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How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks

Janie 06 Dec 11 - 09:03 PM
GUEST,Jon 06 Dec 11 - 09:29 PM
Jeri 06 Dec 11 - 09:37 PM
Crowhugger 06 Dec 11 - 09:39 PM
GUEST,leeneia 06 Dec 11 - 10:32 PM
Gurney 06 Dec 11 - 11:01 PM
EBarnacle 06 Dec 11 - 11:06 PM
GUEST,zigger 07 Dec 11 - 12:06 AM
Kampervan 07 Dec 11 - 01:56 AM
Joe Offer 07 Dec 11 - 02:14 AM
VirginiaTam 07 Dec 11 - 03:41 AM
GUEST,Jon 07 Dec 11 - 05:32 AM
EBarnacle 07 Dec 11 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,mattkeen 07 Dec 11 - 10:54 AM
Bert 07 Dec 11 - 12:35 PM
GUEST,SRD 07 Dec 11 - 01:31 PM
terrier 07 Dec 11 - 03:27 PM
Charmion 07 Dec 11 - 03:53 PM
JennieG 07 Dec 11 - 04:20 PM
Tootler 07 Dec 11 - 06:24 PM
katlaughing 07 Dec 11 - 07:06 PM
Commander Crabbe 07 Dec 11 - 07:17 PM
Jack Campin 07 Dec 11 - 07:23 PM
Janie 07 Dec 11 - 09:11 PM
GUEST,Jon 08 Dec 11 - 04:08 AM
Bert 08 Dec 11 - 06:28 AM
EBarnacle 08 Dec 11 - 10:40 AM
Bettynh 08 Dec 11 - 11:35 AM
JohnInKansas 08 Dec 11 - 02:30 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Dec 11 - 02:42 PM
Raedwulf 08 Dec 11 - 03:32 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Dec 11 - 04:53 PM
Jack Campin 08 Dec 11 - 06:00 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Dec 11 - 06:39 PM
Tootler 08 Dec 11 - 06:49 PM
Jack Campin 08 Dec 11 - 07:25 PM
Janie 08 Dec 11 - 09:07 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 08 Dec 11 - 09:36 PM
Jack Campin 09 Dec 11 - 05:44 AM
GUEST,Jon 09 Dec 11 - 06:47 AM
Jack Campin 09 Dec 11 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,Jon 09 Dec 11 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,Jon 09 Dec 11 - 09:06 AM
GUEST,Tootler on Mobile 09 Dec 11 - 12:02 PM
EBarnacle 09 Dec 11 - 12:17 PM
Bettynh 09 Dec 11 - 12:45 PM
GUEST,Jon 09 Dec 11 - 01:37 PM
Bettynh 09 Dec 11 - 05:30 PM
Baz Bowdidge 10 Dec 11 - 07:48 AM
EBarnacle 11 Dec 11 - 12:17 AM
GUEST,Jon 11 Dec 11 - 04:27 AM
EBarnacle 11 Dec 11 - 10:47 AM
Bettynh 11 Dec 11 - 12:53 PM
GUEST,Jon 11 Dec 11 - 01:35 PM
dick greenhaus 11 Dec 11 - 04:54 PM
Janie 11 Dec 11 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Jon 11 Dec 11 - 07:46 PM
Janie 31 Dec 11 - 03:40 PM
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Subject: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: Janie
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 09:03 PM

If there had been room in the title, would have added - for non-techie folks.

Also interested in the frequency with which, for non-techies, one needs to buy a new pc vs a new Mac.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 09:29 PM

I'm not sure why techie or non techie should be different?

Anyway, at home here, I think it's more a matter of policy than need in terms of the old PC not being able to cope with the software on it.

We try to replace a PC after 4 years. The replacement is usually something near entry level (they have been Athlon dual cores for a while with 2GB RAM - although the motherboard bundle I got for the webserver had 4).

This policy seems fine for our Linux usage which does include updating to the newest version of the O/S within about a month of release.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: Jeri
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 09:37 PM

I started with a Commodore 128 (still in the basement), but I don't think it counts.

Yrs
7+ I bought a Gateway in 1998
   Replaced it in 2005 with another Gateway which was a piece of crap.
4 It died in 2009. As far as I know, the older one still works (I haven't tried starting it for 5 or 6 years)
6+ I then relied solely on a laptop I'd also bought in 2005. Still works great.
<1   Bought this last laptop in July.

These are all PCs. Except for the piece-of-crap Gateway that died, the other new computers were purchased because of new/better technology. If I'd needed to use the computers for work, I probably would have upgraded more frequently.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: Crowhugger
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 09:39 PM

My BH is an on again off again technophile and I normally inherit his cast-off (laptop) after 18 to 30 months. Usually my oldie lasts until his next cast-off becomes available; once in a while he has to go shopping for something new to provide me with his cast-off. I'm not a techie at all. I do word processing, surfing, e-mail and bits of sound file editing, so my computer requirements are not nearly as high as the leading edge of what's available. What was available even 4 years ago is more than enough speed and storage for me. I stopped using desktops 2 or 3 computers ago when we got a wireless router, preferring to be flexible about where I sit. That's also when laptops reached what I considered to be a price worth paying.

So I guess our combined answer is, "when we have to."

There's a charity in the nearby city that repairs/refurbishes dead computers for needy kids, which is where the corpses go.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 10:32 PM

I don't change things unless I absolutely have to. I don't believe that any new platform (Windows 7, Vista blah blah blah) is worth the trouble of changing years of habit.

Every few years something goes wrong, and I take it to the neighborhood shop, where the guys put in some new parts. I won't change from my XP until forced.

