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Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!

184.90.51.10

Posted on January 11, 2017 at 08:06:43
JoshT
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About getting a new computer, that is.

For the past 10 years or so I have used either an iMac or Macbook Pro for work and pleasure, but both are now long in the tooth and really need replacing. And I'm disappointed with the new offerings by Apple - (1) I hate the idea of having to use peripherals and dongles so that the computer itself can be as thin as a credit card and (2) I no longer am willing to pay the prices asked for a Macbook with a 15 inch or larger screen.

So, my initial thoughts are to go back to an MS-based PC for everything except music. (For music, I would either recondition my existing Macbook Pro as a music only server or retire it and get a Mac Mini).

But this post isn't about music so much as it is about all other uses. I've been away from the MS operating systems for so long and don't even know what the current version of Windows is these days. The Office applications I should be fine with because I've been using the Office Suite for OS forever (particularly Word, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel). So, as long as I can find a way to transfer all files and email history over, that should be fine I guess. Another option would be to get a new basic iMac, which are priced low because a new version is rumored to be coming out soon. Would love the big screen and continuity, but then I wouldn't have any laptop.

I'd appreciate any advice. I'm turning to this forum because I feel like I know most of you and because it has always been a good resource for almost any kind of advice because you're all wicked smaht! :-)


___
"If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play with even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future."

 

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Tough question. Need more specifics, posted on January 11, 2017 at 08:30:12
AbeCollins
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There are so many brands and models covering a very wide range of capabilities and prices.

Are you looking for a laptop, all-in-one Windows PC similar to iMac, or "standard" PC? In a "standard" PC are you looking for a deskside tower, desktop chassis, compact system, or very small form factor system? Will you be using just Office Suite applications or will you want to do some AV/multimedia work? Games?

In a laptop, are you looking for low-cost commodity entry level models that typically weigh a lot with an average typical 15" screen or are you looking for something more upscale with a fantastic high res screen? Do you want a 2-in-1, a light Ultrabook?

Windows 10 is standard these days but some vendors will give you the option of a free Windows 7 "downgrade". Some will charge you extra for the Windows 7 "downgrade".

They all offer low-end, midrange, and premium products. If you want a laptop, you can google search "best laptops 2017". Several articles from different sources will appear and you'll see a common thread for what's hot right now. Good luck.




 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 08:43:37
FenderLover
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Josh, I bought a DELL XPS 8700 tower. Upgraded from Windows 7 to 10. INTEL CPU i7-490 (3.6GHz). 16-Gigs of RAM. 2TB HD. And a 2TB external backup. Netgear Nighhawk router.

Very fast. Been reliable (knock on my wooden head). No problems using pre Win 7 software on Win 10, if that is a question. All printers and other peripherals have been fine on Win 10, too.

 

Thanks Abe - more specifics . . ., posted on January 11, 2017 at 09:05:48
JoshT
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I would be looking for a laptop if I go PC.

I would be using it for simple tasks, mostly covered by the Office Suite applications. Otherwise just internet browsing and online purchasing. That said, I have grown accustomed to iPhoto and iMovie for basic storage and editing, but I assume I could transfer those files onto the PC and access them through relatively similar applications?

I am interested in quality and reliability, though, even if I don't need blistering speed or mega storage. In today's environment I'm not sure one brand is necessarily better than another in that regard though?
___
"If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play with even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future."

 

Thanks! Follow-up questions . . . , posted on January 11, 2017 at 09:11:35
JoshT
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If you were to get the "laptop equivalent" of what you describe, or whatever is closest, what might it be?

Also, as an aside, I am using an Apple Extreme as my router now. Any idea of how the Netgear Nighthawk compares? Down here in our FL condo, the wifi transmission is bad and I was thinking of getting a Netgrear Nighthawk Wifi Extender, but the reviews seem mixed (i.e., many complain of having to reboot it every few days when it konks out). I wonder, though, if a single better router would obviate the need for and extender entirely? Condo is about 2400 square feet, but the wifi distribution is very uneven with the single Extreme and no extender.
___
"If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play with even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future."

