Computer assistance please

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The time has come to consider the purchase of a new computer for home use. Although I have a computer geek who takes care of my business needs, I want to try to save some duckets on the price of my personal system and this is why I'm here asking for your collective expertise. Please take a look at what I need.

Minimum System Requirements

Optimum System Requirements

Okay, kids, this is how I see it. I want to get the biggest bang for the buck without spending to many bucks. After all, I can't write this one off. Who, what, why, where and how much am I looking at for something like this? Thanks.

posted by  vwhobo

Depending on the age and condition of your business computer, you could sell it to yourself at a good price, write it off, and then pick up a new business computer.

As for a system recommendation, I'll leave that to the true computer geeks.

posted by  theman352001

That's a valid and workable idea, but I simply prefer to buy new for home use. Besides, by the time any of my business computers are ready to be retired they're about junk anyway. It's amazing how much abuse equipment takes when the people who are using it aren't the ones paying for it... or at least seeing the money come out of their pockets.

posted by  vwhobo

Have you checked out CNet? I think they have a computer board, they know everything....

posted by  boothe

If I do that, then I have to figure out which responder is full of sh*t and who knows what he's talking about. If I had that much computer knowledge, I wouldn't ask for the help. By asking for help on this forum, I already have a pretty good idea who I can trust and who doesn't have a clue. My resource pool is smaller but knowledge of the potential respondees is much better. Thanks for the tip anyway.

posted by  vwhobo

I understand completely.

You wouldn't need to wait for it to get to that point. You could write it off now for book value or a bit less and take the loss. (help you in taxes) Plus you could sell yourself only the CPU which doesn't get as much wear-and-tear as the keyboard. Then use the keyboard and monitor from your new machine with your older CPU. Just another :2cents:

.

posted by  theman352001

For business just go with something simple like an eMachines. Dont exactly need a dual core processor to run spreadsheets, so I would go for at least
2.6 GHz
512 RAM
250GB HDD (might need to store a lot of data)
Also go with an Intel and not AMD, try for Intel Pentium 4, I wouldnt reccoment celeron. :2cents:

posted by  newyorker

Thanks for telling me... nothing. If I knew enough about computers for that to mean anything to me, I wouldn't have to ask. I'm looking for pretty specific recommendations about what to get and where along with how much to expect to pay. I already have two collections of computer technical jargon, another list doesn't help.

posted by  vwhobo

i dont know what all that crap means but check pricewatch.com. they got some pretty nice deals there.

posted by  glagon1979

I'll do a search for you, see what I can find, does the monitor matter? Flat screen preferred? Or just a regular monitor? Or are you just looking for the computer itself?

posted by  Pythias

If that isnt specific enough, then Il PM you a few links to specific machines and you can built from them. Something what youre looking for would be around 600-700. My frined just got one from dell, and they have a free 19in LCD upgrade I believe.

posted by  newyorker

Instead of going multiple parallel ports, have you considered getting either Ethernet or USB print server(s) so you don't need to add extra hardware into the PC itself?

I'd suggest going ethernet, that way, when you get your broadband (if you haven't already got it), get a multi port modem/router, so you can plug your printers into it too ... saves on a switch.

As for where to buy cheap in the states.....????

posted by  windsonian

Hey Hobo, this would be a bit easier if you also told us where you would be going to buy this PC. Online....Best Buy...... Circuit City.... I mean if you want us to be specific, how bout letting us know where you plan on shopping? I work at best Buy and sell computers so I could spit something out very quick for you. Also have you ever thought of asking someone to build one for you?

posted by  Voda48

I definately want a flat panel monitor. I'll never own another cathode ray tube again. I'm glad you caught that.


That'll work. Lots of bells and whistles, cheap price.


That noise you just heard was all of that jargon blowing right over my head. Yes, I already have broadband, but the rest of is lost on me.

posted by  vwhobo

That's part of the puzzle. None of those stores are within 50 miles of me, so it doesn't really matter. Someplace online would probably be the easiest and cheapest.

