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May 26th, 2009 at 06:33 am

Forgive me, community, for I have sinned. I built a PC over the Memorial weekend.... It costed $1000. Yes, will someone in the back please open the window and let in some air for the lady that just fainted? Big Grin

There's a lot of reasons as to why I ended up going with such an expensive option, but I think the lengthy technical details would bore most of you. Suffice to say, I chose this route because I think it actually made the most sense in terms of total cost of ownership over the longer term. This new PC has effectively replaced three other aging hardware that I will no longer support and/or upgrade. The downside, of course, is the painful upfront cost.

But that's not the real reason why I'm writing this. Even though I THINK I'm making a rational choice, I am nevertheless filled with a profound sense of dread and fear. Because, that's so much money that I feel like I shouldn't be spending, and it's such a huge blow to my budget too....

Although a small part of me is jumping with glee over a new PC, the truth is, I have this irrational fear that it's all a part of this weird spending karma, where it's going to eventually catch up to me and doom my future.

Does anyone understand what I am saying here? Does anyone else feel that way too? (Edit: In retrospect, my past PCs were bought using credit cards and student loans. So, perhaps it's not completely irrational. This new PC was bought without going into debt or breaking the budget.)

Granted, it didn't stop me from buying the PC, and I don't plan on returning it. But still, it's just weird because I can't seem to be fully happy if I don't buy something I want, and I can't seem to be fully happy when I do buy it. I'm a very confused and unsettled person.

For what it's worth, I also sold my Xbox and all of its games, because it's one of the hardware that the new PC replaced. The money I got back from it helped to defray the cost of the new PC.

7 Responses to “PC”

  1. L Saver Says:

    It sounds to me like you made a thoughtful purchase (and you paid cash!) You didn't buy this PC on a whim. I think you will eventually be at peace with your decision Smile But I'd argue that it's a good thing that you have some second thoughts -- it means that you would be less likely to spend your money on something you didn't need in the spur of the moment...

  2. creditcardfree Says:

    Ah, I know exactly how you feel. I have a hard time spending money. Of course, I do spend, but inline with my goals and budget. I think, as stated above, you will come to be at peace with this purchase. Enjoy!

  3. miclason Says:

    LOL! shopper's guilt! BA, that's normal... but, the fact that you say "I don't plan on returning it" means you KNOW it was a good purchase...At some point, once we get used to taking care of our money, parting with it IS difficult... I, too, just bought a new computer...and part of me, too, is wondering whether it was the right decision/the right time...part of me KNOWS it was (the old one, while working perfectly still, just doesn't have the power to handle all the workload...and, as we anticipate even MORE work...)

  4. Broken Arrow Says:

    Hehe, well yeah, my old PC is just plain old, even though it still runs well. I was happy enough with basic stuff like email and net, but it struggles with newer stuff. The trouble with that all my old ones is that none of them are upgradeable. Old Macs, old laptops, and a slim profile desktop with proprietary stuff, not to mention terrible wiring.

    That's why it was so expensive this time around, because I had to get everything from scratch.... The components I picked out for the new computer is fully upgradeable, so from this point on, future upgrades will NOT be as expensive as what I've spent here.

  5. PrincessPerky Says:

    I think 1K is a fine price, and now that you have full access to upgrading you can do what you like, when you like for a whole lot less than starting new.

    So did you go with windows or linux? What did you need it to play? Have you found Hulu runs better on it than the old? Don't tell me the alphabet and numbers they wont make sense to me Smile Just wondered if Hulu was part of the decision.

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    My old PC was a Pentium 4. It actually ran Hulu (and YouTube) fine, but only for standard resolution videos. Anything bigger or in HD was too jerky to watch. Seriously, it was more like a fast slide show than a slow, jerky video.

    However, the Pentium 4, which was a hand-me-down so I can't complain, is a small form factor case which accepts only a slim profile card. It also had only PCI slots. In other words, I wasn't going to get anywhere with it unless I had a new case and motherboard.

    There's a couple of other reasons as well. For one thing, my budget Blu-Ray player finally bit the dust. Yeah, I know it's kind of crazy to say "budget" and "blu-ray" together, and that it could even bite the dust right now, but... it did. I finally hit a Blu-Ray movie I was going to watch with my son, but it couldn't read it. I was told it was a firmware issue that had to be upgrade. Unfortunately, the firmware actually BROKE the player! I was lucky just to be able to get a test disc back out.

    Regardless, even when it works, it was a very slow piece of machinery, so just for fun, I started to look for alternatives. For decent Blu-Ray players, it really comes down to either a PS3 for a standalone solution, or a HTPC for a DIY solution. I started to research some more and couldn't believe that internal BD-ROM drives go for as little as $99 now. Maybe saying "only" is kind of crazy here as well, since a Benjamin is still a big bill. And there are also *cough* er a few catches, such as that it required a rather expensive piece of commercial playback software. Well, that and it only works on Vista.... But that said, the total still came out to be cheaper than most Blu-ray players out there!

    There's also a matter of gaming? I had an Xbox, and while that was nice, certain PC games are what I've always loved. Of course, buying a new PC just to play games wasn't a good enough of a reason, and that's why I've never upgraded after all these years. Now that I've had other reasons to buy this PC, I did sell all of my Xbox to help defray the cost of the PC so.... I like gaming, but I am trying to keep it under some control?

    So yeah, put all of this together, and I basically built a Windows PC. HOWEVER! I haven't given up on Linux either. Quite the opposite, I specifically had to build my own PC BECAUSE I wanted one of the fastest Linux in all the land! And really, there isn't a whole lot that is much faster than a small embedded Linux distro running within the motherboard's firmware! I mean, this thing (called Splashtop) is wild. It's nowhere as fully-featured as a true OS of any kind, but say you just want to check something real quick on the forums, your blog, or even YouTube? No problem. It's advertised that it takes only 5 seconds to load up, and they're not kidding! It will also handle Skype, Yahoo chat, all your photos... and maybe mp3s, but I have yet to get that to work.

    Of course, anything beyond that, and you can skip right into your regular OS and do what you want there.

    So, between an old PC that can't be upgraded, a gaming machine that I've decided to sell, a Blu-ray player that doesn't work anymore, and gaining one of the fastest Linux in all the land, well... I decided to finally upgrade. And all the while, I trimmed down 3 pieces of hardware, half a dozen cables, freed up a few outlets, and cleaned up my desk by consolidating all the desired capabilities into one box.

    And I'm sure the kids will like it too.... So, can I come in now? It's cold out here. Big Grin

  7. whitestripe Says:

    $1k is an awesome price, i paid over $2k for my laptop - a few years ago (can't remember when, but i did blog about it here). it still runs well, i expect to have it for a few good years yet.
    i think guilt is a good thing when something wasnt neccesary, but i see a lot of people fret over spending money, any money, and i think that's unhealthy. (and then again, i see people not give a crap over spending money that isn't theirs, and thats unhealthy as well!) as long as you realise it's YOUR money and you're allowed to spend it, all is good! Smile

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