Everyday Computing, Features, Technology

Technology Shopping Hints

By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant
By Dr. Lyndell St. Ville- ICT Consultant

As Christmas fast approaches, many of us may be planning to buy various technology items. From smart-watches to smartphones, to smart TVs, there is an increasing range of technology items waiting to be purchased.

It is an exciting time to be shopping, but one should exercise the usual restraint before making a headlong rush into the shops (or these days, online) to make a purchase.

Whatever you buy, at least *try* to look beyond the price tag and consider how it would fit into your existing environment. Several years, I bought a scanner that only works with Windows software. The software is only available for an older version of Microsoft Windows. The result? I have been running a machine with an old version of Windows for the past several years, just to be able to use my scanner!

The rigmarole that I endure just to occasionally use my scanner is a strong personal reminder when shopping, and a deterrent to rushing to buy something just for the attractive price.

A simple tip, is to look for technology items that will co-exist peacefully with your other devices. This is especially true if you own or operate computing devices that run other operating systems such as:
* Microsoft Windows;
* Macintosh computers and Apple iDevices;
* Unix and Linux, including Android devices;
* other more exotic devices.

For example, if you already own a Windows machine and you buy an Apple iPad or an Android tablet, then congratulations! You now have multiple computing platforms to deal with. This is a very common scenario, and many people belong to that category. Therefore, when you are shopping around for a printer or a scanner, look for one that is compatible with all of your other computing platforms and devices.

Of course, the same logic applies whether you buy a smart TV, a backup or storage device, a printer, or another piece of equipment. This tip applies equally for the home or the office.

Happy Christmas, and as always, Safe Computing!

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