1. TCO of a $500 Computer
Your friend Ron has asked for your help in buying a home computer. He is skeptical of ads for computers that cost less than $500. He intends to use the computer for word processing, e-mail, entertain- ment, and Internet access, and he wants your advice about how much he should budget for a home personal computer system. What is a realistic amount your friend might expect to spend, both at the time of initial purchase and over the next four years of ownership? Use catalogs, computer magazines, or the Internet to obtain current price information. Use a spreadsheet to draw up a sample budget, showing your recommended initial expenditure and the annual cost for the next four years. Break down the costs by the categories described in this chapter. Show the total cost of ownership over the four years that Ron plans to own the computer.

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