My computer is like George Washington's hammer - it's had four handles and three different heads, but it's still his hammer.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 11:01 PM

Unlike Jeri, 'my' Gateway, a W98 castoff that was given to me, is still going strong and co-habits with a big double-sided scanner/copier for which no no-later-than-W98 driver exists. But it isn't on the web, and doesn't get viruses.
This computer is on XP and I'll keep it until Microshaft stops the support. Like Leeneia.
I don't do anything that requires a lot of grunt. Since updating Microshaft O/S systems is an expensive option, this one will probably go onto Linux and I will have to learn a new 'language.'


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 06 Dec 11 - 11:06 PM

One of my hobbies is refurbing laptops. I just had a very good Dell 600 series [2004] which lost its hard drive. I replaced the hard drive and gave it to a friend to operate his ham radio setup. The data on the crashed hard drive is being recovered onto an external hard drive [originally from a pentium 3 computer]. We have 4 other active laptops right now.

Two Dells with XP and a couple of HP's are active right now. The HP's are a mini 110 with Windows 7 for which I replaced the monitor and another DV2000 which got raised from XP to Windows 7.

We also have a couple of desktops with XP, One serves as the hub for our system. The other is a 10 year old "spare" which also operates the CD printer/burner that Brother Greenhaus gave me. Even a somewhat tired machine is better than spending a lot of money when starting a business.

Lady Hillary and I attended a rollout of some business software last May. They told us that the current business software would not work with XP. That made the decision easy for us. We need to be compatible with the others in our business network.

If we did not need to upgrade, the only computer we have that would have 7 would be the Mini. That came with 7.

Any decision you make should include the question of future compatibility.

What I am saying is that there is no real reason to replace a computer unless the cost of repair is greater than the cost of replacement. Even when the computer dies, just stick the old hard drive in an external drive casing and keep working.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: GUEST,zigger
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 12:06 AM

When you stop holing the puts....


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: Kampervan
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 01:56 AM

As far as your Apple v PC question goes well, I use Apple at work and a PC at home.
If I was starting from scratch then I might consider an Apple at home cos they are a little bit better in terms of their operation and the fact that they never seem to get viruses etc.
BUT, Apples are more expensive to buy, you don't get many deals on new ones, and it does take a while to get used to the way they work.
I'm not sure that the benefits outweigh the effort of getting to know the quirks of the Apple.

I'm sure that lots of people, especially those who do lots of design work, sound manipulation or other 'arty' things will sing the praises of Apples, but for the average user I believe that the benefits are not that great.

All of the above are, of course, IMHO!!

K/van


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 02:14 AM

Well, Janie, who's a non-techie person? My wife would say that anyone capable of reading e-mail without assistance, is a "techie."
I guess I'm a techie - but then, so are you. I suppose, though, that people would call me a techie. But a real techie is somebody like my geeky stepson, or maybe John in Kansas.

Still, I have an opinion, even if I am a techie. It seems to me that computers get intolerably sluggish after about three years, so I figure on buying a new computer every 3-4 years. I seem to get away with waiting five years at the women's center where I do volunteer work work, maybe because they only things they use are Microsoft Office and Internet browsers and antivirus software. I just replaced a bunch of Windows XP computers with Windows 7, spending about $350 apiece for the new computers. I get a better-quality computer for myself because I store my music collection on my computers, and I do photo and sound editing.

So, after I've used a computer three or four years, I hand it down to my stepson and he's pleased as punch. He puts Linux on them and gangs them together and does other geeky stuff with them. I often refurbish the old work computers and give them to our clients, but we decided this last batch was beyond refurbishing and we turned them in for recycling. We get a lot of old computers donated, mostly by businesses, and many of them aren't worth refurbishing. I got one from a bakery that was full of flour and sticky with frosting - it had been used with cake decorating software. I refuse to take anything by LCD monitors any more, and I've told the boss that I don't think I want to take XP computers any more because it's getting hard to find people to give them to.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 03:41 AM

TheSilentOne's desktop gets replaced every 4 years or so and my laptop the same though they are on a 2 year alternate so we don't have to splash out but once every 2 years. We still have the last laptop from Dell (or preferably Hell) which can be used as back up in a pinch. January or February is time for desktop replacement. I am pitching for a Mac but TSO won't have it. :-(


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 05:32 AM

On the cost side, I guess we average about £200 per "replacement" (I might keep drives and/or case and psu) and three of us contribute so say about £70 each per year on desktop PCs.

We have no software costs but there can be other expenses, eg. my monitor packed in this year, my UPS needs replacing (unless I decide to fit a pair of new batteries - I'm a bit nervous of doing that with this one), we bought an Ethernet type tuner card for the mythtv system this year, etc.

For disposal, if I have or can assemble from good parts we have a complete unit, I put afresh Linux install on it and give it away.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: EBarnacle
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 09:02 AM

For Frankenmachines, if you can get your hands on the appropriate reinstall/rescue disk, you don't even have to buy a new OS.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: GUEST,mattkeen
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 10:54 AM

We look at it about every 5 years
Macs here - and I have found that I am happy with them for longer than when we had Windows machines


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: Bert
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 12:35 PM

If you are running Windows and don't have any Windows specific software then you will find that switching to Linux is a good free upgrade.

