If you need to retool (as I recently did), be sure to determine what is the latest iteration of whatever you’re acquiring.

Sounds like a no-brainer? Four years ago when my beloved Apples died (after 8 years!), I decided to switch to a Windows PC. I chose Dell because they have a good reputation and I like their designs.

The sales rep cheerfully sold me two computers (one to be on the Internet, one off) with Windows Vista.

Right out of the box, it turned out that Vista had been outdated not just once, but twice!

The computers worked fine, and the non-Internet machine where I do my real work is still going strong.

But the Internet computer got hack-attacked, and AOL’s new 9.7 is incompatible with Vista. The AOL customer service rep just happened to mention that 9.7 is compatible with the new Windows 8.

Dell sent me a brochure in May. That’s May, 2013. The dozen computers listed had Windows 7! (And they weren’t deeply discounted, either). Only two had Windows 8.

Right out of the box, the printer/scanner I acquired (my sweet little HP Laserjet also got obsoleted) instructed people with Windows 7 to perform a hellish workaround in order to become compatible.

Man! I can only wonder how well Windows 7 works with AOL 9.7. I shudder to think!

So there you have it, my friends. It’s kind of like when the grocery store puts a bag of potato chips on sale. You think “cool,” take it home, only to notice that the bag has reached its expiration date.

Only a bag of chips is not quite the same as a pricy computer!

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, Smashwords, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more, on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, at Smashwords, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

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