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Old 12-19-2007, 12:25 PM   #21
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However, I dont recommend getting a machine with vista. I'd strongly recommend getting XP instead. There are some minor advantages to vista and in a year or two it might get a recommendation out of me.
DW's desktop needs to be upgraded. Is there some way to buy a "Sunday Newspaper" machine (eMachine. etc with 2GB RAM, 300GB+ HD, etc) and get XP through some other (legal) means at a reasonable price and load it on? This could have several advantages:
- I'd have XP on actual disks, which (in my experience) is a good thing
- She'd have a system that runs her software without glitches and is faster than Vista
- Vista --if possible, keep the OEM version on a partitioned portion of the HD--when/if we need it, it would be there and we could get all the patches.

Dang, Vista s on the market and the newest thing. Are there no cut-rate copies of XP available somewhere?

Suggestions welcome.
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:37 PM   #22
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BTW Reference Vista versus XP. I actually have no way to compare Vista to XP however it has been a week since I downloaded (344 MB) and installed Windows XP SP3 RC1 and I am happy to say it runs just like prior to SP3 RC1. I have XP Pro and I am also running Firefox, Thunderbird, Office 2002 Pro, and the usual FREE Anti-whatever (Avast, Spyware Blaster, SpyBot S&D and Adaware). BTW I downloaded it from MajorGeeks.com. I did not intend to hi-jack the thread.
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:14 PM   #23
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Not to everybody's taste, but here's what I did recently: I fished on Ebay for an old laptop (win98 vintage) + a cheap wireless card. For about $110, I now have a working (!) old Toshiba notebook with a whopping 64 Meg of RAM, everything works well, good battery, sometimes powers off if you move it while in "suspend",but otherwise ok. My main use for a notebook is to use at wi-fi hotspots such as the library, cafe, etc. Isn't it slow? Yes, sometimes, but works welll as a web browser. All for 1/4 or 1/5 the cost of a new one. Sometimes this frugality gene works well. Sehr gut.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:25 PM   #24
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Suggestions welcome.
Unfortunately you have to wait for a deal on an OEM copy of XP, which on occasion appears for ~75-80, usually bundled with some crappy PCI card or a mouse or something. What I'd do is get a machine with XP on it and in a year or two or three when I wanted vista, buy a vista premium OEM license for $75.

Microsoft and its distributors are still well aware of the viability of XP and its value. In 3 years you might get a cheaper copy.

Problem with an OEM copy is you can install it on one machine and when that machine croaks or becomes obsolete, you cant transfer the license to a new machine. Its "bonded" to that original system and the MS droids will only let you activate it if you explain that you've changed a system board or something that triggered the activation requirement.

OEM Vista installs (what you get in the bargain sunday paper ad systems) usually come with an OEM install disk, you can buy one from the maker for ~$20, or you can make your own by burning a 'recovery disk' from some part of the crapware the manufacturer installs.

Mine for example allows for burning any number of recovery disks from a hidden recovery partition on the drive, or recovery directly from that partition via a key combination through the BIOS on boot time.

My HP machine on the other hand popped up on first boot and demanded that I make a set of recovery disks, then told me I wasnt allowed to make a second set and deleted its recovery partition.

So you COULD burn a set of vista OEM recovery disks, get an OEM version of XP when a sale item comes around (watch Fatwallet and put in a 'automated email reminder' if one comes up), install that and later "upgrade" to vista using the recovery disks.

I havent been as fortunate as W2R. Many of my XP apps that I bought over the years dont run on vista. In some cases I had to wait for a vista version and got that for free; in others I was expected to pay for a vista upgrade version; in others the manufacturer simply had no interest in making a vista version for the foreseeable future.

Ironically, the first app I installed once I had the system configured the way I liked and my data loaded was my backup/restore app (acronis trueimage). Turns out it wasnt vista compatible and didnt work. When I uninstalled it, vista rebooted and told me that it was broken and couldnt boot, but it'd fix itself. It then reported that there were no problems and it'd reboot, then that it was broken and couldnt boot, but it'd fix itself. After 5 iterations of that I quit.

When the manufacturer, who will remain nameless because it was Acer, didnt return my emails (they dont offer a telephone number for tech support, although I later found one and boy, were they sorry...) for several days and the recovery system didnt work and of course I hadnt made the recovery disks yet, I reinstalled vista from an "upgrade now!!!" disk that microsoft mistakenly put in the box with the laptop hoping I'd upgrade to vista "ultimate". I called MS and had them look up my OEM key that I'd already activated and reactivate this "retail" version for me. Not a lot of fun.

Later the system became so unstable that I decided to install XP, but since I decided I might want to run vista someday, I unhid the recovery partition, fixed it and broke the encryption on it, and was able to make a vista recovery disk. Vista upon booting again and seeing the recovery partition, hosed my primary partition and all my data...which fortunately I had a copy of.

