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What is your "post-PC" plan?
Old 02-07-2014, 08:14 AM   #1
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What is your "post-PC" plan?

Lots of smart people here so I am curious. My intent isn't to debate the decline of PCs **, nor the merits of Apple vs Windows (that's another thread).

What's your "post-PC" plan, when your current desktop/laptop dies? Reading the background below may not be necessary.

With my 6 year old HDD (and PC) on it's last legs, I am forced to act very soon. I don't want the headache of replacing a primary HDD, if I did I'd still have a slow PC and who knows what'll fail next (power supply, motherboard).

I find I use my iPad about 80% of the time, but I still use a desktop to:
  • Store music, videos, pictures, eBooks
  • Create word docs, spreadsheets and presentations
  • Surf the web and handle email
  • Watch videos, mostly YouTube & Vimeo but others
  • Light photo and video editing
  • No gaming
I've always used Win PC's, replacing every 5-6 years, and I had myself almost talked into buying a $2K iMac mostly cause it's just so slick, my iPod/iPad experiences have been wonderful, and Windows 8.1 has been less than compelling.

My primary needs come down to internet access, storage and a large screen.

Now I am thinking my needs could be met with my iPad, a $500 desktop and a $100 streaming device (plus mirroring my iPad). I'd have secure storage (still not comfy with putting everything in the cloud) and I could use the TV for the visual stuff (larger than my desktop monitor). I'm convinced 5-6 years from now, the desktop PC will be even less useful for consumers.

** I realize their will still be high powered desktops for gamers, software developers, heavy video/photo editing multitaskers and some business uses - but for most home users mobile devices will be all they need at some point.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:22 AM   #2
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I like a big screen and a graphics tablet for photography and some other things so I'll have a PC for the foreseeable future.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:22 AM   #3
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I'm kinda in the boat, my desktop is old and all I really do is store music and photos on the hard drive attached to is. I think I will probably go to a couple of Laci Rugged Minis for our travels and use the new MacPro laptop I got at Christmas, plus the iPad.

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Old 02-07-2014, 08:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Midpack View Post
I find I use my iPad about 80% of the time, but I still use a desktop to:
  • Store music, videos, pictures, eBooks
  • Create word docs, spreadsheets and presentations
  • Surf the web and handle email
  • Watch videos, mostly YouTube & Vimeo but others
  • Light photo and video editing
  • No gaming
I have the same needs as you and last year purchased an ASUS PC tower. I don't do gaming, but ended up with a machine that could be used as one because I got the one model has an HDMI port for hooking to a TV. Eventually I want to see if a media PC like that can help 'cut the cord', but in the meantime, I have an excellent PC.

Regarding storage, it seems everyone and their sibling is offering cloud space these days. I'm really having trouble sorting it out. Norton, ASUS, Google, Microsoft, and gosh knows who else all have cloud storage. I did upload most of my photos to FLICKR, as they provide a lot of space and it protects the files against hard drive crashes.

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Old 02-07-2014, 08:52 AM   #5
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I don't see myself moving away from a desktop anytime soon. I like the big screen, in fact I like multiple screens, and often have many windows open and active at the same time where I can see them all. I have a few years before I need to replace my current PC, but I'm hoping Windows 8 will either be fixed or replaced with something better by then. I'm also expecting to buy a somewhat beefier machine so I can run all my usual stuff in virtual machines on it, and maybe be a little less vulnerable to viruses and malware since I can start with a "brand new" clean virtual machine whenever I want. The cloud is great for storage and will probably keep getting better, but I still want a ton of disk space that I can see and touch to know I have a backup copy of family pictures and videos that are irreplaceable. I expect I'll be sticking to my old familiar PC technology long after all the early adopters are wired up with wearable computing clothing and a house full of snazzy integrated gadgets.
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:58 AM   #6
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No debate here - I'm sticking with a desktop for the foreseeable future. Our 60" plasma TV is hooked up as a second monitor and I use my desktop to stream Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, etc. Plus, I have a Silicon Dust HDHomeRun dual tuner hooked up to the desktop as an OTA DVR. Works for me...
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Old 02-07-2014, 08:59 AM   #7
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I use a laptop as a 'desktop', and I plan to replace it when the time comes. DW has an iPad, and I will likely buy an Android/Linux tablet 'soon' (OMR- One More Release syndrome!).

iPads and other tablets are great at what they do, and might be a 100% solution for some people, but it still seems that for doing anything above basic doc/spreadsheet/photo editing, a 'real' computer makes life easier and more flexible.

I'm pretty sure I couldn't plug my scanner into a tablet (heck, the device is so old that my Linux machine is the only thing that has drivers that work anymore). Yes, you can 'get by' taking a photo of a doc with the tablet instead of scanning it, but for more precise work there is nothing like a scanner.

Hmmm, could I plug a CD, or DVD reader and/or burner into a tablet? I occasionally have a need to burn CD/DVDs, and I rip new CDs to lossless format (which isn't normally available by download).

And I'm currently digitizing some old cassettes and records - I doubt my A/D USB converter works on a tablet (but maybe - it does not need a specific driver on any PC/Mac/Linux CPU). I also use a PC to play my music through a hi quality USB DAC, but that can be done with just about any old cast-off computer, it isn't intensive.

Bottom line, it depends on what you use it for, but your list suggests to me you will still want another desktop or laptop. Maybe by the time that one needs to be replaced, tablets will have all these expanded features?

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Old 02-07-2014, 09:10 AM   #8
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Went mac 8 year ago and don't figure on going back to a PC anytime soon. My oldest iMac is 4 years old so I hope to get at least a couple more years before it needs replacing.

