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View Poll Results: When do you get a new computer?
When the price is right 3 2.88%
When I need to keep up with current to technology 19 18.27%
Out of frustration - when my old one doesn't work anymore 47 45.19%
I run my old computer to the ground...try to keep it forever 30 28.85%
I don't know...usually an impulse purchase 5 4.81%
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:27 PM   #21
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We maxed out the frustration meter this year for both our desktop and laptop. Desktop was vintage 2002, laptop 2004. Slow, slow slow with both and I tried everything my limited skills allowed to try to improve things.

We are happy owners of two new HPs with Windows 7.
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:32 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
My pet peeve is that it is such a hassle to move all your programs and settings from old to new. In a better world, the hard drive from old would just plug into a slot on the new computer and all programs and files would automatically migrate to the new computer seamlessly.
Wow, this is your lucky day!

This 'better world' does exist. Just runa cable between the two computers. Works as advertised.

Migration Assistant (Apple) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quote:
Migration Assistant is a utility by Apple Inc. that copies user accounts, user files, applications, printer and fax descriptions (printer and fax drivers), network settings and other system and user settings from one Macintosh computer to another computer, or from a full drive backup. It can be used during initial setup of a new computer or run manually on a system that has already been set up. It may be used multiple times to copy only applications, user account(s), or settings. Its primary purpose is to duplicate the contents and configuration of an existing computer user account(s) on a new one.

If transferring from an older computer, Migration Assistant is run from the newer computer, with the older one connected to it by Ethernet cable, over a network, or by FireWire cable and running the older computer in Target Disk Mode.

I've noticed this feature in the Ubuntu/Linux install, but I haven't actually had to migrate to another computer yet, so cannot comment on the effectiveness.

-ERD50
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Old 11-06-2010, 06:35 PM   #23
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I voted the "out of frustration" vote. I don't understand why one would say to 'keep up with technology", unless the old technology wasn't working so well anymore ('frustration').

OK, I could see 'keep up with technology' from a "I just want to play with the new stuff and try it out".


-ERD50
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:07 PM   #24
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Wow, this is your lucky day!

This 'better world' does exist. Just run a cable between the two computers. Works as advertised..........

-ERD50
Ah yes, similar to the Windows Easy Transfer System.

Windows 7: Moving in is simple

All I can say is it ain't that easy - the devil is in the details.
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:09 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I voted the "out of frustration" vote. I don't understand why one would say to 'keep up with technology", unless the old technology wasn't working so well anymore ('frustration').

OK, I could see 'keep up with technology' from a "I just want to play with the new stuff and try it out".
Actually, it is more along the lines of when the latest Technology's needs is greater (in terms of resource requirements) than a particular computer can deliver -- resulting, more often than not, in very slow response to commands. Yes, this is frustrating but not in the "I don't understand what's happening" sense.

I took a long time to give up on Windows 3.1... because Windows 95/98 failed to attract me. When I purchased Windows 2000, I knew I had made a very big mistake. The "Learning Curve" took me "forever" despite knowing that this Operating Sytem was exactly what I had been, for many years, looking for. I never, ever want to go through that again.

To me the cost of "staying current" is worth what ever it takes -- I am much too old to catch up after falling behind. (Yes. Someday I will give up and join the Rocking Chair crowd but that's not today.)
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Old 11-06-2010, 07:46 PM   #26
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Ah yes, similar to the Windows Easy Transfer System.

Windows 7: Moving in is simple

All I can say is it ain't that easy - the devil is in the details.
Yes, the devil is in the details. And all I can say from experience, it really is that easy on OSX. As the Brits say "Works a treat!".