You will need to make sure that you back up all of your files to a non Windows specific format first though.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How often to buy a new 'puter?
From: GUEST,SRD
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 01:31 PM

My Dell Inspiron 9100 pc replacement (it's too big to be considered a laptop) was bought in 2004 and has been on for 15 hours a day virtually ever since. I run it off the mains as the battery died years ago. It is sluggish but a more knowledgeable friend says a Windows re-install should sort that, I just can't be bothered to take the time to do it. All my files are backed up to an external hard drive so I suppose I'm just waiting for it to die before it gets replaced.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: terrier
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 03:27 PM

1. I buy a new PC when the old one breaks,for the cost of a repair, I can buy a new box, then I try to fix the old one :)
2. AFA Linux goes, that's for techies or semi techies. I've never got the thing to run satisfactorily on ANY PC. There's always something that just won't work. Instructions are usually indecipherable (written by techies for techies).
3. As for software, if it doesn't work, I find some software that does.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Charmion
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 03:53 PM

When we have to.

Our last computer choked and died when current software began demanding more RAM than it had, and we couldn't expand the RAM because ... well, because it seemed we had bought a computer with the Betamax of RAM.

We were jerked into the world o' wireless when Edmund bought a laptop that runs Vista, but our current primary desktop computer is a second-hand (ex-government) Dell Optiplex that runs XP. We'll replace it, probably with another second-hand, ex-government machine, when Microsoft ceases support to XP and the software we want to use won't run on XP any more.

With any luck, that will be the last computer we buy ...


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: JennieG
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 04:20 PM

When the current one needs it, which can vary. This one was bought last year and replaced a computer which never quite recovered from a lightning strike the previous year, despite having been treated with tender loving care in its recuperation. It wasn't very old, as I recall.....two years? going on for three? something like that.

Cheers
JennieG


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Tootler
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 06:24 PM

My last machine was about six year old when it began to get intolerably slow and none of the recommended "clean up" procedures would improve it, so I installed Linux and it gave me another two years before I decided it was time to replace it as the periodic upgrades to Ubuntu that I was using were demanding more resources than I had. My wife had a friend who wanted a "new" computer and offered her my old one so I installed a lightweight version of Linux Mint on it and as far as I know it is still working.

One of the benefits of running Linux is that there is a version somewhere that will run with old hardware so that as long as your hardware is OK, you can keep using your old computer.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: katlaughing
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 07:06 PM

I dictated a long posting about this and apparently my PC was not happy and ate it! The gist of it was we buy when we absolutely have to!


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Commander Crabbe
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 07:17 PM

Our IT department replaces our on a three year basis. Presumably because we are running more and more applications that need bigger memory and faster speed as we go on.

That said they are paranoid about security and data protection so the wireless and 3G functions are disabled and the hard drive will fry itself if you log in wrongly more than three times!!!!

CC


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 07:23 PM

I use old Macs and upgrade them a bit. This one is a Powermac G4 MDD, maybe ten years old, with relatively new disks, two monitors and a monochrome laser printer (HP Laserjet 5M). I got the computer itself for free (the other two currently used computers in the house were also free).

I've only had two as-new computers in 25 years (both now long dead). All the ones that ever did anything useful were Macs, and none of the used ones cost more than 100 pounds.

Anybody want a couple of SGI Indys or a carload of Sun kit for nothing?


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Janie
Date: 07 Dec 11 - 09:11 PM

Thanks. Your imput is helpful. I'm trying to decide if I need to buy a new desktop. I think I may have had some unrealistic expectations re: my iMac, which is between 4 and 5 years old. I supposed I might get 8 or 10 years out of it. Maybe I can, but I don't know how to decide. If it is prudent to replace it, I'm gonna have to go with another PC because of the cost. I like the Mac for my home computer, mainly because until recently it has been trouble free and I haven't run into software glitches like it seemed was always happening with my previous PC's, and I don't have to worry much about viruses. What I want from a computer is to turn it on and have it simply and easily do the few things I want or need it to do with little time, energy or attention needed from me regarding maintenance and updating.

The hard drive is full. My son has a huge iTunes library. I have never updated the operating system from OS X 10.4.11. It has 1 GB of RAM and another GB can be added. It has an Intel Dual Core processor. Have always had problems with Java but could live with those problems. I can not upgrade to the latest versions of Foxfire or iTunes because of the obsolete operating system.   I get "unknown error" messages when I try to update to the latest Flash player, and some video links will not work with the outdated version of Flash.

In order to upgrade the operating system, I will need to have the Geek Squad at Best Buy add that GB of RAM, and planned to buy an external hard drive to move iTunes and free up space on the hard drive. To give an idea of my knowledge and attitudes about computers, I've been contemplating an external hard drive for at least a year. When I browse hard drives I don't understand what I am reading about, can't figure out what I need, and feel very anxious that once I buy one, I won't be able to comprehend how to move files onto it. I really am a technophobe.

I've been advised by my Mudcat Mac aficionado to upgrade to Leopard, but not to Snow Leopard. His first advice was to buy a refurbished Mac. That is not responsibly in the budget. The home desktop is a purely recreational instrument. I use my PC laptop for all business applications and financial record keeping, but use it recreationally only when traveling, which I rarely do. That means I also don't have to worry too much about viruses and malware on it so use freeware that I don't have to pay much attention to keeping updated, etc.

Now, as I posted to another thread, I have a CD stuck in the optical drive, and am going to have to take it to the Geek Squad anyway to have that dealt with, and, presumably, the optical drive replaced.

The problem I have is the Best Buy Geek Squad is my only option. When it comes to computers, computer technology, and home repair issues, I have proven myself to be very vulnerable. I have very limited knowledge, work 60 hours per week at two jobs so have no time to educate myself, and when it comes to anything technological -be it computers or fixing a leaky sink, my brain simply does not compute.

Best Buy would rather sell me a new computer than fix an old one so I can't trust the advice I might get. If I can spend $200 - $500 dollars to fix and upgrade this Mac and have a reasonable expectation it will be good to go for another 2-4 years, that is what I prefer to do. I don't want to spend that and still end up having to get a new computer.

