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Old 01-30-2007, 08:07 PM   #1
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Computer Advice

Ok now that my LCD/ Plasma question has been answered I have another one for you guys. Again please understand that when it comes to the world of computers I am an idiot so please speak slowly and really loud. ( An American trait used when someone doesn't speak English). I am in the market for our first home p.c. (That's it for the acronyms I know) I currently am on my work laptop. I have gone to Circuit City and Best Buy to gain some understanding of computers. Can you please speak to me in a language I will understand so I can make an educated buying decision on the computer. My needs currently are:

First and for most looking at this website
Storing pictures
Have some music
My wife being able to speak with her family in Panama over the computer and a Web cam would be nice for no cost saving us $60 to $100 per month

Extra versatilty incase I find some other cool things to do.

What do I need for Ram, Hardrive, processors, mac vs. pc., dell vs store

Any help will be appreciated, but please keep it on a first grade level,

JDP

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Old 01-30-2007, 09:33 PM   #2
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As far as processors go, for what you are looking to do with your computer, any of the processors out there will do you just fine. The speed of them are now high enough that general surfing and similar things are a piece of cake for them.

Since you are storing photos and music you will want as much space (hard drive) as you can afford. How many pictures and how much music are we talking about? I have not looked for a new computer in a couple of years so I am not sure what they are coming with right now, but getting the largest hard drive you can is always a good thing.

Same thing goes for RAM. In my opinion, RAM is the most important thing. The more RAM you have, the better your computer will act. This is especially important when it comes to photos, music, and video which are three things you will be doing. Get as much RAM as you can. You will not be sorry.

A CD or DVD burner is a very handy thing to have. That way if your hard drive starts to fill up too much and you are running out of space you can burn some of that music and some of those photos and then take them off the computer to free up some room.

Mac vs. PC. That is not an easy one for me to answer. I do not know much about Macs, but I know my next computer will be one. They are great for things like photo and video editing (I do a ton of photo editing). I am pretty comfortable with computers so I have no doubt that I can learn a Mac easily without much help. For someone that is not that familiar with computers my guess is that there is more support for PC's out there. I could be very wrong about that though.

I do not trust stores like Circuit City or Best Buy when it comes to computers. I went to Dell the last time and I am very happy with what I got. I knew what I was looking for though and what I wanted and did not want. I do not know how well I would have done if I did not know what I was doing.
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Old 01-30-2007, 11:22 PM   #3
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Good advice GB. We did get a great deal on my computer at Best Buy, but we knew exactly what we wanted when we went in. The kid in the computer department tried to be helpful but James knew a lot more than he did about computers.

Barbara
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:05 AM   #4
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Dont go for Dell!!!! Dell is crap.
That said, it all depends on the money you have to spend. Youre probably going to WANT to spend about $800 to $1100 dollars. Many of the computers at Best Buy and Circuit City are similar.
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:18 AM   #5
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I struggled to get to know the Mac, being a PC girl, but to be honest, they are both ok. For music Mac is much easier, and although I always managed pictures fine on my PC the Mac is good too.

We use a laptop at home a because we travel a lot and can take it with us and DH can always get work where ever he is etc, but it is also a lot easier in the home. For example, my desk in this house is in the kitchen but if I want to do something in the sitting room on this computer I very easily can. I like the versitility of the laptop: it can have a home and be set up like a "proper" computer, but it travels. I would need a lot of persuading to go back to traditional machines, even if the thing was going to be a permanant set up.

I don't speak computer either, so those are just my illeducated observations!
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:55 AM   #6
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I agree with lulu about laptops. That is what I have now and I will never go back to a desktop.

Sush, i am sure that some Dells can be junk, but I have first hand experience that not all are. Mine has never had a single problem unlike every other computer I have ever owned. My Dell has performed perfectly.
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:10 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your in put and I'm reading all of them. Please keep them coming.

JDP
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Old 01-31-2007, 08:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
I agree with lulu about laptops. That is what I have now and I will never go back to a desktop.

Sush, i am sure that some Dells can be junk, but I have first hand experience that not all are. Mine has never had a single problem unlike every other computer I have ever owned. My Dell has performed perfectly.
network engineer / sys admin here...and i have a dell dimension 4550 at home that has been solid as a rocck for about 5 years..not 1 single problem!

on the other hand, the company i work for uses strickly dell for both servers and workstations (optiplex gx-270 and 280s), and they have given me nothing but headaches. the servers are ok (not great...just ok) but the optiplexes are complete junk. i have swapped out over 500 motherboards, and easily 1000 power supplys. the hard drives and memory arent as bad, but they have problems as well.
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Old 01-31-2007, 10:47 AM   #9
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We have always been fortunate that our son could build what we "needed" (by his lights!) or advise us. I got a new laptop for Christmas, having filled my desktop to the brim with photos (I know, I'm downloading them), but also have a corrupted Works program so I NEEDED a new one. This laptop will come out to be about $500 after rebates. We swear by CompUSA. Shop online--and on their Sunday sales.
Dell has even gotten Sixty Minutes' attention for poor service and computers. And there is no doubt, they set the standard for a while.
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Old 01-31-2007, 01:16 PM   #10
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Let me tell you how I bought my first PC. I called DELL, told them my situation, the person was the most helpful sales person I ever spoke too. He explained everything, told me what I need and ever since I'm hooked to DELL. I am on my 3-rd one, plus we have DELL laptop. And I'm looking to get new one again because the software I use for work is ahead of my old PC, so I need to upgrade, have been saving some money, I think next month I'm going to get it. Will 100% stay with DELL again. Nothing wrong with the old one otherwise. Will donate to my kids’ school.
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