I'm a beginner when it comes to modern computing, but intermediate in older technology. I used to know a bit about 15+ years ago, but that was right around the Y2K scare, and we all know how much things have changed since then. Computers from those days don't stand a chance living up to today's requirements. Sure, they use even ancient computers to power robots in factories and what-not, but those were the days when one core was all you needed.
I'm still not really into all the modern computer hardware, although I'm going to have to know a lot more since I just built my first custom machine. Started off I just got sick of the old Dell Vostro 220 I have - it's 10 years old and at the end of its life. At first I asked another IT at work (I'm also in IT but the software side of it) if I could trade my computer with something a little juicier, but there was nothing worth trading without stealing an employee's computer :-/
So I decided to build my own. Originally a budget of $500, maybe $600, and... well... $1,300 later...