There is another thread topic here that I won't start but hope some one does, re techie, learning new operating systems, aging, etc.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 04:08 AM

What I want from a computer is to turn it on and have it simply and easily do the few things I want or need it to do with little time, energy or attention needed from me regarding maintenance and updating.

Linux (perhaps particularly one with a longer support life) distributions tend to be very good in this respect. Once setup, they stay set, they are stable and with all the updates coming from one system, keeping upto date with everything in the distribution is easy.

One set up, IMO, it is also very suitable for not so able computer wise. My parents experience with computers was improved considerably when I switched them to this from Windows (2000 at the time).

Getting set up can be a different matter though. Most of a new installation usually just works. Sometimes all of it just works. But it can take a bit of experience and/or research to get everything working and one does need to be sure that the other devices such as printer, scanner etc. are supported by Linux.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Bert
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 06:28 AM

Janie,

I had problems with a computer that I bought from Best Buy and they refused to honor the extended warranty agreement.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: EBarnacle
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 10:40 AM

Janie, I agree with Bert. Best Fry is a gang of thieves. Their purpose is to sell you as much as possible and give as little as possible. Their discounts usually bring items down to suggested list price.

Is there a good freestanding computer shop near where you live? Speak with your neighbors and coworkers. Lack of time is no reason to get yourself ripped off.

Consider getting both a large [at least 1 Terabyte] external hard drive and an external CD/DVD drive/burner.

Forget about fixing or even opening the stuck CD drive. Buy a replacement CD. You can transfer all or most of the content to the external drive. Perhaps you should have two external drives, one for you and one for your kid.

Having cleaned the C drive, you can then upgrade the OS. You may have to upgrade you RAM. This will give you a more flexible, faster machine.

Based on this discussion, I see no reason to buy a new machine.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Bettynh
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 11:35 AM

Janie, I have an iMac very similar, if not identical, to yours. I did offload itunes and some photo archives to an external disc a long time ago (VERY simple - plug the disc drive into the USB port and electricity, and it'll appear as an icon on your desktop. Drag and drop the files you want to move. You can open the drive icon and it'll look like any other file. You may have to set preferences in itunes to find the libraries. I can't remember) So far, I'm using 50 of 400 GB on my main drive. I upgraded to Snow Leopard awhile ago, too, with no demand for more memory. I've allowed the auto-upgrades to OS, itunes, and Safarai. Occasionally, I've had problems with Flash, too, but I've managed to ignore them. I looked at Lion, and have no need for handswipes, apps, or any of those controls, but that's probably the future staring me down. This setup workes better and has outlasted my kids' windows machines by years. I'm not looking for a replacement yet.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 02:30 PM

Random thoughts for consideration:

Experience varies, but a main reason for replacing a computer that may be a little bit limited but still runs passably is to get the benefit of a newer (probably more secure) Operating System and Application programs.

There is very little real difference in "how secure" Windows vs Apple machines are. Apple/Mac machines see somewhat fewer attacks since, even though their market share has increased recently, there are still relatively few machines to be attacked and hence it's more profitable to write malware for Windows machines.

Individual Linux users see relatively few attacks, but it can't be assumed that they're "invulnerable." Most of the "industrial and finance" attacks are against Unix/Linux systems. Individual users are protected by the existence of lots of "fatter" targets, and by a very tiny "market share."

Microsoft uses a "rule of thumb" that assumes replacement of an Operating System ten years after initial release. Windows XP SP3 is now in "limited support" and only Critical updates are available. It is still true that many people are using Win XP in original, SP1, and SP2 configurations; but surveys of malware removed by Microsoft's Malware Remover indicate that Windows XP SP2 and older are four times as likely to be infected with something that the Malware Remover detects and removes, compared to even Win XP SP3.

Actual infection numbers are likely to be even worse, since anyone who runs the Malware remover regularly probably will have the SP3 patch installed, since it's required to get any updates from Microsoft.

Real-world infection rates (from Microsoft) are somewhat biased by the fact that most people who keep their systems current quite probably use a reliable Anti-Malware program that catches lots of potential infections in real time, so they're never allowed on the machines, or are removed before Microsoft does its weekly Malware Removal scans. AV distributors estimate that as many as 80% of users with systems at WinXP SP2 and older don't run any AV and nearly all of those machines have some infections - but not necessarily the ones Microsoft considers critical enough to include in Malware Remover.

Apple, in fact, releases nearly as many security patches as Microsoft, but they're well disguised under "other names." One recent "system update to improve performance" included 90 security patches; but they just didn't call them that.

Windows Vista has not been particularly popular, but is in fact much more secure than any older Windows system. There are indications that Windows 7 has fewer OS vulnerabilities than Vista - so far.

Reliable figures for the relative vulnerabilities of Apple OS versions are less available (and not of all that much interest to me).

John


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 02:42 PM

More Random Babble:

Bargains(?) in Windows computers now will probably have Windows 7 installed. For anyone with even minimal "computer awareness," it's probably preferable to look for a machine with the "Home Premium" version preinstalled, since the "Home Basic" lacks a few maintenance tools. Even if you don't expect to use any of the advanced tools, having the OS in which they're enabled might make things easier on your support techie, although they're unlikely to charge less for fixing stuff even if you make it easier for them.

If it's been more than 3 or 4 years since you'be bought a new computer, a couple of "marketing changes" might be important in your planning.

A few years ago it was common to get a new computer with a new monitor included, and with a preinstalled set of "application software" - usually a version of a few Microsoft Office programs like Word and Excel. Almost no sellers now include a monitor in the quoted prices, and any application programs probably will be "trial versions" that will lose some features when the trial period expires if you don't pay extra to upgrade to the "real registered version."