Quote:
Originally Posted by RonBoyd View Post
Actually, it is more along the lines of when the latest Technology's needs is greater (in terms of resource requirements) than a particular computer can deliver -- resulting, more often than not, in very slow response to commands. Yes, this is frustrating but not in the "I don't understand what's happening" sense.
Just semantics I guess. I was looking at it from the viewpoint that if the lack of new tech support is causing frustration, that I am updating "out of frustration". Splitting hairs. It's probably why I quit half way through taking a survey yesterday for a product where I really wanted to give them feedback. The survey wording just didn't match what I wanted to say. Could be me.

-ERD50
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:09 AM   #27
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When it either dies or has fallen so far behind current technology despite upgrades that it won't do what I want it to do.

The Windows 7 box we bought in January replaced one running Windows 98. I'm pretty sure I got my nickel's worth out of the old one.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:24 AM   #28
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My current set up is a 2006 vintage Mac mini, with a 2002 vintage Sony SDM X52 LCD monitor and 1993 vintage HP 4-L laserjet printer. I keep something until it dies and I can't fix it.
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:49 AM   #29
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I voted frustration. I basically wait until maintenance has become a bit of a hassle then buy a new desktop or laptop depending on what went out. If the HD is working on the old desktop I convert it to Linux. I keep one of those running as a home file and print server. One at my weekend house.
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:05 AM   #30
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Generally, I typically get a new one about every five years. And, to echo a couple of the other posts, usually when I get frustrated by the performance..or in this case by the mouse pad not working correctly..arghhh..on the other hand, I just upgraded the OS from Vista to 7 on this laptop, and almost overnight it's performing better, so I think I can wait a bit.

Another note, for years, my work laptop setup has entailed a mouse, monitor, and keyboard all connected to a docking station. This is quite handy as when I arrive at the office, I just pop the laptop in and now I have the luxury of a large monitor, keyboard, mouse, network connectivity, power etc..and, to go mobile, I just hit one eject button and I am on my way. While shopping for laptops online recently I noticed that the docking stations seem only readily available for the "business" class laptops and with the residential or "entertainment" pc's they either don't exist, are very expensive, or hard to find. Without the dock, it means constantly pluggin in and out cables. I am surprised that in today's mobile world that the desktop is not phased out and the common package is a laptop, dock, and all of the accessories that I find so handy. It seems so glaringly obvious how convenient the laptop/dock combo is and I do wonder why HP and/or Dell haven't seen this
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Old 11-07-2010, 07:43 AM   #31
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Computers seem to last about three years for me. Either something goes drastically wrong with it, or it just starts feeling so slow that I'm frustrated with its response time.

The main machine is an iMac desktop, but I also have a laptop, and one is always considerably newer than the other, so I always have a spare when needed.
I'm lucky to get 4 years out of one. Usually my old one is barely running when I get a new one. My last one(dell) totally died and it was just a little over 3 years old. I'm not brand loyal, just whatever seems to be a decent deal. I usually buy online, but I didn't want to wait on shipping this time so I bought a Gateway at Best Buy. So far so good.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:24 AM   #32
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Hardware failure,on my 5 year old HP desktop,memory stick failure resulted in windows crash,it has now crashed twice more again windows files missing,plus the monitor went out. I have it back running but it is time to get a new one. My question is which brand,HP,Dell or another,looking for reliability not happy if I loose 5000 pictures. I know I know need back up HD.
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Old 11-07-2010, 08:46 AM   #33
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Ah yes, similar to the Windows Easy Transfer System.

Windows 7: Moving in is simple

All I can say is it ain't that easy - the devil is in the details.
The nice thing about mac migration assistant is that it moves all your programs (in addition to your settings). You don't have to reinstall anything and can be fully operational in seconds (once the program copied the data). The most I've ever had to do is reactivate photoshop on the new computer. Compared to when I was using PCs this saves me about a full day of reinstalling stuff.