 

Oh, and I should add . . . , posted on January 11, 2017 at 09:18:04
JoshT
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My wife and I each have iPhones and iPads, and we like them, which is one reason I might reluctantly shell out the dough for another Macbook. On the other hand, I'm not sure if it matters so long as we keep our music server on some kind of Mac.
___
"If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play with even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future."

 

Laptop or tower?, posted on January 11, 2017 at 09:33:55
Awe-d-o-file
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Go PC but Windows 8/10 suck. To make them work well takes lots of training and time. They like today's Android devices are simply advertising delivery systems. If you saw how exposed out are in Windows 10 in the stock/default configuration you'd be shocked. Such as programs being set to use your mic or camera without asking! There is much much more and I bet maybe one in ten here know of it.

Get a used PC with 7. Or buy something new and put 7 on it. Places sell PC's with no OS. This avoids all the shitty trial versions of software the companies pay the computer maker to have put on the PC. A PC with 7 will work faster than one with 8/10 that has more memory and a faster processor. That's what resource hogs 8/10 are. If you don't have a screaming net Internet connection they really suck worse.

Feel free to email and get my number to discuss in detail. You can do it easily for three to four hundred dollars, less if you have to do it on the cheap. You can even get it and send it to me and I will take care of it for free and send it back.There are wonderful free tools everyone should use on a PC like Open DNS, proxy servers and so on that make the Internet safer and much faster. In PC world there are many many more threats to abate than in Mac world. Anti virus software sucks and can slow down computers badly. I've never used it and am virus free for almost 20 years.


Cheers!


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: Oh, and I should add . . . , posted on January 11, 2017 at 09:37:01
Awe-d-o-file
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Download and try Open Office. It's free and runs the same as MS Office. Opens all MS Office files too regardless of which platform it was generated with.




ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: Oh, and I should add . . . , posted on January 11, 2017 at 09:43:28
Todd A.
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We just picked up a new Macbook Air for my bride, the college professor (information media, i.e. "e-learning"). It was under a grand, which I suppose is expensive for a 15" laptop, but FWIW, I couldn't see myself going back to winblows at any price. And I was the one that had to be converted to Macs about 10 years ago. It's all about personal preferences I suppose, but I suspect that you'd find going back more annoying that you imagine if you've been using Macs for over 10 years. But I'm a cranky old b@stard - maybe you're more flexible than I am.

 

You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 11, 2017 at 09:57:59
Chris from Lafayette
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RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 11, 2017 at 10:23:08
Awe-d-o-file
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For what? Spending a lot less and having access to ten times more software? No I like Apple but I'm fine with PCs. That's cuz I spent a lot of time learning. Things only a few people know and use. For those that don't want to learn or are intimidated by computers Mac is without question the platform to us.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

Nighthawk has been good, so far., posted on January 11, 2017 at 10:24:55
FenderLover
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Son's games on the PlayStation seem to load faster with the Nighthawk. Versus the D-Link, I had before.

Dell makes some nice laptops. They have an XPS-15 that seems nice.

 

Sorry but OpenOffice is absolute CRAP vs MS Office, posted on January 11, 2017 at 10:25:18
AbeCollins
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I was forced to use OpenOffice for a couple years and continued to do so later but it's reliability was poor sometimes crashing after working on a document or presentation for just 15 minutes or so. I learned to save and re-save often, sometimes after updating just one or two slides, and keeping multiple generations of my work in case I had to revert back because OpenOffice 'blew up'. It's operation was also unpredictable and 'clunky' compared to MS Office products. OpenOffice is OK if you need a free word processor for a simple letter, but do anything beyond that and it is severely crippled, unpredictable, unreliable, frustrating, and counter productive. I would not use it in a "professional" capacity. As a freebie for a quick letter or a very basic spread sheet, maybe. It's a toy.

I used StarOffice then the more current fully community based OpenOffice [OpenOffice.org]. Also used LibraOffice. They were still absolute junk compared to Microsoft Office. I use Microsoft Office on my Macs.

