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Old 03-13-2012, 06:46 PM   #21
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I have an older Dell desktop computer too, which I seldom use. It's been a wonderful computer, though. Couldn't ask for more. Right now it is a spare, I guess.

My "workhorse" is my new Dell Inspiron laptop. That is what I am typing on right now, and it's what I use when I want to do my daily updates to my Excel retirement/financial spreadsheet.

I have an iPad, and it is just a toy AFAIK. I play games on it, and that is fun as well as checking the weather and news, and glancing at the forum on it, and such. But no way is it a workhorse for me. It doesn't even accomodate Excel, much less large/complex Excel files. I wouldn't want to use it for anything important like taxes. The keyboard is usable if you don't have to type more than a sentence or two.
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:49 PM   #22
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I have an iPad, and it is just a toy AFAIK. I play games on it, and that is fun as well as checking the weather and news, and glancing at the forum on it, and such. But no way is it a workhorse for me. It doesn't even accomodate Excel, much less large/complex Excel files.
Complex Excel files? You're retired! I guess I can see it for tracking investments and tax planning throughout the year, but I can't imagine using "complex Excel files" for too many things outside of w*rk!
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:52 PM   #23
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Complex Excel files? You're retired! I guess I can see it for tracking investments and tax planning throughout the year, but I can't imagine using "complex Excel files" for too many things outside of w*rk!
Hey, it's as close to programming as I can get these days! I like fooling around with Excel.
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:40 PM   #24
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You can buy a notebook and connect it to external keyboard & display. That works very well and I did it for years when I worked. With USB plugging the peripherals in is pretty easy and you don't even need a docking station. 3 cords - power, hdmi/vga for display, and a single usb for all your peripherals including kbd & mouse.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:09 PM   #25
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You can buy a notebook and connect it to external keyboard & display. That works very well and I did it for years when I worked. With USB plugging the peripherals in is pretty easy and you don't even need a docking station. 3 cords - power, hdmi/vga for display, and a single usb for all your peripherals including kbd & mouse.
+1.

Or even use a nice cordless mouse and/or keyboard to eliminate more cords. I'm using a cordless mouse right now for my desktop that lasts a pretty good time before a battery change.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:30 PM   #26
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I have a MacBook given to me by my daughter when my PC crashed a few years ago.

We have since bought a Mac Book Pro for my son and have become Apple fans.
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:48 PM   #27
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I have a desktop and an iPad. I think they complement each other nicely. The iPad has completely replaced my laptop. In fact, I now find using a laptop kind of awkward (I hate track pads). I like the expansive real estate on the desktop screen (iMac 27") and find it ideal for multitasking. I also like the full size keyboard with num pad.
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:04 PM   #28
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I'm a laptop girl. I bought my present Toshiba laptop in (drum roll) 2003 and it immediately displaced my desktop. My laptop is relatively heavy compared to some of the modern ones but it has served me well all over North America and Europe. I have a Logitech wireless keyboard with no hard connection in my home office, and the whole thing is linked wirelessly to my router.

I got an iPad 2 three months ago and I do use it for some work applications, including accessing my work desktop and checking ICD codes for billing. But it has no talent in word processing, spreadsheets, etc and would not be sufficient alone. It's real strength is in media access. I love watching movies, reading and playing games on it, and all while listening to the complete Beethoven symphonies. ( except while watching movies of course ).

When my laptop dies I will probably get another laptop.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:05 PM   #29
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I have an apple iMac and iPad. I use the iPad mostly for surfing, but do some spreadsheets and word docs and PDFs. I really like the iMac/iPad/iPhone combo.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:24 AM   #30
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We just have the one Dell XPS8000 with 8GB ram, a 1TB drive with a 2TB backup drive. Wired mouse/keyboard and a Dell U2410 monitor for photo editing since it will display 98% of the Adobe 1998 RGB gamut. (Next best monitor costs 2x the Dell.) Subtle differences in photos show up well with it.

A short description of why that matters is here: Introduction to Color Spaces

I like the desktop with the tower. Laptops keyboard are too small and have oddball layouts for some keys.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:47 AM   #31
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Got an iPad right when it came out. Will probably get a new one soon. The current one still works fine, but I didn't expect to use it for videos when I got it so I got a mid-sized, and I use it a lot for that now, and I'm running out of space. I converted from PC to MacBook Pro at the same time. Last year, DW inherited the MacBook Pro, and I got a MacBook Air, since I travel a lot. Still, I only take it when I know I'm going to need more than email capability. Yes, you can do spreadsheets on the iPad. No, it is not very easy to do complicated spreadsheets. So, I use the iPad for emails and internet when traveling and most of the time when I am home. I also use it to download videos such as "Modern Family" and prop it on the treadmill for my indoor runs when the weather outside isn't cooperating. When I need spreadsheets or presentations, I take the MacBook.

I really need a laptop and an iPad, so this combo really works for me. Unless something drastic changes, I will never go back to Microsoft for personal use, and if I had a choice I would not use it for work either. (In a couple years I won't even have to worry about that anymore).

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Old 03-15-2012, 09:39 AM   #32
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When I need a new computer I go to places liek NewEgg and purchase all the parts and pieces and put together a very fast machine for about half the cost of purchasing one that is already built. It took about 30 minutes to build it out once I got all the parts.
Can you provide a good resource for determining which components to buy? I've never built my own computer, but I'm confident I could do it. But I'm a little lost with all the choices.

