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Buying a computer


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#1
blueskieswoman

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I need to buy a computer that will be useful for at least the next 4 years - how do decide WHAT to buy? Every ad from big box stores touts one that does this & one that does that.....how can a neophyte decide what is best?

Thanks for any input....I don't have much money to spend but need the best deal I can find.
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#2
admin

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What is the primary use of this computer?
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#3
blueskieswoman

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Hi again....sorry about not telling you the essentials! (another of my blonde moments)!

Since I don't really know what is pertinent to decision making in buying, I'll try to include everything we do currently & would like to do with a new one, so excuse me if this is redundant or seems inconsequential.

Uses: for research on the internet for my children to do homework & use "turn-it-in.com"; job search; email; some spreadsheets for the volunteer work I still do when not in cancer treatment; my daughter plays with the 'Sims' packages alot; the kids do a lot of IM; save a lot of stuff to diskettes.

Would like to be able to send pictures to friends & relatives; and I would really like it if my son could use it to edit videos from the camera he saved up & bought to record skateboarding and snowboarding he & his friends do (edit them, add music and put on DVD(?) as well as family events; be able to record to CD or DVD.

Thank you again for your attention and your help. I am so grateful to find y'all and am thrilled to be able to get help.

Hope all is well with you & yours! Thanks again & have a great weekend!
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#4
blueskieswoman

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Another very basic question: what is wireless internet access and how does it work?
What do you have to do to make it work & is it feasible? When my son is home from college on breaks and brings his computer, would he then be able to use his computer on the internet at the same time his siblings are on the internet & researching or playing on our home computer?

Is a laptop better than a desktop? Are both types of computers expandable for things that will be coming out down the road?

Thanks again for your help!
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#5
Hemal

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well ur looking for something not too high end but more along the end of that, would u want to build your own computer or spend the extra money on a DELL or IBM, (you could always find a local computer store and ask them to put it togehter)

you would need atleast

amd 2500+ and we could overclock that
256 ddr for mem
60-120 gig hd
windows xp of course
enthernet card for your dsl or cable

we can get more specific when you tell us how your going to obtain the computer


wireless internet is an internet/network connection that is established off a router. if you wanted your son to be on at the same time your other children are on the internet on your other computer u would need a router. then teh computer wiht the router sends a signal to the wireless computer

desktops- you can easily replace parts down the road for chaning technology and usually preform faster

laptops- portable...enough said lol its really your decision and how you wanna use it if your gonna travel or not

good luck <_<
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#6
blueskieswoman

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Thanks so much for helping me to begin to get a clearer picture of what to do.

Question of spending more for 'name' - i can very easily pass on that. However, I have no earthly clue where to go to have someone 'put one together' for me. Or even how to ask for what I need....

Travel is minimal - yes it would be nice to have one if I go home to TX to recuperate, but not essential to my life because when I feel good I can go to the local library and use one there to pick up mail and pay bills. So it sounds like a desktop will give me the best deal as far as future use goes. (am I right?)

Is paying for a dell or ibm worth the extra? A friend spent big buck with dell and basically uses it for email, internet, and to get & send photos as well as print the photos. Do I need to do this?

As far as the wireless - does the router connect to the phone line? Does each computer that needs to use it need to have something extra in the computer to be able to connect thru the router? Additional software? Do all computers then have the ability to use the same printer? Additional software for that too?

Any suggestions on printers? I used to (many years ago) have a really nice HP that had seperate color cartridges as well as the black one versus one cartridge with the primary colors in it and one for black (like the one I have now). That seems more economical to me - or am I being naive again? To print papers & photos - do you have any favorites? Why is one better than another & how do I look for a good printer? Do photos printed by a home printer retain their color? Do they last?

Is there a limit to the number of questions one person can ask g2g? I'm guessing I've surpassed it! lol

Thanks again for walking me thru this and taking time and making the effort to educate me. I don't feel as ignorant as I did when I posted my very first question and am telling everyone I know how wonderful this site is!

Y'all are awesomely smart! Thank you for being available!
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#7
admin

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Is there a limit to the number of questions one person can ask g2g? I'm guessing I've surpassed it! lol

No, but it's easier to reply if there's only one question per post. :D

Any suggestions on printers? I used to (many years ago) have a really nice HP that had seperate color cartridges as well as the black one versus one cartridge with the primary colors in it and one for black (like the one I have now). That seems more economical to me - or am I being naive again? To print papers & photos - do you have any favorites? Why is one better than another & how do I look for a good printer? Do photos printed by a home printer retain their color? Do they last?

Seperate ink cartridges are more economical. Ink jet photo's do not generally have a very long life before fading. There are exceptions to this, and special papers and ink are available. Look into printing your pictures online at somplace like http://www.dotphoto.com, or even take them to your local Wal-Mart, Sam's, or Costco. It's more than likely cheaper to print you pictures using their service than to buy paper and ink. <_< Plus you'll get better results.

If I were to recommed a Dell for you, it would probably be this one:
http://configure.us....&oc=D46RL&s=dhs

Upgrade to a DVD burner and a better video card. $1,000-$1,200.
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#8
blueskieswoman

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Thanks for the info on questions....I will try to remember to keep it to one subject/issue at a time! And thanks for the info on printing photos...it's a good suggestion!

Are there any other options besides a Dell? I'm near the Twin Cities so I could find some place to build a computer for me if I know what to look for, how to look, or where to look.

"Upgrade to a DVD burner and a better video card. $1,000-$1,200. " how do I choose each of those items?


Thanks again for helping....I really appreciate this.
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#9
admin

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I'm near the Twin Cities so I could find some place to build a computer for me if I know what to look for, how to look, or where to look.

A local computer shop will be able to consult with your and build a custom system to fit your needs. You'll also have a system that's easier to upgrade.

Dell does have very good pricing, and their 24/7 support will also be hard to match locally. You just have to weigh the options and choose whichever you feel more comfortable with.

Here's a site that pretty much specializes in finding Dell deals:
http://www.gotapex.com/
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#10
blueskieswoman

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Thanks again for the info, but I am still confused.

What does '2500 + we could overclock that' mean?

What does "Upgrade to a DVD burner and a better video card" mean that I look for?

I went to the Dell site but don't know what I need to be checking off when trying to buy your suggestion.

I guessed at a lot of what I should get & wound up with a price of over 2400 - way over what I can afford. Will try the other site you recommend but still am not sure what I am doing.

Any help for me?

Thanks for trying - sorry if I sound dense.
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#11
admin

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What does '2500 + we could overclock that' mean?

We won't worry about overclocking right now. :D

I guessed at a lot of what I should get & wound up with a price of over 2400 - way over what I can afford. Will try the other site you recommend but still am not sure what I am doing.

I'd suggest you visit a local independent computer shop. A smaller shop is more likely to spend the time with you to make sure a system meets your needs. <_<
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