Web Tools

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Web Tools

Postby fred » Sun Sep 12, 2004 11:11 am

Hey Guys! I want to profess my total know-nothing about current PC's and request your help in bringing me (& hopefully a whole much more folks who read the posts) up to speed on quality set-ups needed to access and utilize any of the super tools & programs available on the web today. My ole PC is a dinasaur--I want to retire it to be used as a word processor. What I'm asking for are your concepts of a relatively conservative($500-1500) PC "dream set-up" for accessing, storing, etc. entertainment & instructional sight/sound/other tools available. In my area there is only dial-up/56K access--may be a limitation. What I don't want to do is go to Walmart or thru Dell(just siting a couple of numerous sources), buy a system, and hear on talk radio before I get back home that I could get a superior XYZ package at 2/3 the cost! Am I making sense? Please help me and a bunch of others. I've never been able to download any MP3 or video--nothing. I want to learn how, & I want the proper tools to do it with. Thanks! Fred
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RE: Web Tools

Postby rustyslide » Sun Sep 12, 2004 4:28 pm

Computer technology is still advancing at a pretty steady rate- three months after you buy one, there will be something "better" (or, at least, faster). There is no avoiding this.

The biggest thing with downloading stuff from the web is the connection speed, and a new computer is not going to help a whole lot. There are satellite based internet connections that are faster than dial-up, but they aren't as fast as broadband.

Just about [strong]any[/strong] computer will be able to handle anything on the web A-OK.

Do you think you might want to get into recording? make sure the new computer has methods for accepting audio input, typically RCA or mini-jack input. It being quiet might be a concern. Very quiet computers are available, but they cost more.


I think LCD displays are wonderful, much easier on my eyes and room on my desk.

I think the [link:www.apple.com/imac/|new iMacs] are bitchin', but you might want Windows.

ramble ramble ramble
I got ramblin' on my mind.

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RE: Web Tools

Postby ricochet » Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:03 pm

What Rusty said, except I haven't warmed up to LCD screens yet. I'm an unreconstructed tube man.
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RE: Web Tools

Postby badfinger » Sun Sep 12, 2004 5:29 pm

Bring back DOS, I say!

But - the above.
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RE: Web Tools

Postby rustyslide » Sun Sep 12, 2004 7:13 pm

>Bring back DOS, I say!

For the love of all that's holy (and much of what isn't), why?


ramble ramble ramble
I got ramblin' on my mind.

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RE: Web Tools

Postby badfinger » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:15 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Sep-12-04 AT 06:45 PM (EST)]1. Cos it did what I told it to do, without argument, rather than try to tell me what I should do... And had sensible nomenclature, instead of silly things like "My Computer", "My Documents", "My Little Pony"... Which are easily changed, but annoying.

2. Cos I'm bloody-minded.

3. And (I forgot to say) because I just spent most of today re-installing Windows, and Norton SystemWorks, and my address book, and IE6, and drivers, and settings, and....etc, I'm feeling a little nostalgic.
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RE: Web Tools

Postby ricochet » Mon Sep 13, 2004 1:34 am

>3. And (I forgot to say) because I just spent most of today
>re-installing Windows, and Norton SystemWorks, and my
>address book, and IE6, and drivers, and settings,
>and....etc, I'm feeling a little nostalgic.

No wonder you're bloody minded!
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RE: Web Tools

Postby david » Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:15 am

Dot Commands!

Every time Word won't let me format a document the way I want it formated I miss my WordStar and dot commands. And the eight inch floppies that would barely hold a 20 page research paper. Dual drives that shook the desk everytime the drive with the operating system disc kicked in.

Of course, when I was learning that system there were probably people wishing for punch cards.

I never did like computers, and still don't. I don't like my truck, either, but I'm glad I don't have to do without it. Of course, I get by just fine with my old farm truck. I can work on it. My new going-to-town truck, it's all I can do to change the spare on it.

Progress is great. And I never lie.
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RE: Web Tools

Postby badfinger » Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:36 am

"I just spent most of today
>re-installing Windows,"

An annual (at least) task, especially if, like me, one can't resist fiddling with things along the way... Win9x is not an OS, it's a miniature internet, complete with a browser that wanders around looking for the right bits to associate with each other. In time it suffers a galloping case of bit-rot and rubbish build-up that has to be sorted.

I know... I should switch to Mac or Linux or... But I'm so in hock to MS with peripheral an accesory programs and devices, that it's something that keeps being pushed to one side.
(I'm seriously considering setting up a dual-boot system with Linux on the machine as well as MS Win., thereby being able to sample as I play, and even wean myself away from MS...)


But this doesn't answer the chap's question. What to say?

Firstly, always remember the golden rule: "To err is human, but to really bugger things up, you need a computer".

Secondly, don't buy "cheap" for cheap's sake; rather buy from where you will get the best support; £50 saved now is nothing when, further down the line, you are cursing the thing for not working, and waiting on the end of £1-per-minute help-line that actually isn't helping.

I have found excellent quality and support from Dell; however, I have noted that people who are not computer au-fait fare better with a local supplier, like, say, PC World, whom they can visit with the machine under their arm. (In fact, altho' I've never been inside one of PCW's stores - an admitted prejudice - I've met a lot of people who are delighted with them!)

