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New Dell with problems

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I just bought a new Dell Dimension 3000 with Windows XP Home version. It arrived yesterday and after setting up I've had nothing but problems. I've spent 3 hours on the phone and on-line chat with Dell's tech support only to be told that my computer is this slow only because I have dial up. (DSL not available in my small, rural community as of yet but I'm told should be available sometime this year). It was also shutting down by itself but hasn't done it after following steps given my Dell tech so hopefully that aspect is corrected.

My computer is terribly slow when trying to surf the net. In fact, I've given up even attempting to. My connection speed is 42 - 44 but my status shows that my bytes sent are far less than the bytes received. I've had this problem on rare occasions with my old Compaq but disconnecting and then reconnecting to the internet would solve the problem. Dell has advised me to update the driver (did this) and to disable v.92 standard since my isp does not support it (did this too). They told me to scan for spyware (done) and have told me to disable "Load Startup Items" in system configuration utilities (may not have phrased this correctly but hopefully you can understand). Still no improvement.

I can't believe that this is the best that my Dell can do. I know it has an Intel modem. I had horrible luck with Intel modems in my old Compaq and connection speed was slow. I switched to a soundblaster (think that's the one) modem and had a wonderful improvement in speed.

any suggestions, advice, input would be appreciated. I'm sick to think that I paid $1000 on a new computer that is 10 times slower than my 7 year old Compaq that was on it's last leg.

I also have a new 17" flat panel monitor which is making all the photos on-line looked faded and washed out. Some text is fuzzy as well. Not nearly as clear, vibrate as my old screen. What a disappointment. Is there something that can be done to fix this as well?

Thank you for your help.
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