right for you. You've selected a room or space towork in, but now you're faced with a wide expanse of empty deskspace. It's time to fill in the blanks with some home-officetechnology basics. The hardware and software you choose will be thetools that help you run your business smoothly, so there areimportant decisions ahead. We're going to look at thebare-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. ThoughHewlett-Packard now owns the Presario line, they're still hotitems. What's especially appealing about the HP Compaq PresarioS6000 is that you can configure it online at www.hp.com to fit yourneeds. 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 wordprocessing. If you plan to use more demanding applications andexpect to network PCs eventually, you'll want to customize yourcomputer with higher-end components like Windows XP ProfessionalEdition and more RAM.

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