I’ve been planning to get a new computer for about a month now because my main one started doing freaky things, my video editing station just took a dump, and even my laptop is full of annoying quirks. The audio on my podcasts has taken a turn for the worse because I now record on my laptop rather than risk a full-scale meltdown using one of the other systems. The problem with using the laptop is that the mixing boards and good microphones don’t play nice with its crappy sound card.

So two nights ago was the final straw… I was determined to get something new and get back to making great audio… really that is the only reason for an upgrade – I am perfectly happy doing QuickBooks, Word, Excel, etc. on a computer with quirks… it just made recording good audio nearly impossible. With real-life advertisers interested in sponsoring a couple of my podcasts, it was a no-brainer that I do what I have to in order to fix the sound, right?

First, I figured I would go the way I normally do and build a ‘whitebox.’ I had done this on my last five or six PCs and it allowed me to get just the right video card, sound card, memory, chip, etc. The problem was that during the past couple years since I spec’ed out my last one – everything got incredibly confusing and I stopped keeping up… so did my “tech guy,” who I won’t name.

It took a long time, but I finally went against my assertion that I would never buy a name-brand bundled hunk of garbage from someone like Dell, Gateway, HP etc. I went and checked out branded systems and actually sorta liked the HP “media” PC. I know it installs crap software that I don’t want, I know it requires HP replacement/upgrades which are much higher than the OEM stuff I can get, but I didn’t have to figure out what works with what. The problem is that it only comes with Windows Vista… even in the midst of selling out, there are some things I WON’T do.

So what about going back to Apple? I mean, my first computer was an Apple. I have owned six or seven Apples in my life. Why not just make the jump back to the Cult of Jobs? The price, for one. I am not trying to do Rocket Science here… they don’t do anything more than a clone PC… so why do I have to pay an extra $1,000 for a similar machine? Plus all my software is PC-based… I would have to spend a fortune on new software. (Don’t forget I do video and audio editing professionally and those programs are not cheap.)

The bottom line is that I am no closer to solving my problem because I hesitated to pull the trigger on the HP the other night. Turns out, it may have been a good thing because I got some news the following morning that will make me totally re-think my choice again.