"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > The Back Porch > Off Topic Discussions
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-29-2016, 04:59 PM   #1
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,170
ISO computer advice

Just picked up my Dell laptop from the repair shop. The technician told me that, as of April 2017, my Vista program will be toast. Okay. I think I get it. At that point the laptop will be 10-years-old. Bit of an antique by today's standards.

I need help. I'm going to have to begin researching and shopping for a new laptop. Glad I have ample time to do it. With any luck, between my Amazon points and my Bing rewards, I might have enough to nearly cover the expense. In May, I bought a $500 Dyson vacuum for just over $80 using these credits.

What I need is not too complex. I only use my laptop for creating and storing Word documents, downloading and storing photos, surfing the Internet and using my Yahoo email. I don't do any music stuff, nor do I view movies (doesn't include YouTube, if that counts), etc. via the Internet. I do like to play music CDs on the laptop and view DVDs on it. Not often, but frequently enough to make it important for the device to be able have these functions.

I am the definition of "novice" when it comes to computer anything, so I'm asking my educated DC friends for help.

Basically, what variety/version of a Dell laptop should I look into? Doesn't have to be expensive...just capable. I'm not necessarily a "mouse" person and I mean that to say that a touchpad is fine with me. The only mouse we have is with our desktop in the den.

When I DO choose my laptop, what do I have to purchase additionally, if anything, to allow me to enjoy my Word document usage, photo capabilities, email, CD and DVD accessibility?

I'm educated and knowledgeable in many areas but, when it comes to the computer world, I'm a total dummy.

Please make your answers as rudimentary as you can. Seriously.

__________________

__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 05:53 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,923
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie H View Post
Just picked up my Dell laptop from the repair shop. The technician told me that, as of April 2017, my Vista program will be toast. Okay. I think I get it. At that point the laptop will be 10-years-old. Bit of an antique by today's standards.

I need help. I'm going to have to begin researching and shopping for a new laptop. Glad I have ample time to do it. With any luck, between my Amazon points and my Bing rewards, I might have enough to nearly cover the expense. In May, I bought a $500 Dyson vacuum for just over $80 using these credits.

What I need is not too complex. I only use my laptop for creating and storing Word documents, downloading and storing photos, surfing the Internet and using my Yahoo email. I don't do any music stuff, nor do I view movies (doesn't include YouTube, if that counts), etc. via the Internet. I do like to play music CDs on the laptop and view DVDs on it. Not often, but frequently enough to make it important for the device to be able have these functions.

I am the definition of "novice" when it comes to computer anything, so I'm asking my educated DC friends for help.

Basically, what variety/version of a Dell laptop should I look into? Doesn't have to be expensive...just capable. I'm not necessarily a "mouse" person and I mean that to say that a touchpad is fine with me. The only mouse we have is with our desktop in the den.

When I DO choose my laptop, what do I have to purchase additionally, if anything, to allow me to enjoy my Word document usage, photo capabilities, email, CD and DVD accessibility?

I'm educated and knowledgeable in many areas but, when it comes to the computer world, I'm a total dummy.

Please make your answers as rudimentary as you can. Seriously.
Hi, Katie. As you may recall, I was a PC desktop support specialist/network admin/website designer/website manager when I was working. My old laptop died last year and I bought a new Dell in January. It's working great for me There are usually good sales on electronics around holidays, so I would plan on getting a computer for Veterans Day or Christmas. Since you know it's coming, start enjoying the benefits of a better system ASAP!

I have a Dell Inspiron 15 5558. It (or whatever the most recent version is) will handle all your needs and then some; it's only gaming and major video/photo editing that have special requirements.

Here are the specs: 15.6-in. screen, 8 gigabytes memory, 1 terabyte hard drive, integrated network card and CD/DVD drive, built-in wifi and BlueTooth, Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system. It also has a touch screen, like a smartphone, which is nice.

It has a trackball, which drives me nuts, but it sounds like you can work with it. I bought a wireless mouse/keyboard set because I find it much easier to use. With your Arthur-itis, you might want to think about that.

If you already own a copy of Microsoft Word or Office, you should upgrade it to a newer version to make sure it's compatible with the new operating system (Windows 10). I couldn't remember whether I owned a copy already (and couldn't find a serial number), so I bought an older version online - MS Office version 2013 - for about $100. I don't need the newest bells and whistles, I just need the software It includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access and a couple other things. I think you can buy Word separately, if that's all you need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie H View Post
When I DO choose my laptop, what do I have to purchase additionally, if anything, to allow me to enjoy my Word document usage, photo capabilities, email, CD and DVD accessibility
To take these one at a time:
  • Word documents: Word or Office, upgrade or new
  • Photos: Just to download and save, you need a browser. Windows includes one already (they call it Edge); you can also download and install Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc., for free. The computer will include Microsoft Paint, which does rudimentary editing. You can get additional photo editing software, if you want. I've been using Corel Paintshop Pro for over 20 years, but there are others.
  • Email: You will use Yahoo email through the browser; nothing additional needed.
  • CD and DVD accessibility: Software to access these is included in Windows.
  • Bonus: My advice is to buy a backup service to make sure you don't lose your photos. Yes, you can back them up yourself to a DVD, external hard drive, etc., but those are magnetic devices that can fail and imo, it's a pain. I use Backblaze. For about $50/year, all my documents and photos are automagically backed up to the cloud. When my laptop died last year, I could not access any files on my computer, but everything was saved at Backblaze. Once I got my new computer set up, I could restore everything easily.

