Solid New Computer

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  #1  
Old 01-18-08, 03:36 AM
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Solid New Computer

This is the first of what will be many inquiries in the coming weeks. I am entering the market for a new computer. What I'd like to find is a computer like my present Dell Dimension 4600. For three and a half years this machine has been a tireless and true work horse. Not a single hardware problem, every so often the most minor of software glitches (having nothing to do with the machine, of course) I don't think this computer has ever been off, other than for cleaning and maintenance/optional upgrades.

Once I was so taken by my appreciation for this machine that I emailed tech support to praise rather than complain. I think I caused some problems, severely disrupted the infrastructure of Dell. (Sorry Dell)

I read the reviews prior to that purchase - and most of them said it would be just that.

Probably too simplistic a question to ask but is there a brand (Dell or other) and model now that is considered to be as solid and potentially reliable as this Dell Dimension 4600?
 
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Old 01-18-08, 04:39 AM
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I prefer HP. But then again, I build my own systems.
 
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Old 01-18-08, 07:56 AM
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Honestly, electronics are a toss-up no matter where you get them from.

In my experience, when I buy a machine for a customer, it's usually a dell. You just can't beat the price. For my own home computer, I build my own, but that's just not cost effective for customer machines.

For the best deals on Dell machines, check cheapstingybargains.com daily and you will eventually come across some very good deals.
 
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Old 01-18-08, 11:46 AM
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solid computers

I have 2 Dells (one an old Win 98 system that I added memory to and is now running XP) and a 1 year old system desktop. I also have a 3 month old HP desktop. The two newer systems are running Vista. I have found the hardware to be reliable. I have had problems with the add-on free software that is shipped with the new systems. I simply installed a clean copy of Vista over my Dell, and never had problems. I tried to remove most of the included software with my HP, and have found that software occasionally freezes on it. I attribute this to some of the included software and will be reformatting the disc and reinstalling a clean install without any of the add on software.

HP does not ship a DVD disc with the system. Instead, they have it all on a recovery partition (I assume including all the additional software). The reason for this is that they make little if anything on the hardware and are paid by the various software vendors to include the software. Thus, they do not make it easy to avoid the third party software.

I do recommend that you run Vista. It is considerably more secure than XP. Memory is cheap now. Get 2 GBytes. There is still a shortage of 64 bit drivers, so you probably want to stay with the vanilla X86, 32 bit version.

Some people swear by Acer as well.
 
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Old 01-18-08, 12:03 PM
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I would suggest you use a machine with vista on it, before you actually buy one with it on it.

Unless you like a crappy OS, then go for it.
 
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Old 01-18-08, 12:45 PM
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On Vista

I have been running Vista for years now, as we "eat our own dogfood" here at Microsoft, and many of the systems I ran and still run it on would not be viewed as Vista capable by most users. I worked on security issues throughout the Vista development. Vista is significantly more secure than XP, and according to some of the independent security companies, more secure than OSX and standard Linux Distros. I can not speak to these claims with respect to OSX or Linux, but it is more secure than XP.

If you are not interested in the user interface changes in Vista, and I am not, you can turn them off. You get a more responsive system and can operate with less memory.

Go to the Control panel and click on Sidebar. Unclick the start Sidebar upon system startup. Close the sidebar window.

Now go to system. Open it up. Click on advanced properties. Click on "Optimize for performance". Close the system window.

If you run Office, upgrade to Office 2007. It is far more secure than Office 2003.

You will get a system that is more secure than XP, runs about as fast, is more reliable, and has a very powerful search capability integrated into it.
 
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Old 01-18-08, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by JRM_security_MS View Post
HP does not ship a DVD disc with the system. Instead, they have it all on a recovery partition (I assume including all the additional software). The reason for this is that they make little if anything on the hardware and are paid by the various software vendors to include the software. Thus, they do not make it easy to avoid the third party software.
Excuse me? I got a whole pack of install disks with both my HPs. The OS and applications. No recovery partition.
 
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Old 01-18-08, 03:04 PM
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recovery discs?

Interesting.

I did not get recovery discs.

Not that it matters, as I am not interested in recovering myself to a situation with all the third party software pre-installed.
 
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Old 01-18-08, 03:12 PM
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Everyone with a complete system bought from a manufacturer needs to have recover CDs for their system.

Manufacturers love to save money. This means that with some systems they won't send recovery CDs. In this case you need to ask for them, and probably pay for them.

You need the CDs. Actually, you hope you never need them (for yourself), but if you need them, you need them. When you dispose of the PC you want to be able to install the OS on a brand new hard drive for the next person to use it, or you want to at the very least reformat the hard drive and start over fresh.

Should your hard drive fail, you need to be able to start over. No, you cannot just use someone else's recovery CDs, or even just any old OS CD. You need ones for your system.

Or when Windows slows down enough to be a bother (which it eventually will), you need to reformat and start over. You need the CDs to do this.

When you buy the CDs with the system it only ciosts a few dollars. If you have to buy them later, they get a premium price, if they can supply them at all.

Everyone with a complete system bought from a manufacturer needs to have recover CDs for their system.
 
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Old 01-18-08, 03:52 PM
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system recovery

I agree that everybody needs recovery discs. I have lost hard drives and had to rebuild.

My issue is that I no longer trust my manufacturers. I want recovery discs that allow me to restore the system without all the added software that the manufacturer is pushing at me. This would push me to building my own systems, because then I would get the generic Microsoft installation disc, which does not include all the additional software.

The issue has been discussed. While no one is offering the option, from what I have read on the web, it appears that the manufacturers would want an additional $50 to $ 75 to supply discs without the additional software.
 
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Old 01-18-08, 04:10 PM
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When you get CDs from the manufacturer, they have everything you need. You do not, however, have to install everything. When I rebuild my Dell computers, I only install the OS and the drivers, plus the application software I purchased (usually just Microsoft Office). You don't have to install the free trials and all the other junk.
 
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