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  1.    #1  
    My husband and I have started looking for a home computer (believe it or not, we still live in the stone age and don't have a computer at home). I would love to get some opinions on what we should purchase. We don't need anything will the latest and greatest of everything. We want to get something that is solid and trustworthy. We intend to keep it around as long as we can. Until now, I have had the luxury of using my computer at work for everything. I will be changing jobs in the near future and will not be able to access my computer for personal use.

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated. As far as price is concerned, we want to stay under $2000.

    Thanks!
  2. #2  
    We have used Dell computers here at work for years. Any problems (mainly non-existant) were handled without any problems. My son-in-law and daughter got a Dell last Nov. They had some minor problems with the video drivers. This would have required a complete reload of the system. Because the system was new, Dell sent a replacement unit.
    Good solid company.
    This recomendation is based on you looking for a Windows system.
    Depending on what software you are currently using, you can also look at Macs.

    I do not have any experience with Mac's, but there are others that can offer the proper advice.

  3.    #3  
    Thanks for the input. We will definitely be purchasing a Windows-based system. I, too, have used Dell computers (previous job) and had great luck with them. I like that they have good customer support - that's great that they sent a replacement to your daughter and son-in-law.

    Like I said before, it matters most to us that we get a great machine from a solid company. We don't need interchangable color faceplates, etc. We want something that we can trust.

    Thanks again. We will definitely be looking at Dells.
  4. #4  
    I'd say get an Apple, but it sounds like you want to use windows exclusively, so then I'd second Bud's suggestion of getting a Dell.

    Good, solid, affordable computers. You can save a few $100 by getting one of their refurbs.

    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  5. #5  
    I always buy Dells both at home and at work and I couldn't be happier with them. You can find what appears to be a better deal on an HP or Compaq but I wouldn't touch them. When you factor in the quality of components that Dell uses and their support, the Dell is a better buy.
  6. #6  
    If you want a stable computer that will last forever, get an Apple. They just lowered prices on their iMac line too. I know many people that still use old Apple computers- they keep going and going .

    If you are too entrenched in the Windows world then I would have to agree with everyone else.
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  7. #7  
    I would have to say that you're best bet in a new computer is a Dell, or possibly a Gateway. I have been looking into getting a new computer, and my eyes are starting to shift towards the new apple's (god help us all ). The new laptop that they released is one fine computer, and if only the processor wasn't at 500 mhz, then I would go get it today. I think that once the processor in the machine goes to about a G4 750, it will be the hot item of the year. Another thing to consider if you're going to get a mac is how much you're going to use it. If you want it for any serious use then I would stay away from the iMac's, and look at a nice G4, or even dual G3 tower.

    BEN
  8. #8  
    Ben:

    Just for the record, the New Powerbook's G4 is probably one of the fastest laptop processors you can buy.

    I think some of the PC laptops are at around 750 with a couple pushing 800/850...which wouldn't really be much faster than a G4 processor at 500 mhz. And any software optimized for the Altivec (such as photoshop) would most likely be faster.

    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  9. #9  
    It's okay, BEN. We understand your desire to own a mac. I myself was a closet mac lust-er. To MoKoni I would suggest an iMac. It does what you've indicated you need with great aplomb, including solidity. Trouble-shooting is a lot easier with a mac, and doesn't need to be done as often (in my experience).

    However, if you can look me in the eyes and say, "I want to be Bill Gates' pawn." I'd say go with Gateway.
    -Joshua
    I've decided to become enigmatic.
  10.    #10  
    I am not opposed to an iMac - I just don't know anything about them. What are the biggest differences between Windows and iMac? I would definitely consider it if I knew I wouldn't be totally in the dark.
  11. #11  
    I'm glad to see I'm not to only Windows-ite contemplating a MAC purchase. I guess you could say I'm curious. It won't be my primary 'puter, but I wanted a MAC to putz around with and surf with the airport and use the I-movie and basically be used as a toy for little projects. I settled on the I-book with the extra ram and 20g drive but am waiting till OSX comes out to see if the price drops a bit. The thing that put me over the top was the 6hrs battery life. So call me strange, but it just seems like a nice addition to the hardware I already have.