Windows Vista cannot use more than about 3.6 GB of RAM, but to get more than 2 GB you have to install 4GB. My Vista machine benefits quite a bit from added RAM so I have 4GB installed. I would not consider a Vista machine with less than 2GB, but some people might get by with 1GB, although with less than 2GB a Vista machine may "limp" when it should at least trot along.

Most Win7 computers that have the "Home Premium" OS installed should have 8GB of RAM, and it probably is about the minimum you really need with that OS version. Nearly all Win7 machines with Home Premium should be 64-bit systems, which you want.

If you decide on a machine with a "Home Basic" version you might find only 4GB installed, and that might be adquate if your expectations are limited – for now. So far as I've seen, even those machines (from reliable sellers) will have the 64-bit OS.

A Win7 Home Premium system quite likely will have a 1TB (1,024GB) hard drive. although you might find machines with only 500GB (half a TB) or something in between. That may seem like a lot if you've been running something older, but the space fills up pretty fast if you keep personal records and such on it. (Newer Office version documents – as always – are a lot bigger than the "same stuff" in older formats.) I run a 1TB C:\ drive in my Vista machine (an upgrade I did a few months ago), and it's 2/3 full, although I keep more records than most people; but I have NO VIDEO and not much music on it, both of which use larger amounts of drive space. And I have a secondary 500GB drive for "spillover," and keep "archives" on a pair of 1TB drives that are disconnected except when actually transferring stuff.

If you want to be sure of keeping information you consider important, you need at least one separate drive at least as big as the (sum of all) drive(s) in your computer to keep backup copies of your data. A simple copy of your personal stuff on a detachable (USB usually) hard drive is, IMO, preferable to a "Backup" since the only way to know if the usual (encrypted and compressed) "backup" is good is to "restore" from it, which in most cases obliterates everything not included in the backup. (History indicates most "backups" are "write only" and the "restore" seldom actually works.)

You can easily add an external drive later, but you might want to get one before buying a new computer to copy personal information off the old one. Based on recent experience I recommend a Portable External USB rather than one of the "external backup drives" because the portable kind are much more likely to survive being moved around even a little bit. The portables typically are a little slower than the "desktop" versions, but you probably won't copy things on/off them every day.

John


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Raedwulf
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 03:32 PM

I work in IT for a living (just nothing to do with PCs!). About half of us are geeks (work in IT because they love tech), half are technophobes (hate tech because they do it for a living). I'm a games player, but a technophobe.

Therefore, I cannot be bothered to keep up with the latest gizmos; I never upgrade my machine. What I buy is very close to a top of the range custom build (the difference in price between the best CPU & the second best is much greater than the difference in performance and, therefore, not worth the price). After @4 years, when the last buy is starting to struggle with the latest graphics, I'll start the cycle again.

The general rule of thumb is that if what you use your PC for is not graphically demanding (games, CAD), you can get by. Word processing & similar is not intensive; internet browsing is more dependent on your connection than your PC. If I wasn't a games player, I suspect I might get something mid-range every 6-7 years & it would do just fine.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 04:53 PM

I started ca. 1981 with a DOS 3.5 AT machine. It was still better than anything at the office when I let it go, but a transfer about 7 years after I got it forced an upgrade to a "Windows capable" machine running Win3.11 WG. About 2 years later I was forced to a Win95 machine because the existing machine (#3) couldn't take enough RAM to handle some rather large PostScript files I needed to process. That machine took an upgrade to Win98, eventually to Win98SP2 or SP3 (my memory fails).

An upgrade to WinXP on a new machine (#4) followed after about 5 years due to "discontinued support" on Win98. At that time, Lin went to a Win2K machine (her third – that I bought) at the request of a publisher she was doing contract work for.

The WinXP (on my same machine) was replaced with Vista when several Office programs started "losing features" due to obsolescence (Operating System security patches interfered with older Office program functions - but most people don't use that many Office functions?)

My current Vista machine is about 5 years old, and still runs adequately (with only RAM & HD upgrades and a graphics card replacement – twice) and should be good for several more years if I wanted; but the better security features in Win7 – and staying compatible with "her" new Win7 (her 6th on my bill) – may force something new fairly soon.

All of the above of course were desktops.

I've had, so far, five laptops, only one of which has survived for more than two years of very low usage. The best (last) one so far was used intermittently and rarely for about three years, before it got patched in (with external monitor, mouse, and keyboard) as a temporary replacement for Lin's desktop that went toes-up; but the display panel failed after being on 24/7 for a little less than 2 months.

When her #4 (since she started making me buy them for her) failed, we got her a "no-name" Vista machine (from Ribbit) that I've managed to get running again (her #5). The seller provided unquestioning "service with a smile" and never charged us when we had to take it in – but they never fixed anything either. (Number 5 was the one temporarily replaced by the laptop) She now has a Lenovo Win7 that she seems to be learning how to stumble along with; but all the chrome and foxtails and go-fast stripes are somewhat of an irritation rather than a help.

We're currently attempting to use the Ribbit that I got back online as a "dedicated" machine to transcribe VHS movies to DVD. (Anybody got about 4,000 hours to sit & watch old movies copy?)

My experience has been that a decent desktop computer will last about as long as the second or third hard drive, with my usage – so I do make document backups very regularly! (I think one of the early ones may have had its 4th HD in it, but drives are better now(?) and when 30MB was as big as you could get some of those may have been additions rather than replacements, in the days before external drives were easy. Recollection is that for a while one of my early desktops had four internal HDs in it for a while, until I could get a whopppin' big (for then) 120 MB HD for it.

