PC World has come on a lot in recent years and I have friends who tell me they get helpful advice there. In which case our local branch may be an exception, because it still seems to be staffed by people from the dangerous-little-learning school of Saturday staff. We were in there today beating them down to a reasonable price for an Athlon 64 box without a monitor and once we'd dealt with the sales pitch we got in response to flagging down a passing minion and saying "we'll take this one" (a rather surprised "are you sure you want that one?") and firmly rejecting the support package, it was painless. But while we were checking out the Sempron 64 notebook I overheard a buyer asking the difference between an own-brand and a Toshiba notebook. He knew that RAM mean random access memory and he knew that more was better, but not why. The salesman claimed that "twice as much RAM means you can open files and programs twice as fast". Close, but no cigar. I might buy that twice the RAM will speed up running programs but opening them is down to disk speed and optimising where the data is on disk and which bits are pre-loaded, rather than how much real memory might or might not be free at the time.