BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum

Posting requires Registration and the use of Cookies-enabled browser


Go Back   BHM Forum > Self-Reliance & Preparedness > Communications/Computers/Software

Communications/Computers/Software Ask questions and offer help on anything to do with electronic communication, computing, or related areas.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-06-2015, 12:39 PM
CrossRoads Female CrossRoads is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 194
Default I need info on buying a new computer.

My computer I been using is down sick. I should know later today if I have to replace it. It appears to hava a failing hard drive. The computer place is running a diagnostic test on it now.
It is a older machine, and I don't want to buy a new hard drive for it. It has the windows XP. And Outlook Express for the email.

So just now talking to the computer tech and he tells me most any new machine will work just fine. The other computer tech told me to stay away from machines from Walmart. I am way behind in my computer knowledge.

I need a machine I can get on ebay with. I do sell on and off there, under a different user id. NOT this one, I use on this site. I also like to sell on craigslist when I can.

I do not need a computer that can download movies or songs. I also do
not go on sites that one plays games on. Basically I just need plain and simple.

The machine I am on now, is my old compaq that is strictly my backup machine. No putting any money into this one.

So any recomendations of a good machine ? And or ones to stay away from ? I also am on a fixed income and the price of a machine is also a factor in my decision. I want a desktop model. Not a laptop.

Thanks
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-06-2015, 12:57 PM
backlash's Avatar
backlash Male backlash is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dry side of Washington
Posts: 1,927
Default

I bought a laptop from Dell for $220.
It will do everything I need to do.
The only down side is it came with Windows 8.1 and I don't know it.
Big learning curve but I'm getting the hang of it.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-06-2015, 01:27 PM
coaltrain's Avatar
coaltrain Male coaltrain is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: NW Penna
Posts: 1,722
Default

If you would think about a laptop I recommend a Chromebook. No moving parts as it has a SSD (solid state hard drive). Plus no viruses or anti-virus software to deal with as it is completely self-updating.

http://www.amazon.com/Acer-C720-Chro...cer+chromebook

The price goes up and down - usually can get them for $199.
__________________
~Stan~
It is what it is
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-06-2015, 01:32 PM
CrossRoads Female CrossRoads is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 194
Default

That is one worry I have. Learning the windows 8.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-06-2015, 01:46 PM
Knowitall Male Knowitall is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Colorado
Posts: 55
Default

If I were you, I would try to stay away from the Windows 8 operating system. It's not awful, but it's built for the next generation user (a more basic look with less text and more symbols). It will take you some time (frustration) to relearn everything if you choose a machine with Windows 8.

Windows 7 is much more like XP than Windows 8 is and I actually saw computers with it advertised at Costco yesterday.

In terms of companies to avoid, my experience with HP last year did not give me a good view of their business practices, although they may have improved their product slightly in the past decade. I've never noticed much difference between retailers, but I would avoid anybody who markets their computers as coming preloaded with exclusive software. Computers that come with Microsoft, Adobe, etc. products are okay, but be careful if they come with some program you don't use from a producer you have not heard of.

You seem to know this, but I'll say it again: you are the type of user who needs the bare minimum in terms of performance, so don't waste money on any performance upgrades.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-06-2015, 01:53 PM
CrossRoads Female CrossRoads is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 194
Default

I am open to suggestions here yes

I have a fairly new flat screen monitor. I have a scanner and a printer that I need to hook into a computer to use. I am thinking a regular desktop machine is going to be what I need. I print my postage from home when I sell things on ebay.

I was advised to go with a windows 7 by the one tech from a different computer place. The tech working on my machine, where I been taking my machine, is the one who suggested a new one and it would be windows 8.

I know very little about laptops. I do have one here but I lack the charger for it. It was given to me. It is a Dell. I don't know if it will work or not, till I can get a charger on it. Plan is to use it, if it will charge up and work. I know I can order a charger for it online, for under $ 10. The son has one but can't find the charger. So I wait. I will take the laptop with me, when I go to pick up my sick machine. Maybe they have a charger unit there.

I been advised to get away from the windows XP as it is no longer supported. The Dell laptop I have is a XP also, but I have hopes it might work.

My internet connection is DSL through my phone line. We have a bundle package with our house phone and his Direct TV.

Yes I need a simple machine

It's still a waiting game here on any news on my computer that is sick.

Last edited by CrossRoads; 01-06-2015 at 02:01 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-06-2015, 02:39 PM
coaltrain's Avatar
coaltrain Male coaltrain is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: NW Penna
Posts: 1,722
Default

The Chromebook I suggested earlier won't work then - for printing you have to have a specific wireless printer.

When I upgraded both our computers 18 months ago I also made sure I stayed with Windows 7 - heard too many horror stories. But I have heard that the upgraded Windows 8.1 at least brought back the start button. I believe that Windows 8 is geared more toward touch screens.