------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------

StarOffice, known briefly as Oracle Open Office before being discontinued in 2011, was a proprietary office suite. It originated in 1985 as StarWriter by StarDivision, which was acquired by Sun Microsystems in 1999. Sun Microsystems, in turn, was acquired by Oracle Corporation in 2010.

StarOffice supports the OpenOffice.org XML file format, as well as the OpenDocument standard, and can generate PDF and Flash formats. It includes templates, a macro recorder, and a software development kit (SDK).

The source code of the suite was released in July 2000, creating a free, open source office suite called OpenOffice.org, which subsequent versions of StarOffice were based on, with additional proprietary components.[3]

In March 2009, a study showed that StarOffice only had a 3% market share in the corporate market.[4]

In April 2011, Oracle announced the discontinuation of Oracle Open Office[1] as part of the decision to turn OpenOffice.org into a "purely community-based project".[5]



 

I totally disagre, posted on January 11, 2017 at 10:30:31
Awe-d-o-file
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Never had one problem. Ever. I heard early versions years ago were problomatic. I know several businesses that use it as well as friends. Were you using it now a PC?


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 11, 2017 at 10:36:48
AbeCollins
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For those that don't want to learn or are intimidated by computers Mac is without question the platform to use.

That's not true and you know it. There are many very computer savvy professionals who choose to use Mac including those in STEM fields. I choose to use Mac (as well as Windows, UNIX, Linux) and I've been working professionally in the computer industry for a few decades now.


 

We're all welcom to disagree but OpenOffice is CRAP in my experience, posted on January 11, 2017 at 10:44:28
AbeCollins
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Used it on PC, Mac, and UNIX. Compared to MS Office, OpenOffice was crap for anything more than the most simple tasks.

When I worked for Sun we were forced to use it as we were anti-MS. I continued to use it after Sun was acquired by Oracle. Finally got fed up with it's quirks and found MS Office to be SO MUCH more polished and reliable.

Just my opinion based on a few years with OpenOffice then switching to MS Office.


 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 11, 2017 at 11:08:35
Awe-d-o-file
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Abe you are just being a dick now. Mac is superior AND a better platform for those that are intimidated or have less skills. If one never used a computer Mac is way easier to learn and use and you know that. Jesus its way too easy to ruffle your feathers. CHILL DUDE! Stop taking it personal. You act like my comments are going to affect the the price of Apple stock and you own a million shares and neither is true. This happens between us every few months. Any time you want to stop acting out is fine. I will always call you out when you so. I am not the enemy. I'm sorry for not communicating this properly and making myself clear.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

I've been a build-my-own guy for quite some time, posted on January 11, 2017 at 11:08:49
jedrider
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My family got a Dell Inspiron 15 against my suggestion for a super-light laptop. I was right, so they gave it to me!

I don't think a desktop makes much sense anymore unless you have a large space with a gazzilion peripherals to attach (like we do actually, so a desktop is appropriate).

Actually, the powerful laptop makes a lot of sense, so for $750, I got an i7 with a 1 TB hard drive. The screen is very usable, battery life sucks completely, but who cares, just keep it hooked up to AC.

Then if you need to work in a different space, it is ready to go.

Yes, Windows 10 is OK.

 

I am sincerely sorry to hear that, posted on January 11, 2017 at 11:12:10
Awe-d-o-file
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I've worked with MS docs created in 97,2000 and so on without issue. I guess I've been lucky. Makes up for some of he bad luck in my life lately....Oh wait no it doesn't.

Not upset with you just being assertive


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

big screen. 17" is a MUST if you want to sit at home and work or play, posted on January 11, 2017 at 11:31:46
3+4=5
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The option is a laptop with a good video card, which can run a second 'big screen' off the laptop.
Big is great IF not carrying it around all day. Plus power. Great screen usually means short battery life!

 

RE: I am sincerely sorry to hear that, posted on January 11, 2017 at 11:47:08
AbeCollins
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Same here, just voicing my strong opinion. ;-)



 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 11, 2017 at 11:50:33
AbeCollins
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Hey, I'm just calling you out on your comment that implies that Macs are for those lacking computer skills. No ruffled feathers here, and no I don't own Apple stock.