Personally, I'm a little tired of playing the upgrade cycle with these technology companies. Whether it's the iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac or OS, it's just becoming more and more of a hassle to keep up with it all. It's almost a full-time job to keep it all running smoothly and integrated. I'm ready to downsize in the technology department and simplify my digital life. So when one of my current devices breaks, maybe I'll just move on without it.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:16 AM   #9
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I don't seeing giving up a desktop computer for a long time.

On the other hand, we've stopped taking the laptop on vacations - iPhones and iPads are fine for traveling now.

And for my Mom and DW's Mom the transition away from a "computer" to an iPad full-time has worked out very well for them. Email, web, Netflix, Kindle, games. That pretty much covers their needs.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:19 AM   #10
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I love a desktop for most things. Won't buy another one though until they fix Windows 8 to be less for touchscreen and more for keyboard/mouse users.

We have an ipad and laptop around the house but DW uses them more than I do. Although I do use the ipad in the am to watch directv at my desk.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:33 AM   #11
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Will have to get a replacement soon with XP support expiring.

I held back from getting anything touchscreen (except my GPS ).

I prefer desktops so will probably get that. Mostly likely Win 7 but as far as how powerful, haven't decided yet. Might get a cheap used on and try to add on (I can reuse hard drives, graphics card, memory (?) on my current PC) or just get lazy and buy a loaded system.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:33 AM   #12
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17" Laptop with 1tb internal and a Startech Hot Swap Dual external with 2Tb for backup. Covers everything I personally need. Still need computing power for MailWasher (Spam blocking), TurboTax, quicken, MS Office etc. Tablet perhaps for General surfing etc.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:36 AM   #13
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DH has a 2009 MacBook Pro (I think it is called?) and just plugs it into a separate 23" monitor and separate keyboard to use as a desktop. He has a separate backup drive and uses DropBox to share files.

He has a new ipad now and I doubt he will ever need to use the laptop as a laptop again, though.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:11 AM   #14
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I have a 4 yr old Win 7 PC. It has plenty of ram and does everything I need now. If it dies I might consider a laptop with docking station. It would have to have excellent battery life. The only thing a laptop buys me is being able to move to another room for variety. But my Nexus 7 is good for web surfacing.

I anticipate there will continue to be changes in the computer world so "something may turn up" when my PC needs replacing a few years from now.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:21 AM   #15
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Although I like my Android phone and tablet (for gaming and media consumption), my real work (investing etc) is on the desktop PC, and with prices staying around $250-$300 I will continue to keep one. I do wish MSFT would quit messing with the OS - downhill since XP.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:25 AM   #16
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My laptop will never need to be replaced because it will never breakdown. It hasn't been turned on in about a year. My new iPad does everything I need, and my Chromebook is used for financial transactions.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:32 AM   #17
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My needs are similar to yours but I like the PC best because it is ion a convenient built in desk in our kitchen/gathering area. When it goes I will probably pick up a modest al in one. I will stick with Windows so I can keep up with it's problems - I volunteer tech support for old folks in my neighborhood.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:53 AM   #18
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A few years ago, when my large display iMac died, I switched to a MacBook Pro hooked up to an external large display and external keyboard/mouse. This has been great, because when I want to take it on a trip, I simply unplug the display and off I go.

When this one dies eventually, I'll most likely replace it with the same setup in newer models.

That said, my iPad serves me nearly as well on short trips of a few days, so that's often all I bring. I use the iPad a lot around the house too, of course.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:53 AM   #19
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If this looks familiar, I posted the same info in the topic about someone's 84 year old Mom getting a new PC.

I am shopping for a new computer and seriously considering a switch from Windows to Mac.

I'm currently using a high powered gaming Windows desktop that my son built for himself in 2007. It was a hand-me-down that he gave to me in 2010 when he built himself his next high powered computer. I don't play games at all, I just do a lot of normal browsing and spreadsheets. I used to do audio and video editing and TV capturing but I don't anymore.

A few weeks ago I started having BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) crashes. My son took a look at the error logs and traced it to the graphics card, which is a high end NVidia GeForce thing that was his baby when he built this. He suggested that I open the case, do a thorough vacuuming, remove the graphics card and re-seat it. I did this last weekend and I still had BSOD crashes.

He brought over an older graphics card that he had from a previous computer and we installed that one. No more crashes, it all is working fine. But when he was inside my computer he noticed a capacitor that was misshapen and discolored. Not a good sign at all and he recommended that I consider buying or building a new computer.

I am seriously considering a Mac Mini. I have an Apple Ipad mini and just love it. Our other son is a 100% Apple user (Iphone, iPad and Mac laptop) and he loves the Maverick OS. He says I'd love the Numbers spreadsheet program.

I already can use my iPad mini for 80% of what I need to do and I am very comfortable with all the Apple ways of doing things.

I've considered a laptop but when I've tried DHs laptop the screen is not in the correct area for my trifocals and I already have a large desktop monitor that I enjoy. Since I have the iPad mini I don't need the portability of the laptop.

The optical drive on my current computer hasn't worked in a few years and I haven't missed it so I think I'd go without and add an external down the road if needed. They are very inexpensive.

Someone in the other topic posted a Mac rumor of an updated Mac Mini possibly coming out in late Feb, 2014 so I am waiting to see if that really happens.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:56 AM   #20
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I'm sticking with a desktop PC. We have a Mac Mini and it works well. Plus it's a bit cheaper than a full blown iMac, especially if you already have a monitor.
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