Nerds know what you need.

Choosing the right technology: it's not as easy as you might expect, and everyone that's ever exclaimed in anger at their PC (and who hasn't) has failed at it at some point. The most suitable choice is not always the most apparent and it's equally true that the most appropriate choice may not even be available. There's a lot to be said about finding the best fit and making it work for you. Frustration is the price you pay for getting it wrong and that means that for most choices the occasional round of grumpy expletives is par for the course. While some choices are simple, the features of a television set are fairly apparent and predictable, you know what you're getting and most of us will be concerned with the screen size and the input ports and think little about the wider specifications; just as it usually takes a serious audiophile to look beyond a handful of internet reviews of a home sound system. For most of us, getting these kinds of choices right for ourselves is not significantly difficult.

The less off-the-shelf an item becomes however the more difficult these decisions are. Personal computing in particular is a potential minefield. While your Operating System is one of a handful according to your experience and preference, the hardware and other software options are a different animal completely. Sometimes its hard to say exactly what your needs will be, especially with an item such as a computer which is expensive and will need to satisfy your requirements even as they change over the course of a few years. So you can't only consider what you want now, but also some room for growth.

There's something you can learn from the audiophile then; where his interests and passions surpass yours so does his knowledge. Passions exist to be shared and the internet it where that tends to happen these days. So whatever it is you're about to invest in seek out the enthusiasts. While reviews and technology news sites are all well and good, you can learn a lot from the discussions of people who are passionate and build hobbies or even careers around the technology they use every day. These people understand the one thing that it is most difficult to get a feel for: the flaws in a system and how they can be managed and it's usually those flaws that determine suitability (and prompt that tirade of foul sentiment).