Search the web, 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 nanosecond accuracy.
I have a Dell - like any modern electrical/electronic, it isn't built to
last forever. I am the software guru, hubby is the hardware guru. I
wanted to add memory to mine, so I bought it and installed it myself.
Most difficult aspect was opening the case, as it is built a little
different than the instruction diagram. Dell has very detailed
instructions on their website and pretty decent online support chat. I
was spoiled when I got the Dell, as I had originally had a Micron that
ran Win95 a lot faster than the Dell runs Win ME. About like going from
Ferrari to VW :o)
Windows is getting more media oriented, for the movie and music
downloaders. I haven't kept track of what is coming along from MS. If
making greeting cards involves large images or a powerful program, you
might want to focus on a graphics card with more memory; way too tech
for me to keep track of, but Dell (or any other decent company) can
probably advise on that issue. Usually, their websites have models for
home or office or blah blah, and you can add features according to
intended use. Might want to play with a few of those.
Whatever you buy will be outmoded in about two years, if not sooner :o)
You might check back issues of Consumer Reports in your local library.
I'm pretty sure they've reviewed computers sometime in the last few
issues, and they usually include a little table showing the brands with
fewest and most repair problems. A large set of data such as that is
much more likely to be useful than my (or anyone else's) individual
Best -- Terry
I have had a DEll for about a year and a half. Absolutely flawless.
I have the 2400 series.
I recommend you max out the memory.
You usually get a printer with it for nothing plus free shipping.
Also get an upgrade on speakers so you can listen to the Cd's that you make
on your computer.
Get a large capacity Hard Drive upgrade.
These things are cheap when you buy it as a package, You will want these
things when you get used to your putter.
It comes with all the software you need .
Good luck on your purchase.
You might also chec back issues of PC Mag and/or PC World for such
comparisons. And ... PC World routinely has ranked comparisons with
pros/cons of various categories of items from cameras & printers to
various categories of laptops/desktops.
You might even find some avail. online.
I don't think any of the "computer companies" actually produce their
own cpmputers. Dell build their stuff from components sourced from a
myriad of suppliers. Two Dell systems bought on the same day may have
hard drives or CDs or other compnonents sourced from different
suppliers in different parts of the world.
What are your options? HP, NEC, ASUS or a no name brand built bythe
guy down the road with bits he bought cheap from an importer. They are
all basically the same.
The important things to look for are warranty and longevity of the
supplier. At least Dell has been around a while and will probably be
around a while longer. That gives you some chance of getting any
problems fixed. The same goes for other brands like HP or IBM.
Most problems that you wil have will not be hardware, but problems
created by incompatibilities between the various pieces of software
you are running and the various bits of hardware in the box. None of
them faults as such , but all of them well cause you grief.
If your stated uses are the total of what you want to do, then you
really don't need anything too advanced . The basic CPU, memory , hard
drive and video options will easily accomplish your needs. Don't get
taken in by techos that want to sell you the biggest, fastest stuff.
You don't need it.
Go to a book store and invest in a few "how to" books. Any of the
"computer stuff for dummies" books for a start. Learn how to manage
your own system so that when something goes wrong , and it will, you
have some understanding of where the problem might lie.
Most of the problems that I fix every day are fixed with entries from
the keyboard, not with replacement of bits of hardware.
There is no easy answer Corinne.
I would like to offer my services to help you, but alas, I fear the
travel would be too expensive.
BS. Does the guy down the road who buys from a "cheap importer" have a
Q/A team that makes sure the components he buys meet spec and are
reliable? Does he document failure rates and only buys from suppliers
that are proven reliable? Does he buy in such huge volume that he can
get good quality components from major suppliers at favorable prices,
or does he just buy the cheapest crap deal of the week from wherever he
can get it. Does he have a website where you can download updated
drivers for components or fixes? Does he have a tracking system so
that their help database knows exactly what components are in your
system when you need support? Does he have a telephone support line
24/7? Will he be there 10 months from now to honor the warranty?
You can buy from whomever you want, but don't try to claim that buying
from a guy down the road is the same as buying from DELL or HP.
Right, he is better than Dell. I bought about 15 computers so far from
Dennis, both for work and for home.
He does not have a 24/7 help line, but I can drop a unit off in the morning
and pick it up after work.
Yes, he buys from suppliers that are proven reliable., but no, he does not
keep formal records. With the volume of units he produces, it would really
not be that productive. Just like you know who the good and bad grocery
stores are in your area.
Yes, he does have a database of what is in my system, including upgrades.
