What Computer Do U Have?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by cookie1960, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. cookie1960

    cookie1960 New Member

    I'm usually over the "wall" in the Fibromyalgia room. Didn't want to post this there - 'cuz of the rules and all. To make a long story short, I need a new computer and would be curious to know what make and model you are using at your home. I think I am more interested in a PC then a laptop. Not looking for the most expensive, but not afraid to pay for a good product either.

    I would love to hear any of your suggestions!


    p.s. It's so cool that there's a book club in here. Kudos!
  2. poets

    poets Member

    I don't know exactly what brand to recommend.......BUT I can tell you what kind to avoid. Leave Compaq alone! Mine is so slow and has been constipated ever since I got it in 2001. I've tried everything from defragmenting it to scans and knocking out spyware, etc. Nothing really helps. Now it's ancient and slower than ever. (Can't afford another one anytime soon.)

    (Do they even make Compaqs anymore? ;o)

  3. stick2013

    stick2013 Member

    I by have a laptop and a desktop, both are by HP. I have never had any problems with either of them.

    As for the other poster with a slow computer....Have you tried installing more RAM??????
  4. poets

    poets Member

    I had my computer repairman install more ram, but it really didn't seem to make too much of a difference. I think it was a lemon from the start!
  5. stick2013

    stick2013 Member

    It would also depend on HOW much Ram you have and how much your computer is able to hold. Todays computer that run XP require at least 1 gig of ram, 2 is better, but 1 will do fine. Also how many programs are loaded on start up?? Have you ever checked MSCONFIG start up??? How many icons do you have on the bottom right of your screen where clock is???? How fast is your processor????

    There are also free registry programs to clean up the registry. Free ones to get rid of Ad Aware, spyware, ect.
  6. texangal81

    texangal81 New Member

    I build my own computers but my message to Poets is that a computer built in 2001 is a dinosaur. The RAM should have helped a little but processing speed is very important. Unless the processor has been upgraded, more RAM is only going to be marginally useful. If you would like for me to assess what you have in your computer, I'll me more than happy to send you some instructions to collect data off the machine and we'll figure out a way to get my email address on here without me being kicked off!

    Back to Cookie - both HP and Dell build decent desktop PC's for end-using consumers. Compaq and HP merged, so you usually see them branded as HP. Gateway builds a good computer too. The most important components of a fast computer are processor speed and RAM. Hard drive size has very little to do with the speed of a computer, if you store a lot of photos and movies, you need a larger hard drive. If you use your computer to surf the web, email, IM/chat, and stuff like that, you don't need a very large hard drive (160-250MG is plenty for basic usage).

    When you price computers you'll notice that Pentium processor based computers are more expensive than AMD processor based machines. Don't let this sway you. I have been building computers using AMD processors since I got out of school in 2000 and I find that for home computer they are an excellent, cost effective processor.

    Dual core processors are the rage right now - that means they pack double the processing power. AMD makes dual core as well, so if you find a one that advertises this, it should be a decent computer. I would look for a minimum of 2 GB RAM, 3 GB would be nice. However, many end-user operating systems (Vista included) cannot access or manage RAM that is greater than 4 GB so don't let any try to talk you into adding anything beyond 4 GB. Server class systems can handle a great deal of RAM, but not end-user home class, so 2-4 GB is the range to shoot for.

    After you decide on processor type/speed and RAM, the rest is about hard drive size, type of sound and graphics card, and ethernet card/modem to connect you to the net. Some companies toss in a camera or webcam and printer. These extras will be very basic, low end equipment and if you do anything that requires a higher quality piece of equipment, don't let the freebies sway you. But if the basics are ok, this can be a good deal.

    If anyone has any additional questions, I'll keep on eye on this post. As I've said before in my posts, God blessed with this gift for computers at the tender age of 40 and my 'calling', so to speak, is to help as many people as I can by sharing this gift. My advice/knowledge is free to anyone who would like to request it - I only charge my employer for the use of that knowledge (gotta pay the bills somehow *L*).

  7. cookie1960

    cookie1960 New Member

    Thanks Erin for all the 'puter info. Right now I have a Compaq PC which is an oldie but a goodie. It's served it's purpose, but needs to be retired. I will print out your response and take it with me when I do my shopping - probably after Labor Day.

    What is your take on the extended warranty that some of the big box stores offer (Best Buy for one)? I'm sure you would never need one...but me being completely computer stupid I need all the back up I can get. (Computer smart son is now moved out and away at school)

    Again...many thanks to those of you who replied to my post.

  8. poets

    poets Member

    But it was slow when I got it new. You guys are so smart. I don't understand a lot about computers, and some of this is completely foreign to me.

