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Wingnut
11-07-2005, 11:50 AM
Hello The Board!
I've just sold enough firewood to "afford" a new computer. The desktop I'm on stays with Mama-san and kidlets at home. I, on the other hand, am often at my 'other place'; working etc.
I know enough to turn the things on, am learning simple CAD stuff to maybe try CNC, can do online research, basic A/V presentations and may someday have a need to take it on the road with a projector to teach occasionally. I am a photographer and thought this might enhance that side of my work too.
My Question...When is enough Computer enough? Any recomendations as to memory, processor speeds, auxiliary capabilities? Laptop (portable, pricy ,hard to service) vs. Desktop (Not mobile, Cheap!, easy service). Am I looking for too much from one 'wunder box'?
Any thoughts appreciated.
Will A.

Your Old Dog
11-07-2005, 02:44 PM
No compuker expert here for sure but as a fellow photog just thought I'd add this.

If you go for a desktop, get a humongous screen. I have a 19" Sony LCD and I love it. Lots' of room for menus when working on Photoshop CS. I use 1gig of ram for that one and it works fine.

If you endup with a notebook, don't let them give you two 256mb memmory sticks as you will have to scrap them to upgrade to 1gig later. I ended with half as much memory as I wanted on my Toshiba Satelite 1805s that I use as my on the road digital darkroom.

3 Phase Lightbulb
11-07-2005, 02:59 PM
Here is a computer that you might be able to trade some firewood for. It's a little old has kind of a high "learning curve", but it will do everything that you instruct it to do. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/funny_computer1.jpg

http://www.bbssystem.com/pictures/funny_computer2.jpg

-Adrian


[This message has been edited by 3 Phase Lightbulb (edited 11-07-2005).]

Bruce Griffing
11-07-2005, 03:18 PM
I like to build my own desktops. I like AMD processors and Via chipset based motherboards. If you don't want to roll your own, there are many good starter machines for $400-$500 (without monitor). With your iterests, you will quickly find that software will cost more than the machine. If you are on a budget, I would recommend Open Office (www.openoffice.org I think) for free Microsoft Office compatible software. For images, try Gimp - similar deal.

SGW
11-07-2005, 04:39 PM
I bought a used 944MHz machine with 512MB and and assortment of preinstalled software for about $300 a few months ago. It runs PhotoShop adequately well, and anything else I've wanted to do.

BillH
11-07-2005, 04:50 PM
Im with Bruce, I like to build my own, although I like to opt for the Intel chip and Intel chipset motherboards, mainly from Asus.

Leigh
11-07-2005, 04:51 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bruce Griffing:
I like to build my own desktops. I like AMD processors and Via chipset based motherboards.</font>

I second that. I always build my own... ASUS motherboard, AMD Athlon or higher processor, 1024 Megabytes of RAM, and all the hard drive space you can afford.

------------------
Leigh

Nick Carter
11-07-2005, 05:01 PM
If you buy from Dell, gateway, etc, make sure to look for coupon codes on google. i found a 35% off coupon and saved about 10% more than the current online special. Look for free lcd monitor upgrades as well. Dell did the thing with 4 256 memory sticks instead of 2 512's so when I upgrade mem it will cost a bundle, lame. I spent about $800 for a 3ghz, 1gb ram, 19" lcd, 265mb video, win media center dimension 5100. The 19" lcd is excellent for CAD...

sorry to be so telegraphic, holding the baby while I type this...

rkepler
11-07-2005, 05:06 PM
I usually have enough computers from work (I work at home) that I don't need to put anything together. The wife gets my son's cast-off gaming hardware so she usually has the better horsepower but not the cool alienware case. We just do a mobo transplant.

As for getting enough disk - I can't see a way not to anymore. Disk is so cheap that the last time I upgraded I bought twice what I needed and put in a 240GB RAID 1. I'm not sure what a home user is doing if they need more than a couple hundred gig of disk (I guess you could always have a storage platform for a DVR or something...)

BillH
11-07-2005, 05:49 PM
With all the digital raw pictures im taking, im going to need to purchase a DVD burner for backup. My desktop has 240gb but thats 2 120gb hd's running raid 0...
Have a linux file server with about 160gb storage. Again, not failsafe.

mochinist
11-07-2005, 06:16 PM
Settle for nothing less
http://img311.imageshack.us/img311/1323/mycomputer3wg.jpg

BillH
11-07-2005, 06:46 PM
Mochinist, your into flight sims, or just another picture you found on the net?

aboard_epsilon
11-07-2005, 06:58 PM
Anyone want to guess which film this starred in.

http://www.ahleman.com/Props/ElectriClerk.gif

all the best...mark

CCWKen
11-07-2005, 07:23 PM
My Sony desktop has been a hardy machine but came loaded with Word Perfect Office instead of Microsoft Office. Works the same but takes some time getting used to change. WP also doesn't convert Word files very well.