Let me know if you have any questions.
__________________

__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 05:59 PM   #3
Senior Cook
 
Souschef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Santa Paula,CA
Posts: 411
New PC

I second all the GG said. The wireless mouse can be found on eBay for under $5, and makes all the difference in the world.
Many people use Firefox as their browser, including me. IE has been found to have many vulnerabilities over the years.
__________________
Souschef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 06:11 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,923
Thanks, Souschef. I've been editing, so you might want to reread what I wrote and make sure you still agree

I couldn't remember the name of Firefox! haha I used it for years, but switched to Chrome so it will work seamlessly with my Android phone and tablet.
__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 07:35 PM   #5
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,170
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Hi, Katie. As you may recall, I was a PC desktop support specialist/network admin/website designer/website manager when I was working. My old laptop died last year and I bought a new Dell in January. It's working great for me There are usually good sales on electronics around holidays, so I would plan on getting a computer for Veterans Day or Christmas. Since you know it's coming, start enjoying the benefits of a better system ASAP!

I have a Dell Inspiron 15 5558. It (or whatever the most recent version is) will handle all your needs and then some; it's only gaming and major video/photo editing that have special requirements.

Here are the specs: 15.6-in. screen, 8 gigabytes memory, 1 terabyte hard drive, integrated network card and CD/DVD drive, built-in wifi and BlueTooth, Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system. It also has a touch screen, like a smartphone, which is nice.

It has a trackball, which drives me nuts, but it sounds like you can work with it. I bought a wireless mouse/keyboard set because I find it much easier to use. With your Arthur-itis, you might want to think about that.

If you already own a copy of Microsoft Word or Office, you should upgrade it to a newer version to make sure it's compatible with the new operating system (Windows 10). I couldn't remember whether I owned a copy already (and couldn't find a serial number), so I bought an older version online - MS Office version 2013 - for about $100. I don't need the newest bells and whistles, I just need the software It includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Access and a couple other things. I think you can buy Word separately, if that's all you need.



To take these one at a time:
  • Word documents: Word or Office, upgrade or new
  • Photos: Just to download and save, you need a browser. Windows includes one already (they call it Edge); you can also download and install Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, etc., for free. The computer will include Microsoft Paint, which does rudimentary editing. You can get additional photo editing software, if you want. I've been using Corel Paintshop Pro for over 20 years, but there are others.
  • Email: You will use Yahoo email through the browser; nothing additional needed.
  • CD and DVD accessibility: Software to access these is included in Windows.
  • Bonus: My advice is to buy a backup service to make sure you don't lose your photos. Yes, you can back them up yourself to a DVD, external hard drive, etc., but those are magnetic devices that can fail and imo, it's a pain. I use Backblaze. For about $50/year, all my documents and photos are automagically backed up to the cloud. When my laptop died last year, I could not access any files on my computer, but everything was saved at Backblaze. Once I got my new computer set up, I could restore everything easily.

Let me know if you have any questions.
Okay, I understand some of the information. I don't know what "terabytes" are and I'm not sold on the touch screen part. I know nothing of smart-type phones, nor do I want to. I prefer to keep things electronically as simple as I can.

My son put my current laptop together after Buck died in 2008 and I have no idea what my accessibility to the Word program is, nor do I know the difference between Word and Office as you have referenced.

You mentioned a "trackball," what is that? In the photo of the laptop in your link, I don't see any ball-like device.

After reading your information, and tell me if I'm not getting some of it correct, what I will need is a new laptop (such as the one you linked) and way to get Word on the computer.

Otherwise, my usage needs will be satisfied by the computer's capabilities. Yes?
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 07:44 PM   #6
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,170
After your post, GotGarlic, I've been doing some checking and came up with this: Dell laptop. Is this something to look at?
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 08:52 PM   #7
Senior Cook
 
Souschef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Santa Paula,CA
Posts: 411
Microsoft Office is a suite of programs-Word, Excel, Power Point, and a few other programs.
The thing that got to me after I retired, I had to (gasp) buy a couple of programs that I used at the office all the time. Microsoft Office was not to bad at about $95, but the killer was the full Adobe Acrobat at $300!
You probably do not need it. Adobe Reader to read PDF documents is a free download.
That laptop looks like a good deal at that price. By the way, a terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes a gigabyte is 1,000 megabytes
__________________
Souschef is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 09:15 PM   #8
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 5,419
I'm also an IT guy (10 yrs as a database developer for the #1 real estate company in the world), and I second the Dell Inspiron laptop. You may not think a touch screen is something you'll use, but you'd be surprised.

I like this one myself. It's called a 2-in-1, because you can use it as a laptop or fold the keyboard out of the way and use it as a tablet. I bought one of these for my daughter last year and she absolutely loves it.

Inspiron 15 5000 2-in-1 Laptop | Dell

Whatever you get, I'm sure you'll enjoy it. It's always fun getting new toys.
__________________
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 09:17 PM   #9
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 5,419
Quote:
Originally Posted by Souschef View Post
Microsoft Office was not to bad at about $95, but the killer was the full Adobe Acrobat at $300!
You probably do not need it. Adobe Reader to read PDF documents is a free download.
By the way, the newest version of Office will also allow you to save documents in PDF format. No need for Acrobat.
__________________
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2016, 09:32 PM   #10
Head Chef
 
Caslon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Inside the fridge
Posts: 1,708
If you used some second party software programs supported by Vista, you may need to find an alternate that is compatible with newer Windows operating systems.
__________________

__________________
Caslon is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:05 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.