Friday , March 1 2024
A "rocking video card" as an essential computer accessory? I'm not so sure about that.

The Ever-Expanding List of Essential Computer Accessories

I’ll admit it, I like my technology. I wouldn’t say that makes me a geek (I have way more qualifications for the title than that). I like my computer accessories. They’re the odds and ends and bits and pieces that really make sitting in front of a screen (or, ideally, dual widescreens) for days on end fun.

Even when I’m not in the market for a computer, I’ll sit there at various manufacturer websites tweaking configurations, seeing just how much bang I can get for my buck. I’ll of course also do a couple of really silly configurations, trying to note just how much I could end up spending on a computer if I had endless oodles and oodles of money. I guess I’m just going to have to admit it, I’m one of “those” people. I’ll spend over an hour going aisle by aisle at Fry’s, seeing the latest doodads and trying to scope out bargains.

There was a time in my life when I was sure I wouldn’t go down that road, I saw my dad doing it and I thought to myself that there couldn’t possibly be anything so interesting about the 45 different choices of mice that warranted lifting each one’s box and examining the device and package thoroughly. How wrong I was. How foolishly naïve.

What strikes me as odd these days is how many computer “accessories” are in fact completely essential. As an example, a mouse is an accessory, but can you imagine trying to do anything on a computer without one? Technically, of course, you can operate a computer without a working mouse. The reality of the situation however is that you’d never want to try, it would be way too frustrating and time consuming.

Me? I not only need a mouse, I need it to be wireless, and I want my keyboard to be wireless too (and ergonomic, but that’s not essential). I spend hours a day in front of a computer, so I want a big monitor, something crisp and clear that doesn’t force me to squint at the screen. I watch tons of DVDs and TV shows sitting at my computer, so I need a decent set of speakers too. Plus, a printer, scanner, and fax machine, hard to conduct business without that stuff.

Oh, I could go on and on, but eventually we’d just get into my wants — like a super-fantastic video card — and not my needs. Sure others may need such a video card (all depends on what you’re doing), but its not my need.

I guess I should actually just have omitted the “may” need about the video card, because over at UnSpun (where, it is true, I’m also a writer), they have a list of the Most Essential Computer Accessories and “Rocking Video Card” is currently sitting at number three on the list. Amusingly, that places it one rung higher than a keyboard, see:

Just looking at the list makes me wonder if we’re eventually going to get to the point where home computers are going to get their own sacred room. People already put “media rooms” into their houses so that they can watch 60-inch flat screen televisions with surround sound and stadium seating. Is the simple desktop computer headed in that direction? Or, did we get there already with home offices? I think if we give it a few more years we may just be able to get to the point where we never need leave our houses again (until we default on the mortgage).

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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