 

I feel your pain my brother., posted on January 11, 2017 at 12:03:18
free.ranger
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I decided to stay with a Macbook Pro again -- for awhile longer yet -- but this fall, I bought the then current (2015) model just before the new version was available. This replaced my 2009 MBP, which Apple deemed obsolete (translated: no more parts or support, no more guaranteed software compatibility).

I maxed it out for flash storage and processor speed. Very happy with it. If I get 7 years on this one before Apple pulls the plug, then its all good.

The dangles are OK once you figure which you need. I like that I have current plugs available.
There are no longer ethernet or cd devices on board, but those quickly became passe'.

Its still the bast laptop out there, but maybe not the best value any more.

 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 13:14:51
pictureguy
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I'm in a Similar situation.
My iMac is a 2009 and JUST had its last possible OS upgrade to 10.11 which is one OFF the current pace of 10.12

I'm going to wait for the NEXT iMac Upgrade Cycle and THAN decide. That will get me another 8 or 10 years downstream by which time I won't care.

And yes, the lack of CDROM is bad, but maybe I'll get a BR instead? That's gonna give me a lot of ability to backup music and photography.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: I've been a build-my-own guy for quite some time, posted on January 11, 2017 at 13:16:06
pictureguy
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Is the keyboard of a laptop REALLY usable for someone who actually touch-types?


Too much is never enough

 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 11, 2017 at 13:17:16
pictureguy
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Make NO mistake, 'under the hood' of a Mac is a LOT of functionality that few use. Just like Windows.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 13:48:59
wheezer
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I went through this two years ago - Mac or PC. I was fed-up with windows and a user from the first Windows iteration. I found each new version of Wx was nothing more than a pretty dress with a few exceptions. I bought a used Mac Mini and could not be happier. I've been using openoffice for the trivial word processing I need. Yes, I've found it quirky at times. The software I've bought for my Mac has cost me less than the ancillary software needed for Windows.

 

RE: If you're cheap; be smart, posted on January 11, 2017 at 13:49:20
kitch29
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I just buy a 5 or 6 year old refurb Top Line Server for less than $200 on Ebay. My current that I bought 3 years ago was the flower of 2008 technology, a Dell Optiplex 960 with Intel Dual Core, 8 thingys of Ram and 64 bit Windows 7 Pro, now Pro 10.

Let the suckers pay top dollar for what will be your dirt cheap screamin' fast bargain a few years from now.

 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 11, 2017 at 14:20:46
Awe-d-o-file
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Apple is better for those that have less than skills. You cannot deny that. Way easier to use than a PC. It's a good thing too.

It's also great for people of any skill level and for about EVERYTHING other than software availability find them superior to a PC. I said that already but I don't think you heard it.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: I am sincerely sorry to hear that, posted on January 11, 2017 at 14:23:19
Awe-d-o-file
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Cool we must be cut from the same cloth. Are you a Leo? I like you, we go way back but it seems we do this a couple times a year. I'd rather not but it seems to be in our DNA. Cheers


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 15:26:20
Todd A.
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Absence of a CD ROM drive is really no big deal. My Macbook Air doesn't have one, but I have an outboard drive that runs on a USB port that works just fine. You couldn't pay me to go back to a windows machine, and I used nothing else for a long time.

 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 15:29:28
AbeCollins
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I'm on the fence too. I wouldn't mind having a new MacBook Pro but what I really need is the larger screen in an all-in-one desktop. The 27" iMac is too large for my needs.

The last iMac update included the Retina 4K display on one of the three available 21.5" models. The other two have the older standard resolution displays.

I'm waiting for the next 21.5" iMac update before I decide.


 

RE: I've been a build-my-own guy for quite some time, posted on January 11, 2017 at 15:46:10
AbeCollins
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Here's what I do, and it's a bit of a pain but it works.

I have my old MacBook Pro 13" placed behind my HP 22" LCD screen. The laptop is closed and propped up vertically behind the 22" LCD. I run my USB cable to the printer and the HDMI cable to the external LCD.