Since ca. 1992, the two of us have had 10 total desktop computers (4 mine and 6 hers), running 24/7, 2 at a time, if someone wants to calculate an average.

I've had great success and satisfaction with MPC (formerly Micron, after it was originally Weiss) and would recommend them but they went bankrupt about 3 months after I bought my last one from them about 5 years ago. Obviously, I haven't required any mfr support on the current machine, since there wasn't any to be had; and I didn't find out the company no longer existed until about 6 months ago.

Leading major builders in the US are Dell, Lenovo, and HP. I've found HP puts too much "junkware" on their machines for my taste, although I've only looked at a few machines. What I've seen of Dell has been better, and Lin's Lenovo is pretty clean. A very recent report was that Lenovo has equaled former-leader Dell's market share, but nobody is predicting which may move ahead in the popularity polls. I don't have enough real experience with any of them to make firm recommendations, though.

You may find better prices in other brands, and quality may (or may not) equal one of the major brands; but if possible you need to look at "customer satisfaction" with service and suppport on any you think are of interest – if you can find any reports on it. (Note that there are lots more surveys reported than there are that are helpful, especially for "independent" or off-brand models.)

John


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 06:00 PM

Nobody is going to move from a Mac to Windows when they've been using MacOS for years, have learned that user interface, and have piles of Mac-specific files and software.

Windows software tends to cost more to get the same functionality in any case (and you have to shell out for essential utilities like anti-virus tools which you don't need on MacOS). What you might have to pay to upgrade your stuff to a later MacOS is a tiny fraction of what you'd be paying to start again on Windows. The software costs for a Windows switch would far exceed the hardware costs of a step upwards in the Mac product line (assuming you don't buy new).

And a MacOS upgrade would need a tiny fraction of the effort required to get something comparable working on Linux, even though you could eventually do it for the same money.

I'm using MacOS 10.4.11. I very rarely encounter anything I actually want to do that requires a later OS. I might get something that can run Leopard or Snow Leopard in a couple of years. Lion seems to offer exactly nothing I want - I don't have a smartphone or a tablet, and the new features are aimed at integrating with those.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 06:39 PM

It's true that PCs do get sluggish after a few years. I don't know why. It happened to mine, although I had done lots of things to streamline it. I uninstalled everything I thought I didn't need. I regularly scanned it for viruses and kept my virus protection up to date. I regularly ran Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragmenter. I had a reasonable amount of free disk space. Then I had a crash that forced me to wipe my disk clean and reinstall everything from scratch. It took a long time to do, but after I did, my computer was much faster than before the crash—as good as new, in fact. I'm glad I went through that, although I never would have done it if I hadn't been forced to.

I used to work for a university that had hundreds of networked computers—one for nearly every employee, plus lots of "public" computers, plus a Wi-Fi network that students could log onto, etc.—and an excellent support staff. Their policy was to replace every computer on a regular cycle—maybe it was every 5 years. When your turn came, you got a new computer whether you wanted one or not. I asked what they did with their old computers. I was interested in buying one. (It would have been better than the one I had at home.) But they said no; their contract with the supplier of all their new computers required them to return all the old ones. I suppose that company refurbished them and resold them.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Tootler
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 06:49 PM

And a MacOS upgrade would need a tiny fraction of the effort required to get something comparable working on Linux

Not true Jack. Linux mostly works straight away. Any problems getting things working usually come with the initial installation and they are not common these days. Subsequent upgrades rarely cause problems.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Jack Campin
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 07:25 PM

Linux itself might install more easily than it used to - but try setting up something to read Pages/Numbers/KeyNote documents, operate your iTunes account, read your iPhoto albums, use your iCal calendars, run Spotify?... most of that can probably be done, but I can't see it being exactly simple. (Being somewhat pissed off at Apple for obsolescing so much of their old systems, I have contemplated doing it, but it always worked out cheaper and less effort to stick).

I still use the Classic environment for documents created with obsolete applications on MacOS 9 (and older). Apple won't let me do that on anything later than 10.4.11 and I can't see any other platform being more helpful.

Things on my website or that I still use now were created using a mix of BBEdit, TextWrangler, TextMate, BarFly, WriteNow, Nisus Writer, Excel, MS Word 4, Office 98, Graphic Converter, Comic Life, GarageBand, Audacity, TeXtures, Acta, MacDraw, MacDraft, Claris CAD, SuperPaint, xRes, Eudora, Kali, Toast and about ten different web browsers to test stuff on. I never had all of those in use at one time but I never know when I'll have to look at something from way back. I simply don't have time to check if I can still access everything I might want to look at again using some new platform.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Janie
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 09:07 PM

I've got OS 10.4.11, Jack, and when I tried recently to update to the latest Firefox and iTunes, got messages that I can't do so without upgrading my operating system.

OK. Do have this right? First get an external hard drive - portable is best - and move iTunes, plus back up other important files to it(them?) Then add the RAM and upgrade the operating system. Should I make sure I move everything I want to keep to the external hard drive(s) then have the internal hard drive wiped? If so, should all files be moved in duplicate to separate external hard drives, with one considered to be the back-up? You'd think I would learn, having lost important photo files in the past that became corrupted, but I still never back up files. Want to change that bad habit.

I don't have a dog in the fight re PC's vs. Macs. I use both, albeit not either with even average competency. Doesn't change the fact that computers have proven to be useful tools for me, even if I can not make, nor have need for the maximum use of what they have to offer. However, I do notice a declining learning curve as the technology and power of applications has grown faster than I have immediate need or desire to learn or use. I find myself often dismayed or baffled now as what I need or want becomes obsolete in service to changing demands that I myself have no use for and do not have the leisure time to learn, "just for the sake of it."



