Frequently Asked Questions (Part 11)

Q) How much Hard Drive space should I have in my computer?

A) This is a bit of a moving target, unfortunately. In an office setting, more and more data is being kept on central servers, so you don’t necessarily need a huge hard drive in those instances- I think about 250GB should suffice. In a home environment with or without an office, you might want to consider something larger. Hard drives come in a few different types that you should be aware of, too. The fastest but most expensive type is Solid State Drive or SSD for short. If you can afford it, this is the way to go. Your computer will run 4 to 10 times faster if you do. The middle of the road option is called a hybrid drive that has a small SSD built into it, with the rest of the storage being on an older Spinning Disk, which is the third and cheapest type. Just know that the Hybrid drives can perform as well as SSDs in certain circumstances, and traditional Spinning Disk drives tend to be cheaper, but perform slower. As a general rule, 2TB tends to be a good capacity for home computers that you don’t use with a server.

Q) Inkjet or laser printer?

A) It used to be that you would go inkjet if you wanted color printing and laser if all you needed was black and white. In the last few years, color laser printers have come down in price enough to make them competitive, however. The rule of thumb I use is to always get a laser if all I need is black and white, and I would ask myself how much color printing I needed to do before choosing between ink and laser. If you’ll be doing a lot of color printing, laser is a better investment because the total cost of ownership over time will probably be cheaper than buying ink all the time!

Q) Should I lease or buy equipment for my company?

A) The most common technology equipment that gets leased to organizations that we’ve seen would be modems, phone systems, and copiers. Some organizations will lease servers and desktops, but we don’t recommend that due to how commoditized (i.e. cheap to buy and replace) computer equipment has become in recent years. The only time it makes sense to lease with maintenance agreements would be when repairs would be costly due to the price of parts or labor or both. This makes sense in the case of copiers, might make sense if you have a complicated phone system, and not at all when it comes to modems, but ultimately you need to ask yourself a few questions before deciding which way to go. How old is the equipment? How much does it cost per hour to pay someone to work on it? Do you have a large emergency fund to address unexpected expenses should it break down? Remember that lease/maintenance agreements are like insurance policies designed to transfer risk of repairs to the provider. If you can “self-insure” against issues that come up, maybe purchasing makes more sense for you

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