I use an outboard bluetooth keyboard and mouse. Even though the keyboard is not one of the larger "IBM style" clickity keyboards that we grew up on, the somewhat compact white Apple keyboard feels fine to me.

The downside is when I want to take the laptop with me. I have to undo the cables, unplug the power connector, reach behind the cluttered desk and stretch my arm to retrieve the charger/power adapter, unplug the CD drive. Then reattach everything again.

Call me lazy but a new iMac would be ideal for my desk leaving the MacBook Pro to other duties.

I've been a touch typist since elementary school. Learned on the Underwood Five and some other old school mechanical beasts before moving up to the IBM Selectric. ;-)

Underwood Five


IBM Selectric


IBM PC Keyboard


My Apple Keyboard




 

RE: I am sincerely sorry to hear that, posted on January 11, 2017 at 15:48:41
AbeCollins
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I'm actually an Aquarius but hard-headed none the less, so I have been told. Cheers. ;-)

 

Many of us into the graphics thing opt for an external monitor for the MBP's., posted on January 11, 2017 at 15:50:04
free.ranger
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Many good ones are cheap now, and provide calibrated color and density palettes for critical visual work. No can do (or do well) with Apple eye-popper screens. Dell, NEC, LaCie and otherd make many different high-performance models for relatively not much.

Emphasis on relatively.

 

RE: Many of us into the graphics thing opt for an external monitor for the MBP's., posted on January 11, 2017 at 15:57:39
pictureguy
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I think it is near-vital to get a SSD instead of the 'spinner'.

And while I currently have a 24" which I upgraded to (max) 8gb or ram, I'm still thinking of the Last Upgrade.
27" feeds into what is maybe 20-40 vision. I don't yet have to wear glasses to drive in CA. BUT, I'd still like the really big display.
Photo editing is much easier with more screen.

Too much is never enough

 

RE: I've been a build-my-own guy for quite some time, posted on January 11, 2017 at 16:05:42
jedrider
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The keyboard doesn't have to be usable, nor even the screen, but that is certainly a bonus when on the go, that they are perfectly adequate to the task.

I suggest if you want the desktop look-n-feel that you then buy a nice keyboard and even a nice monitor and hook them up to the laptop because it is equal to the task

I only think that maybe if you want UHD type gazillion pixel monitors that you may then need a desktop with a nice video card, but I don't know as I only have an 1920x1080 IPS monitor and it works great with HDMI laptops.

 

RE: I've been a build-my-own guy for quite some time, posted on January 11, 2017 at 16:31:09
pictureguy
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I'd love a Selectric. The BEST typewriter ever made.

Had my chance when I found a company going out of business. Tried to work a 3-corner deal where I'd GIVE a repair shop 2 of 'em which worked, in exchange for total renovation of a 3rd.
Company simply wanted too much for 'em and I had trouble finding 3 good ones.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 16:36:51
bullethead
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I've had great luck with Toshiba laptops.

They all come with Windows. I usually wipe them out an install Linux.

Windows 10 is actually pretty good, since they got a new CEO at Microsoft their products are very innovative.

If you want high end, check out the Microsoft hardware. There's a laptop called the Surface book, pretty cool. The high level execs where I work all have one.

 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 16:58:28
Sondek
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Better get one soon. Seen the financial news about Toshi lately? They got their dicks in the wringer in a big way and are in SERIOUS need of cash. Talk of selling off the PC bidness to some Chinese peeps. BTW, I too have had quite good luck with their laptops. I own three of them. They virtually invented the form.

 

RE: I am sincerely sorry to hear that, posted on January 11, 2017 at 17:10:40
Awe-d-o-file
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I'm the Leo and do act like one. : )


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

Yes!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 17:55:25
JDK
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Location: Sydney
Joined: June 26, 2000
I have had 2 x Asus laptops in a row and they've been great, and the new one has awesome battery life and is still quick. But it is Win 10 and it's so much harder and less intuitive than Win 7.
I don't know if Win 7 has touchscreen compatibility, but a new gen low current processor powered Asus with dual SSD/HD and touch screen running on 7 would be my perfect choice.



