Wed Jul 07 1999 13:11: I just realized that my problem is that everything I know about hardware is about seven years old. Fortunately, the "plug cards into the motherboard and hope they work" paradigm remains dominant, but about this chipset business and this video card and sound card business, oy! These concerns did not exist the last time I bought a computer.
The last time I bought a computer was in 1996. But that computer occupied largely the same conceptual space as the one I bought in 1992, hardware-wise.
Hm... my computer purchases are just a little over three years apart. Three years and a couple months. Late 1992, early 1996, mid-1999. I wonder what class of buyer that puts me in.
My first computer lasted from 1987 to 1992. But I didn't do much on it.
The system I have my eye on is going to cost me about $650 with the shipping. That's about what it would cost to get the parts. Maybe $50 more. Why am I trying to rationalize this? I am not someone who thinks it a sin to buy a whole system instead of building one from parts. I don't even like building computers, dammit! I never liked building computers! I did it because it repesented a savings of $500-plus; this is no longer true!
Whoa. Okay, I'm better now.
Man, I hate dealing with hardware. Maybe it's just the cruftiness of the PC platform. But it's cheap and it works.