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Recommendations requested for child's computer


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#1
lhp

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An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure....

so I am going to ask BEFORE I buy and hopefully avoid some future problems.

I have a 15 year old (special needs) son who I want to purchase a computer for. He will be using it to 2 things:

1. Internet
2. Computer games like "Flight Simulator"

While I don't want to pay for a "name brand" just for the heck of it when an E Machine will do the same thing, I do want a machine that will last about 5 years.

A bad experience has just about ruled out HP and Gateway for me. ( I know you can get a lemon with any system, but their lack of support when we got the lemons just did me in with them.)

So.....Dell, Compaq, Le?? (the new IBM name) , E Machine....what say you????

Thanks from your greatest admirer!!!!
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#2
98springer

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I would recommend getting a clone system from a reputable local dealer. You'll be able to have it repaired without having to pay for a specific manufacturer's parts or shipping it. You'll be able to upgrade it. And you'll also be able to scream at someone in person if you have problems.

It's probably going to be obsolete twice in 5 years so upgrade options are important.

Just my 2 cents.
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#3
SRX660

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As 98 springer says it might be better for you to find a local shop and buy one of their computers. There is no way to get out of the "send the computer to the manufactuer to fix" syndrome on any name brand computer. I myself have a customer base that like the personal service they get when they need help. I am usually only a phone call away and can fix their computer for the most part in a single day.

On major brands, the compaq is owned by Hewlett Packard now, so that kinda cuts them out for you. E-Machines are one of the poorest mass made computers i have ever seen. The only thing i like on them is the cases which i do use for custom built computers. E-Machines is owned by Gateway, by the way. That leaves you with a Dell which is both good and bad. When you get a good one they can ge great. Otherwise you can have the same problems as any other big company computer with repairs and replacements. Lenovo(IBM) is no better or worse than all the rest. One computer i have actually had good luck with is the ACER computers so you might look into them.

Flight Simulator will take a pretty powerful computer to run good. I use flight simulator to test my computers before selling them. It is so CPU intensive that many computers will crash after less than a hour of running. A good local shop can guide you in the choices you can make to be able to run that program. If it was not flight simulator almost all computers will run the games you can buy today.

I build my own computers simply because then i can have the good hardware i want without paying for the name of the computer. Computers i spend $1200 to build would cost $1800-2000 From Dell, H-P, or any other big company.

SRX660
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#4
lhp

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Thanks so much....as usually you wizards are a wealth of information. Fortunately, we do indeed have a wonderful PC place here in town. In fact, they are they folks that replaced my hard drive and memory on my HP (that went out after 16 months). They have been around a LONG time and do excellent work.

True they will be about 300 bucks more...but it sounds more and more like they are well worth it.
Although I wil check into the ACERS as well!!!
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#5
techie4fun

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Just do not go with Dell. If you do, plan to re-install windows the first thing you do when you get the computer up and running. They install so much bloatware you can't even use it without wanting to rip your hair out and go 90 in a residential zone.

Good luck and hope you have success with whatever you choose :whistling:

Edited by techie4fun, 01 March 2007 - 04:01 PM.

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#6
macten

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I build my own and have never owned a Dell. But....I worked on one the other day. They didn't have the OS disk and I had to re-install everything. Fortunately the new Dells have a backup image on the hardrive. I accessed it with ctrl + f11 on bootup. In less than 10 minutes I completely re-imaged the hardrive. It's easy...anyone can do it. Then all I had to do was install the anti-virus and anti-spyware software. Update XP and install the printer. It was probably the quickest and easiest reload I've ever done.

One thing about Dells, they still use proprietary parts. Something I usually stay away from. I was in Microcenter the other day. Two different sales people told me that Compaqs were 100% ATX industry standard. That surprised me. I thought they had proprietary parts. They said that the older Compaqs had proprietary parts.

I had a good experience with Gateway for my laptop. They have something like PC Anywhere. Anyway, my sound went out and I troubleshot it to a hardware issue. I got into a chat session with a Gateway tech. She asked a few questions and then used their software to gain access to my laptop. She spent 6 or 7 minutes looking at it and said to send it in. It cost me $44 for shipping, insurance and their box. 4 days later, the fedex guy shows up at the door with my laptop. They had to replace the motherboard to get the sound back. I was really impressed by how easy and fast it went.

Having said all that, there is a real advantage to going with a local shop. When it doesn't work you can go back and put it on their counter and they'll fix it. But do your homework. I know someone who's Pentium cpu died and they replaced it with something inferior. I think she said Celeron. And when she went back, face to face with them. They responded with: 'no speaka engli'. So read between the lines and use some smarts....
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