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On buying a new computer for genealogy

In the past and for many years, I owned an Apple computer store which also sold a variety of manufactures' computers (most of those early computer stores are long since out of business). Since selling off my computer store business, I continue to teach a lot of classes about genealogy programs and online resources which gives people the idea I might know something about computers and so from time to time people ask me for recommendations on the purchase of a (new) computer for doing their genealogy. Often, when I give a reccommendation, the person comments that this is not what their son (fill in the blank) or whoever told them and they start to argue with me. Subsequently, my recommendations have become more and more general over the years.

Before asking, you may want to know a little bit about the person you ask as well as a little bit about computers. I find that when any of my friends ask their younger relatives for assistance in purchasing a computer they soon find out that the younger relative is more interested in what he or she can do with the computer than what my friend might want to do. But, as a genealogist you may not need the fastest game-playing graphics computer for your research, a cheaper off-the-shelf model might do just as well.

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