Do you really need a new computer? You keep seeing commercials that say that the newest computer is incredible and that many things have changed. Have things changed that much with personal computer technology?Yes and no. The popular computer manufacturers are always pushing their newest computers and technology. After all, without new sales, their businesses would be in serious trouble. Do you really need the newest computer sitting on your desk at home? The computer manufactures will tell you that you should constantly update your hardware. Is it really necessary to stay on the cutting edge?Let me give you a resounding NO. If your computer is operating well and is able to complete the tasks that you desire you probably do not need to upgrade your equipment.Back in the early days of home computers, technology was evolving at an incredible pace. I remember my first IBM XT desktop computer. At the time it was an incredible joy to have a computer at home to call my own. My first computer had a whopping 20 meg hard drive and two 5 and 1/4 inch floppy drives. It was a dream come true back in 1989.My next computer was a big leap forward to a 486. The increase in speed and functionality was incredible. You see, my first computer (the XT) was not able to keep up with my 90 words per minute typing speed. I would type a sentence or two and then I would have to wait for computer screen to catch up. With the 486, the computer was finally able to process the keystrokes faster than I could type. It was incredible.As the 1990’s progressed, the technology kept growing by leaps and bounds. Then came the 2000’s and still the technology was improving. However, even though the technology kept improving, the changes in performance as far as the user was concerned became less noticeable.That’s where we are today. Yes, the technology is still improving but the average computer user will not notice much difference between a new computer and a computer that is a year or two older.Do you think that a newer, faster computer will speed up the Internet? It won’t and here’s why. Assuming that your computer is not infected with hundreds if not thousands of ad-ware and spy-ware programs, your computer has nothing to do with your Internet speed.The speed of your Internet connection is controlled by your Internet provider. If you want a faster Internet connection, you need to upgrade your connection speed with your carrier.If you have dial-up, go to cable or DSL. If you have cable or DSL and your provider has faster speed packages (more bandwidth) available, take an upgraded package instead. Going from a 768k package to 5 meg package will definitely be noticeable while you are surfing.Today, most people can improve the performance of their existing computer by simply cleaning it. No, this does not involve a bottle of Windex and a rag. It does require a thorough scanning of the hard drive and the files that make up your computer’s configuration.This is not always an easy task though. You really need to be somewhat of a techie if you are going to try to clean your computer yourself.You see, every time that you remove a program, there is a potential that not all of the files were removed correctly. These abandoned files can go a long way towards fouling up your system. Additionally, just about every web site that you visit, leaves a small file on your computer as well.Not all of these files are dangerous though. Some of these files, also known as ‘cookies’, are left to help you log in the next time you visit the same site. However, there are a vast array of sites that leave nasty little files on you computer that slow you down and make your computer seem like it’s dying.To give your computer a pick-me-up, there are many cleaning programs and services available that anyone can use to successfully clean their computer. Most of these programs or services are referred to as ‘registry cleaners’ or services that promise to ‘speed up your PC’.If your computer is running slow, take a look at some type of cleaning program or service before you run out to the store to purchase a new computer. Sometimes a good cleaning will bring your current computer back to a blazing fast speed. If your computer is older than 3 or 4 years, maybe it is time for an upgrade to some new hardware.Bottom line, does your computer do everything that you need it to do? If so, then save your money and ignore those fancy new commercials. If not, then feel free to jump on the cutting edge and bring home a shiny new computer to your home office.