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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:18 PM
Original message
Which Computer To Buy?
I'm buying one for a friend tomorrow (shhsssh...she dosen't know it yet.)

Any reccommendations on a fairly inexpensive machine?
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MGKrebs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. Not so sure about inexpensive, but...
Once you go Mac, you never go back!
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BlackVelvetElvis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Love my Mac
What a great, user friendly machine.
Best of all, I don't have to deal with the Microsoft virus, worms, security problems.
Of course, they tend to be a bit more expensive, but worth it IMHO.
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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
24. I cannot stress enough how much I truly love my Mac
I have had a Mac since June 6, 2003 and it has brought me nothing but joy from the time I removed it from the box.

You cannot go wrong with a Mac. So easy to use. With my Mac I can run more than three applications at a time and don't receive "low on system resources."


Feels good to be WINDOWS free.


Oh how I love my Mac!!!! :loveya: :loveya: :loveya: :loveya: :loveya:
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Emillereid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. Get her an Imac or an Emac
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. HP A220N
Great for everything, though 3D games would run better under a nice, iexpensive-yet-powerful Geforce 4600 video card. Video Card aside, this computer is under $700. Has 512MB RAM, 120GB HD, WinXP home, 6 USB 1.x/2.0 ports, firewire, sb live (equvalent anyway) sound. Very good price for a pre-constructed machine with warranty.
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Systematic Chaos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. I concur.
Sorry, Macs are wonderful for a lot of things, but until the availability of software is up to spec with Windoze-based PC's I have no choice but to stick with my trusty AMD.

Hell, it took them over 3 YEARS to release EverQuest for the Mac! What's up with that??
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #6
28. When will the software developers support Macs?
When they see the Mac as being profitable, which means lots of people need to buy Macs and scream out "support me" to get software made for them.

Unfortunately there are three problems with this reality-based scenario: (1) people want the goods and pacifiers there first and don't like to scream for anything because it's a nuisance for them to have to do anything. (2) Macs cost a LOT MORE than PCs and Apple is going to have to deflate it's bloated profit margin in order to get the costs down. (Um, didn't that happen when they switched from SCSI to IDE yet did not lower their prices?) (3) As most people have PCs, they are more likely to eyeball Linux as a replacement for Windows, especially when they hear that Linux is more stable and sure as heck is much FASTER at processing code and data. Of course, #1 has to happen first and while that is happening, we still don't see loads of shrinkwrap boxes in stores saying "For Linux".

Now, for the most part, Macs have got superior hardware (though a top of the line model should still have twice the RAM and a Radeon 9800 instead of a 9600 to justify the $3000 price, as a comparable PC with 1GB RAM and a Radeon 9800 would cost $1000 at this point, maybe $1200 max... Apple should be embarrassed if they're trying to compete against the PC. I'd love to have a Mac, but reality just gets in the way.)
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jmowreader Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #6
30. Except for games, software is equally plentiful on PC and Mac
PCs have MS Office. Macs have MS Office. What else do you want? :evilgrin: And the current Mac Office X contains a copy of Virtual PC, so combined with a sufficiently potent Mac (basically, anything they sell now), a Mac with Office X is a Windows PC too. You probably don't want to run first-person shooters on it, but most any software you want to throw at it is fine.

When I ran a PC emulator, I'd keep a duplicate of the C: drive file so that if some of the things that go bump in the night hit me, I'd just trash the working C: drive, duplicate the safety copy and be back up in just a couple of minutes.

Now I have a real PC beside my Macs. It sometimes takes hours to get it back up after an attack.

However! If I was going to buy a computer just to play games on, it wouldn't be a Mac. Way bigger selection of games over there. But I've been thinking about buying a Playstation 2 just to play driving games.
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Spirochete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
35. They had to make it fair
to us PC owners. They had to modify the Mac software to go link-dead at very inopportune times, crash to the desktop when zoning, etc.
All that extra programming takes time. hehe
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Champion Jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
4. What do they need to do with it?
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FlashHarry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:22 PM
Response to Original message
5. Apple or PC?
Apples are usually more expensive, but you can get an eMac for under a grand, I think. I found a refurb HP notebook for $799 from PCVideoOnline.com. It has a 1.2GHz Celeron processor, 320MB RAM, 32MB VRAM, 20GB HD, CD-RW/DVD-ROM, WinXP Home. So far, it's been pretty damn good. (Make sure you buy the extended warranty, though.)
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. I was just looking at computers at Costco
and was stunned how cheap they are now. Around $700 with a flat panel display and a fast processor (faster than the average user will ever need). I always build my own computers, so I wasn't really looking to buy, but damn there are some cheapies out there.

So check out Costco if you have a membership.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Sounds Good
As long as it's not an eMachine. She could use the membership anyway.
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FlashHarry Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:34 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Desktops are a lot cheaper.
I'm a notebook snob, unfortunately. I love the space it saves. (I live in a small apartment.)
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Me Too
Dell Inspiron 8500 2+ GHz with a DVD Burner, 3 spare batteries and a Canon i70 Printer with another spare battery for that.