I've had Dell computers for many years with never a problem. But the luck is in the draw as far as different manufacturer anymore. If I were looking to buy I would keep a daily eye on the Staples site - they have specials all the time and usually have some Windows 7 machines. A lot of these specials are for the box only which is what you want since you already have a monitor. You could probably pick one up for ~$300.

When you get the diagnosis on your computer it wouldn't hurt to ask about replacing the hard drive if it is in fact bad plus installing Windows 7 on it.
__________________
~Stan~
It is what it is
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-06-2015, 03:06 PM
CrossRoads Female CrossRoads is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 194
Default

Just got the call that I can pick up my computer. It passed the hard drive test but the tech said it was going to be iffy on how long it would continue to work. So I got billed for 1 hr labor. Not bad.

He quoted me about $ 175 for a new hard drive. I am not wanting to put big $$$ into my old machine. I think I read online, that windows 7 is like $ 100 pricetag by itself.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-06-2015, 04:09 PM
coaltrain's Avatar
coaltrain Male coaltrain is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: NW Penna
Posts: 1,722
Default

Well at least you have yours back at a minimal charge.

That's really something - a typical 500GB hard drive costs me ~$50 - but there is time involved with transferring the data from the old to new.....$100 is about right to add Windows 7.

At that point it is being prudent just to get a new machine. You get the updated Windows 7 plus all new hardware.
__________________
~Stan~
It is what it is
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-06-2015, 05:42 PM
backlash's Avatar
backlash Male backlash is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Dry side of Washington
Posts: 1,927
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossRoads View Post
Just got the call that I can pick up my computer. It passed the hard drive test but the tech said it was going to be iffy on how long it would continue to work. So I got billed for 1 hr labor. Not bad.

He quoted me about $ 175 for a new hard drive. I am not wanting to put big $$$ into my old machine. I think I read online, that windows 7 is like $ 100 pricetag by itself.

If you need a hard drive just let me know what you have and I will give you one.
I have several laptop drives just sitting around.
Ask your computer guy what you need if I have one it's yours.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-06-2015, 08:03 PM
CrossRoads Female CrossRoads is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 194
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by backlash View Post
If you need a hard drive just let me know what you have and I will give you one.I have several laptop drives just sitting around. Ask your computer guy what you need if I have one it's yours.
Backlash, I will have to get back to you on your kind offer. The machine I will need the hard drive for, is the desktop Dell I just got back. I will be hooking that one up tomorrow. And then I will need to spend some time saving things off of it before it does it's hiccup again. It may last awhile, who knows.

The Dell laptop, I took in today when picking up my regular machine and they hooked it up to a charger and it works. BUT. There is a password on it and I have no way of knowing what it is. So very doubtfull, I will get any use of out that machine. Sigh. The computer tech said he probably could get it off there, but it would cost me more than it was worth.

I do have a different computer guy, I want to pick his brain more. Maybe he can be of help to me in the future. Right now, in the winter, I don't go out a lot unless the hubby is with me. And he likes my errands to be short, sweet, and simple.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-07-2015, 10:23 AM
randallhilton's Avatar
randallhilton Male randallhilton is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Fort Worth TX
Posts: 1,443
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrossRoads View Post
My computer I been using is down sick. I should know later today if I have to replace it. It appears to hava a failing hard drive. The computer place is running a diagnostic test on it now.
It is a older machine, and I don't want to buy a new hard drive for it. It has the windows XP. And Outlook Express for the email.
Just curious -- if the hard drive passed its test do you know what might be ailing the computer? A couple of times I've been able to rejuvenate an ailing machine just by blowing the dust out of it and re-seating the memory chip.

I'm getting ready to swap in a new drive on this machine - it will be the third drive in this 10 year old laptop. Like you, this laptop does everything I need, it already has drivers to run my printers and scanner and it runs XP.

When I swap the drives, I use an external drive housing and clone the existing drive onto the new drive. Then, I just swap the drives. Your computer guy should be able to do that pretty easily. Not only does this give your computer a new brain, the old drive becomes an archive if you ever have a failure of your new drive.
__________________

Use less, lose less, weigh the benefits, count the costs.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-07-2015, 02:52 PM
CrossRoads Female CrossRoads is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 194
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by randallhilton View Post
Just curious -- if the hard drive passed its test do you know what might be ailing the computer? A couple of times I've been able to rejuvenate an ailing machine just by blowing the dust out of it and re-seating the memory chip.
When I first bought the machine, it was a refurb. Not sure how old the machine really is. The XP is no longer supported. The machine was having lots of issues. Especially when I visited a website, it did not like. It would stop loading that page, etc. It would end up wanting to send a error report to microsoft. Most times I told it no, never mind. It has speed and can load pages real quick. One of the reasons I like it.

