Well, actually, I’m just a geek in general. If it makes noise, has to do with moving lots of electrons around, or involves code I’m into it.
And even though I’m mostly a software guy in terms of the things I create, I love learning and knowing about all kinds of hardware. There are a ton of really great resources on the web for someone like me. Here’s a sampling of my favorites:
For example, I recently found this article on the Mac G4 on X-Bit. I am not a Mac guy but I’ve been really curious about how the G4 compares technically to a current AMD64 based PC. This article did a great job of eductating me; I loved learning how the PowerPC970 processor is not really a RISC processor anymore.
Buying hardware is another matter. I have found www.newegg.com, www.tigerdirect.com, www.buy.com, www.cdw.com all to be great online stores. I usually go to www.newegg.com first. If I need to actually visit a store I frequent Computer Stop here in Bellevue, Fry’s, Magnolia Hi-Fi, Definitive Audio, and I used to love Active Electronics for low-level components, but they went out of business. Vetco’s always great for wasting an hour or so.
I spend too much money & time on EBay as well. I don’t mind buying used electronics if the price is right. I’ve been very successful buying speakers, Ethernet/Serial transcievers (Lantronix UDS-10s), Crestron gear, and who knows what else on EBay. I’m careful to check out who I’m buying from if it is a high-value item.
www.gocables.com rocks when it comes to CAT5 cables.
DELL often has really great deals.