    As soon as I can afford a new one, That's what I'm going to get!

    (Thanks for the information though :eek:)

  9. texangal81

    texangal81 New Member

    Hi Cookie,

    Extended warranties can be good things, depending on exactly what they cover. Computers tend to become obsolete before their parts actually start to wear out, but a good extended warranty could definitely be worth it.

    The most common component to 'break' is the hard drive. You'll hear people talk about their hard drives crashing and when that happens, the data on them is usually rendered useless. A hard drive is a series of flat platters (sort of like the old vinyl records) with heads the float about them to read the data. The distance between a head and a platter is something like 1/100th the thickness of a human hair - something my mind has never been able to wrap itself around! But, even though the distance is miniscule, when the head 'crashes' onto the platter - it is pretty much irreversible. In this case, an extended warranty will be able to replace the drive, but not the data. This is why it is so important to back up your information (more on that later).

    What is more common is that drive becomes corrupted. This usually means that the data still exists but can no longer be retrieved. A good computer doctor might be able to retrieve it, but again, it makes more sense to have your data copied somewhere else in the event you lose the hard drive. So an extended warranty that provides for hard drive replacement might be a good one to have.

    Personally I have never had a processor fail, but it can happen. Processors get very, very hot so they are installed onto a piece of metal called a heat sink with a fan attached. The heat sink dissipates the heat and the fan pulls it away from the processor. In addition to that, most computer cases have 2 or 3 extra fans installed for additional cooling. So if your processor fan dies and you aren't aware of it (not very common), it is possible to fry the processor. Many computers now have a protective feature built in so that if the processor fan fails, the computer won't boot up. This is also a good reason to have an extended warranty, you can take the computer to your place of purchase and they'll be able to figure out the fan died and replace it.

    I have had a motherboard fail and I worked with a computer during my desktop support days that had bad RAM. But this usually happens in older computers so if your extended warranty is only 3 years or so, chances are you'll never get to use it. If your computer does have a problem that quickly, it is often due to a component that was bad to begin with.

    So my suggestion would be that ANY extended warranty that you consider should have free or reduced labor/diagnostics included. In the first few years of a computer's life, you will spend more on diagnosing the problem than fixing it. IMHO, I think having a plan that will give you unlimited or liberal diagnostic calls will be more valuable than replacing equipment.

    You might check the local high schools or community colleges for seminars in how to buy computers. I would LOVE to either teach or start a program in my area which would explain in easy language how to buy a basic computer. I keep telling myself that if losing this weight boosts my energy a bit, then I'm going to volunteer to teach computer courses to anyone who has never had the opportunity to learn.

    Please, if you have more questions about buying a new one, ask away! I would rather you get exactly what you want than have some slick talking saleman unload a bad computer on you!


  10. texangal81

    texangal81 New Member

    Hi again poet,

    You might very well have been stuck with a lemon when you bought the computer you are using. A lot of companies had their fingers in the PC pie during the waning days of the Y2K hysteria. A lot of wannbe companies built crappy machines that people were unfortunately stuck with. I believe there is an art to building computers, it isn't just slapping a bunch of parts together. BAck in the early days, you had people slapping a lot of junk together!

    I am sorry if you did get stuck with one of those lemons. But, like I mentioned before, I'll be happy to walk you through some easy diagnostics to see if there is anything we can do to speed it up. Simply let me know.

  11. poets

    poets Member

    I just may take you up on that. As soon as my daughter delivers the baby. She's ready to go anytime now and I'm helping her during the day with my grandson, and I'm usually not online till late. Hopefully that will soon change when the little one finally arrives. :eek:)

  12. pasara

    pasara New Member

    We have 2 HP laptops and an emachines desktop for my son. I really like my laptop which is several years old. My husband's is brand new and uses windows vista, which we both find a big pain in the patoot, but what are you going to do? The emachines was a very inexpensive desktop set we got at Best Buy. Not the cheapest, but very reasonable, and it has lasted for several years no problems. I like HP. I find them easy to use and reasonably priced, and have gotten good customer service from them. I guess it's what i'm used to.

    I think you can find comparable computers across brands, and I would look for the functions you want and the ergonomics that work for you. Most people tend to overbuy when it comes to computers. You don't necessarily need all the bells and whistles which can add to the price of your computer without really adding additional functions for YOU. For example, a kid who is constantly downloading music and gaming needs a different machine from someone who mostly surfs the web and emails.

    The things I would look for are plenty of ram, quick processing speed, built in webcam, enough usb ports, and the convenience of where they are located, a good monitor, not too small, and then the general ergonomics of the machine. I would make sure it is a name brand machine too. Generally I don't get the cheapest models, but I find the lower-mid priced ones suit my needs just fine.