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Help: New computer

kendall 15 Feb 02 - 08:27 PM
Amergin 15 Feb 02 - 08:34 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Feb 02 - 08:45 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 15 Feb 02 - 09:49 PM
Sorcha 15 Feb 02 - 10:28 PM
Devilmaster 15 Feb 02 - 10:40 PM
E.T. 15 Feb 02 - 10:47 PM
Bobert 15 Feb 02 - 11:14 PM
Jon Freeman 15 Feb 02 - 11:15 PM
gnu 16 Feb 02 - 07:35 AM
mack/misophist 16 Feb 02 - 09:51 AM
Stilly River Sage 16 Feb 02 - 11:21 AM
kendall 16 Feb 02 - 03:14 PM
artbrooks 16 Feb 02 - 03:59 PM
kendall 16 Feb 02 - 04:31 PM
Gypsy 16 Feb 02 - 11:13 PM
53 16 Feb 02 - 11:32 PM
Stilly River Sage 16 Feb 02 - 11:52 PM
Tone d' F 17 Feb 02 - 04:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Feb 02 - 05:00 AM
Mr Red 17 Feb 02 - 06:29 AM
kendall 17 Feb 02 - 12:38 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Feb 02 - 02:31 PM
Snuffy 17 Feb 02 - 08:19 PM
Jon Freeman 17 Feb 02 - 08:40 PM
kendall 17 Feb 02 - 08:48 PM
JohnInKansas 17 Feb 02 - 10:49 PM
Stilly River Sage 17 Feb 02 - 11:54 PM
hesperis 18 Feb 02 - 01:53 AM
GUEST 18 Feb 02 - 04:30 AM
kendall 17 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM
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Subject: New computer
From: kendall
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 08:27 PM

A friend of mine is about to buy a new PC, and, I'm also thinking about updating mine. Hers is kinda slow (166 mz) Opinions on different brands please.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Amergin
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 08:34 PM

don't get an emachine....those are 500 dollar doorstops....

other than that just find one that suits the needs...,.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 08:45 PM

If you are looking for brands, Dell is a company that has achieved a good reputation (and offer good support) on my side as well as your side of the pond.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 09:49 PM

They have an excellent reputation and it is well deserved. I have seen several people well satisfied with their Dell computers.

I, however, recommend not getting a "brand" computer, but checking with your locaal computer vendors, discuss what you need, and see what they can come up with. If you can find one in your local area whom you are comfortable with and trust, you might find that preferable.

Local deals, even if more than Dell, could be better for you in the long run, if you have any problems. I buy local on this sort of thing, and if I have problems, I can easily contact them, and get a solution within hours or days, instead of packing it up, shipping it back, and WAITING for the return.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Sorcha
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 10:28 PM

Love my HP Pavilion. It was an "opned box" deal....returned computer. No problems except that the 1st owner didn't like it for some reason. Do look into "opened box" deals for Dell and HP both. We got about $800 off the New Price.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Devilmaster
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 10:40 PM

Well, time to add my quarter staff worth. (actually, its a buck and a quarter quarter staff, but i'm not telling him that.)

Kendall, your have and are going to hear alot of stuff about what is out there.

It depends on where you live, how much your willing to pay, what you use your computer for primarily, and if you are somewhat knowledgeable about the inner workings of computers. Answer those questions, and you'll have an idea of what you want and/or need in a system. I'll show ya.

1. Where you live - this is important to find out the local system dealers. States, you have stuff like Gateway, Dell, Compusa, etc.etc. Canada - Future Shop, Leon's etc. Britian - Packard Bell. Where you live figures out who are the big players.

2. What do you use your computer for primarily - Is it a business system? More Internet? Heavy Gaming? DVD and music? A little of everything? This is something that will tell you what kind of system you need. If its mostly business and internet, you don't need a 400 dollar 64 meg 3d video gaming card. Stuff like that.

3. Are you knowledgeable about the inner workings of computers - do you know what a 40pin IDE cable is? The difference between a motherboard and a controller card is? AT or ATX? If this is greek to you, you would probably be more interested in a system made by a brand name(dell, packard bell, gateway, etc). If you know how to change systems, add components (like another hard drive) and know your way around the inside, then perhaps look around at a local private computer store. They can put together a good no-name system with parts made by ASUS, Intel, Creative Labs, Western Digital, Micron, Viewsonic, etc. You can talk to the owner and hash out, geek to geek, what you need in a system, and probably get you a cheaper system than what you get from a major label.