Like I said, it's for a friend who dosen't have a lot and not expecting anything until she gets out of college.

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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #11
25. I like notebooks for their portability. I dog sit for people when they
are on vacation and I can schlep my trusty Mac with me and use my own computer.

Pretty cool!

Have I told you I love my Mac?


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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:31 PM
Response to Original message
9. It's For A Friend
Basic Internet and homework.

She's had a big run of bad luck for a few years, had to drop out a couple of her classes and lost a job because her computer went down.

I'm just trying to help a little and I want to get her some little things too...like a winter coat and maybe a few pots and pans for her kitchen.

Like I said, she's had a big run of bad luck....
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Champion Jack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. *
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 07:36 PM by Champion_Jack
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Norton Donating Member (241 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. You get what you pay for...
I bought my Apple g4 Titanium a year ago last January... (22 months). I thought they were nuts when they claimed it was "un-crashable"... they weren't! IT HASN'T CRASHED ONCE!!! Four to
six hours a day average use. It's ridiculous!!!, in the good way. Oh, you will have a hard time finding the crummy games, but not the good ones. (Get an X-Box if you want games!) One more thing... you will NEVER be able to get a virus... PERIOD!
Macs are a different thing altogether... she'll never look back.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:17 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. If you think $5K is "fairly inexpensive"...
you need to get out in the real world more.
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Norton Donating Member (241 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:54 PM
Response to Reply #23
31. Who said MACS were "fairly inexpensive"? I didn't.
MACS aren't cheap... PCs are, literally/figuratively. You guys are concerned about game playing I think. Now, who needs to get out into the real world? MAC prices would only be high if their
life expectancy and technology was equal to a PCs... Dell is making a big ol' about their wireless notebooks these days... My MACs has been wireless for three years. Catch us if you can guys! (Umm... you can't)
Oh, and by the way, back on the "who would create a virus for 5% of the computers... you guys keep your PCs.. PLEEEZE! (We
like our exclusivity just fine.) If everyone had a Lamborghini, they'd become boring too! P.S. My G4 was $2,100.00... not $5,000.00. Maybe I work harder than you???
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:25 PM
Response to Reply #17
26. Um, some day you're going to have your heart broken when you get a virus
You WILL get a virus the moment an Apple hacker makes one and you somehow get it on your system without having a program in memory actively looking for such viruses.

Viruses can happen to ANY platform. They just need to be written.

Don't be naive, my friend.

Apple has far fewer users, something like price probably helps keep them away. Now hackers may hate Microsoft, but who bloody cares if Peach company made a great computer. If everybody bought Peach computers, some pit is going to then make Peach viruses because the pit wants to bring down the whole of society that uses computers for their daily work. While Microsoft makes it easier for hackers to do so, hackers are going to go after the most used platforms because it affects THE MOST PEOPLE. That, in a nutshell, is the point to my maudlin diatribe.

If you were a naive 14 year old or a malicious bastard and you had a gun, would you shoot 600 if you could? Or try for 600,000? Chances are, you'll got for the 600,000 - though if you wanted to be a petty nuisance you'd shoot at the 600 who think they're above such actions happening to them. And that's about to happen in the Mac realm. Being a Linux user myself, I'm petrified of viruses myself and it's a matter of time before someone makes a Linux virus. It can happen.

If viruses could be made for the Commodore Amiga, they could be made for any platform. And, as nobody used the Amiga, Commodore went into bankruptcy...

Wanna know why they make firewalls for Linux? Because there are Linux hackers who will try to break into Linux webservers. While still superior, ANYTHING can be broken into given enough ingenuity and time. Your Mac is not immune.
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Norton Donating Member (241 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. I think you just made my case...
Who's going to bother with making a virus that only effects 5% of
the computers out there? NO ONE! Maybe some day they will, but why buy a computer that's prone to the "virus o' the week club? MACS rule until further notice.
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #26
32. Exactly
That's why I check for updates for my NAV for my WinXP a minimum of 3 times a week. That's where the problems lie and that's where 95% of the home market is.

However, before this degenerates into a PC/Mac/LINUX Flame War, I only have so much to spend to help her out and I'd like to make certain she has a few other things she needs...like a winter coat for the Chicago winter, cat food she can't buy on her food-stamp card and maybe a few pots and pans she lost when she and her family got evicted.

With me so far....?

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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:41 PM
Response to Original message
13. You can get a pretty decent WinXP PC for under $600.
I'd recommend looking somewhere like CompUSA or OfficeMax. IIRC you can get a box w/AMD Athlon 2400, 256MB RAM, 40GB HD, and 17" monitor for somewhere in the $450-600 range. I'd recommend going with a PC over a Mac for various reasons, not least of which being price and software availability. (not to mention that the Mac doesn't outperform a PC by anything like a large enough margin to justify paying twice to four times as much...especially when you're looking for a "fairly inexpensive" machine.
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Spider Jerusalem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:42 PM
Response to Original message
14. deleted
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 07:43 PM by Spider Jerusalem
(I fucked up and double-posted)
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
15. Cheap! Compaq here. but that's before the "merge" with HP...still
Edited on Tue Oct-07-03 07:47 PM by KoKo01
depends on how "techie" you are. But, "out of the box" from Staples, or Best Buy....I've been a Compaq fan for years...and not had complaints. If you aren't on "Cutting Edge."

