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Author: orchidman16 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 190803  
Subject: Question For The Board Date: 1/6/2013 2:25 PM
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My first computer was an XT back in late 1980, have owned computers continuously since so we have some reasonable experience with them altho we are certainly far from experts.

Bought the next 6 or 7 units from Dell, their warranty service was so bad it can only be described by me as pathetic. So for the last computer 4-1/2 years ago we bought from a local assembler. Unit has been very good, service has been very good, shop is still around and so we are now considering buy a new computer from the same computer store.

Of course we have been using XP for a long time now, even though Windows 7 was available when we bought this last computer some 4-1/2 years ago we decided to stay with XP.

We are thinking about now going with Windows 7 as we are advised that there is a chance that our old programs will work using this operating system.

I wonder though is there any case that can be made for staying with XP in a new computer where we know our programs such as Word, Excel, Publisher, Jasc Paint Shop Pro, Graphics Workshop Pro, Animation Workshop and such will work.

I know that we risk at some point in the next couple of years facing the problem of new software such as Norton Internet Security, my Brokerage program and others no longer being available for XP. At that point we would once again be faced with taking out XP, replacing it with Windows 7 or 8 and perhaps buying a bunch of new software.

We are both at or near the age of 80 and at this point what we are familiar with seems easier altho that may not be the best way to go in the final analysis.

We would very much appreciate your thoughts and recommendations.

Many Thanks in advance.

Orchid
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Author: TwoCybers Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183255 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/6/2013 3:08 PM
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Orchid - excellent questions.

In broad strokes, I say make the change now to Win7 - that is largely because any time you make such a change some things will be difference and some things will not work. But clearly today you are aware enough to handle those problems - with the help of this board and your local computer company.

If you have been doing much reading, you can see Windows 8 has not been accepted with even as many users as Vista which was largely considered a serious flop. So unless things change, Win7 is a better choice.

Now for more specifics - Microsoft has a site that deals with compatibility of hardware and software for their various Operating Systems. I have used this for Vista and Windows7. I have not found one the site in error. I chose one time not to believe the site when it told me a Microsoft Keyboard and Mouse set would not work - that was an ill advised action on my part.

Here is the site

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/compatibility/win7/Co...

Note the top menu has "Apps" and "Devices". Be certain to check both your hardware (printers, monitors, keyboards, etc.) and software. That way you will know before you get your new box exactly what will and will not work. I have found this site to be more reliable in some cases than a manufacturer's website.

It is easy to forget what all you have a PC after a few years. A good way to get a listing of your equipment and applications is via Belarc
http://belarc.com/free_download.html

Finally, if you are the person moving stuff to you new PC, it is much better to re-install everything. Using the Windows feature that transfers from the old PC brings a fair amount of garbage. Better after even a couple of years to start with a clean install.

Gordon
Atlanta

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183256 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/6/2013 3:24 PM
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Finally, if you are the person moving stuff to you new PC, it is much better to re-install everything. Using the Windows feature that transfers from the old PC brings a fair amount of garbage. Better after even a couple of years to start with a clean install.

More to the point, you will NOT reinstall everything. There will be quite a bit of stuff that, if you looked at it, you'd wonder "when did I install that - and, more importantly, why?". And some more stuff that falls into categories "well, that never happened" or "I don't do that any more".

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Author: pauleckler Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183257 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/6/2013 3:49 PM
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And some more stuff that falls into categories "well, that never happened" or "I don't do that any more".

And then comes the issue of all those old files that either must be converted or can no longer be accessed.

And people wonder why we still have paper files around.

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Author: jerryab Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183259 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/6/2013 4:57 PM
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I would recommend Win 8 Pro, so you can get the free Media Center too (through Jan 31). I got it on my new Dell system (i7-3770) and reinstalled everything with few problems. Copy all data to an external HDD so no problem moving the data.

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Author: Philipo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183260 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/6/2013 5:11 PM
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"I would recommend Win 8 Pro, so you can get the free Media Center too (through Jan 31). I got it on my new Dell system (i7-3770) and reinstalled everything with few problems. Copy all data to an external HDD so no problem moving the data."

Windows 7 (Home Premium, Professional. Ultimate. & Enterprise) includes media center too.
B

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Author: stockmover Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183261 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/7/2013 2:24 AM
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Hey Orchid,

I agree with Gordon recommendations as well as WIN7 for your OS. IMHO, Win8 will needlessly force a long learning curve upon you. Win7 will be supported by MS for many years to come as corporate users are still transitioning from XP to WIN7.

If I were you, I would opt for Win7 rather than be forced to learn a OS which IMO is not really designed for PC's but rather for mobile devices (smart-phones etc)!

HTH

Rich
Arizona

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Author: rshoe4056 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183262 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/7/2013 10:46 AM
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Orchidman:

Unless you will be purchasing a touch screen monitor, there is no reason to
even think about Windows 8. Win8 is designed for a touch screen systems.
I personally have both Win 7 and Win 8 on one of my computers (dual boot).

If you decide to go with windows 8, I strongly suggest you change to a
touch monitor at the same time. But...in my opinion, I would say Jump to
Windows 7 and skip Vista completely.

One thing, if you have any old DOS programs, they will not run on any Windows system above Vista without installing some addition software.

Good luck,

Bob S

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Author: orchidman16 One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183315 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/11/2013 5:23 AM
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Just want to express my sincere Thanks to the kind responders to my question regarding whether on a soon to be purchased new computer the operating system should be Windows 7 or 8, have been using XP.

Very much appreciate your help. Going to buy a new computer, local source as noted, with Windows 7. Last purchase some 4-1/2 years ago from this local house has proven excellent, stood 100% behind his 3 year Warranty, several but no really serious warranty problems over those 3 years other than the monitor, when the monitor failed he handed me a brand new 19" wide screen absolutely no argument and no charge.