Ji


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie f
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 08 Dec 11 - 09:36 PM

Pay top price

Go to end

Never, ever, never, install upgrades after the system is stable in the first six months.

Partition the TWO hard-drives to four areas each. EIGHT

Use one for MAC
Use one for WIN
Use one for LINUX

Keep your Doc, Photo, Music - in each area - for SIX - total.

Use your next two areas for the Google/Chrome CLOUD that MaX is enslaved to, and Joe, like a "canal street pusher" is endorsing.

Sincerely,
Gargoyle

It is refeshing to see that Max has had, "the institutional experience." He ain't a white-hat yet....but he is getting close.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 05:44 AM

I've got OS 10.4.11, Jack, and when I tried recently to update to the latest Firefox and iTunes, got messages that I can't do so without upgrading my operating system.

Didn't notice that with iTunes - with Firefox, am I actually missing anything by not using Firefox 4? I haven't yet found a site I want to use where FF 3.6 isn't adequate.

the technology and power of applications has grown faster than I have immediate need or desire to learn or use. I find myself often dismayed or baffled now as what I need or want becomes obsolete in service to changing demands that I myself have no use for and do not have the leisure time to learn, "just for the sake of it."

Me too to that.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 06:47 AM

This seems odd but if Wikipedia is correct, you are better off with Firefox 3.6. Firefox 3.6 is shown as still being supported whereas Firefox 4.0 -7.0.1 are shown as end of life whih means you will not get security fixes for them.

As for one thing that 3.6 will not do but the current version will do, svg graphics (at least with as in img - I'm unsure about the other methods) comes to mind. It is one of those browsers that I have to provide what I (and I would imagine some other sites also) regard as legacy support for in the form of png graphics.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 07:06 AM

There are quite a few web pages implying that Firefox 3.6 will display SVG data, but nothing that says how to get it to do so under MacOS.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 07:21 AM

OK. According to Wikipedia, it is one of the browsers that does not support svg in an img tag but does support them in at least one of the alternative (object, embed, iframe) methods.

(I don't provide these alternatives in part as I would still be other browsers needing a png. The other reason is with images produced on demand and of different sizes, it seems I would need to run yet more code to determine the size of the image before displaying it. An svg in an object tag with no dimensions given for example can result in a small image display area with horizontal and vertical scroll bars)


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 09:06 AM

Linux itself might install more easily than it used to - but try setting up something to read Pages/Numbers/KeyNote documents, operate your iTunes account, read your iPhoto albums, use your iCal calendars, run Spotify?.

If you are that committed to iThings, I don't think Linux would be the best choice. I believe the Windows version of iTunes will run under wine. Perhaps the others do too but, personally, I'm not convinced I'd want to be trusting things I really must have to an "emulator".

I'm unsure of Apple's policy but I would be even more nervous of doing so if I thought a vendor might cut off an old version when they introduce a new one. Although the new version would be tested under Windows before release, that would not guarantee it worked under Wine.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: GUEST,Tootler on Mobile
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 12:02 PM

I agree Jon. I don't particularly trust iThings myself. My younger daughter found iTunes kept trying to sync when she didn't want it to. I try to use open source softwarewhere possible though I am pragmatic about it & use Wine for some apps.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: EBarnacle
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 12:17 PM

Yes, Janie, you have the basic procedure correct. Move all of your various types of documents to the external drives, wipe the on board hard drive and put your new OS in. Make sure you have a restore disk just in case your machine will not accept the new OS.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Bettynh
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 12:45 PM

Janie, you're right about the order.You don't absolutely have to add any RAM to update to Snow Leopard. Some things may work better or faster, but my 1 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM had no problem at all with the upgrade. (Look under the apple symbol for "About this Mac" to see if we match). Offloading everything to multiple hard drives is possible, of course. That's up to you. You'll run into a traffic jam at the USB outlets, though. A drive used as a backup that's completely unplugged may be safer, but you'd have to switch connections to make a backup.

I'd just buy a big external drive (a terrabyte drive costs less than $150). You probably don't need USB 3, and I'm not sure if the connectors have changed. I think USB 2 will work fine for you and the plugs will fit.

Drag anything that's hogging memory onto the external drive. Check that it's all in the external hard drive folder. I left the Itunes program itself on the internal drive. All the files are still on your internal hard drive, though. The next step is the hardest - move all that stuff to the trash. Run the appropriate programs (Itunes, etc.) and fix preferences so the programs can find the files. Then empty the trash. (It takes a leap of faith for that mouseclick, I know. Maybe you could just move a few mp3s to the new drive, fix the preferences in Itunes to look for them, and prove to yourself that it works. Your Itunes window should show just the few you've already moved.) I'm sure it will, but it is scarey at first. You'll be amazed at how much room you'll have on your internal drive.

After you've emptied that trash, the extenal drive should function as a simple extension of your internal drive. I suppose there are things (starting an itunes search, for instance, which takes a few seconds for the external to speed up) which slow it down, but we're not power users, right? Search (Command + F) works on both. Sometimes things show up on the main drive and I move them over to the external. Double clicking stray mp3s I've downloaded (to the main drive) will automatically add them to the itunes library, which I told Itunes is on the external drive. So the download is extra and gets deleted. Anyway, I never bothered with a clean wipe after trashing. You're not trashing everything. A restart is probably in order, however.