4. How much? - This is the last question you ask. Find your supplier, a system to fit your needs, and then a system that fits your pocketbook. If you need financing, some private stores can get a financing deal for you. But that's on a store by store thing.

Like some others who have written before, I bought a complete first system when I was young, tinkered around with it, and nowadays, I buy all my own parts and do my own thing. I put systems together for friends, and have a closetfull of old parts. Sometimes I root to find an old sound cable to run from a friend's computer. If you smile and nod to that, you should probably look into doing it yourself. But if you don't feel comfortable with that, go for a namebrand system, that has 24 hour customer service, and a good warranty.

My system is a no-brand name system. I do the work myself and unlike some major brands (compaq as an extreme example of garbage) who make parts only to fit their system, ergo you must buy their parts... a no-name system uses good parts and it sets your system up for easy upgrades down the road. Its better than buying a new system every two to three years. I bought a brand new system way back in 1992, and I've only upgraded since. Upgrading is a continual process. I'm never finished. Next will be probably a new motherboard and a P4 processor.

Anyways, hope that helps. Steve


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: E.T.
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 10:47 PM

Agree with the above - also - get several opinions. Ask people with various types. I've had a HP and couple others, using one my brother made from spare parts now. It's really in the software you put into it. Recommend at least a 17" monitor so you can see a whole page of text.

Development is at a "plateau" at the moment, my brother says. So take your time. Look at several. Check sales. Don't be afraid to bargain (can you throw in turbotax?).

I heartily endorse an ergonomic keyboard if you do a lot of typing. Takes a little getting used to but it's a lot more comfortable. Elaine. It's only about $20.

Oh yes. Think about printer when you buy the computer. Check the cost of the ink before you buy it. It's significant.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Bobert
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 11:14 PM

Gotta agree with George. Check your local vendor and see what they can "build" you. Compare what they can build you with the stats of the prebuilt stuff. And remember, no matter what you get, lay a 2 pound ballpeen hammer next to it when you bring it home just incase it has a mind of its own...


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 15 Feb 02 - 11:15 PM

Just another thought that came about from a fairly recent thread here:

Kendall, I'm not sure what the cost to you in replacing software would be but have you considered the Mac option?

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: gnu
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 07:35 AM

I recently had to purchase a new one and fast - four hours after the old one died, I was on my way home with the new one. I used the same strategy I did six years ago. I bought the top of the line amongst the newest series of a brand name that provides service here in town.

I got my money out of the old one, so I'm hopeful this strategy will work again. Of course, I use it for engineering design and for all office related work, so top of the line powerwise is a necessity for me. Spending an extra five hundred over five years is worth it, given my requirements. Mind you, it still hurts.

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: mack/misophist
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 09:51 AM

Devilmaster, writing above was right on but I think there are a couple of things he didn't stress enough. Some companies, Compaq and Mac are the worst, either make their machines so hard to work on or make the parts so hard to get that one is forced to use their service departments. OEM is unquestionable superior. That said, places like Dell and Gateway are hungry enough that they would likely try hard to give you what you want at a good price. The trick is deciding what you want. If there are dollars left over, more and faster memory never hurt anyone.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 11:21 AM

If you're in the US, you can have the best of both worlds in the "no name" computer but having professionals put it together. CompUSA has a plan where you pay them $99 for a year's worth of computer work. I forget if it is for unlimited components in that plan, but the idea is that you buy the CPU box and mother board, drives, gadgets that you want, wherever you want (making sure they all are appropriate to the CPU) and take it in to CompUSA, where they will put it together for you. This way, if you aren't certain about your skills under the hood, you can still shop around and find the hard drives, floppy, CD-ROM or DVD drives, all sorts of stuff at good prices, and they'll cobble it together. I would first talk to a few of the tech guys at the store and decide who I was most comfortable working with, before plunging into this project.

I bought an HP Pavilion last year and I love it. Tall tower, with space for upgrades, 60 gig hard drive, 1.3 ghz processor (they made up to 1.5 at the time, but for the considerable price difference I didn't feel I needed the fraction of a second in speed). It came with a CD burner, DVD, and 7 USB plugs. I added a zip drive and a scanner. I'm using my laser printer from the last computer. It isn't as fast as the new ones, but these HP printers are real workhorses and I expect it to keep going for a long time.

