As a theorist my chief capital costs are software and computers (for large calculations and simulations). If starting at a new institution I would ask for these in my start up budget (about 20k USD). But in 5 years these items might all be obsolete and incompatible. What do I do then?
I understand that most schools have computer replacement programs every x years but the type of computers I would be asking for in start-up are quite expensive and not your typical campus machine.
I am curious what other theorists have done. Especially interested in those that might be at a primarily undergraduate institution.