THe company VP called me into my boss's office Friday

I was informed that I was getting a new PC, and there would be no argument.

For the last couple of months, Google crashes my browser. I just started searching with Yahoo. Our IT guy was in the office Friday (a rarity, as he only comes in Thursdays) replacing my coworker’s computer. Normally I work from home Thursdays, so yesterday was my first opportunity to show him what Google was doing. He said something was messed up in IE and downloaded IE8. Problem solved. We also discovered my machine had 500 MB RAM. He took 500 more out of my coworker’s old computer, and now I have a gig.

Yes, my computer is old. Yes, it’s clunky. But with the new Exploder and more RAM it’s more than sufficient to my needs. I work for a non-profit company, and I hate the idea of them spending money on me if it isn’t absolutely necessary. Will a new computer allow me to accomplish my tasks more quickly? Sure. Marginally. But not enough to justify the expense, I think.

But will your old computer last the next ten years.


Depending on what you do, it might be less expensive than you realize. A modern, basic, general-use machine will probably only cost a few hundred bucks. It will be more stable and more secure, too, meaning less work for the IT guy. And it will run modern software meaning he won’t have to support multiple versions of whatever it is you use. If your computer’s as old as you suggest, it’s probably cheaper to buy a new machine than buy new parts when yours eventually wear out (and they will wear out.)

No offense, but the decision isn’t yours to make. Your boss and the company VP will have a broader perspective than you do. A couple of things that might affect their decision, and perhaps change your perspective:

  • You say that the new computer may improve your efficiency “marginally.” But (for example) if the current computer takes 3 minutes to do something that the new computer can do in 1 minute, then multiply that by 40 times a day, by 5 days a week, and the cost of new computer may well pay for itself (in terms of making you/your computer more efficient) in a fairly short time.
  • How much of the IT person’s time is spent fixing your current computer? that’s a cost, too.

Remember that there’s the hard cost of purchasing a new computer, but there’s also the soft costs of your time, the IT guy’s time, etc. In short, they know what’s best for the company, and I’m sure they consider cost vs benefit.