The tech was concerned because he said the XP was not protected and if I went to any website that required a password to get logged in, I was taking security risks. I was told NOT to go to paypal or to check my ck account online. Which I have not done. I was told to look for a windows 7 or 8 to be on the safe side.

One of my friends just emailed me about a machine she put in storage. She had replaced the hard drive and then her hubby wanted a laptop etc. She wanted to know if I would be interested in that one. I told her to send me more info, and I would consider it. Not sure of the price yet.

I'm still considering all my options
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-07-2015, 07:15 PM
DavidOH's Avatar
DavidOH Male DavidOH is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Central, OH
Posts: 2,439
Default

I have been building my own computers for over a decade.
That is an outrageous price just to replace a hard drive.
If it's that old and used, it could be one thing after another going bad.
Power supply, modem, networking, sound, ...probably not worth putting more $$$ into.

An i5 machine might suit you just fine. Even and i3 since you're not watching movies or into games.
I cannot recommend anything Dell anymore. They have to many cheap parts.
You may find a much better option at a local computer shop.
It all depends on the quality of parts that are put into it.

I custom select my parts, then shop for prices.

Last edited by DavidOH; 01-07-2015 at 07:20 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-07-2015, 07:20 PM
DavidOH's Avatar
DavidOH Male DavidOH is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Central, OH
Posts: 2,439
Default

Any new machine will have Windows 8 on it. Hopefully 8.1
You can still get copies of Windows 7 from eBay.....

It would probably be better for you to spend the money on Windows 8.1 that has full customer support.

You can get a small (FREE) program installed that will help a LOT with the transition from XP to Win8 Try Classic Shell
http://www.techsupportalert.com/cont...eplacement.htm
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-07-2015, 07:25 PM
coaltrain's Avatar
coaltrain Male coaltrain is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: NW Penna
Posts: 1,722
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidOH View Post
Any new machine will have Windows 8 on it
There are still many new desktops available with Windows 7 -

http://www.staples.com/Desktop-Compu...ids=4224947052
__________________
~Stan~
It is what it is
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-07-2015, 10:31 PM
DavidOH's Avatar
DavidOH Male DavidOH is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Central, OH
Posts: 2,439
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
There are still many new desktops available with Windows 7 -

http://www.staples.com/Desktop-Compu...ids=4224947052

Sure.... you can buy a new one with Windows XP also, but I would not recommend it.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-08-2015, 01:32 PM
CrossRoads Female CrossRoads is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 194
Default

Okay, I am still weighing all my options

I am back on my fixed computer currently. Working fine. Plan is to run it till it does something stupid again. About 1x a year, it likes to go visit the tech.

I did check out the Walmart web site today. I was looking at cell phones with internet capability. My son wants me to consider a straight talk phone and service. Not sure I am liking that $ 45 a month plan.
But it sounds like a good idea for the internet. My tracfone is just over 5 yrs old and I should upgrade it. Maybe

I did look at Staples and Walmart both for computers online.
I see there is some refurbs available. Not sure if I want to go that route, but the price sure is nice

All I know is that the tech said to get away from the XP and upgrade.

Okay, I am not completely sure I understand about the XP. The tech said to think of it, as your body and the windows 8, would be like your eyeglasses. I think I need a refresher course on the innards of a computer. I try to explain to these people, that yes I know how to work my computer but don't ask me to fix it. Blowing out dust bunnies is about all I am capable of And hooking up all the wires and plugs on the back.

I did go into the control panel and see that I now have windows internet explorer 8. That is something the tech must have done. Which I did not have before. But the machine still is the XP.

One of the programs, the tech used, was tweaking.com. It showed up in my list when I hit the start tab to pick where I want to go. I called them and asked about it, and was told, I had no need to go to that website and I could just ignore that in my start list.

Last edited by CrossRoads; 01-08-2015 at 01:47 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-08-2015, 01:53 PM
Knowitall Male Knowitall is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Colorado
Posts: 55
Default

I agree with the tech and DavidOH that sticking with XP is not a great idea. That operating system is so old that it is no longer supported by its creator (meaning that Microsoft no longer makes those little updates and patches to address security issues and bugs in the program).

While you can buy a machine that has Windows 8 and "downgrade" to a copy of Windows 7 that you buy on a place like ebay, I've heard it is a pain, contrary to what tech support folks might tell you (hence my bad impression of HP).

I kind of hope you keep your Tracfone as I switched 3 years ago and often miss mine!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-08-2015, 02:21 PM
CrossRoads Female CrossRoads is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 194
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Knowitall View Post
I kind of hope you keep your Tracfone as I switched 3 years ago and often miss mine!
If I do get another cell phone, I am keeping my tracfone current
I don't text, but the getting online is quite the draw for me, if I am not at home, and close to my desktop.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -2. The time now is 07:25 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1996 to Present. Backwoods Home Magazine, Inc.