close this bookVolume 2: No. 06
View the documentNews -- computer industry
View the documentNews -- funded research
View the documentDiscussion -- career news
View the documentNews -- job opportunities
View the documentNews -- new journals
View the documentNews -- AAAI and journals calls
View the documentComputists -- David Lewis, Larry Bookman
View the documentI'd like to welcome two new members
View the documentDiscussion -- taxes
View the documentResource -- home business computers
View the documentResource -- legal software

The average home office worker spent $1,830 on a computer system, according to Link Resources (NY). Peter H. Lewis of the NY Times decided to see what he could buy for that. He recommended the $1,798 Dell 316SX with modem from Dell Computer Corp. (Austin, TX; (800) 626-4294), or the $1,495 Mac Classic 2/40. [SJ Mercury, 7/28.] (Dell had good press last year, but Northgate is also an excellent discount supplier.)

I've also heard that the average home-office start-up spends about $3,300 on furniture and equipment. Start cheap, then get what you really want after you've experimented and can afford it. (Exception: pay whatever is necessary for a good chair.) A desk is necessary, but can be any horizontal surface. A door blank on top of 24" filing cabinets works well for those who don't need drawers and pull-out shelves. Buy other equipment only when you really need it. Buy used if you can; it's a rare home business that has to maintain a prosperous image for office visitors. (You can take clients to restaurants if you have to, or meet at their offices.) Save your cash for a computer, printer, software, supplies, and perhaps a FAX, hands-free phone (handy when you're put on hold), stationery, legal and accounting help, incorporation fees, mailing lists, brochure design and printing, etc.