I don't know much about Dell's reliability or service as I've not bought
from them. Anyone selling the volume of a Dell, Gateway, etc, will have a
few lemons get by as well as some that will perform perfectly for years. My
own experience with the local guy though, happens to be very good. The
experience with my first Gateway was very good, but the second one was very
poor. Dennis only uses reliable, proven components, not the cheapo part of
the week. I'm not going any place else. Just like the major suppliers,
the local guy can be good or bad. Check them out.
Unfortunately, the "local guy" is a mutt. You might find the best local guy on
the planet, but that does not translate into a useful source for someone in
Most "local guys" are fly-by-night operators. Some last more than a few years.
Dell and several others have been around for quite a while and have a
reputation based on a large volume of sales.
I would recommend the local guy I trust to a local buyer. For a buyer far away,
the best advice is to buy from the bigger companies if they can't do the
homework to find the ideal local guy.
I've had a Dell for quite a few years. Without question, it's been the most
reliable desktop computer I've used at home or work over the last 25 years.
Dell might be a tad more expensive than the local guy, but they are worth it.
On Thu, 13 Jul 2006 01:11:09 -0700, Corinne broke out their crayolas and
On Thu, 13 Jul 2006 01:11:09 -0700, Corinne broke out their crayolas and
If your concerns are service why not check with local stores and see what
they offer in ways of service. Then buy from the one that will be
available locally for service.
I built my box from component parts ordered off the net. I won't comment
on a Dell product because I've not used it.
and can anyone recommend a model for
If the above is "all" that you're using it for why do you think you need
to update your old box? Are you running out of storage space or do you
think it is too slow? Just want something new and improved?
If it is the latter, I would think about holding off for a while because
Windows is threating to release a new system within the next year and what
you buy now will soon have a 3 or 4 year old operating system called XP
that is scheduled to be replaced. Not sure how long XP has been around.
Might as well wait for the next latest, greatest, Microsoft has to offer
if you are going to learn a new distribution of the operating system.
Besides the replacement for XP is going to need more power to operate than
XP from what I've read. So why buy something that will be outdated so
soon. Also from what I've read they are going to stop support for Windows
98 and ME shortly. Might want to wait a while and do more research.
Thank you so much for this helpful info. I have received lots of good
advice, but don't want to bore this group with thanking each one
individually, so later I will send one to everyone together. Great
group, but you asked a question so I will try to answer it.
My computer is eight years old, and I love it. My thinking is that I am
still using Windows 98, and Microsoft (as you know) is no longer
offering free updates.
Several people have told me that this opens me up to getting viruses,
and thus, passing it onto others, which I definitely do not want to do.
My first plan was to purchase Windows XP Home Edition and install it,
but a friend told me this machine is not capable of doing that. Plus,
he felt it was a waste of money to purchase Windows XP HE when I could
buy a new machine with it already installed.
So, I am in the market for a new computer.
From what I have written, do you still think it is smart for me to hold
off for another year or so.
Windows updates are probably about as reliable as having windstorm
insurance..for sure, have a firewall and antivirus. Eight years is
pretty old for a hard drive and if you have artwork you don't want to
risk losing, might be a good investment to buy an external hard drive
for backup. They are not expensive.
The march of progress in computers and other fields of technology is
relentless. Waiting a year to see if things are better and or cheaper
is not the right answer. Of course things will be better, and the price
of things you buy today will be cheaper if you wait a year to buy them.
The real question is "Do you need a new computer and updated
Software??" I can't answer the question for you, but an 8 year old PC
with an 8 year old HDD is a PC at risk of major hardware failure.
You can get quite good machines for well under $1000, while the POWER
machines can still cost several thousands. This has been true for MANY
years, almost 20 years in fact. The tried and true machines are
inexpensive while the bleeding edge costs a bundle.
Please note, I am typing this on a 400Mhz Celeron with 228MB of RAM, so
the old stuff still works fine. You decide, not me, not anyone else
here on this board, YOU decide when it is time for a new computer.
Generally, desktop systems are less expensive than laptop systems, so
unless you need portability, get a desktop system. With the larger
desktop package, they are easier to cool and work on if components
must be replaced or added.
It is true that PC systems become non-current in just a few years, but
their useful life can be extended by careful choice:
- at least 1GB memory
- at least a 2 GHz processor
- at least 80 GB hard drive
- at least a CDRW/DVD combo drive
- wireless networking capability
- LCD display
Beyond that it's all software and easily replaced components. My
current system was built by a friend and runs Win98SE, however it is
enough system to upgrade to Win XP Home, which is what I intend to do
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