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Computer Advice?

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missbrokensmile
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Computer Advice?

Post by missbrokensmile » Sep 25th, '07, 11:31

Haha, it's me again ^^;

I was hoping if anyone could give me their two cents on my questions.

My computer is fairly old, it's a Windows 2000 and I've had that for about 6 years or so, and so I think it's about time I bought a new one XD

So, I'm hoping that someone can suggest what sort of capabilities my new computer should have. I'm planning to get a laptop but if I can't, I'll stick with a desktop...

I do a lot of web designing - the coding side and the graphics side (more the graphics though, so all those Adobe programs, etc.), and I download a lot of dramas and do quite a fair bit of word processing (so I guess, the usual functions). I know that all takes a lot out of a computer, so I'm hoping for a sturdy one that'll last for a while. I don't really play PC games, maybe a few times a year, and I don't think that'll increase...

I'm planning to get a Windows computer, just because I'm used to it. So, I know right now, Windows Vista is out, but I have hesitations. I heard there are heaps of alerting pop-ups, limitations to copying music, to downloading anything, and that many old programs can't run on it. I heard many other things as well, but those are my main concerns. Does any fellow, drama-downloader, graphic-maker have these problems, or know of? Plus it's their first "edition" and it probably has quite a few bugs...

So basically, I want Windows XP. Is that better, in terms of less restrictions, and checking for licensed products? But since Vista is new, they're promoting that, and so there aren't probably going to be any more XP's made right? So, it's basically whatever is left in stores?

Sorry for all the rambling ^^; But thanks for reading and helping!

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InTr4nceWeTrust
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Post by InTr4nceWeTrust » Sep 25th, '07, 16:53

I have some questions. Budget? Old specs? Highest demanding program you use? and pre-built or custom built? Custom built will be cheaper but you need to know how to put a computer together.

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Post by AkumaX » Sep 25th, '07, 17:11

Dell still sells laptops/computers with XP licenses

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Post by gsr_raver » Sep 25th, '07, 17:33

I would say some specs to look for is this:

-2GB of ram is good enough, make sure to GET DECIATED VIDEO CARD if your going to get a laptop because you will be screw yourself in the long run. most cheap laptop are shard video ram. the reason why i say this is that some movies you will be watching will really need a good video card to playback it's resolution(eg. H.264).
-I would pick a desktop because you can take your old hard drive and put it in your new one(if your aren't goin to use your old one no more). Also with a desktop it doesn't heat up as much as laptop, otherwise if you get a laptop i would recommend to get a fan that blows it(it's like a board with 2 fan and goes on the bottom of your laptop, so your laptop sits ontop of it)
-With your job, it doesn't really matter but you want something with large screens so maybe your old montoir is good. For me i open 5 windows just for java progaming. if u grab a laptop u wann get a full size laptop and they can be a B**** to carry around (8lb is heavy when u have to carry for 2 hours). What i mean full size are those laptop are those keyboards that are big as the regular keyboards. The screen on those laptop are largely big just so u can watch movies on it.

-200gb of HD since you are going watch Drama i'ts really recommend to have a lot.

-I too don't recommend vista, some codecs don't even work on it, plus it stilll have so much bugs i hate it so much, I have a desktop and laptop(bought just when vista came out) and i perfer XP more LOL. maybe in the furture when everything supports vista, and xp can be let go. LIke they say computer gets outdate every 2 years LOL.. so don't worry too much on getting vista because your goin to be buying a new one in the future.

-Also don't get the Viiv CPU from intel because they have DRM lock. We had this Router with ViiV and some stuff from d-additcs didn't d/l. some times my itunes music that i bought from it doesn't even run.

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Post by pacman99 » Sep 26th, '07, 03:22

wanted to add, if you do get a dedicated video card with your laptop, you'll probably have to trade off some battery life for it.
My lenovo/IBM thinkpad with dedicated video card gives me 1 hr less battery compared to the same model with a shared video card. (4.5hrs vs 3.5 hrs)

Dell and Lenovo/IBM both allow you to downgrade to WinXP in one way or another. With Lenovo/IBM you don't really save money when it comes to downgrading to winxp BUT winxp is SOOO much better than vista.
My thinkpad came with vista and everything ran so slow. It took it longer to come out of hibernation than booting up! It was slow loading up programs and unnecessarily kept my hard drive in use, even after I turned off practically all the services that were enabled by default but I didn't need (i.e. index servicing).

If you decide to go for the laptop route, make sure it's 100% prebuilt and not 50% prebuilt and 50% custom built by the store selling it to you (as is the case with 'asus barebones').
If you decide to go with a desktop, definitely make it yourself or have it built (if labour is cheap. I know here in Canada, there are some places that put your computer together for you for free if you buy the parts from them).

And I guess I can't offer any more advice until you answer InTr4nceWeTrust's questions :)

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missbrokensmile
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Post by missbrokensmile » Sep 26th, '07, 06:59

InTr4nceWeTrust: Well, budget, I guess around AUD $2000. I think that'll get me a decent computer, but then again, that is for laptops, so if I get a desktop it'll be a lot cheaper. My old/current specs: Intel(R) Pentium, 4 CPU, 2.40 GHz, 523 760 KB RAM (was that what you were after and do you need to know anything else?). Highest demanding program/s would probably have to be Adobe Photoshop and Jasc Paint Shop Pro. And definitely pre-built since I don't know enough to custom build one.