For my kids, when I get moved and we have room, I'll go the build-your-own route. Partly to save on the price, and partly so they have an idea of what goes into a computer. They're never to young to understand things like this (and at 9 and 13, some would argue they're positively elderly for becoming computer-construction saavy).

Here in Texas, and in several other states around the US, are places like Fry's, which has a lot of inexpensive components. Just make sure they're new and not refurbished, because they sell used stuff also.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: kendall
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 03:14 PM

I posted this once but it didn't go out??? anyway, My friend has an old HP 166 mz. She has a B&B with a website, and doesn't need anything fast of fancy. Mine is a custom made 400 mz, 56 k modem 32 megs ram, 8.4 gig. hard drive and 8 meg video. It's less than three years old, the modem had to be replaced as did the CD drive. As some of you know, I have been having trouble with it. I can not use any link that comes via e mail, I keep getting a notice "Boot disc failure" and, for some reason, I cant dump ICQ. Something about a missing file which is necessary to uninstall it. I know nothing about the guts of these things, I dont do banking or anything really important with it, so, if it dies completly, it is an aggravation, but, not a disaster. The most important thing I do is Mudcat.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: artbrooks
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 03:59 PM

I've had two Dells and like them, except I still haven't received the Windows XP upgrade they promised me back in November. Their on-line support is super.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: kendall
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 04:31 PM

Thanks folks; you have been very helpful.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Gypsy
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 11:13 PM

Really consider what your local computer guy likes. Unless you do your own work. The handsome mando player builds ours, so i'm set, but i know people who have imported 'puters that the local geeks don't know, and it is a catastrophe.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: 53
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 11:32 PM

HP tech support is the pits, there is no toll free number for tech support, and last monthm we spent 30.00 in phone calls to try to correct some problems with our computor, and their still not corrected. If I had it to go over again I"d buy a Dell dude.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 16 Feb 02 - 11:52 PM

HP does have an extensive online setup, though. I've been able to download any number of patches and upgrades from their system. I haven't been back to look for a while to see what they have there.

Art, I wouldn't be in any hurry to get Windows XP. It, like all Windows products when they first come out, has bugs. Give Microsoft a little more time to identify them and prepare patches. Windows 2000 Professional is the most stable of their operating systems, after Windows 98.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Tone d' F
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 04:22 AM

Before you buy anything consider what you want to do with the machine, what software you want to buy, for instance do you want music editing software, graphics software, games, faster internet

work out what you will need next year then work out the specification of the machine you will need giving yourself 25% increase.

That should give you a machine which should be adequate for a couple of years

Check out your local vendors and multiples balance the bundles offered with the quality of machine.

and don't be afraid to go back more than once, you may look like a pratt but it's your money your spendng not theirs

I just put together the specs for my new machine and will not have much change out of £2K now all I hav to do is find the cash


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 05:00 AM

Whatever you buy it's going to go wrong every now and again, so make sure you can get any help you need to fix it locally, with someone who can talk your language (ie your level of technobabble, however low or high), and whom you feel you can trust.

That is quite a tall order.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Mr Red
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 06:29 AM

I would council this: Choose the store first! Its a percentage thing, but when there are problems you want confidence in the recovery mechanisms and that can be so varied. Speak to friends, one who has had problems may skew your views, but the old oral tradition has a lot going for it. N'est Pas?


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: kendall
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 12:38 PM

Any opinions on the one I have now?


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 02:31 PM

I have been looking at some of the new machines available for a friend who wants to "get into" computing, and one critical factor in my recommendations will be the "bundled software."

For my work, and for what my friend wants to do, Microsoft "HOME OFFICE" software just doesn't cut it. I have also seen indications that "WinXP Home" also has some rather significant limitations.

For the most part, the "retail traders" like Dell, Compaq, HP, etc make you do a lot of extra work if you want to get your machine with "professional grade" software preinstalled.

We use Win2000 Pro on one machine, and have been quite happy with it. We would not be happy with WinXP Home Edition, but all indications are that WinXP Professional would be satisfactory.

