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The Cheapskate's Guide to Computers and the Internet

Computers on Desk

You need not spend large amounts of cash for decent computers and reasonable internet services. If you know how, you can get these cheaply. This site is dedicated to showing you how.

Core Articles

When Buying a Computer, More Knowledge Equals Lower Cost (9-20-18)

It seems that very few consumers of computers understand this one simple rule: the more you know about computers, the less you pay for them... Read More

Why are there so many Lousy Laptops? (9-21-18)

There are so many really, really, awful, horrible laptops (and desktops) around. The question is why? And what should you do as a result? ... Read More

Laptop Beauty is only Skin Deep, but Functionality goes all the way to the Bone (9-21-18)

Many people like their laptops like they like their women: thin and beautiful. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But, as with many women, there are disadvantages to laptops that are thin and beautiful... Read More

Know what You Need Before You Buy a Computer (9-22-18)

Knowing what you need before you buy a new computer may save you a substantial amount of money and will greatly improve your chances of getting the computer you really want. Now, you may be thinking, "Of course I know what kind of a computer I need!", but do you really? Is the computer you're thinking of buying really the one you need? Or is it just the one you want? ... Read More

Know What You're Buying Before You Buy a Computer (9-22-18)

The better you understand any computer you're considering buying, the more money you'll save and the more satisfied you will be with your purchase. Most consumers of computers know little about what they're buying. The common result is that they experience significant buyer's remorse when they get their new computer home and discover that it is low quality, frustrating to use, and/or doesn't do everything they want. The way to not fall into this trap is to do your homework before you buy... Read More

Know a Quality Computer when You see It (9-24-18)

Being able to identify a quality computer is an important skill to develop over a lifetime of computer buying. Unfortunately, it is also a difficult skill to develop. Fortunately, there are some key features of quality computers. Most of these are more important to look for in laptops, because desktop computers tend to stay put and have more replaceable components: ... Read More

Buy a Computer at the Knee of the Cost Versus Time Curve (9-24-18)

If you can live without the newest computer, you can almost always find the best value by buying at the knee of the cost versus time curve. Time is the time since the technology first appeared on the market, and cost is the cost to you to buy that technology today. The reason you may want to buy there is that this is where you can get a great deal while still getting a computer that is eminently useful... Read More

Why used Computers can be such Good Deals (9-24-18)

You hear a lot of trepidation out on the internet when the question of buying a used computer comes up. It seems that most articles don't recommend it. The fact is that you can easily make a mistake. But as you make yourself more knowledgeable, your risk goes down. The risk never goes away completely, but you can learn what to look for and what to avoid. But why risk it? The reason is simple, the right used computer can be a really great buy... Read More

How to get a Cheap Laptop (9-25-18)

The first steps in successfully obtaining an inexpensive computer that you will be happy with are: 1) knowing what you need, 2) knowing what you're buying, and 3) knowing quality when you see it. This article takes the process from there to show you where to shop or how to otherwise legally acquire a cheap laptop... Read More

How to lower Your Monthly Internet Bill (9-25-18)

These days consumers can find themselves in the position of paying exorbitant prices for bundled communications services, including internet. This article tells you how you may be able to reduce your cost for monthly internet service... Read More

Why You should absolutely be using Linux! (9-26-18)

These days, everyone should be using Linux! I know that isn't going to happen any time soon, but I just have to say it again. Everyone should be using Linux! Being a cheapskate, I can't help being in love with the Linux operating system--even though at times, it's a painful kind of love. Here's why... Read More

Most Recent Articles

6 Reasons for Maintaining Anonymity in Your Online Social Networks (6-24-19)

In a recent conversation, some additional reasons for maintaining anonymity in our online social networking were pointed out to me. I had not seriously considered them, because I had not understood the degree to which some troubling problems have begun spreading surreptitiously through our western world... Read More

Cheaper Alternatives to Cellphones and Landline Phones (6-18-19)

Several options exist for those who would like to have cheaper telephone service... Read More

My Search for Alternative Social Networks (6-12-19)

Giant social network websites like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and Google Plus have some significant problems. One is that users have no real control over anything that happens there and, therefore, often zero recourse when they are treated unfairly. The way users are treated is completely at the whims of the companies that own these sites... Read More

The Cheapskate's Over-the-Air (OTA) DVR (6-6-19)

Because there is nothing like watching a TV program whenever you want, the DVR is the best invention since the VCR. I say that a bit tongue-in-cheek, because DVR's fulfill the same role as VCR's but are not as good for a number of reasons... Read More

Why You should Dump Your Bubble-jet Printer and Buy a Laser Printer (5-31-19)

Sometime in the late 1980's or early 1990's, daisy wheel printers went out of fashion and were replaced by bubble-jet printers. For the next twenty years or so, we couldn't get our hands on a daisy-wheel printer--except maybe at a thrift store, if we were lucky... Read More

Trump Trade War may Increase Cost of Your Next Computer, but It's Unlikely to be Made in US (5-24-19)

David, one of my fellow college students in the early to mid 1980's, was a unique individual, a free spirit, outgoing and outspoken. He liked to have fun, and he liked other people, and everyone I knew who knew him liked him. David worked his way through his first two and a half years of college looking through a microscope. He worked for Motorola quality control in one of their semiconductor fabrication plants (fabs) finding flaws in silicon wafers... Read More

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