AkumaX: I guess so ^^

gsr_raver: Ok, got it, dedicated video card ^^ But then again, most dramas I download aren't that great of a resolution XD But then again I've been refraining from that in case it wears out my computer before I get a new one, then I'm kinda screwed *_* I might go for a desktop, I guess it just depends on how everything else goes ^^ Thanks for the fan tip ^_^ I really have no issues about weight really, as long as it's not as fat as a brick with the wants that I want (otherwise I'll switch to a desktop). And also thanks for the heads up on Viiv CPU :D Really appreciate it ^_^

pacman99: Thanks for the battery life info. But I'm not really that concerned about the battery life either XD I'll probably stay connected to a powerpoint most of the time, and when it isn't I won't be doing much drama watching, graphic making, etc. so I think it'll be ok ^^ Haha, yes, WinXP it is XD And whichever way I go, it'll be pre-built since I don't know enough about it ^^;

Thanks a lot everyone for helping me :D

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Post by groink » Sep 26th, '07, 07:22

pacman99 wrote:Dell and Lenovo/IBM both allow you to downgrade to WinXP in one way or another. With Lenovo/IBM you don't really save money when it comes to downgrading to winxp BUT winxp is SOOO much better than vista.
The downgrade offer, according to C-Net, is only available on systems that offer Vista Business or Ultimate. Downgrade isn't available for Vista Home or Home Premium.

I recently bought a system (Dell Optiplex) with XP Professional. It'll be at least one more year before I take the Vista plunge. There's so much I would be losing if I were to move to Vista: my scanner, my photo printer... If you have legacy peripherals like these, make SURE that there's drivers for Vista. Otherwise, you'll find yourself buying new peripherals along with the new PC.

My experience these past few months.... Avoid Lenovo! They're pieces of junk! They were once IBM, and even back then IBM made lousy PCs. One of the largest hotel chains in America purchased Lenovo desktops, and my company is currently rolling them out. Video flickering problems, memory problems.... Two months ago, Lenovo had to fly in two technicians to change out the motherboard on 300 PCs in Hawaii because of video grounding issues.

Another line to avoid is Hewlett-Packard. I purchased an HP Pavilion with dual DVD burners and HDTV recording capability. Had problems with one of the DVD drives - couldn't burn DVDs regardless of the media brand I tried. Spent one week working with their India technicians. After FINALLY convincing them that it was a hardware problem, they wanted me to give them my credit card number before they mailed me a replacement drive.... Four hours later, the PC found itself back at SAM'S CLUB.

I totally endorse Dell!!!!! I've set up hundreds of these units for customers, and even bought several for myself. Technical support is not out of India. They trust you by sending you parts without a credit card. My aunt currently owns a Dell Dimension; I had the PC system sent to me first so that I can configure the system for her. Very well built! And they're quiet! As for myself, I tend to buy the business-class Optiplex line; I currently own two Optiplex GX620 systems. Very easy to customize a system on-line when ordering.

--- groink

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Post by missbrokensmile » Sep 26th, '07, 07:35

Damn that's annoying, the downgrading thing... Since Vista Business and Ultimate are more expensive :/

Yeah, that's another reason I don't want Vista due to me still having peripherals that Vista can't take, and I don't need to buy new ones as they work fine for me. I mean, you don't miss what you don't know...

I've never heard of Lenovo so I don't think I need to worry about that... And yeah, I heard Hewlett-Packard wasn't too great... Yeah, Dell is great. I have friends who have Dell and they say it's great and I've heard good stuff about them. And yeah, I saw on their site you can customize your own computer (with XP! XD).

How about Sony's VAIO line? Do you know if that's any good? I'm only asking because aesthetically it looks better XD That's why I'm so attracted to the Apple computers *sighs* but I'm not planning to get an Apple because then half my programs wouldn't work... :/ Plus they have hardly any viruses.... *sighs*

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InTr4nceWeTrust
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Post by InTr4nceWeTrust » Sep 26th, '07, 07:36

I love Sony and I love Best Buy (are there Best Buys in Australia? o_O). So for laptops, I'll recommend any VAIO. For PCs, I'll recommend Dell (Best Buy sells a lot of these). I wouldn't touch a Dell notebook, though.

As far as I see, they no longer have ones with XP pre-installed. Although I'm certain there are a few that do. So I'd google stuff like "photoshop CS3 vista problems", "scanner x vista problems", or "printer x vista problems". Also, as groink suggested, make CERTAIN there are Vista drivers for any devices that you plug into your PC.

If it seems that Vista won't have any problems with your programs/devices, then I'd go ahead go ahead and get a PC/notebook with Vista (Home Basic is ugly, Ultimate is wasteful, Business isn't needed, Home Premium is nice). It will save you the cost of upgrading later.

