I missed my post this week.  I have a good excuse.  The hard drive in my laptop started clicking.  I use my laptop to write and the thought of my hard drive dying didn’t sit well.  I bought a new one yesterday.  I had everything backed up, one copy on an external hard drive and one copy on Carbonite.  I don’t want to lose anything!

I found that I could buy a better laptop that I had for less money.  My old one cost about $550 two years ago.  It had a 15-inch class screen, 4MB ram and a 250 MB hard drive.  My new one cost $479.  It has a 17-inch screen, 4 MB ram and a 500 MB hard drive.  My son bought a similar machine last year and it cost him over $600.

I’ve come to the conclusion that these things are disposable anymore.  For $500 you can get a machine that will suit the needs of just about anyone except hardcore gamers and people editing lots of video or doing 3D work.  Thing is my old laptop had an AMD processor and my new one is Intel.  That makes the cost difference even more stark.

You could buy a new laptop every other year by saving just twenty bucks a month.  That’s about the useable life anyway.  Some component is going to go at some point and for less than $500, why not.  So now I have  a new machine and I’ll probably but a small hard drive and reinstall a few critical pieces of software on the old one.  I can take that one when I travel or use it as a back up in case something happens to the new one (knock on wood!).

This stuff used to be a major purchase.  You would plan for a new computer, not buy one on a whim.  Now you can pick up a low end laptop, if there even is such a thing, for just over $300 bucks.  For those of us that remember when a computer wasn’t an essential household item, that is pretty wild and speaks to the benefits of a free market.  What will become all but disposable next?