Very OT - Computers

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Thomas Kendrick wrote:

Hmmm, Left out display controller. Important for upcoming Vista OS.
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I built my own, but desktop units are so cheap now that you cannot match them by buying the components. My son got a Dell laptop, and I got my daughter a Dell desktop to take to school, and both have worked flawlessly.
I think service is overrated. If a unit is going to fail, it will fail almost immediately and they will just replace it rather than repair it. If it doesn't fail immediately, it will last the typically short warranty period, so paying a premium for good service is probably a waste of money. My suggestion is that you find a good way to back up all your software and data, and when your computer fails (or, more likely, becomes outdated) just get a new one.
Corinne wrote:

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Not@home wrote:

Maybe. On the other hand, I spent less money to build the system I wanted with the reliable components I wanted (rather than whatever a corporation decides is the least costly option) than I would have buying the box complete from Dell...and I didn't get it junked up with a lot of (for me) unneccessary software.

Again, maybe, in two ways. Computer components don't always fail right away. And even when they do, companies like Dell will make you walk through many, many steps with their technical support people before they replace the pee-cee or even the part. I know from personal experience, having been through it when helping another pastor and his family deal with Dell when the hard drive on their computer failed. It was a nightmare.
Bottom line: go with a reputable company, and look at their customer satisfaction ratings.
(For what it's worth, they may cost more, but Apple scores very high on both.)
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Corinne wrote:

Hi, Whatever you get, make sure it is capable of running new OS Vista coming out soon.
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These are hardware minimums from their site. Ordinarily, that means to get it booted and running.
Windows Vista Premium Ready PC includes at least:
1 GHz 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor1. 1 GB of system memory. A graphics processor that runs Windows Aero2. 128 MB of graphics memory. 40 GB of hard drive capacity with 15 GB free space. DVD-ROM Drive3. Audio output capability. Internet access capability.
Any NT based OS loves to have more CPU, more RAM and more drive space. All of this a faster than before. I'm enjoying SATA drives now. I suspect IDE drives will leave us soon.
Oren
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Hey, thanks for this info.
My folder is getting thicker and thicker, but I am learning lots.
Much appreciated.
Corinne
Oren wrote:

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Tony Hwang wrote:

Not necessary, just more fog. They won't have the bugs out of Vista for at least 2 more years. Then she should need to buy all new programs to make Vista of value to her. Besides, if she really doesn't know anything about computers she won't need Vista until she buys another computer.
You need as much memory as possible, 1G because it is sometimes difficult (and expensive) to add more memory. But hard drive size above 60-80 G is useless for most people unless they are doing video. (I have 120G and finally have about 13G used after 4 years). Besides you can add a USB drive for backups and more storage easily and prices continue to drop.
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Dell is ok. You may want to look at the Emachines. Circuit City has some low end computers (you did not mention anything that would require much but a minimum system) by them on sale after the rebates for about $ 300 every couple of weeks. Pick up in the local store. I use to put together my own computers but needed one a few weeks ago. It is hard to get anything like a computer, 160 gb HD, DVD burner, monitor and then the operating system for anything close to that. That was the deal with the T3418 computer. NOt sure how they got together but Emachines and Gateway seem to be the same company now.
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Corinne wrote:

First question--what do you want to do with it that your current machine can't do. If the answer is "nothing" then don't bother to replace it.
Next, for what you describe just about any current model Dell will be fine, as will any current model Gateway--I'd avoid HP and Compaq (same company, different labels) as they tend to be quirky.
If service is your _major_ concern then get a Lenovo (which used to be IBM) and pay for the on-site service--if you don't have a service contract IBM service is kind of so-so, but if you _have_ a service contract you get treated pretty much the same as if you had a multi-million-dollar mainframe. Not a _cheap_ alternative though.

--
--John
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The ONLY reason I want to replace it is that my machine is eight years old, but in excellent working condition.
But, I am still using Windows 98 SE and Microsoft is no longer offering free updates, and I am told this opens me up to viruses, and I certainly don't want to pass it onto others.
I was told that my machine will not support Windows XP Home Edition.
Can you tell me what I need in a computer in order to support Windows XP?
Thanks for your help.
Corinne J. Clarke wrote:

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Corinne wrote:

The official Microsoft statement on this is at <http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/pro/evaluation/sysreqs.mspx . Any machine for sale new in a store today exceeds these by a wide margin.
The statement on requirements for Windows Vista is at <http://www.microsoft.com/windowsvista/getready/capable.mspx . This is not a terribly high standard for the most part--again most machines you find for sale new in a store right now meet it, but for best performance it should be exceeded considerably--when Microsoft says "minimum" they mean it. Any machine that meets that standard though should run Windows XP exceedingly well.

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Corinne wrote:

Thinking further, you might want at this point to wait another few months and get a Vista machine--it will have teething problems at that point (all Microsoft operating systems have problems when first released) but if you only upgrade when the OS is no longer supported then you'd do better to start with the newest one than one that is already four years old.

