The PC Scene in Budapest

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Title says it all. – Lajos Hajdu

Ed Note: I asked Lajos about what’s going on in Budapest and he sent this in:

“Here’s what I can tell you about the local computing scene. Of course, I’m not referring to office PC users but the group of young people who can be called computer enthusiasts:

1. Retail prices in general seem to be lower than in the USA, I don’t know
why – probably because of large-scale avoidance of customs duties by
wholesalers.

2. As incomes in general are not yet up to Western levels, most people go
for the “bang for the buck” (or bang for the forint, in our case) and buy
Athlons and Celerons. As to videocards, the Geforce 2 MX is extremely
popular and still relatively few people have GF3s. Geforce 3 Ti 200s and
500s are just starting to appear.

3. All CPUs and the largest brand mobos (Asus, Abit), except for the very
latest models, are commonly available. Quality heatsinks are not, though.
Mostly we have Globalwin and Coolermaster. I’ve been longing for a Swiftech cooler for my Socket 478 P4 (1.7 Ghz at 1955 Mhz) but the only way would be to order it from Germany, which I am not willing to do because of the high total cost, including shipping and customs duties.

4. As we are still outside the European Union, new products take a while to get here (a few weeks to one month from the time they appear in American retailers).”

And if you’re planning a visit:

“Some practical advice: Although the number of English-speakers is growing
very fast, don’t expect everybody to understand you. Historically we used
to be more tied to Germany. If you need a taxi, call nothing but City Taxi
(06-1-2111111, assuming that you’re calling from Hungary) or Fotaxi
(06-1-2222222).

Do not take posh Mercedes taxis standing at the airport or at hotels; they may well rip you off. Otherwise, public safety is excellent here, apart from a few pickpockets in tourist-frequented areas.”

Lajos is a translator whose English is excellent.

Lajos Hajdu

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