I need a laptop.
The 30 steps it takes to walk from my couch to my computer is simply too much. I could easily be writing this from the comfort of my living room, enjoying the Firefly marathon going on in my DVD player but nooooo, I have to have a “desktop” computer that, despite my constant insisting to the contrary, apparently does not go with the decorum of the room. I don’t know why. A giant, metallic blue, neon glowing computer is just what every living room needs in my opinion. Of course, my opinion on interior furnishing wavers towards whatever was “on sale” at the time, and so I need to defer to the experts on such matters. My wife assures me I’m wrong on all accounts, blue neon included. She is the expert after all. If it were up to me the living room would be full of bean bags and those cool video game chairs with the speakers built in. That tends to put a crimp on entertaining guest but hey, if my guests can’t appreciate a good bean bag, why are they at my house in the first place?
I jest of course. Just not about the laptop.
Unfortunately, there are far too many other things that require my financial attention. A boy can dream though, right?
I’m rambling. What I had really intended to talk about were the 400 things I haven’t designed, implemented or gotten to and how I need to do all of the above. I won’t. Mostly because I don’t have to and partly because I don’t want to bore the crap out of you. Which I’m probably doing. I should stop.
What was the point of this post anyway?
Completely random question: What do you guys feel is an appropriate markup for computer building. I mean, if I order someone $1000 in parts, what should I charge them? $1000.50? $1200? $1500? I don’t know how much computer builders make in the wild on a per hour basis. I only ask because I’ve gotten requests to build 3 different systems as of late and, although the “kindness of my heart” is bountiful, I’m not a complete moron. Maybe I should make a website devoted to system building? I am rather good at it. Sub-domains maybe? systems.liquidillusions.net or something like that. I should take some real pictures of my case.
This has been an exercise in random thought writing. Thank you for your patience. We apologize for the inconvenience. According the Douglas Adams, the only way to get better at writing is to write, regardless of the content.
It’s this whole stream of conscienceness thing I was going for.
I think I’ll make some lemonade.
I’d say, $100-$200 markup on a build.
I agree with Chris, also, I enjoy lemonade.
I’d go with an hourly rate. That way, the bigger the project, the more appropriate the pay. Get a nice invoice app to keep track your time and handle billing (I use “Billable” on the mac, but there must be a suitable windows alternative). Invoices are nice because they help conjure the illusion of you being a businessman and not simply a buddy with computer skillz. To figure out your rate, you need to know how much your free time really means to you. Pick a HUGE number that would really excite you as an hourly wage…a number you’d gladly give up a few hours on a Sunday afternoon for…then subtract 5 from it. If it still looks attractive, subtract another 5. Keep going until it no longer looks attractive, and add 5 or 10. That’s your hourly rate. Trust me, when the party who isn’t you is getting goods or services out of the deal, “kindness of the heart” shouldn’t factor in at all. You gots to get PAID, son.
As for advertising, I’d say wait until you have a few under your belt; then ask yourself if it was something you’re enjoying immensely and something you’d be willing to give up many foreseeable weekend hours on. If that answer is yes, then I think you should go all out for it. If it feels like a job, though, then odds are you should be spending your freetime with your wife or toys.
OR….you could just do it ’til you get your financing straight for a laptop, then close up shop.