New computer? Great gift! I have arrived at the opinion that when it comes to Windows PCs for the average Joe like you and I, it is pretty much up to your senses. Most of my experience is with the HP and Compaq brands, and they are just fine. The hardware is sound. It’s the Microsoft Windows operating system that all Windows PCs share that is the weak link. Frankly, I don’t get it. The more I use Windows, the less I like it. Generally, there are glitches every day, and that is with heavy use. It’s just not fun. It’s work. So, my advice is that unless you find something unique to the liking or addressing a particular need of the recipient, try to find the best deal from a major brand and go with it. Get loads of RAM (from Kingston, above). Operating a Windows PC is just too much work. I can say this with great confidence and conviction, because I use those frustrating Windows PCs daily, along with my Macs. Every day I am reminded why I love the Mac, passionately. It is my personal preference and that of everyone else here at Gadget Central. We have three here who also are Windows users. The new Mac operating system, called Panther, is just so elegant, useful, and with built-in ease and smarts that it is a daily pleasure to use it. Now, that’s fun! And I mean from boot-up through Web surfing and email, to word processing and literally every thing else. My Macs are just terrific. For anyone not passionately in love with the Windows operating system, I say, buy a Mac, whether a notebook, like the iBook or PowerBook, or a desktop, from the incredibly beautiful and functional iMac to the super-speedy new G5 desktop models that are as much a work of art as they are the fastest computers in the known universe. Even the inside of the G5 shows attention to detail, so that the user will say, “WOW!” just opening it up. See them all and buy with confidence. Don’t let anyone try to talk you out of buying a Mac. They are, well, what is the word? Oh, yes, it’s WRONG. They are just ignorant and probably do not know the Mac. That is what I encounter all the time. Mac-bashers who are not Mac users and who really know little about the modern Mac marvels. Check them out at your nearest Apple retail store or online at www.apple.com. Once you try Mac, you’ll never go back, now, more than ever.