And yes, I can have my payrolled computer geek do it, but I'd rather see what else I can come up with.

posted by  vwhobo

stop listening to all of these people... Some might know a thing or two but for someone that just needs something to put office on and possibly browse the internet on all you need is a dell. The rare situation i recommend anyone to get a dell. They have 24/7 customer support so you'll be in good hands either way. Just go on dell find the deal of the month or weak or w/e and get the lowest end budget thing. If you need something more exact i think i'll take the time if you ask me. Something around 700 i'd expect.

posted by  95civicdima

The system requirements are posted at the top of this thread. Go for it.

posted by  vwhobo

The stuff posted is what you want? Or what you have at the moment? Didnt quite interpret that

posted by  newyorker

When you read the post, what did you think the sentence "Please take a look at what I need." was refering to?

posted by  vwhobo

Sorry, my bad....
You know the (probably) blue cable that you plug into the back of the PC to connect to your broadband? What's at the other end of it? And how many ports does it have? If it's got spares, you can get printers to plug into this, rather than having to get a second parallel port for the printer.

posted by  windsonian

I'm guessing your talking about my cable modem, brand name SURFboard. It has one open USB (I think) port.

posted by  vwhobo

I'm sure he just copied and pasted that list from somewhere. Nothing nowadays uses parrallel ports, except printers, and most motherboards come with multiple USB 2.0 ports integrated into it.


He doesn't really need the router for that, though. The other computers on the server will print through the printer that's connected to any computer. It doesn't need to be a stand alone IP address.
----------------------------
These prices people are sending at you are waaaaay too high. I can build you a PC that costs $300 and meets all of the PC requirements, but leaves out the external items.

The main question I have to ask is; if you order all the components, can you or someone you know build the computer using the pieces that are shipped to you?

And the second question I have to ask is; your payrolled geek is (hopefully) A+ hardware/software certified (like me). He'll be on top of the computer world, and all the latest updates to the technology. I don't see why you don't just consult with him, as he's paid to do this sort of thing for you. The only reason I can come up with is that you think he'll rip you off, in which case, you need to re-evaluate who you're hiring.

Talk to somebody who is certified, and you can meet in person, not us little CF members from across the globe. It'll make things a lot easier, trust me.
------------
And for future reference into the computing world; check out www.anandtech.com. It's basically howstuffworks/consumer reports for computers.

posted by  Godlaus

Sorry VWHobo, but its hard to find a comp like that, with such a low processor spec. Most start at at least 2.5 now. If however that was possible, it would only be around $300...il get some things together in the 700 and below range and post em up for ya

posted by  newyorker

Laugh

posted by  Godlaus

Followup

Here is your most basic Dell Business Class computer
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?c=us&cs=04&kc=6W300&l=en &oc=170ltcelmin&s=bsd
The OptiPlex 170L Celeron

1. Keep the standard Celeron D 2.4GHz processor they are offering
2. Chosing between Windows XP Pro and Home is a personal choice. I had home and didnt like it at all, and just this past weekend switched to Windows XP Pro. If you DO decide to go Pro, I have a copy of it from my eBay inventory that I can send you for a free, if you pay the few dollars shipping on it. (this is a pirated copy with the authentic CD key but it still works and beats paying an extra $100 through dell.)
3. For the File System, I wouldnt know much here. If anyone knows the difference between the FAT32 and NTFS partition format, let him know
4. Stick with the 3 year On-Site plan because its included in the price anyway, and since its a business computer *knock on wood* something goes wrong you might loose your data.
5. 256MB RAM with 400MHz should be plenty for your spreadsheet and Microsoft Office needs.
6. The keyboard and mouse they give you are fine. However, I would go for the optical mouse, because I had a ball before and they are crap. My optical worked amazingly for almost 4 years untill my kitten stepped on it and it fell behind the desk on the floor and broke.
7. If youre getting an optical mouse and have a smooth clean desk surface, you dont need a mousepad, but you can get one anyway (a whole whipping $3)
8. You were looking for a 8GB HDD, and this one has an 80GB, included.
9. Optical drive = 48X CD drive
10. Get the floppy drive as well
11. Monitor. You said you wanted a LCD, and here is the deal. Dell has a 15inch for another $245!!! Unbelievably high.
Here is an alternative
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo= 1561114&CatId=170
This is a 19inch!!! For 295 and a $95 rebate. Final price of the screen is a mere $200.
12. I dont know if you want speakers, but they are only 9 bucks, so its all your choice.
13. If you run broadband, then this shouldnt be necessary. Modem. If youre running a wireless network, then get the old PCI card and just plug it into here, but as for a wired connection to a broadband line, im not sure if you need a modem, or if the motherboard has an ethernet slot builtin.
14. Skip the other crap you dont really need it
15. Just look below for the final

