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Re: The dryer sheet computer
Old 07-06-2004, 01:36 PM   #21
 
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Re: The dryer sheet computer

What to look for in a computer depends on what software you are planning to run. One mistake I see people making over and over again, is going for a low-end computer, then installing newer software two years later, thereby crippling the machine.

Older dirt cheap computers (for example a 750MHz PIII) can run fine. just don't install the latest versions of Windows.

If you just do email, word processing, and web browsing, you can probably buy a used computer and be happy.

If you need high reliability, you want WIndows 2000, or XP, or OS-X (if you like Macs)

If you buy used, make sure you get the installation CDs that came with the computer, then install the OS and software from scratch. Computers tend to accumulate junk, and need to be cleaned up from time to time. The best way to do this is to backup your personal files and email, reformat the hard drive, and re-install the software you need from scratch. Then restore your personal files and email. It's always a good idea to keep a log of all the software you install so that the clean-up process goes smoothly.

If you use a digital camera, need a CD-RW, or DVD-RW, or have a digital camcorder, you will want a newer computer with windows XP.

I will not buy another Dell. My dell laptop overheated from day one. It works on-and-off, but isn't reliable. I am not happy with their service.

For a new computer, I like the "white box" approach. You can get the highest quality 'standard' components at good prices. If service is important, consider the local computer store.

A higher end computer will allow you to install newer software for a longer time. For example, if you buy the cheapest e-machines, you should probably stick with the software that comes with the machine. If you buy the highest end P4 on a high quality motherboard, you'll be able to upgrade the software for about 2 years. (You should be able to upgrade to the next generation of MS windows and office)

If you are willing to spend the extra money and like Macs, OS-X is an excellent system.
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Re: The dryer sheet computer
Old 07-06-2004, 02:44 PM   #22
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Re: The dryer sheet computer

Quote:
Separate subject - if Dell out of the can with a Windows system, anything added needed security wise since I will be hooked to the net. And what SHOULD NOT be on that computer.
An anti virus program (Grisoft has a free one if you don't want to spring for Norton), a firewall (Zone Alarm has a free one), anti spyware (X Cleaner, Ad Aware [LavaSoft version], and Spybot have free ones), a pop up blocker (MSN and Google have free ones). I use Firefox for email (subset of Mozilla) because of security issues with Outlook. Make sure that you download and install all MicroSoft critical security patches as soon as they are issued. This is very important. The first thing you should do when you first connect your new computer to the internet is to turn on the MicroSoft firewall and download all MicroSoft security patches.

Also update your anti virus, firewall, and anti spyware programs regularly (at least once a week). Scan your hard drive regularly with your anti virus and anti spyware programs. If you have broadband, consider a router as a hardware firewall.

Be very careful when downloading "free" programs offered in pop up ads. Many of them contain spyware. If you don't know what it is, don't download it. Never open email attatchments until you ask the person on the sender line if they really sent it. Many viruses come in email attatchments, and pretend to be from someone you know.
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Re: The dryer sheet computer
Old 07-17-2004, 11:20 AM   #23
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Re: The dryer sheet computer

Mick -

Some good deals on this one. You can get a few bucks rebated back and either a 17" tube or 15" LCD. Well configured with six months free internet (worth $120) for $500-600 before rebates. You can get a cheaper machine from someone else, but probably without the flat lcd and the included internet.

http://configure.us.dell.com/dellsto...=dim24rm&s=bsd

Dont forget to add a modem; these come with broadband connections only by default.

By the way, that old Compaq IA-1 is now happily spinning through 200 photos as a "digital photo frame". Once I had it out and got past the disappointment that microsoft no longer supports it, I didnt feel bad about gutting it and making it do something useful.
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Re: The dryer sheet computer
Old 07-18-2004, 04:59 AM   #24
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Re: The dryer sheet computer

TH

Looks good - I'm er ahem starting to soften up up - hint, hint - my SO for my birthday present toward the end of the month. But - looks like I've got free for 6-8 month's - the step daughters ligament operation plus rehab will take a while so her's is mine including her AOL hook-up. Boy am I cheap or what - heh, heh. Bought her own computer, can hobble around to help cook, clean, wash etc AND brought her disabled income so our per person core budget has dropped - haven't run the numbers but it's signicant.
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Re: The dryer sheet computer
Old 07-18-2004, 05:05 AM   #25
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Re: The dryer sheet computer

Step daughter in spare room--with computer/AOL account/ extra money cause she can't drive and rat around/ AND she knows how to recyle dryer sheets. Boy oh boy!
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Re: The dryer sheet computer
Old 07-18-2004, 10:53 AM   #26
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Re: The dryer sheet computer

I believe thats the positive cash flow version of the Son With A Spare Room System.
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