My deal of the year

My personal computer is a MicroCenter PowerSpec that I bought a year and a half ago to replace an older PowerSpec that had lost most of the functions of its integrated devices -- the on-board video, modem/ethernet, and serial ports were all dead. I had chalked this up to bad luck and was seduced into getting another PC from this same manufacturer by price. My current PC worked okay for the first six months, and then it began to intermittently reboot. I didn't want to go through the hassle of trying to get this repaired because I had a lot of data on it and didn't want to have to back up 60GB worth of files, so I tolerated this annoyance. As the warranty expired at the year mark the problem got progressively worse, and now a day doesn't go by that the computer doesn't shut down with a memory dump or just reboot. I thought the problem might be too much heat in the case so I installed a set of fans in an empty 5.25" drive bay as well as another one on the back of the PC, but the problem persists.

So as I mentioned in a note a few days ago, I've been reading the FatWal!et forums (specifically, Hot Deals) for a while with an eye towards finding a swinging deal on a new computer. Last week I read a posting indicating Office Depot had a 19" CRT monitor for $24 AR (after rebate). While I'd prefer getting a new 19" LCD, I knew I couldn't beat $24 for a monitor so I checked online to see if my local store had one of these available for pickup... and I lucked out--they had only one. Just before clicking "purchase" I scanned through the FW postings again and noticed that there was a coupon code good for $30 off, so I went back to my online shopping cart and added the code... it worked! After tax, I'm amazed that I'm paying less than $2 for taking this monitor off their hands.

Now all I needed was a new computer, and FW came through for me again. I read where CompUSA was going to have a great sale over the MLK weekend. Their loss leader was a Compaq Presario SR1710NX with everything that I needed for $374.99 + $22.50 tax, but then the rebates kicked in--a $200 CompUSA rebate along with a $50 Compaq rebate, bringing the price to $147.49 AR. At this price, I couldn't resist and picked one up on Sunday.

I might be surprised, but I'm guessing that this new 19" monitor + Compaq Presario for less than $150 will be my deal of the year. And yes, with this much $ at stake, the rebate forms are in the mail.