Here we go

Total price of Processor, keyboard, mouse, etc. etc. is $433
Monitor after rebates is $200
Total is $633
Just where you want to be pricewise, and im sure there will be some shipping deals with the upcoming holiday season. Let me know if you need anything else, and if you might be interested in that XP CD.

posted by  newyorker

Is there something funny about the truth? :ticking:

posted by  newyorker

I like how everyone thinks that buying new is the only option. The hobo doesn't want a top of the line comp for playing games, he wants it for business stuff (I presume). And there are places out there that you can get old pentium 2 VERTICAL processors for dirt cheap.

posted by  Godlaus

VWhobo isn't going to buy pirated goods, I can guarantee you that now. And also, the only real difference between pro and home is networking. So what problems did you have with home?



NTFS stands for NT file system. It's a new partition to upgrade security and faster loading from the hard drive. NTFS is much better than FAT32.


Is this 3-3-3 latency RAM?
----------------------------
The Hobo doesn't want our advice, and I'm curious to know why.
I'm out of this thread until the hobo manages to answer my inquiries.

posted by  Godlaus

Why do you say that? If I didn't want advice, I wouldn't have asked. At this point I'm just (quite) a bit overwhelmed with the information.

posted by  vwhobo

have you ever thought about buying refurb??? That is a great way to save $ and get minimal (sp?) results

posted by  Voda48

Mostly because you have a computer tech, and he's paid to do computer stuff for you, and probably has more patience than us. Secondly, if you wanted computer advice, you'd head to a computer forum, regardless to which user is full of crap, you're going to get a good answer sooner or later. Just post your question, and wait a day. There are people on those forums that know what they're talking about, and will refute/reaffirm what is correct and what is not.

Like I said before; get your computer tech to explain things to you. He'll do an infinitely better job at helping you than us (or anyone else on the internet, for that matter).

posted by  Godlaus

I wouldn't have any problem with doing that, as long as it looked good (as in not beat up) and worked well.

posted by  vwhobo

Im not gona sell it im offering it free of charge.
Well he should go with the FAT32 then, I think thats waht my format is.
It didnt say it just said DDR

posted by  newyorker

Tigerdirect.com has things like that. As well as Newegg.com

posted by  newyorker

1. That's still piracy and illegal
2. You mean NTFS?
3. Double data rate is on every random acces memory module around. DDR2 is evern better, and the latency rate refers to the time it takes to go into the module, and retrieve information. 3-3-3 is about as good as you're going to get.

posted by  Godlaus

I'm still lost on most of this, but I don't want any part of anything that's even remotely illegal. I like bunking with my wife, not some sweaty guy named Bubba. :ohcrap:

posted by  vwhobo

OK VW,
Newyorker is correct. the system you spec'd out is very outdated.
I have been building both comm and home systems since 1980.

PM me if you want help.

John

posted by  jcutsh

Thanks bro

posted by  newyorker

Wait...$700 for a basic computer?

I was in Costco the other day, and the best I could find was a $900 computer, with 2 Gigs RAM, and 250 Gigs HDD, not sure about the Processor, but I think it was AMD 64 3500 3.2 GHZ

So you could probably get one for under $200 (Without the monitor)...