Since restoring from the recovery disks I made, vista has sort of been okay. The video driver "blinks" now and then and thats allegedly a bug they're still figuring out; my touchpad periodically 'loses' its ability to do side scrolling; vista periodically decides to take 2-5 minutes to wake the laptop from a suspend...I think you're getting that its a bunch of little BS things that amount to growing pains, iffy drivers and application issues. Unfortunately, the driver and app people decided to wait until a few million people had vista before they'd rewrite their code.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:56 PM   #25
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Since restoring from the recovery disks I made, vista has sort of been okay. The video driver "blinks" now and then and thats allegedly a bug they're still figuring out; my touchpad periodically 'loses' its ability to do side scrolling; vista periodically decides to take 2-5 minutes to wake the laptop from a suspend...I think you're getting that its a bunch of little BS things that amount to growing pains, iffy drivers and application issues. Unfortunately, the driver and app people decided to wait until a few million people had vista before they'd rewrite their code.
Wow! No wonder you don't like it. I have not had all of those problems with Vista, especially 2-5 minutes to wake the laptop from a suspend, which I would HATE. No touchpad problems, though as in the past I use a tiny notebook mouse. OK, I admit it's blinked a couple of times, but I like having cool software to play with many, many hours a week even if it does blink once for less than a second in a week or two.

My Toshiba laptop came with a vista recover/restore disk in the box. Within 30 minutes of getting it and the computer out of the box I found I had screwed up my password, and couldn't get back into the computer (Duh!). So, all I could do was use the disk and reinstall everything on the hard drive. Piece o' cake, and I was off and running.
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Old 12-19-2007, 07:59 PM   #26
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Mine doesnt always take a long time to wake up from suspend. Usually it just pops up after a few seconds. Every once in a while I get "vista is waking up" or whatever the hell it says when its coming back from a suspend and it just sits there for a while, then pops up the password request. Many other vista users are reporting the same sporadic 'resume' problems. I have no idea what it is.

My network also periodically goes away. I'll get a little notification that I have limited connectivity and then a minute or two later it'll come back.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:04 PM   #27
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Mine doesnt always take a long time to wake up from suspend. Usually it just pops up after a few seconds. Every once in a while I get "vista is waking up" or whatever the hell it says when its coming back from a suspend and it just sits there for a while, then pops up the password request. Many other vista users are reporting the same sporadic 'resume' problems. I have no idea what it is.

My network also periodically goes away. I'll get a little notification that I have limited connectivity and then a minute or two later it'll come back.
NEVER had it happen, not even once. I know it's not my incredible technical genius - - probably it's just that Toshiba has optimized things somehow, maybe with better drivers.

My wireless network occasionally goes away briefly, but no more often than it did with XP. I think it's when I have too much stuff between the computer and the router. Like my purse. I don't know what it is about my purse, but it seems to be impermeable to wireless signals.

I am running Vista Home Premium 6.0.6000 build 6000. Maybe we have different versions.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:12 PM   #28
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Its pretty much the same stuff I saw with XP during its first year out, and better than the OSX 10.0 experience I had, for what thats worth.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:16 PM   #29
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Its pretty much the same stuff I saw with XP during its first year out, and better than the OSX 10.0 experience I had, for what thats worth.
See? It's not so bad. Maybe you'll decide you really like it, in time. Repeat after me, "Change is Good, Change is Good, Change is Good, Change is Good, Change is Good!!!" Drink the Kool-Aid.

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Old 12-19-2007, 10:51 PM   #30
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Thanks for the ideas, CFB. I took the plunge and bought a Dell Inspiron for DW tonight after reading your post(s). Seems Dell is among the holdouts still offering XP (as you said), but only on some models. BTW, the online help folks would not promise that XP would be available in January, though last I read Microsoft wasn't going to pull the plug until the end of Jan). I got the Inspiron 530, comes with an Intel chip (of some description), 2GB of RAM and a 320MB HD. I went throught he fatwallet link, and the whole thing (no monitor, but with a Laplink program for exporting her current apps and settings) was about $550. That's not too bad in my book.

If Dell is smart they'll keep selling XP as long as they can legally do it. I've got a feeling there are a lot of curmudgeons like me who are not eager to join MSFTs Beta Brigade.

And, W2R: The Kool-aide tastes like NyQuill!! I'm going to partition the HD on this new machine and give a Linux distribution a whirl.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:09 AM   #31
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Sam...did it look like this one...?

http://www.fatwallet.com/redirect/bo...471&lid=566643

Looks similar to what you've ordered, with a larger hard drive, for $449.