Cheers,
John K

Photobucket

 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 20:07:02
AbeCollins
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Heck even IBM had their dicks in the wringer. They sold off their PC business a decade ago and more recently their x86 server business, also to Chinese peeps. ;-) Lenovo to be exact.

IBM gets a lot of good press because of "Watson" but in fact they've had 19 straight quarters (almost 5 years!) of revenue decline. But who cares? They're IBM !!

Yup, Toshiba ain't what they used to be either. Dell is doing quite well since taking the company private a few years back.



 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 11, 2017 at 20:09:23
Rod M
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It's a bit more complicated. Like Abe, I use Windows, Macs and Unix/BSD servers. Apple gets a price premium, but the systems are more eloquent and seem to be more robust than typical Chinese PCs. Macs are simpler to use, but under the sheets, it's BSD Unix or Munix for Apple's mangling of Unix.

There's just tools.



-Rod

 

Best & Worst Laptop Brands 2016 ranked per Laptop Magazine, posted on January 11, 2017 at 20:16:52
AbeCollins
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Full article linked below.

And I found this article on Best Laptop Deals 2017. Of course "best" depends a lot on your specific needs, wants, and budget.


 

Thanks Abe!, posted on January 11, 2017 at 21:55:24
JoshT
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Posts: 5646
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I read the link you posted earlier today too and see lots of options.

I have to admit that I'm kind of leaning towards getting another MacBook or maybe the iMac. Because of my muscle condition, I don't travel a lot, and since I work part time I can probably plan ahead enough to go without one and rely on phone and iPad when I do have to travel. Our big trip, twice a year, is between our "real" home outside of Boston and our winter home just north of Daytona Beach. For that, I think we could find room for the iMac in our Sienna conversion van.
___
"If you are the owner of a new stereophonic system, this record will play with even more brilliant true-to-life fidelity. In short, you can purchase this record with no fear of its becoming obsolete in the future."

 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 12, 2017 at 07:13:52
Sondek
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Go read up, Abe. Toshiba have their dicks in the wringer due to FRAUD and bad management decisions. That sets them apart from the others, at least the fraud part. And IBM did not sell their PC biz because they needed the cash. They sold it to Lenovo because they understood that it was going to be a low margin, no-growth market from that point forward. IBM is like every other used-to-be hardware company struggling to be a services company. And how do you know Dell is doing well? They're a private company and provide zero financials. In fact, their sale of Perot systems suggests to me that all aint exactly rosy with them.

 

Quality, posted on January 12, 2017 at 07:58:13
Inmate51
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There is no substitute for high quality. Much of the IBM/Intel/Mcrosoft compatible stuff is crap. Majoring in music led me into audio and acoustics. Audio and acoustics led me into personal computers. Computers is where I made my retirement money. The last "brand name" computer I bought was a Micron in about 1994. I still have it and still use it. All my other computers (except for my laptop) are "home-made". All hard drives are Western Digital, and none of them have ever failed. So, that's the first thing: Quality.

Secondly, if you're used to Apple and its OS, I would encourage you to continue with it. Yes, the price is high, mostly because Apple doesn't license their architecture to other companies to build clones. But so what? It's not like you're going to buy a new computer every year. So what if you save $900 by buying an IBM clone? $900 is a drop in the bucket of life expenses. Two years from now, that $900 won't mean a hill of beans in your financial picture.

Buy what you want (and it's an Apple) and don't fret about it.

Get 8 GB of memory, a two terabyte drive, and be happy.

:)

 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 12, 2017 at 08:54:48
AbeCollins
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I don't think it's very rosy for many hardware companies but AAPL seems to be doing fine..... hugely better than most.

I haven't followed Toshiba lately so I'm not aware of recent fraud. I know that way back in the 1980's Toshiba of Japan and a company from Norway were caught exporting machinery to the Soviets that allowed them to manufacture quieter submarine propellers. It was a huge scandal.

