Scott Penrose


Scott is an expert software developer with over 30 years experience, specialising in education, automation and remote data.

Lots of people ask me how I pay so much for hardware. Those people are generally not developers :-)

Here is my basic break of items I use as a company, with a break down to approximate monthly costs. Rounded to approximate value; costs are ones I don't charge out, ie sunk costs that effectively are against my wages.

Monthly services:

  • Internet Connection, Mobile Phone etc = $150/month (relatively constant)
  • Business and Development Servers = $400/month (varies greatly)

Now hardware:

  • Experimental components = $50/month
  • New storage = $50/month
  • Laptop = $83/month
  • Desktop = $150/month

I purchase a new laptop every 18 months - and the number above assumes I get nothing back for the old unit.

My last purchase for a desktop was actually 6 years ago, which would half that number above to $75/month - that said, it is more likely that I normally upgrade each 3 years.

So yes - $5000 is lots of money to spend on a desktop. Compared to my communications expenses etc, it is not. I could half the amount I spend on a desktop - saving $75/month. Or drink one coffee less per day :-) (coffee $3.50 * 5 days per week * 4.2 weeks = $73.50).

If you want to save money - look at your service bills, not your hardware.