Is this for home or work?

http://listings.ebay.ca/_W0QQsocmdZListingItemList?sofocus=so&sbrftog=1&str kw=+notebook&logl=1&from=R2&catref=C3&socmd=ListingItemList&keyword=on&sati tle=&sacat=3736%26catref%3DC6%26curcat%3Dtrue&fsop=3%26fsoo%3D1&coaction=co mpare&copagenum=1&coentrypage=search&fgtp=&a14=-24&a26444=26554&a12=26562&a 25710=-24&a10244=-24&gcs=1504&pfid=1818&reqtype=2&pfmode=1&alist=a14%2Ca264 44%2Ca12%2Ca25710%2Ca10244&pf_query=&sargn=-1%26saslc%3D3&sadis=200&fpos=ZI P%2FPostal&sascs=2&ftrt=1&ftrv=1&saprclo=&saprchi=&so=Show+Items

All of those seem to fit your requirements...

But a computer with those specs would be hard to find with broadband...of course you could just have your computer fast internet prepared at a local shop...I know my dad did that for his...

Also, why up to 3 DVD-Rom drives

And if it's for training videos, why not a laptop?...

posted by  chris_knows

Go read the First sentence of the FIRST post.

posted by  Pythias

I saw that, but I also saw this:



And I assumed it was for training new employees...

posted by  chris_knows

To get a refurb system, just check around, a lot of local shops do it. Just because you can spit out websites like www.newegg.com or www.tigerdirect.com or www.pricewatch.com doesn't mean that you should use them. And I really hate assholes like some peole selling "pirated" copies on eBay. and thinking they are cool.. cause its not

posted by  Voda48

Even though i agree with EVERYTHING you said there is something that is just bugging me. The only REAL difference between pro and h.e is...well nothing. Not even networking. That was the claim when both came out but with the sp2 out really just a little minor change in the GUI and that's about it. Something DLL are slightly different in cases of more for pro just for better ADMIN resources but outside of that.. nothing. I do agree with everything you are saying not that it really means anything but for my purposes :thumbs:

posted by  95civicdima

***NO JARGON** well i'll throw my 2 cents in for what it's worth, if you need it strictly for buisness, with such programs as Lankar or alldata and mitchell use i would recommend dell, and like the other guy said this is the only situation i would recommend dell, for home use dell's can be a bitch to upgrade and do what you wish with, but in our shop we had 2 dell's and the boss just upgraded with another dell. they are very reliable we've never had one crash yet as long as your employees dont surf porn at work, im on the shop comp right now but will browse the dell page and see if i can pick a package or two that would suit your buisness(whatever that may be...is it the shop somputer you need)your system requirments are out of date unless you have mitchell on a big ass floppy disk, i would guess you have all new programs so you'll just need a dvd rom(our all data disks needed a dvd rom), if you go with the paid computer geek he'll probably try to "save you big bucks" and build it himself, not recommended, dell's have warrenty and 24 hour phone tech help. anyway i'll post later tonight with a package that will probably suit you or you can check out dell.com(or sum shit like that) yourself.

posted by  BanffAutoSpa_ap

Gonna second that Dell recommendation. I've bought a couple cheap bottom end Dells for friends and family, and they've been absolutely outstanding. My Dell high end laptop has been flawless for over a year so far, and the computer I'm tyoing this on at work is a 3 year old high end Dell workstation.

Right now you can get from dell for $499 a 2.8ghz pentium 4 machine with a 17 inch flat panel monitor, XP media center, 256 meg ram, 80 gig hard drive, DVD Rom ($60 for a dual DVD rom/CD burner combo), and $25 more for an integrated Sound Blaster setup.

For the same price you could get a wireless Dell Inspiron laptop with 15.4 inch screen, cd burner/dvd drive, 40 gig harddrive and wireless network card... These things are all getting dirt cheap anymore.

http://www1.us.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/featured_basdt?c=us& cs=19&l=en&s=dhs

Dell sells refurbs, as well, for even less.

posted by  ChrisV

Okay, I'm starting to see a pattern here. First let me thank everyone who has posted there opinions and extended a computer dummy a helping hand in this thread. Also let me give an extra thanks to those of you who went the extra mile to PM me about the subject.