Hope the next purchase goes as well. After many purchases from Dell I just left them personally feeling the level of their warranty service had failed me time and again. Last purchase from them was of course nearly 5 years ago and I do trust they have dramatically improved over the years. May even have to try them again one day....but at current age (nearly 81) one never knows.

Would have offered my Thanks earlier but managed to come down with the Flu. First time out of bed in a week and that was to visit the doctor.
Do feel improved altho not nearly back 100%.

Orchid

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Author: JeanDavid Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183317 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/11/2013 9:39 AM
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After many purchases from Dell I just left them personally feeling the level of their warranty service had failed me time and again. Last purchase from them was of course nearly 5 years ago and I do trust they have dramatically improved over the years.

Back in the mid 1990s, I got Dell machines for friends of mine. My own machine I got from a local computer retailer who was more interested in making custom systems for small businesses. They sold me a white box machine slightly customized for my needs. I already knew the owner of that business, had done business with his company where I worked, etc., so I could trust him.

In those days, Dell machines were really custom made for each user, probably made in Texas. Their customer service was great and I have no idea if their warranty service was any good because they never needed warranty service.

As time went on, they did less and less custom building, the machines were made in China in several models, take them or leave them. And their customer service was moved to Bangladore and by people who thought they knew English. At about that time, Dell also started making servers and such (I do not know where) and customer service for those machines remained in USA (Tennessee, IIRC). A friend of mine worked in customer service there. He was also a supervisor of some of those in India. He thought they were the pits, but partly that was the fault of Dell. They were paid by the number of calls per hour they handled, so they would hang up on you after about a minute, whether they solved your problem or not.

Anyhow, even though I owned stock in DELL for a while, that kind of thing made me sell out my position before the market noticed and punished the stock price.

I needed a new computer at that time, and was running Linux anyway, so I got the new machine from VA Linux Systems (no longer in the computer business) and their machines were very good (I still have that one I got in 2000 and is is still running, although it is a little slow by today's standards: two 550 MHZ Pentium III processors, 512 Megabytes RAM.

By 2004 I wanted a bigger faster machine, looked at Dell Servers and others and found nothing I liked so I built one of my own. It died recently from power supply exploding. Pretty dramatic, and smoke came out. I did not trust to keep that machine, though some of the parts work.

And I did not need a machine as big as that any more, so I looked around and decided to get a server-workstation from Dell. T7600. I already took it apart and it looks well built. The components are mostly brand name. There is room to work. It has a 4-core Xeon processor and another socket for another processor if I need it (I probably won't). There are 32 RAM module slots, and I have 8 1 Gigabyte RAM modules installed. If I put all 32 modules in of the 4 GByte size, that will be 128 GBytes ram. I might not even need any hard drives with a thing like that. I will not do that, though.

If anyone wants to know how it worked out, ask in a few years. I still would not buy one of their little Chinese home machines, though.

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Author: LonghornBoy Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183318 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/11/2013 10:27 AM
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And I did not need a machine as big as that any more, so I looked around and decided to get a server-workstation from Dell. T7600. I already took it apart and it looks well built. The components are mostly brand name. There is room to work. It has a 4-core Xeon processor and another socket for another processor if I need it (I probably won't).

I recently pulled the trigger on a Dell Precision T3600 (6-core Xeon, 32GB RAM, solid-state drive, NVidia CUDA graphics) and I've been really pleased with it. It was a refurbished unit, but even so, I've had no problems with it and a 4yr, next business day warranty was available at a reasonable price. Similar units from HP or Lenovo would have been substantially more expensive.

In 2010, I purchased a 15" Dell Studio for my better half and we've had no issues with it at all...It's been rock-solid reliable and has exceeded my expectations.

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Author: exeter17 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183320 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/11/2013 12:44 PM
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If you buy Dell business - like Optiplex, Precision, or Latitude you get US based support and good support if you ante up for complete care.

If you go consumer or low end, its not just a Dell thing the other OEMS are pretty much the same.

I used to build PCs and I used to get white boxes. I pretty much only buy Dell for my customers. Yes, they are not the fastest most bleeding edge but they have good support. There was a low grade Seagate drive in 35 of my desktops at work. After 5 failed in a month (replaced) I leaned on Dell and they sent me 30 advance replacements so I could clone the remaining functional drives.

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Author: Philipo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183336 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/12/2013 1:21 PM
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As long as we're sharing real 1st hand experiences - Same here Longhorn (cept mine are exlease Precision T7400's and M6600's and Precision 670s in the past too). I run my business on these things some of which run 24/7 and others packed up & moved almost daily to client sites w/not a single problem - very satisfied....and again that's with very used hardware bought through 3rd parties. Perhaps it's a your mileage may vary on average but I doubt I've just been lucky with so many boxes <shrug>
B

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 183355 of 190803
Subject: Re: Question For The Board Date: 1/13/2013 4:17 PM
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By 2004 I wanted a bigger faster machine, looked at Dell Servers and others and found nothing I liked so I built one of my own.

I've built most of my own computers. For most people with a modicum of mechanical ability and a lack of fear of electronics, if they don't need a laptop or smaller, it isn't a bad move.

However, you need to be aware of EVERYTHING.

One time I was in a computer store looking for a case. I liked the posted info on one model. A salesman opened it up and I looked inside and immediately said "Who was it made by - Ginsu?" He told me the edges weren't really that sharp, rubbed a finger on one of them, and... went to get a bandage.

(Yeah, I didn't buy that case. It was really nice in a lot of respects, roomy and well laid out, and for a good price, but those edges...)

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