I know this view isn't popular here on DU where there are so many Dell, Mac and "build your own box fans."

Just mho, here......

On Edit: my advice is if your friend needs "easy to use, out of the box, up and running friendly, with lots of help both based inline and online." Can't go wrong there.

But, other folks have given if your friend is a total "whiz" and would :puke: at something you bought "out of the box."
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:50 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Hey, I'm Not A Snob
I was a Dell fan until they outsourced their Tech Support to India. I like Mac too for different reasons and she pretty much needs an "out-of-the-box machine."

I'm just trying to get opinions here and maybe set her up with a Warranty until she gets out of college.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. I had a Compaq Presario, with sound to "die for (JBL speakers)" I bought
in '96. It only had 64K or Ram and I was so clueless I didn't know what "enter" meant! I learned everything on that baby and it lasted me.....with that small amoununt of ram until 2001. I bought another Compaq (a complete "in the box" version with printer/monitor/pc unit for less than half what my original cost me. I think it was $800 including tax!

The same computer is still going strong...and it has (with the memory upgrade where I opened a door and inserted the chip thingy, on my own, up to 278 megs and I have a VANTA thingy...whatever. I can do everything I want to with this one. BUT.......I don't have games. I have a CD RW/CDROM.....so by DU gamester/movie downloaders I might be out dated. Still.....I can do everything else I need to do, plus my Windows Powerpoint presentations/Excell, etc.

It depends on what one uses a computer for. I'm strictly using for "Internet Search" and "Business" applications.

If your friend is a gamer....then they need ability to install different "memor cards" and "graphics cards."

Cheaper Compaq/HP's sometimes "glue in" the card the machine comes with.....so you can't change your card.

If gaming is important.....that's a downside.

But, you can tell from my post...I'm not a "techie." But, By God my machine works when I need it to..and I've gotten online and offline help. So, that was important to me. I had a hard drive failure with my first machine in the first year, and they replaced it FREE of CHARGE.

I don't know if they would do that today. But.....I've been happy...Their "offline Tech Support has gone to India, unfortunately, and I'm very disappointed. However, they have built in enough inline help and support that if the Indians can't help me....I dig in and use the Compaq built in support...and usually find an answer.

Some other makers may provide better than this. Because of the merger....Compaq/Hewlitt..may have gone down badly. My Compaq was bought just before the "merge."
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Thanks
She's neither a "techie" nor a "gamer."

She's been trying to get off and out of the Welfare system for the past few years and lost pretty much everything doing so. I'm only trying to help a little.

I thought I could get her a fairly reliable inexpensive computer along with a few pots and dishes and maybe a good winter coat for the Chicago area.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.



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ikojo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 08:27 PM
Response to Reply #22
27. Don_G has anyone told you that you are a mensch?
What a kind soul you are to do this for this woman.


:thumbsup:


:hug:


Don :yourock:
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Don_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #27
34. What's A Mensch?
If it includes Getifil (SP?) Fish, count me out....

I had it on a Pizza in NYC once that a friend ordered.
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KoKo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:51 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. Also...go to your library for "Consumer Reports Magazine" in PC's or CNET,
online for good buys.

Notebooks are good from Compaq or whatever....to save space. But, they have some downsides.
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elfin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 07:59 PM
Response to Original message
20. Gota getta
Mac! Sounds like her life is difficult enough already - doesn't need any more problems with viruses, complicated operations etc. etc.

She will thank you FOREVER and not be constantly calling for help with any non-Mac.
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Norton Donating Member (241 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #20
33. Another blow for MACs
My MAC is "intuitive" as hell... sometimes it's creepy! It didn't know me at first, but now it seems to always know what I'm wanting. My MAC store guy said that they do spend a lot of attention in that area when designing these guys. OSX is an
amazing thing! Oh, and though it shouldn't matter, the display
and functioning is gorgeous!
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Leftist78 Donating Member (609 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
36. Another vote for a mac
I love my Powerbook, but if you're looking for an inexpensive machine go with an emac. they start at $799. if you're looking for a notebook go with an ibook starting at $999
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
37. If an iMac is in the running, consider the eMac
You get more bang for your buck. If she does any photography, or home movies, the Mac is the way to go. iMovie blows away what is offered by MS.

Macs tend to have a longer useful life than PC's. Got a friend that is still using an old black and white Macintosh in his printing business, and a Beige G3/266. A writer I know still has a Quadra. They last for ever. I've only had one die, and that was from a lightning strike.
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