Very OT - Computers

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Please don't blast me for asking this question here. I have posted here before and received excellent advice, so I am back.
I am in the market for a new computer. I am interested in Dell. When searching the Dell sites, I see lots of complaints about service, etc.
Do any of you use a Dell computer, and can anyone recommend a model for someone who uses the computer basically for email, newsgroups, searching the web, playing solitaire, and making greeting cards?
I am totally lost, and as you can see, I am not too computer savvy. I just know the basics, and my computer man, in this small town, just retired due to ill health.
Many thanks in advance to anyone who can help.
Corinne
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I've had four Dells and never had a need for service. The next one will be a Dell.
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Corinne wrote:

My wife bought a Dell several years ago. The "clock" has never kept correct time. The CD drawer opens and closes randomly. She's paid four different computer experts to work on on the computer. TB
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snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote:

fix from Dell but it doesn't stay fixed. It sees my external HD instead. Don't use the CD much, so it doesn't matter. I have to reboot to get the clock running on time - was late for quite a few things before I trained myself to look at my wristwatch instead of Windows time :o)
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Search the eb, or the Tucows site, for a freeware program called "About Time". Load it, configure to run in backgrund, you'll never again have a clock problem, i'll check the atomic clocks at NIST , NASA and the Naval Observatory for correct time and reet your box's internal clock whenever you start the box or at intervals you set. Accurate to milleseconds but not nanoseconds. Doubt you need nanosecnd accuracy.
--
Jim McLaughlin

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Jim McLaughlin wrote:

Time sync is built in to XP.
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Lots of folks have no use for XP.
--
Jim McLaughlin

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On Thu, 13 Jul 2006 23:32:39 -0700, "Jim McLaughlin" <jim.mclaughlin> wrote:

I started avoiding XP before if became available, when I heard about the "product activation" unfeature which gives MS ultimate control over your OS. I never wanted to get dependant on such a thing.
Since then, I've found various other reasons not to use XP.
--
Mark Lloyd
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to switching to an Apple. The tentacles of Redmond were just too deeply imbedded in my machine to make me happy.
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

My switch was to Linux (Mandrake, now Mandriva). Not perfect, but what is?
Any tech support I've needed has been solved with a simple Usenet message. Generally speaking, post it at bedtime and read multiple responses upon awakening.
Bottom line is my computers have never been so rock solid stable. And I don't spend time or money on things like anti-virus applications.
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Ditto.
In general, you don't spend money for applications at all. There are thousands of free applications, and they aren't full of advertising either, they just do what you want.
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On Fri, 14 Jul 2006 20:30:38 -0400, Dan Espen

I prefer free software. It's not about the money, but the stuff (advertising spyware, intentional weak links "product activation") they put in commercial software.
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Mark Lloyd
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My desktop[*] has been running SuSE for a couple of years (SuSE was the first with good AMD64 support), but with 10.0 I've lost DualHead support. It seems SuSE and Matrox are in finger-pointing mode.

True, though don't be surprised if Linux starts getting infested with malware.
[*] My laptop is XP.
--
Keith


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I'd be very surprised, first I'd have to start installing random commercial packages. (Weatherbug and the like.)
I can't imagine why I'd do that. All those nifty little tools are already available from trusted sources.
But then, I'd never have imagined an OS that would run an executable from email simply by reading it either.
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Back to the OP's question and concerns.
Win98 is going EOL at Microsoft. SO WHAT!!!!!
If it still works fine with all you need this computer to do, keep on using it as long as it lasts, even spend little bits of money to replace things if they break (power supply, mouse, keyboard, monitor) Shop around, used items, especially for monitors can be quite good and quite cheap. Power supplies, Rodents, and Keyboards are cheap.
When it breaks big time, i.e. hard drive fails, processor fails, burns up...... Then go see what the market is offering and make your decision.
Right now, if you go buy a machine from Dell, HP/Compaq,e-machines, Sony..... they call come with WinXp (home or Pro). In 6 months to a year, they will all come with Vista.
End of Life is a meaningless term. All it means is that if you call Microsoft Support, they will refuse to answer your questions. If you find a bug (bloody unlikely), they will accept your information, but nothing will ever happen. EOL does NOT mean that Win98 will STOP working, that the machine will refuse to boot Win98. Far from it.
IBM stopped supporting OS/2 several years ago. There are tens of thousands of computers around the world (even ATMs, bank teller terminals, stock brokerage terminals) that are still going strong with that old product. Just don't call IBM for support issues with OS/2, you'll get no answers.
EOL does not mean that the product stops working, it just means you are on your own for support (and most of us are in exactly that shape regardless of whether we use something from Microsoft, a Linux version, OS/2, Apple........)
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wrote:

But it will mean something with XP (and later), where you have to have their permission every so often or else the OS commits suicide.

--
Mark Lloyd
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Mark Lloyd wrote:

Yeah, you have to have "their permission" when you _install_ and at no other time.

--
--John
to email, dial "usenet" and validate
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It is a matter of time. EVERY operating system has holes. Some are just harder to find. The reason Windows has so many attacks is the infantile minds of those that rite virus and worms. They have such a hate for Gates and Microsoft they spend hours, day, even weeks of their time to "get" them.
In a perfect world, we would not need anti-virus software, policemen, etc.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

those of the user. If you're dumb enough to grant administrator privileges to something unknown then it is your fault you got hosed, not the OS.
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krw wrote:

Infections are in theory possible. But usually require the user to do something dumb like granting administrator privileges to something they don't know about. Stupid.
[*] My laptop is Mandriva 2006
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