Do you use a computer? (If not, how are you reading this???)
If you do, then sooner or later, you’re going to need a new one.
I hope I don’t sound unpatriotic when I say that it is better by far to buy a computer in North America. You’ll get name-brand systems for a lower price with more options and software included in the basic price. Plus, you’ll be able to read all about those options in a language you understand – a huge plus.
But never fear! With the information in this guide, you will have at least some of the tools you need to buy a new one here.
My husband’s laptop finally quit the other day. It’s been showing signs of dying, which is actually great, because he’d gotten nervous and backed everything up.
(It was for exactly this reason, we’re told, that Yitzchak davened for illness before his death. A midrash says that before this, people – like many computers today – simply dropped dead when their allotted time was up.)
So we had some advance notice of the tragic event. And we decided to replace it with a desktop which will give him room to spread out while he works and more of the semblance of an office at his little corner desk (me, I’m hooked on writing on my laptop – on trains, buses and anywhere I find myself!).
Decision made: now, all we had to do was pick one.
Now, I am not a computer newbie. I used to run a computer centre for seniors. I sourced and ordered all the computers, a server, outfitted and basically ran the network for an entire office. I have done server maintenance, network and firewall setup, hardware repairs and more. I wouldn’t set myself up as a computer professional, but I basically know what I’m doing.
Did I mention that I have taught workshops on how to buy a computer? I’ve done this buying-a-computer thing before – hundreds of times.
(I bought every single piece of hardware in this picture… and yes, that’s me at the front telling everyone how to use it all.)
So I figured it would be easy. Maybe even fun.
As always, however, things are different in Israel. It has not been easy, or fun, so far. And I thought it would be helpful to share some of what I’ve learned along the way.
I hope it will help anyone else who’s diving into this kinda-major purchase, along with a few of the pitfalls ion each category. Since we were buying a desktop computer, that’s what I’ve written about here. If you’re buying a laptop, some of these points may not always apply.
In each section below, I’ll include relevant Hebrew terms.
Basic words that are useful to know:
- מַחְשֵׁב / machshev = computer
- מחשב נייח / machshev nayach = desktop computer
- מחשב נייד / machshev nayad = portable computer (people also say לפטופ / laptop)
- חָמְרָה / chamra = hardware
- תָּכְנָה / tachna = software
- כולל / kolel = includes, as in “does this computer include a mouse?”
- לא כלול / lo kalul = not included
- ללא / l’lo = not included
- גִּ'יגָה/ jigga = Giga; in Hebrew, the “G” is bafflingly soft
- מַאֲרָז/ ma’araz = case, if you’re buying a desktop. Matters not at all.
- משלוח / mishloach or משלוחים / mishlochim = delivery
- שִׁדְרוּג / shidrug = upgrade. Many will be on offer.
- אַחְרָיוּת / achrayut = warranty. Very, very important!
Computer systems never include a monitor.
This is true outside of Israel as well. But there, we were always well-connected enough to score a free monitor of some kind. For a few years, it seemed we were drowning in them… but here, we had to buy one.