Yup, IBM has been divesting itself of commodity hardware for quite a long time now. They've sold off disk drives, PCs, x86 servers, and microelectronics. They paid GlobalFoundries $1.5B to take over their semiconductor fab. I believe there has been a slight uptick in their proprietary POWER Series server sales using the POWER microprocessor (now manufactured by GlobalFoundries). Yet overall revenue has declined for 17 straight quarters now as they try to reinvent themselves. Maybe they'll figure a way to capitalize on Watson. ;-)

We know that Dell does not file a 10-K with the SEC but numerous articles hint at Dell doing much better since going private. Dell's ranking among tech journals have climbed for products and customer support. But like many others, they are still a company racing to the bottom of the barrel of cheap low margin commodity PC hardware.


 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 12, 2017 at 10:11:28
Sondek
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Abe,

Yeah, a year ago Toshi got caught cooking their books. They'd shown a profit in the PC division for 7 years running whereas in truth it lost money. They used accounting slight of hand to generate the profits. They came within a whisker of execs facing criminal charges in Japan, but prosecutors felt the case would be too difficult to prove. All senior management resigned. In 2013 I think it was, they bought the nuclear reactor business from Westinghouse for several billions. Virtually every one of their reactor jobs across the globe are now either way behind schedule or way over-budget, or both (thus the desperation for cash). Furthermore, as a fallout of the accounting scandal, it's been determined that their nuke bidness is not worth anywhere near the asset value they've been carrying it on their books (Westinghouse purchase) so they are being forced to mark to market and are in process of writing off billions and billions. Stock price dropped in half over night on the exchanges - that was around Xmas time. Then, if that weren't bad enough ... new evidence of additional/further accounting cheating came to light right after the new year and there is renewed talk of criminal charges in Japan and they have been threatened with de-listing from the Tokyo exchange (further 10% drop in share price). As for Dell, they probably are doing better, but then without audited financials its impossible to know. Dell/EMC are my companies larget client in North America and I know a lot of people in both companies and word is that they are much stronger now. What we can say for sure is that they are doing well enough for their investors to loan them the money to buy EMC. There were many that thought Toshi should've been barred from doing biz in the US after they gave the Ruskies our submarine technology back in the '80's. Sad what's become of them.

BTW, I've spent the last 35 years in the business end of the info tech business with one of those used-to-be hardware companies who are likewise struggling to reinvent themselves (not IBM). With an entire career where IBM was the enemy, I now find myself in sympathy with them as they are facing what my company has faced, and it aint easy or pretty.

Best,

Mike

 

RE: Been keeping my head in the sand, but now it's time to reach out for help!, posted on January 12, 2017 at 10:35:35
AbeCollins
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Thanks for the details on Tosh. We used to buy Tecra laptops years ago because we could count on the laptop hardware remaining very compatible and consistent over several product generations. We ran another OS on them in addition to Windows so we tried to avoid rapid changes to the underlying hardware platform. Sad that Tosh is where it's at today.

I like to take stabs at IBM but I too came from a couple hardware companies that went thru their highs and lows (SGI & Sun). I'm at a more diversified company now that continues to invest in microprocessor, servers, storage, systems, OS, middleware, database, and applications. But I admit that the hardware side is a constant struggle.

I work in the field and I follow some of these companies casually as my competitors. It will be interesting to see how the Dell/EMC/(VMware) thing works out. I haven't followed HPE lately but I believe their stock price shot up significantly last year.... but so did the broader market. I have personally displaced a good amount of NTAP in my accounts. And we're seeing more from Cisco (not just switches).



 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 12, 2017 at 18:04:52
Awe-d-o-file
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It's a better OS. I'd us only them if it weren't for he money.



ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 12, 2017 at 18:13:14
Awe-d-o-file
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I agree with pretty much all of that. I do find pretty much all hardware silly robust. Some of the things I've seen these things survive is amazing. Some of the MacBook connectors are silly. Bad idea on the PS jack being magnetized. Paper clips and other crap gets in there. All metal that can cause a short. Laptop mnitor inverters are no fun to replace no matter who makes it. There is a great used Mac parts place whose name escapes me. Great prices and service.



ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

IBM? Mainfames are dead...., posted on January 12, 2017 at 18:21:34
Rod M
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It's been a long time since IBM could count on a million dollars per DB2 license for annual maintenance.