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J. Clarke wrote:

I disagree. WinXp is the way to go NOW. Get Vista ONLY after the first or second major fix pack is released. Vista is ONLY for those that ride the bleeding edge and are willing to put up with the new release faults when they crop up. In other words, wait a year AFTER Vista is released before getting the new S/W.
Any decent machine you buy new from Dell, HP/Compaq, e-machines.... With WinXP on it is ready to run Vista in its minimum mode. Upgrades will be needed to get the full experience of Vista as Vista wants more RAM than most machines are presently sold with.
WinXP with SP2 installed is a good platform that will provide you YEARS of good service before you need/want something else.
And I have a 1993 Acura Integra with 240,000 miles on it. I'm keeping it as the engine still runs fine and I see no need for a new car payment.
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Robert Gammon wrote:

If in fact she is willing to do that.

And she has to buy Vista.

But it will be EOLed 4 years or so before Vista.

You don't seem to be paying attention to what the OP wrote and trying to work out the practical ramifications.
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J. Clarke wrote:

Corrine is expressing an interest in getting a replacement for her 8 year old Win98 machine. The question in her mind is do it now, or wait 6 months to a year to do it.

If she wants to go to the Vista experience AT ALL!!! Not everyone will or should follow the Redmond junkies in lock step with what they put out.
WinXp is now stable. EOL will have little meaning to Corrrine. Virus writers will soon be turning their attention to Vista. A machine she buys NOW with WinXP on it will have SP2 installed already. It will run any S/W she wants to run, surf the internet,... for as long as she wants to use it. If that happens to run beyond the ROL for WinXP FINE!!!!! That is still 5 or more years from NOW!

I am, She is using Win98 on an 8 year old computer and wonders if she should upgrade to a newer model. If it aint broke don't fix it. Cars, Computers are BOTH similar in this regard. Sure the new model is sexy, sleek, smells good, gets you admiration from your peers....
The real risk she faces is a hardware failure that loses all data on the drive. Other than that risk, she can keep running with what she has, until something breaks, or she succumbs to desire and gets a new computer with WinXP on it. If she waits a year, Dell HP/Compaq, eMachines, etc will only be offering machines with Vista on them,
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Robert Gammon wrote:

So she goes with XP and in four years instead of 8 it's EOL and she needs to upgrade and what does she have to upgrade to?

Sorry, but she has clearly stated that the reason that she is upgrading is that 98 is EOL. That being the case, I'm at a loss to understand why you think that that is not an issue for her.

Not the 8 that she got out of 98.

While I agree that there is no compelling reason for her to upgrade if her existing machine is working, she has stated that 98 being EOL is an issue for her, and that being the case perhaps you should consider the possibility that her concerns are different from your concerns.
Personally I'm running Linux on a PS/2, but I wouldn't recommend that as a solution to someone else's problem.

Yes, she can run with what she has until it breaks beyond repair, but that does not address any of her stated concerns.
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I was a head tech for a retail company that built their own machines. I still build my own (because I want specific stuff in my machines) but for the average user (personal and business) you simply cannot beat the dell machines. In my current job (IT educational) all be buy for the schools are Dell workstations and servers. I absolutely LOVE the stuff with their warranties. I am not a big fan of their printer line (all lexmark crap that I dont like) but the workstations are excellent.
I know some people blame their Dell computer for all sorts of shit. But honestly I have seem all sorts of different makes and models of machines over the years and they are all prone to problems with the operating system screwing up the machine (make it slower, etc) Todays enemy is spyware, adware etc. Its can slow down that machine to a crawl if you have enough crap on there.
When looking at the quality of a computer, you have to ask yourself how many times has the drives blown, monitor crapped out, etc. (Power supplies are questionable because their life span depends on the cleanliness of the users work area. Dust and smoke kills fan on power supplies and CPU's.)
I would recommend going to sites like www.techbargains.com and search for Dell. You can find great deals on Dell stuff.
I would make sure to at least get a 2Ghz processor, 1 gig of ram, DVD-RW, 3 1/2 Floppy (lots of machines dont come with them) a nice 17" flat panel monitor. And at least a 32meg video card. More if you have the funds available. The warranties can be upped to if you got the cash.
Tom
Corinne wrote:

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Tom,
Thanks for this informative info. I have bookmarked that url, and look it over tomorrow.
Much appreciated.
Corinne
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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wrote:

I think Dell are very good computers. We had about 70 desktops in our local network and maybe as many as 10,000 running on a national network level. I have seen maybe two that failed right out of the box. Each a dead hard drive, so Dell sent overnight new drives without having to send in the old beforehand. You will get good directions for setting up the machine.
E-mail, browsing the web, and small programs are not that taxing on the system. Video, Music and Photo editing is another thing. I suggest a mid-range system, based on your comment.
Oren
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My inlaws are all Dell customers, probably about 20 machines between them. So far so good. The support is OK but be prepared to spend some time on the phone. I am a hardware hacker guy so I am not a real fan but that is only because Dell uses so many proprietary parts that upgrading and building machines from parts is harder to do. They even changed the pinouits of the power supplies, not for any logical reason, just to be different. Memory sticks are harder to match up too. If you are a person who never opens the case, a Dell is a good choice.
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