If you find there will be issues with Vista and can not find a PC or laptop with XP installed, you can downgrade. It will cost you about 100 AUD if you find an OEM version. It's the same as the retail version except you don't get a pretty box or manual.

edit: just saw your post, yes, VAIO is king of notebooks. a little expensive, but with your budget, you will be fine.

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Post by missbrokensmile » Sep 26th, '07, 08:28

There are no Best Buys in Australia but there are plenty of other stores XD Not to worry XD

Man that's annoying, the no XP thing... :/ Ah well, we'll see I guess. Go into the store and take a look and ask around XD

But now I'm armed with useful info that'll help me ^_^ And I thank you all, a lot for all the help! :D

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Post by itsukiD » Sep 26th, '07, 09:27

do u still have your windows 2000 install disks? i suggest buyin the newer system wiping the c: drive n installing 2k. Seein that u already know 2k n all (if it aint broke, why fix it?) most consumer systems are partitioned with an extended part of the hard drive with backup installation, so u can always revert back to the pre-installed OS or else they provide u with backup discs.

good luck
D

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Post by groink » Sep 26th, '07, 18:52

itsukiD wrote:do u still have your windows 2000 install disks? i suggest buyin the newer system wiping the c: drive n installing 2k. Seein that u already know 2k n all (if it aint broke, why fix it?) most consumer systems are partitioned with an extended part of the hard drive with backup installation, so u can always revert back to the pre-installed OS or else they provide u with backup discs.

good luck
D
Bad, BAD advice. Never recommend a product that is very near end-of-life at Microsoft. Any day now, Microsoft may discontinue releasing hotfixes for Windows 2000. That's why all of us techs are upgrading our servers and workstations to later versions. It is very vital - especially for you people who download all the time - that you keep your hotfixes and antivirus definitions up-to-date.

Another reason for not downgrading to W2K is that much of the technology in today's PCs may not be recognized by the OS. Most manufacturers are no longer developing/testing drivers for W2K. By downgrading, you stand the risk of losing some hardware features, as well as run into compatibility issues.

--- groink

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Post by AkumaX » Sep 26th, '07, 19:42

I don't see a reason to use W2K now rather than using XP (NT 5.0 vs NT 5.1)

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Post by 6502inside » Sep 28th, '07, 07:21

Bad, BAD advice. Never recommend a product that is very near end-of-life at Microsoft. Any day now, Microsoft may discontinue releasing hotfixes for Windows 2000.
So why does win2k even need hotfixes at this point? It either works the way you want it or it doesn't. And security-wise, one could do a lot better than just relying on MS to patch every hole. Wouldn't you agree?

Given the context, win2k probably isn't the way to go, but I find it funny that you would shoot down this guys advice for the reason that MS won't support it much longer. I mean, by that logic one might as well go for Vista, since it will surely be supported for longer than XP. I have always used MS operating systems on my home PC(s) but their support for said operating systems never factored into these decisions. (and yes I'm using win2k... and win98 on my laptop)

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Post by groink » Sep 28th, '07, 07:39

6502inside wrote:
Bad, BAD advice. Never recommend a product that is very near end-of-life at Microsoft. Any day now, Microsoft may discontinue releasing hotfixes for Windows 2000.
So why does win2k even need hotfixes at this point? It either works the way you want it or it doesn't. And security-wise, one could do a lot better than just relying on MS to patch every hole. Wouldn't you agree?
No, I do not agree. Two issues here. First, although Microsoft does not make a hotfix for W2K, W2K is still vulnerable. This was proven when Windows 98 was end-of-life at MS. Several times, independent researchers found vulnerabilities in '98 post-EOL that was never addressed, but addressed in later versions of Windows by Microsoft. And, because researchers love the publicity of their discoveries, they usually make them public, thereby giving hackers enough information to develop malware to take advantage of the vulnerability. This actually happened on two occasions when WinXP was about a year old, and Win98 still represented over 50-percent of the market (keep in mind that the natural transition for most home users was Win98 -> XP Home.) So the same pattern must be assumed regarding W2K.

Second, other than Microsoft, who else would develop hotfixes for an EOF operating system? Many people today still use Win98 and W2K. I know of two customers who still use Win95! If Joe User hasn't made the upgrade to WinXP or Vista by now, IMHO they fit the profile of users who are more likely not protecting themselves, and more likely being totally abusive of their PCs. So really, hotfixes are the ONLY thing that is giving them some level of protection. If it weren't for MS hotfixes, these people would have NO protection.

--- groink, MCSE+I

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Post by 6502inside » Sep 29th, '07, 04:55

independent researchers found vulnerabilities in '98 post-EOL that was never addressed, but addressed in later versions of Windows by Microsoft. And, because researchers love the publicity of their discoveries, they usually make them public, thereby giving hackers enough information to develop malware to take advantage of the vulnerability. This actually happened on two occasions
Two occasions doesn't sound like very many. I wonder how many vulnerabilities in XP were exploited during the same time.
If it weren't for MS hotfixes, these people would have NO protection.
Then how do you explain their computer with a dated version of Windows still being useable at all after that amount of time? 8)

I use a firewall, third party browser (Opera), and web-based email to avoid the various malware threats.

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