I'm using linux for my main machine, so buying components w/o an installed OS should help keep the price down.

I currently use a laptop as my 'desktop'. External keyboard/mouse and a USB hub, occasionally an external monitor when I need more screen real-estate, which is rare - the 'Workplace Switcher', 'Window Selector' and 'Window List' applets really help keep my screen uncluttered. I keep separate 'stuff' on separate virtual screens, and move easily between them.

Anyhow, since I've got this laptop, and a little netbook I bought for travel, and DW has a laptop (MacBookPro), I'm thinking of moving to a mini-sized desktop when I replace this laptop as my main machine. I think I would want to go with a mobile processor - I'm a little shocked at these 500W power supplies they call for in most of those builds on NewEgg. What will that do to my electric bill! My laptop uses about 20W. I'd also like the option of connecting two monitors - sometimes that is super-useful.

I go to this passmark site to compare relative CPU performance (the CPU names and GHz ratings don't seem to mean much!):

PassMark - CPU Benchmarks - List of Benchmarked CPUs


Any help is appreciated!


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Old 03-15-2012, 10:06 AM   #33
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You Apple fans are killing me...I've been tempted for years, good thing my Dell XPS is only 4 years old and I use the PC less and less (favoring the iPad).
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:29 AM   #34
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Can you provide a good resource for determining which components to buy? I've never built my own computer, but I'm confident I could do it. But I'm a little lost with all the choices.

I'm using linux for my main machine, so buying components w/o an installed OS should help keep the price down.

I currently use a laptop as my 'desktop'. External keyboard/mouse and a USB hub, occasionally an external monitor when I need more screen real-estate, which is rare - the 'Workplace Switcher', 'Window Selector' and 'Window List' applets really help keep my screen uncluttered. I keep separate 'stuff' on separate virtual screens, and move easily between them.

Anyhow, since I've got this laptop, and a little netbook I bought for travel, and DW has a laptop (MacBookPro), I'm thinking of moving to a mini-sized desktop when I replace this laptop as my main machine. I think I would want to go with a mobile processor - I'm a little shocked at these 500W power supplies they call for in most of those builds on NewEgg. What will that do to my electric bill! My laptop uses about 20W. I'd also like the option of connecting two monitors - sometimes that is super-useful.

I go to this passmark site to compare relative CPU performance (the CPU names and GHz ratings don't seem to mean much!):

PassMark - CPU Benchmarks - List of Benchmarked CPUs


Any help is appreciated!


-ERD50
I really can't give a resource to help make choices; I just checked out the specs and bought those items that i needed:

I picked my case (Full Tower), then the motherboard, CPU, memory, Hard drive, DVD burners. The cases usually come with a power supply, you will need to get a large enough (500W-750W) one to supply power to all the devices. I would reccomend the following motherboard (ASUS), I like Kingston memory (the motherboard spec with tell you the type of memory you can use), Western Digital Hard drives (SATA), THE DVD players are all about the same. As for the processor I like IBM, but have used AMD, get one that has more than 2 cores.

Most montherboard support multi monitors, but you may need to look at video cards if it does not (i like the EV3A). I run two monitors on my ASUS board. Network cards are on the motherboard too.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:30 AM   #35
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Ah, the memories of opening the dusty case, forcing cards into slots, trying to route the ribbon cables, switching the tiny configuration switches with a pen, figuring which is the master and which the slave, getting the power supply cables to reach, different drive mounting standards, getting the case to close, reopening it because the floppy drives don't line up, waiting two minutes to see if it will boot...

Never again!
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:59 AM   #36
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As for the processor I like IBM, but have used AMD, get one that has more than 2 cores.
Is this a typo? Did you mean to say you like Intel or did IBM enter the CPU market recently?
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:00 PM   #37
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Ah, the memories of opening the dusty case, forcing cards into slots, trying to route the ribbon cables, switching the tiny configuration switches with a pen, figuring which is the master and which the slave, getting the power supply cables to reach, different drive mounting standards, getting the case to close, reopening it because the floppy drives don't line up, waiting two minutes to see if it will boot...

Never again!
+1 I used to change my oil and rebuild carburetors too. No thanks.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:01 PM   #38
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Ah, the memories of opening the dusty case, forcing cards into slots, trying to route the ribbon cables, switching the tiny configuration switches with a pen, figuring which is the master and which the slave, getting the power supply cables to reach, different drive mounting standards, getting the case to close, reopening it because the floppy drives don't line up, waiting two minutes to see if it will boot...

Never again!
I understand, I have been doing this for a long time; a lot has changed, ribbon cable have been replaced with SATA cables (no more master and slave stuff), when I built the last two for myself and wife no configuration dip switch to change, longer power supply cables these days too, drives and cards just snap in place no more rails, don't use floopies any more so did not get one.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:04 PM   #39
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Is this a typo? Did you mean to say you like Intel or did IBM enter the CPU market recently?
Yep fingers typing not listening to what I wanted to type, I did mean Intel.
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Old 03-15-2012, 12:09 PM   #40
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+1 I used to change my oil and rebuild carburetors too. No thanks.

Maybe I am old school, just finishing up putting the rebuilt engine and transmission into my wife's niece's car. Oil change, spark plugs, timing belt, and a whole bunch of stuff. Can't say I saved any money doing it myself, but had a lot of fun and cuts.
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