Going back to the original question, I get a new computer once (1) I've sold the old one, (2) the old computer is too slow to run certain programs (for example my wife plays some games requiring 3d acceleration on her laptop and it just became too slow), (3) my computer starts losing the war in processor power versus photo file sizes
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:41 AM   #34
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I'm lucky to get 4 years out of one. Usually my old one is barely running when I get a new one. My last one(dell) totally died and it was just a little over 3 years old.
Thanks for mentioning this because in the past, my computers have had about the same lifespan. Your post inspired me to thoroughly back up my computers. My present (cheap, Toshiba) laptop is 3 years, two months old and has seen a lot of usage over those years. It might begin to have problems at any time, at this age.
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Old 11-07-2010, 11:37 AM   #35
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Since I left work (in my 11th year) I’ve had 2 computers. The first one died. The second, bought in late 2002, has had a hard disk replacement, 4x more memory and external USB slots. I keep my SW platform stable so there is no compelling need to change.

Migration is a nightmare – motivation to not change computers. The problem is not user files – those are simple and there are lots of tools. SW needs to be reinstalled due to licensing issues, current versions are not always compatible, some need to be purchased again, and new SW versions always demand much greater resource to deliver additional functionality that isn’t always useful. And then there’s Microsoft, totally unconcerned with details like backward compatibility or standard interface.

There is no need to change computers until your current requirements cannot be reasonably satisfied with what you have plus low cost upgrades like memory, more hard drive or external attachments . Upgrading SW to new versions from folks like MS, Adobe, etc is counterproductive, unless they bring specific needed functionality. Aside from audio - video requirements such as watching DVDs or lots of editing of music or images, most 5 yr old computers are more than enough for today’s casual user that needs browsing, spreadsheet, word processing and such.

Always backup your critical files.
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Old 11-08-2010, 05:55 PM   #36
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I just bought a new Dell "student class" laptop because DW was complaining that I was hogging "her" desktop computer after I retired & because I wanted to be able to take something with me on the road.

Data & software migration was much easier than I expected. I used the Windows file transfer software that came with the laptop for my data files.

I had bought Quicken and Photoshop CD's so I just installed those (I meet the license requirements as I'm a single user).

I did NOT install MS office. I figured I'd give Openoffice a try. So far I've been able to read and edit all of the data files that I've accumulated over the years. Its more compatible with old versions of MS office than MS office itself is.

I ended up spending about 2 days getting the defaults, directory tree, etc. all set up the way I wanted them. I bought a terrabyte network drive for backup and spent another day setting THAT up so that both my office tower and my laptop are automatically backing up to it.
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Old 11-08-2010, 06:28 PM   #37
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I did NOT install MS office. I figured I'd give Openoffice a try. So far I've been able to read and edit all of the data files that I've accumulated over the years. Its more compatible with old versions of MS office than MS office itself is.
Open Office is great, isn't it! I have both MS Office and Open Office on my laptop, and haven't used MS Office for ages. Besides, the price is right.
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Old 11-08-2010, 07:42 PM   #38
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Easy.

I consider replacing my computer when the time quotient to boot said computer divided by my patience quotient to wait for it to boot exceeds a factor of 10. The patience quotient is a bit subjective, but is usually measured in expletives per minute uttered while waiting for said computer to boot.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:11 PM   #39
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Well, it looks like I may hang on to my "used by not dead yet" laptop a little longer. After fiddling around with the USB ports, they are failing. I uninstall the drivers, then have Win XP automatically reinstall them. The remedy works for awhile, then I get the "unrecognized USB..." message again.

I was really to give up (had already been pricing out used and new laptops) when a potential work around dawned on me....

My laptop has an unused slot that I can plug in usb ports. So, I ordered this..

Zonet 2 Port USB 2.0 PCMCIA Cardbus with Cable at TigerDirect.com

Hopefully, there's still some life in my laptop

At this moment, I'm typing without a mouse, (touchpad only) and no external USB connection.
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Old 11-08-2010, 09:37 PM   #40
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Our old computer was having a slow death and out of frustration since it crashes more often than I eat, we bought a new one to replace it. No regrets.
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