Does IBM make anything anymore?

I cut my teeth on TRS-80s and later DEC gear. Man, the mini market nearly disappeared over night in the late 90s.


-Rod

 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 12, 2017 at 19:05:59
pictureguy
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Posts: 6946
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you were formeraly able to save money NOT needing extensive antivirus protection.

That is changing and now several options exist.


going 'stealth' online is still a reasonable start.
Too much is never enough

 

RE: IBM? Mainfames are dead...., posted on January 13, 2017 at 07:57:43
AbeCollins
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Some of those old IBM mainframes are still being maintained. I'm sure those support contracts are very costly! IBM still makes their Power Series servers using their Power microprocessors as Oracle still makes Sun SPARC servers.

Mid 1970's: - I was in high school in O.C. S.CA and signed up for a BASIC class on our districts time share system. When I logged in, the response was "HATS OFF TO YOU". HATS was "Huntington Area Timeshare System." I later took an APL programming class at Golden West College. Useless today, but fun stuff ;-)

Early 1980's: - We used DEC microPDP-11 that used LSI 11/73 Qbus card in a card cage. We ran DEC RT-11 OS. This was part of an automated printed circuit board 'router' which laid out the best path for circuit board traces and generated a Gerber file. The file is then sent to a shop that manufactures the circuit boards.

Somewhere in there I played around with a Z80 based CP/M system, 6502 microprocessor KIM-1 board with HEX pad, and a 6502 based Apple II clone. The RS TRS-80 was very popular back then and I think Heathkit may have offered them or a similar Z80 based kit.


 

RE: IBM? Mainfames are dead...., posted on January 13, 2017 at 08:43:40
Inmate51
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Wow, you ARE an old fart. (Kidding!) In '74, my mentors had a DEC PDP-something or other. One day, after getting everything set up for a loudspeaker test, they let me push the button to start it. I was hooked!

Regarding mainframes...

I'm pretty sure that the IRS, NYSE, American Airlines, and JP Morgan Chase aren't running their business on personal computers.

:)

 

RE: IBM? Mainfames are dead...., posted on January 13, 2017 at 09:46:43
AbeCollins
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I used to think of others as being old farts but I'm one of them now!


I'm pretty sure that the IRS, NYSE, American Airlines, and JP Morgan Chase aren't running their business on personal computers.

I hope not. But mainframes? I don't know. I was thinking large redundant servers or clustered smaller servers. As often as the airline systems go down, one has to wonder.



 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 13, 2017 at 09:52:45
AbeCollins
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Some of the MacBook connectors are silly. Bad idea on the PS jack being magnetized.

Huh? Really? Maybe you weren't aware of the innovation and idea behind the magnetic power connector on the MacBook Pro laptops. The point of having that mag connector was so it would easily yank out in case someone tripped over the power cord saving the laptop from dropping to the floor.

Unless you use that mag connector to clean up a shop floor, it serves it's purpose extremely well.

Unfortunately, Apple had to drop that innovation when they adopted the industry standard USB-C connector in it's latest laptops. We will no longer have the safety benefit of the magnetic power connector.


 

RE: Quality, posted on January 13, 2017 at 16:43:02
b.l.zeebub
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Don't know it it still is the case but buying Macs used to be about the timing.

Apple updated their lines every 2-3 years.
If you buy immediately after an update Macs were cheaper than the competition but after 9-12 months the others come down enough to be level after that cheaper until Apples next update.

When I got a new intel Mac it cost 1800 and a Dell using the exact same components run to 2500. 2 1/2 years later the Mac was still 1800 but the Dell was substantially cheaper.

 

RE: You'll. . . be. . . sorrr-rry. . . [nt] ;-), posted on January 15, 2017 at 06:58:24
Awe-d-o-file
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Sorry. I disagree. Ive picked metal out of four over the years. Staples and othwer bits can easily find their way in. I never saw a coaxial power jack not come out when a laptop fell. Maybe its my experience repairing that you probably dont have thatbrings me here. Regardless, no mas. They are gone.


ET

"If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do suck seed" - Curly Howard 1936

 

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