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[ The PC Guide | The PC Buyer's Guide | Requirements Analysis | General Requirements Analysis Issues ]

Specifying and Buying A System For Another

There are several situations in which you may find yourself specifying a PC for someone other than yourself:

  • Consultancy: You may be a professional consultant hired to specify a PC system for someone else. In this case I'd expect you to know most of what I have written here anyway. ;^)
  • Drafted Consultancy: A friend or relative with no PC experience at all may have asked you to put together a system for them. This actually happens quite often to those who are unfortunate enough to be knowledgeable about computers. :^)
  • Corporate Purchasing: As an information systems professional, you may be specifying a system for someone in your company. Often that person will have special needs due to the particulars of their role in the organization.
  • Gift: You may want to give a PC as a gift, especially to a child or a student going off to college.

There are other situations as well, of course.

Specifying the requirements for a system under these circumstances is not in fact all that different from doing it for yourself. You'll want to consider all the same factors in deciding on needs and wants, however, you must of course view them from the perspective of what the other person requires. This is easy to say, but not always that easy to actually do.

Consider that when a typical PC enthusiast puts together a system for personal use, he or she is likely to focus on performance, expandability, and the quality of the components selected. However, if that PC is being put together for someone who is not into computers, that person's needs are likely to be very different. Say for example someone is making a PC for her parents, who want to do light office tasks, manage their finances, and get on the Internet. Their priorities are likely to tend more towards simplicity, ease of use, low cost and good service. They probably don't care much at all about power and upgradeability, and they almost certainly won't care about what the components used in the system are, just the "end result".

Tip: If you are specifying a PC for someone who lives in a different place than you do, be sure to buy from a vendor who will be able to support them where they live. If you buy from a shop local to you that is far away from the intended user of the PC, they will run into problems if they need service.

Next: Determining Your PC Requirements

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