I don't have enough knowledge to look at the minimum/optimum sytem requirements and figure out if the was something there not available in an off the shelf computer system. From reading the majority of the responses it seems that's not going to be a problem. You've pretty much all confirmed what I was thinking all along... Buy a Dell system with a few minor upgrades and I'll be in for under $1k, so I guess the basic dilemma is settled. Please indulge me in one more very specific question.

I still need to have three DVD/ROM drives so I don't have to keep loading and unloading information disks. Most computer cases (terminology?) I see have one installed and one expansion bay. Is there such a thing as a stand alone unit, and if so, what is it called?

posted by  vwhobo

Yes, you can get external USB drive DVD/CD writers, for about $120-150 at your local best buy. Easy to use. Cheaper if you go to Newegg or someplace like that. (first one I googled was $109 at Tigerdirect...)

posted by  ChrisV

Are those the ones where they're stacked up, sort of like a mini-tower? All I'm coming up with are seperate units. I don't want to have three of them laying around.

posted by  vwhobo

You can put 2 of them in your main computer case and then have your third one external. Set up the third one as the drive you don't use as often.

.

posted by  theman352001

No, if you get the two in the machine already, then you're just adding one small external box that you can either set up top of the computer, or have under the monitor (if you have the monitor on one of those little raised stands, like I do at home). That'll give you three total.

posted by  ChrisV

Yeah, that all makes sense. I was just thinking that if I was gonna have a remote location for the info disks, I could have them all grouped together. Then I could just use the drive on the CPU for the occasional music CD, etc. The info disks only have to be changed out quarterly so they could be completely hidden from sight and the prying paws of my favorite feline friends.

posted by  vwhobo

That's almost a prime candidate for a home network...

I'm doing a similar thing with a cheap ass bok with a couple big harddrives and a short stack of cheap internal DVD drives, connected by ethernet cable to my wireless router, so that all the comps on the home network can access them.

posted by  ChrisV

Whoosh... There it goes over my head again. All I want or need is one computer in the house so I don't think a network has much future for me. Just out of curiosity, WTF is a bok?

posted by  vwhobo

It's box, spelled phonetically, minus the "s," and using the correct finger of the wrong hand when typing really fast... (that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

Yeah, in my houe I have my work computer, my stepson's school computer, the laptop that is in the kitchen that my wife pays bills from and logs in to her work from, as well as her palm computer (that also connects wirelessly). When the new garage gets finished, I'm also going to have the cheap and cheesy computer with the keyboard cover so I can pull up the manuals I have on CD and log into the web for quick searches for info (like downloading info for paints). And I want a centralized location for everyone to store music and movies on to play either through their individual machines or through the home theater (just set the computer to play randomly for parties, etc.)

And of course, occasionally the three of us play quake arena against each other from different parts of the house. ;)

posted by  ChrisV

Gotta love family time. :thumbs:

.

posted by  theman352001

Do you need ROM's or writers? Are you backing up to DVD, or just reading for whatever reason?

posted by  windsonian

No problem man. I dont know how useful my walklthrough was to you, but since you were good to me with the ASE books and other things, I just couldnt not return the favor. If you need anytihng else just let me know thanks man. :thumbs:

posted by  newyorker

I need them to read DVD's, not as a back-up.


The important thing is you tried to help. You and everybody else gets an E for effort.

posted by  vwhobo

If you don't mind me asking, why would you need to read 3 DVD's simultaneously, swapping them every quarter?

Does it need to be read straight off the DVD? What I'm getting at is: do you really need the 3rd external drive, or could you just buffer 1 DVD to hard disk for the 3 months that you'd be using it for?

posted by  windsonian

Why an E?

posted by  newyorker

Think about it. :banghead:

posted by  vwhobo

Thanks...NOT! :banghead: :laughing:

posted by  newyorker

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