    Fortunately VISOR speaks fluent MAC

    Does anyone have terrible things to say about the IBook?
    "Stupid Handspring."
  12. #12  
    Originally posted by lennonhead
    If you want a stable computer that will last forever, get an Apple. They just lowered prices on their iMac line too.
    I just read in The Register (www.theregister.co.uk) today that the reason that Apple lowered the prices on their iMacs is because they are trying to move out unsold stock so that they can introduce the next generation iMac. The new iMac will have an internal CD-RW drive as well as other goodies.

    As to Windows PCs. I too vote for Dell. They make a good solid product and have an excellent customer service department.

    Good luck on picking a new system.
    What the Heck! It's what I want!
  13. #13  
    I am not opposed to an iMac - I just don't know anything about them. What are the biggest differences between Windows and iMac?
    Oohh...the BIG question!

    When choosing a computer, the first thing you should do is decide WHAT you are going to use the computer for. Once you decide that, you can then decide what software you need. At that point, you decide on the platform (OS).

    The differences between Windows and Mac OS are a LOT...and NOT a lot...It depends on how you look at it.

    Windows is a bit more 'open'. The advantage to that is if you really know your stuff, you can hack the hell out of windows. The drawback, of course, is that it is so open that a lot can go wrong, and if you DON'T really know your stuff, you are soon calling tech support.

    I had to sit on the phone for 4 hourse with Gateway once. The first tech told me that I had to reformat my hard drive. Wrong answer. I called back and then spent 4 hours with a senior tech opening the case and physically jumping the BIOS to get things situated, then downloading obscure updaters, etc., etc. That is not that typical, but I NEVER had to do that with my Macs.

    Macs, on the other hand, are a bit more 'closed'. The guts of the OS and how the OS talks to the peripherals is hidden from the user. The drawback is that is isn't quite as hackable, but the advantage is that a lot less can go wrong with it.

    The Mac OS is TRUE plug-and-play. Windows is SOMETIMES plug-and-play.

    I like Windows. I like Mac OS. (I' m kinda getting used to Linux.) For some reason, I have more of an emotional attachment to my Macs. The PCs are, to put it simply, just boxes.

    But, like I said, answer the question about what you want to use it for first. Once that is answered, it is a lot easier to steer you in the right direction.
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  14. #14  
    Does anyone have terrible things to say about the IBook?
    It depends on what you want to use it for. For portable office applications, net surfing, and playing around, it is great. For serious graphic design. video production, or other processor-, screen-, and peripheral-intense applications, you'd be MUCH better off with a Powerbook.

    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  15. #15  
    Thanks Homer, Sounds like I'm heading in the right direction. About the 'heaviest' thing that the IBook would be pressed into service for would be editing home movies...not intensive graphic stuff.

    Sure like the new Powerbook, but since this will be strictly a toy, I can't justify the $$$

    BTW-I'll throw in another vote for Dell, I think you will find the same sentements on professional review sites as well. DELL has become the defacto standard in the PC industry.
  16. #16  
    I'd like to toss my hat into the Dell ring also, good quality for the price and they industry standard parts so you don't endup with stupid cases or motherboards that you have to completely replace when you upgrade.
    Matt Nichols
    VigoSpraxPalm@Yahoo.com
  17. #17  
    Mike:

    The new Powerbook is an INCREDIBLE deal AND an INCREDIBLE machine. That said, you are probably right, the iBook is probably all you need.

    That said, unless having a laptop is a MUST, you may want to consider the Cube. It gives you a bit more power and flexibility (compared to the 366mhz iBook) for the same price. And it is *sorta* portable, though by no means a laptop!
    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  18. #18  
    Mike:

    MacOSRumors has some tidbits on new iBooks coming out this summer:

    http://www.macosrumors.com/

    We're all naked if you turn us inside out.
    -David Byrne
  19. #19  
    Good info Homer! Looks like even more reason to continue the wait a bit. Can't see an improvement listed that I wouldn't want. I am going to stick with the laptop just for portability sake, but I really appreciate the input. Jumping to an unfamiliar OS is a bit intimidating at times.

    Still think for what I have in mind, the IBook should do fine, but that titanium case sure looks good
  20. #20  
    Don't worry about having to use a new OS. The Mac OS is much simpler to use than Windows, you'll have no trouble learning it. My friend came over the other day (who had only used Windows) and by watching me for just a few minutes he figured out the basics. The important thing is that he wasn't trying to learn either, we were just surfing the net and doing a few other things and he was able to understand what the different menus did and where things were saved etc. Don't be concerned with learning the new OS, it's a breeze, base your decision on whether a Mac is the right computer for you.
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