Again, for my work, Office 2000 Professional, (or Office 200x PROFESSIONAL) are necessary. The office pro package is about $600 US if you buy it separately, which makes a "bargain" machine that requires separate software purchase much less interesting.

Regardless of what machine you get, look at the minimum RAM required by the software you intend to use and DOUBLE IT. Microsoft says that WinXP and Home Office "require" 128MB, but reports are that they don't run worth h-pucky with less than 256MB.

I wouldn't let a friend buy less than 256MB today. (Any new machine I might get for my own use would probably want at least 512MB.)

For a look at machines "made to use" as opposed to the common "made to sell" mass market stuff, take a look at Micronpc.com. You don't have to get one there, but it will give a good idea of what you can get, and what you should try to get if you have someone put a "local" together for you.

John


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Snuffy
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 08:19 PM

If you've got a schoolkid or college student in your family, Microsoft do a special student deal on Office Pro. We paid UK£99 for an empty box with a form in it; got the daughter's school to countersign the form, and three weeks later we got an Office 2000 Pro Cd through the post.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 08:40 PM

An opinion Kendall...

As far as I can work out from what you have said and memories of the troubles you had, I think your problems are software related and that the computer itself is fine but that is just a guess - I haven't seen the machine.

The PC would be considered out of date but a lot depends on what you use it for or want to do with it. To offer some perspective:

My mother runs a Packard Bell with a Pentium 200 processor, 32MB RAM and a 3.2GB hard disk. It runs on Windows 95 and does everything she needs - wordprocessing (word 97), email, Internet and a few other bits and pieces. I find it slow loading software and very slow on certain things like playing with graphics on Photoshop but it still can cope with 95% of what I do and when my (Athlone 1Ghz) went down, I used it for Paltalk, etc. with no problems...

I think the bottom line is assessing your own needs. Some people do need all the power they can get and the latest software but I think it is all to easy to jump on the bandwaggon of getting the latest version of Windows, Word, etc which will require more horsepower without considering whether you really need the extras...

Jon


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: kendall
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 08:48 PM

I just talked to a computer expert and he says mine is...well...ok. Now, that problem I have been having with links in e mail, he says there is a way around it. Hilite the link, hit copy (ctrl & C) then, open I.E address bar click on it once, ctrl V for paste then hit enter. Does that sound right?


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 10:49 PM

Kendall,

Pasting (or typing) the address in the IE address bar should work - as long as the address is a good one. With newer versions of IE - if you've left the "new search" functions on, you can even type (or paste) "pieces" of an address and IE can search for you, and can sometimes fill in missing info.

I often use the address bar to "search" for simple stuff, and it does about as well as any of the high powered search engines.

John


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 17 Feb 02 - 11:54 PM

Kendall,

You should go look to see how you have the preferences set in your email program. That's where the hotlink problem seems to be happening, from your description above. Email programs have default settings, and yours may well be old enough that it was set to not recognize URL's or email addresses to add the html to make them active.

In your email you can set all sorts of things, from security level to accepting java script, setting up hotlinks, or things more subtle, like if your email writes back to senders that you've opened or read their email. I always turn those things off, but they're often set in the "on" position when you first get the email.

I use two email programs, the newest Pegasus, and Netscape mail. Both are free, and both are very good. You might want to download a new program. I go to http://www.tucows.com to get my downloads, but there are lots of other places. Pegasus is at http://www.pmail.com .

Maggie


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: hesperis
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 01:53 AM

About the ICQ problem -

1. See what version of ICQ you have installed, and download the install program for that *same version* if you don't still have it. icq.com doesn't keep old versions, but you can find them on the net if you do a specific search for that version.

2. Backup the data (simply zipping the whole directory is good.)

3. Install the same version of ICQ over the previous installation, without uninstalling first.

4. Restart the computer.

5. Uninstall, and see if it finds the "missing" file this time.

5.a) If it works and you really don't want the backup information, then delete the zip file you made in step 2.

5.b) If it doesn't work, try the same process with a later version of ICQ.

6. Let me know how it goes.


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 02 - 04:30 AM

get a MAC!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Help: New computer
From: kendall
Date: 17 Apr 02 - 12:36 PM

Finally got a new one, and, among other features, it has a CD player and a burner. It also has an unusually good sound system. I've just been listening to Art Thieme's THE OLDER I GET, THE BETTER I WAS. For a kid, he does a damn good job!


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