If this is cheaper than what you ordered, you can cancel the existing order and then get this one going.
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:45 AM   #32
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Sam...did it look like this one...?

http://www.fatwallet.com/redirect/bo...471&lid=566643

Looks similar to what you've ordered, with a larger hard drive, for $449.

If this is cheaper than what you ordered, you can cancel the existing order and then get this one going.
Drat! The one you've linked to is similar to the one I bought. After piling on similar add-ons (the Laplink software and adding a media card reader and a 1394A network card) the model you've suggested has a bigger HD (500GB vs 360GB) and a faster processor (E4500 with 2MB L2cache operating at 2.2 GHz vs. E2140 processor with 1MB L2 cache running at 1.6 GHz). The price of the two systems is identical: $534 before tax (shipping is free.)
Okay, I'm re-engaging with Dell.

The efficient information marketplace is a great thing, but not without it's own angst-producing potential.

Thanks for the tip!
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Old 12-20-2007, 10:56 AM   #33
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No trouble. Didnt know you were looking for a desktop, as we were yapping about notebooks. Dell is funny...depending on how you link to them and which things you click on, you might get five different deals and five different configurations. Some of these deals dry up in a day or two or change price, some are only good until xx are sold in a day, then reset the next morning. Some require funny coupons.

Saw some 530's in the Dell Outlet.

Dell Factory Outlet

One was a scratch and dent (probably has a little scrape on the side) with good specs for $399... # FCVK2ME8

Click on "inspiron desktops" in the stockroom dropdown, then "d530" in the model", then click on the 'price' header to sort by cheap to more expensive. Theres about 20 of them in there right now under $500.

Nice part about the outlet units is that it'll probably ship out tomorrow or monday and you might get it next week.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:10 AM   #34
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Cheap deal on a vostro 1500 for $549

The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

Core2duo, 2gb ram, 160gb hard drive, dvd burner.

If you want a trouble-free experience, you can add the three year full parts and labor on-site warranty, three years of damage insurance, and three years of direct access to north american 2nd/3rd level gold support and its $986 minus a $75 gift card.

Laptop with one year of onsite service, damage coverage and gold support is $747.

I'd buy it without any of the extra warranties, but those arent bad prices for someone who wants a lot of handholding.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:52 PM   #35
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Thanks for the input on cheap make that inexpensive laptops.

I finally took the plunge and ordered a Dell Vostro 1400 with 2MB RAM, a 120 GB HD and a 128 NVidia video card for $599. It was chepaer to order it new with the discount rather than buying a refurbished model. Also took CFB's advice and ordered it with Win XP rather than Vista.

Happy Holidays,

2soon2tell
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Old 12-28-2007, 03:44 PM   #36
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Let us know how it works out for you. Always good to get feedback on how manufacturers are screwing up doing as time goes by.
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Old 12-28-2007, 04:54 PM   #37
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How do you get a coupon number for ordering from dell? Is that thru fatwallet? Is there any way to get free shipping? The vostro 1500 looks like a good value. Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-28-2007, 06:30 PM   #38
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Mn,

I did not use a coupon but ordered from Dell's online site. Shipping was free if you chose the 3-5 day delivery option. I strongly considered the Vostro 1500 but finally decided that I wanted something a little less bulky.

2soon
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Old 12-28-2007, 07:01 PM   #39
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Use that link to directly get the deal. By going to fatwallet, creating a fatcash account and linking to dell through the fatwallet cash back link, you'll get another 3% off for dell home and 1.5% for dell small business.

Use your 1.25% penfed visa, or if discover card has one of their discovercash deals that gives a discount or allows you to double your discover rewards, and you're getting somewhere...

$550 for the 1500 configured as such is a pretty nice deal, even without the extra hoopla to shave a few more percent off.

The way fatcash works is that its a referral bonus paid by Dell (and other merchants) to fatwallet. Usually the merchant pays the bonus to fatwallet and they in turn pay it to you. When you have more than ten bucks, you can request a check.

Seems kinda piddly, but I've found about half the companies I buy stuff from give anywhere from 2-10% cash back. I'm picking up about $200-300 a year. Heck, I've gotten almost a hundred back from sears, who is offering 5% cash back on purchases through the end of the year.

As far as dell home and small biz, I think you get better customer/order support from small business and I think you occasionally get better tech support.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:59 AM   #40
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This isnt that good of a value, but its cheap for a thinkpad. Some people like the build quality and layout, and this isnt a bad price.

Lenovo - Customize - ThinkPad Z61t - Components

Use the code "USP1PAYPAL" during checkout for another 10% off.

About $539 with free shipping.

Core duo, 80gb hard drive, 1GB ram, 14" screen, XP, both touchpad and trackpoint, standard battery is pretty small at 4 cells, CD not DVD.
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