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Need new computer - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Jan. 7th, 2007

04:16 pm - Need new computer

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As I said in my phone post, Mintaka youngvanwinkle couldn't fix my computer, and he recommended I buy a new one. I'm not handy or confident enough to build one from parts, so I'm planning to buy a readymade system. Any recommendations?

Taka gave me the hard drive, which should still have all my files on it. I'd like to find a place that will put it into a system as a secondary drive, or if that won't work, copy off all my files onto the new machine. Any recommendations?

Current Mood: worriedworried
Current Music: R.E.M. - Country Feedback

Comments:

From:ex_tjcoyote112
Date:January 7th, 2007 10:43 pm (UTC)
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Well, if you can wait, most experts advise waiting until Windows Vista has been released at the end of the month. The requirements for Windows Vista are rather stringent, if you want to take advantage of all the zippy new features. (1 GB RAM and a decent video card is a MINIMUM! Onboard video is usually insufficient.)

As far as what to get... I can't really say, I've assembled my last few computers. Personally, I'll probably wait and get a laptop preloaded with Vista.
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From:shelbystripes
Date:January 8th, 2007 01:49 am (UTC)
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I agree in getting a computer that's CAPABLE of running Vista, but not actually getting Vista on it. KT is used to using Windows XP, and it's mature and stable by now, and Vista doesn't offer him anything new that he needs, that I'm aware of. He'd be better served getting something with XP since he knows it.
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From:tilton
Date:January 7th, 2007 10:48 pm (UTC)
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That truly sucks. Sorry to hear it!

It's been a long long time since I bought a PC (I'm a Mac guy now, please forgive me!), but Dell seems like a reasonable choice. At least they seem to have good support and good prices. But I'm not sure they'd be able to get your hard-drive installed for you if you mail order.

Another idea would just be to go looking at your local Comp USA or Best Buy for a system that seems reasonably priced, because they'll almost always be happy to install parts for you there at the store.

Just make sure to ask if the system is "Vista Ready". And I've heard that a lot of PCs these days are coming with coupons that will let you upgrade to Vista for free when it comes out, if you want to, so that's something to ask.

Good luck!
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From:nefaria
Date:January 7th, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
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I'll also recommend a Dell PC. They're reliable, if not quite as good a value as a carefully crafted custom PC.

Inserting the old HD into the new PC might void the warranty, so you might want to see if one of your friends could install it in their PC as a slave hard drive (need to set jumper settings to do this) and then back up your HD to either DVD ROM or an external hard drive. I'd recommend the latter because backing up to HD is faster than DVD and you'll probably want to do periodic backups.
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From:nefaria
Date:January 7th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
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Oh, you didn't mention whether you're looking for a laptop or a PC. Dell's laptops aren't as reliable as their desktop PCs.
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From:timmowarner
Date:January 7th, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
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I can tell you this: since I've got my laptop I've virtually stopped using my other computer. The laptop is more powerful AND it travels with me when I go places. And when you're home you can hook everything up to it that you would normally have hooked up. It's something you might want to think about.
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From:jmaynard
Date:January 7th, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
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Before you buy a PC, go to the Apple Store and look at the Mac Mini. See, especially, if they can show you Parallels Desktop - which will let you run Windows in an OS X window.

I truly think you'd be happier getting away from Windows.

Regardless of what you buy, though, the best answer for your old hard disk is to mount it in a USB 2.0 drive enclosure. At that point, you can just plug it into a USB port on the new system and use it at your leisure. You might even be able to get Parallels to boot off of it, though I don;t know that for sure.
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From:yakko
Date:January 8th, 2007 09:25 am (UTC)
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I don't think Apple support external booting from anything other than firewire. Windows will not be able to boot from a USB drive out of the box, and Parallels doesn't seem to allow one to have access to the Mac's USB devices from the VM at the moment (I'd love to be told I'm wrong on this one; I want to connect some USB devices up).

Of course, putting the VM drive file on external storage works fine.
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From:akseawolf
Date:January 8th, 2007 01:04 am (UTC)
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My understanding is that KT needs a computer now, so waiting until Vista is released is not really an option anyways.

However I think he should look for a computer that is Vista capable. And often computer companies will offer coupons for free upgrades right before a new operating system is released rather than let sales plummet as people put off buying a new computer until the new OS is available.

With a coupon for Vista KT can upgrade at a later date after those legal issues are resolved and without having to pay anything more.

KT, here is a store about a mile from the FC hotel that offers external USB enclosures for $20.
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From:octan
Date:January 8th, 2007 03:52 am (UTC)
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Another advantage of a "free Vista upgrade" is that he could, possibly, instruct them to set it up as a dual-boot, and use his free Vista the way I used to use Linux—for experimentation and "TEH LULZ"—while still having a stable Windows version to do all his real work in.
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From:yakko
Date:January 8th, 2007 01:13 am (UTC)

Going with others' recommendations...

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I recommend, since you're pretty much set on Data Doctors now, getting your old hard drive into an external USB enclosure. The Data Doctors guys should be able to help you on this. That way, you won't have to install it inside the machine and can upgrade it without taking your system back.

I would also suggest getting a Mac as per jmaynard; however, you have to really think about what you -need- to be able to run on your system, and see if it can be done on the Mac, or via Parallels. Photoshop isn't Intel-native on the Mac, for example, so it'd be very slow (though you could run the Windows version in Parallels and be OK).

I think you might have too many things that need Windows and not very much time to research it all, so looks like a well-built and well-supported beige box will be the best thing.
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From:jmaynard
Date:January 8th, 2007 03:56 am (UTC)

Re: Going with others' recommendations...

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Photoshop 7 for Mac OS X runs just fine on my MacBook Pro.
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From:chipuni
Date:January 8th, 2007 02:28 am (UTC)
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I think that you should get one of these. It might be just about enough computing power for the next few months...
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From:yakko
Date:January 8th, 2007 09:17 am (UTC)
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Sadly, it may come down to needing to use one of these for the next Photoshop. Does it support USB scanners? ;o)
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From:fionacat
Date:January 8th, 2007 09:23 am (UTC)
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I'd suggest a Dell meself, use them at work all the time and there's some minor issues (mostly hard disk related after 5 years of use) but they are good spec machines that you can customise when purchasing.
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