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My Venerable 386

          No small number of members have reminded me that my venerable 386
  computer is not exactly with the times in 1997.  I have regularly pointed
  out, in reply, that it was only recently that I gave up my 1926 Underwood.
  (There were compensations:  On that grand old machine, we learned fast
  touch-typing in a way that never leaves us--in my case, up to 100 wpm now on
  any keyboard on a good day.)
          Has the time come for me to similarly give up the 386--in computer
  years, as I read my mail, now at least as ancient as the '26 Underwood--in
  favor of something more up to date?  And if so, what?  If my journal should
  suddenly find itself with a few new subscriptions--and thus with a few
  additional dollars--would it be prudent to splurge on a new computer? 
          It hasn't escaped me that, on a discussion list with 270 computer
  experts, one should be able to get at least a small amount of good
  consumer-shopping advice.  For example, the New York Times (12/2/97, p.
  B12), praises the IBM Aptiva E16 ($999) as being superior to competing
  machines in that price class.  (Frugality is both a principle and a
  necessity with a small journal such as ours.)  Is that praise justified or
  is it just journalistic hype for a big advertiser?  
          Charles Mueller, Editor