After all that, I'd order Snow Leopard (I don't know why Leopard would be preferable to Snow Leopard, but it's getting hard to find). $29 at the Apple site (shipping is free.) Once you've installed it, go to the Software Updater under the Apple symbol and let it update your OS, Safari, and Itunes. I can't help with Firefox, since I haven't bothered with it. If you think you want Lion, you have to have Snow Leopard in it's latest version anyway. You do have a machine that will support Lion, I think, but you may not want or need it (I don't). You'll have to restart with all those updates, but you'll be done. Have fun with it.

LOL, and I see EBarnacle said the same thing in fewer words while Mudcat wouldn't let me post!


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 01:37 PM

Re drives, etc. We've only got one place that needs more than 200Gb - although buying now I'd probably be getting 500Gbs and the one in my PC is a 500.

Most of the larger files are media (in our case music, pictures and tv recordings) files that we want to share. As it's always on, these are on a (currently 750Gb but I'm likely to up this net year) drive on the webserver PC and are shared over the LAN via nfs and through mythtv. The webserver also acts as an IMAP server, giving my PC, my parents PC and the laptop common access to a central email store.

I'm pretty poor at backing up but the most important stuff is backed up daily onto an(6-7yr old?) older PC. The webserver wakes this one up at about 3am, it runs a simple script and then shuts down.

I don't have any external drive or anything bought as a dedicated NAS device.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Bettynh
Date: 09 Dec 11 - 05:30 PM

I forgot to mention that when the files finish copying to the external drive, there'll be an odd mechanical noise. This is supposed to be cute. Scared me to death the first time I heard it, since it's so mechanical. I don't know what it's supposed to represent. Just ignore it.


On my first Apple (a IIGS), I had a tiny program that changed the wastebasket to a mushroom cloud, with associated explosive sound, when I emptied the trash. I never figured out how to carry it into the Mac universe.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Baz Bowdidge
Date: 10 Dec 11 - 07:48 AM

Jamie,
When to upgrade or replace?
It all depends on the reliability of your current system and whether you think technology is overtaking you, versus your own needs.
Also consider a new system that will be compatible with your current (treasured) software.
In my case:
2002, Windows98, 80GB / 516MB RAM/ Tower/dialup - main purpose at that time - family tree research.
2004, Service inc a fan replaced, upgrade to 160GB board, XP and Broadband.
2007, Now finding my computer too slow despite the usual housekeeping.
By 2008 with more and more online video (TV,Youtube viewing and creating) and music I needed something bigger and faster (no jokes please).
So early 2009 my computer guy constructed this wonderful compact Cube of 500GB / 4GB RAM. I'm still with XP (for reason above).
From experience my advice would be to get yourself a local computer expert to customise a system to your needs and smoothly transfer data.
Baz


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: EBarnacle
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 12:17 AM

The only caveat I would put on the above notes is that, as you have filled your current hard drive, bigger is better. I would guess that you really should have at least 1 TB for your kid's drive. Yours, because you are not saving such bulky files, can be smaller.

Even so, I can remember when I thought that a 40 megabyte hard drive was big enough.

You also want to retain the ability to back up your files. I just had to pay to have all of the files from my "business" computer rescued after the HD crashed permanently.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 04:27 AM

And while not a rider, personally, I might question whether external USB drive(s) are the best way to go.

It might be but with Janie's computer, a laptop and her sons, and assuming a network, I would certainly be considering NAS

I don't know what it's like but a 2Tb unit here for £125.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: EBarnacle
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 10:47 AM

Interesting. Janie, how many computers are you serving? Among the questions to be considered is whether you and your kid need to be on the same data "holder."


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Bettynh
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 12:53 PM

I agree that bigger is better, always, but I'm sure money comes into it, and 1 terrabyte is huge. Janie didn't say her computers were connected, or that her son actually has his own computer. But you can use the same external hard drive to backup your PC if you want to. I think formatting issues are over (PC types feel free to jump in). I swap files with one of my kids (HAH, he'd be insulted, turning 30 next summer) by loading a thumb drive. He takes it home and unloads it to his PC with no fuss. He brings me files the same way. It's the new form of sneakernet.

My first external hard drive was for the Apple IIGS. 2 MEGs! Enormous!


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 01:35 PM

I'm not up to date with the current state of play with operating systems and file systems but I usually use a Windows FAT format for a thumbdrive, Linux can read and write this but my Windows Vista can not read a Linux eg. ext4 formatted drive. As far as I can remember, doing this puts a 4Gb limit on a file - rarely a problem for me.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 04:54 PM

Conventional wisdom has been that the time to buy a new computer is two weeks before your current one fails.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Janie
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 04:58 PM

We have two desktops, (1 Mac and 1 Dell) two laptops (1 HP and 1 Toshiba, (and an iPad.) However, since getting his iPad my son almost never uses his laptop and the only reason the Dell desktop is still set up is I need to move files off of it. It hasn't been turned on in close to a year. It still has some photographs on it that I want.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 11 Dec 11 - 07:46 PM

OK, seems little or no reason there to want to haves some central data store. I'd think externals like USBs have won for you.


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Subject: RE: How often to buy a new 'puter?For non-techie folks
From: Janie
Date: 31 Dec 11 - 03:40 PM

Me again. *sigh*

Bought a Seagate Go-Flex portable hard-drive -one that will allow sharing of files between Windows and OSX.

Seagate support is closed until Monday and I am impatient. (Not only that, come Monday it is back to the rat race with little time to mess around with this.)

My Mac recognizes the hard drive. When I click on the Mac installer.dmg file it appears to work in that it installs an icon and opens a window for the Seagate Setup Assistant Mac Install. But nothing happens when I click "open" on the Setup Assistant. If I understand correctly, this is necessary to download the Paragon driver.

I've crawled all over the Seagate support website and can't find anything helpful at all.

I'll reiterate my operating system is OSX 10.4.11.

Any ideas?


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