(Pssst.... Don't buy anything that boasts "DOS 6"; it's only kidding around.)
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RE: Web Tools

Postby rustyslide » Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:29 am

David, JOE is a modern version of WordStar. I'm not sure if it's available for Windows, but a guy I'm working with is using it on his notebook computer (running Debian (a Linux distribution)).

ramble ramble ramble
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RE: Web Tools

Postby fred » Mon Sep 13, 2004 12:09 pm

Thanks Guys! OK, here is what I believe might be a typical stateside scenario for the fuddies like me w/no PC savvy(I'll hush after this post & respond/inquire further by private post(s)): It usually takes part or most of a day + a tank of gas, grub, etc. to travel to metro areas where PC centers are located. W/o knowledge to be selective about purchase options, I--like probably many others would buy what the salesperson hawked that fit our budget. Outcome? If I'm not satisfied or able to address and resolve problems, more needless expense is on tap. Here's what I (&/or several others like me w/8-10% plastic) can do: Go to Walmart.com. OK, say a guy goes that route--purchase Compac@$598+HPP/S/C@$118+MSWinXPOS@$120+txs+UPS2nd day$'s. Should I not be able to park the components on a desk, install the OS & let it do what it takes to get me back online? If not, what else do I need to get up to speed, and/or do I now have a bare-bone system that can accept upgrades that will likely keep the ole man content for say the next 3-5 yrs?
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RE: Web Tools

Postby rustyslide » Mon Sep 13, 2004 3:32 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Sep-13-04 AT 11:33 AM (EST)]Find out what stores have decent service (consumer reports, etc), and buy from them. A service agreement with a good company/store is not a bad idea, though lousy one is just throwing money away.

[acronym title="as far as I know"]AFAIK[/acronym], Compaq and HP (same company) aren't shipping with system CDs or even restore CDs (these can be burned by the consumer), so you might want to get a brand that comes with these things.

HP cases (the axxx ones for certain, eg a620n) only have one hard drive bay, so they aren't as expandable as some. Oddly, the Compaq cases can fit another drive in.

If you get a computer with a Pentium or AMD Athlon chip in it (no Celeron), the board will most likely have an [acronym title="accelerated graphics port"]AGP[/acronym] slot in it, so it's possible to upgrade the graphics card later if you need to, whereas PCI video cards are getting more and more expensive). Though, from your description, a Celeron chip is probably all you need in a Windows based PC.

As for assembling your own computer, it's something to think of, if you've done it before, or you've got someone to show you how.





ramble ramble ramble
I got ramblin' on my mind.

[a href="http://www.geocities.com/hocmaximesugit/" title="my portfolio" target="_BLANK" style="text-decoration:none"]hoc maxime sugit[/a]
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RE: Web Tools

Postby bluesmcgoo » Mon Sep 13, 2004 4:23 pm

I've built several computers in the last few years. It's really not that hard to do, and you wind up with exactly the machine you want.

You can get anything you need from Tiger Direct:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/
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RE: Web Tools

Postby badfinger » Mon Sep 13, 2004 5:33 pm

I love it!

A guy describes himself in terms of:

"my total know-nothing about current PC's..... fuddies like me w/no PC savvy...",

...and he gets told things like:

"If you get a computer with a Pentium or AMD Athlon chip in it (no Celeron), the board will most likely have an AGP slot in it, so it's possible to upgrade the graphics card later if you need to, whereas PCI video cards are getting more and more expensive)."

Go to/get in touch with, your most recognisably dependable supplier (as suggested, read some reviews on service, backup and support), and say,
"I want a pc to surf around with, download music and stuff, play games on; I want dependability and a guarantee that you'll fix it if it breaks, and I don't want to raise a second mortgage to pay for it".
(Dell offer house-call service in the first year).

As for downloading stuff, your biggest limitation is the 56k dial-up facility. This means (by rule of thumb) that you have an effective download "bandwidth" of about 30 - 33 Kbs (if you're lucky, and more like 5 - 10 Kbs) which means that even typical mp3s of 3.5Mb can take a long time to download. But you live with that.

Meanwhile, what the hell is an AMD pentathlon with an AGP slot in it... whatever?

And TWO hard drives? For casual surfing, chatting and playing around?
Still, it's fun, innit!
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RE: Web Tools

Postby rustyslide » Mon Sep 13, 2004 11:01 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Sep-13-04 AT 07:02 PM (EST)]>...and he gets told things like:
>
>"If you get a computer with a Pentium or AMD Athlon chip
>in it (no Celeron), the board will most likely have an AGP
>slot in it, so it's possible to upgrade the graphics card
>later if you need to, whereas PCI video cards are getting
>more and more expensive)."


Sorry, BF, squinting at the screen at work (BRB looks funky in FireFox), I got lost in the text, and this bit stuck in my mind:
[blockquote style="background:#444488;"]OK, say a guy goes that route--purchase Compac@$598+HPP/S/C@$118+MSWinXPOS@$120+txs+UPS2nd day$'s. Should I not be able to park the components on a desk, install the OS & let it do what it takes to get me back online? If not, what else do I need to get up to speed, and/or do I now have a bare-bone system that can accept upgrades that will likely [strong]keep the ole man content for say the next 3-5 yrs? [/strong][/blockquote]

I was just listing the bits that can and can't be upgraded in machines he was likely looking at. In my thoroughly enjoyable experience (no, really, no, it was wonderful) selling computers and electronics at a major retail chain, I found that most people knew more about computers than they let on, ie, knew what a graphics card was, and what a hard drive was, and that the latter may possibly get filled up sometime in the future; that the ability to upgrade extends the useful lifetime of the computer. Yes, I probably shouldn't have said 'AGP' and 'PCI'. [em]L'horreur.[/em]


ramble ramble ramble
I got ramblin' on my mind.

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