Here's our Hardware Tip for.. December 6, 2002
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Internal vs. External Components--Part 3 of 3
Consider your technical skill level before you buy an internal device. While installing an internal hard drive (or a modem or CD-ROM drive) has gotten a lot easier than formerly, it's still not for complete novices or the faint of heart. On the other hand, external components are generally designed to be plug and play, even if they aren't based on USB (Universal Serial Bus) or FireWire (aka IEEE 1394) technology.

If you have some experience with internal devices, or have a techie friend with some spare time, or have a phone and the time to call for technical support--by all means go with an internal device; otherwise consider an easy-to-install external component.