No mater what you get, look for less software included in the bundle and allow more cash in the budget for "meaningful" software.

mochinist
11-07-2005, 07:48 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BillH:
Mochinist, your into flight sims, or just another picture you found on the net?</font>

Lol I just found it somewhere and saved it , I go to quite a few message boards and this pic comes in handy whenever someone ask what computer they should get.

I have thought about getting a flight sim for the computer though, they look like fun, got any suggestions for a good one.

------------------
MOCHINIST..............
I am not above using smilies or pictures in my post.

Your Old Dog
11-07-2005, 08:02 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by mochinist:
MOCHINIST..............
I am not above using smilies or pictures in my post.
</font>

Mochinist, just a matter of time when the Politicly correct realize that these http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif smilies look very oriental and that's not very nice! Besides that, there may be some green people somewhere that you aren't aware of http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Piggy banks are outlawed in the UK now, smilies can't be far behind!



[This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 11-07-2005).]

mochinist
11-07-2005, 08:21 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Your Old Dog:
Mochinist, just a matter of time when the Politicly correct realize that these http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif smilies look very oriental and that's not very nice! Besides that, there may be some green people somewhere that you aren't aware of http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif Piggy banks are outlawed in the UK now, smilies can't be far behind!

[This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 11-07-2005).]</font>

yeah your probably right, damn pc crowd.
http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/7228/protest5bz.gifhttp://img205.imageshack.us/img205/6290/rocketman6gl.gif


[This message has been edited by mochinist (edited 11-07-2005).]

barts
11-08-2005, 12:06 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by aboard_epsilon:
Anyone want to guess which film this starred in.

http://www.ahleman.com/Props/ElectriClerk.gif

all the best...mark</font>

Brazil?

- Bart

Wingnut
11-08-2005, 09:08 AM
Thanks...I Think...
Y.O.D.- Big screen sounds good. Do I understand correctly that a Desktop can plug in an "extra" screen if I try that route?
Bruce- Open Office I'll check it out Thanks.
All- Roll my own is probably out. When something goes thhp! I won't have a clue.
Mochinest- Glad to know you whiz kids can have fun at us simpletons expense.
This was a real call for help asked of those whom I respect and who theoretically share their understanding of things technical with bretheren in need.
Good Day All. Be Well.
Will A.

Evan
11-08-2005, 10:25 AM
I'm only going to make one recommendation. If you don't feel comfortable troubleshooting problems yourself on a computer then try to find a local dealer with a good reputation for helping out and providing local service when things go wrong. You won't get this from any of the big brand names regardless of whatever 24/7 help lines they have to India.

BillH
11-08-2005, 11:48 AM
Mochinist, if you want ww2, I like the IL2 sturmovik series, if you want civil, Flight simulator 2004 is darn good, and if you like modern stuff, the Overhaul of Falcon 4.0, forget the name of it, you wont find a more high fidelity sim of the f16 anywhere. Has a learning curve to match.

andy_b
11-08-2005, 12:01 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by BillH:
if you want civil, Flight simulator 2004 is darn good</font>

i think Flight Sim 2000 was the last version that allowed you to fly into buildings.
seriously.


Will A.,
for you to be able to plug in a second monitor you will need a dual-monitor capable video card. i guess you could order a system like that. but most dual-monitor systems i've seen were either homebuilt or for video gamers.

i'd have to second Evan's advice. look for a local person who builds/sells/troubleshoots PCs and buy from them. i've been building my own for at least ten years (not long compared to some of the folks here), but the last one i found for my parents i bought from a local guy. i had been buying parts from him for a while, but in this case he sold me a system that was in his shop for a few months that he was playing around with configurations, and it was maybe $100 more than if i bought the parts myself and assembled it. i knew the system worked and was stable, and it was plenty fast enough for anything except the latest online multi-player video games. it should last my parents until holographic computing because readily avaialble.
:-)


andy b.

aboard_epsilon
11-08-2005, 12:07 PM
Brazil?

- Bart

correct.........
some guy on the net built a replica of it.

http://www.ahleman.com/ElectriClerk.html

all the best..mark

Your Old Dog
11-08-2005, 02:33 PM
Wingnut, yes, Photoshop and many other programs will allow you to put menus on a seperate screen simply by dragging them off the one screen and on to the other.

It's a function of your "video card" I have a digital video card and it allows me to use a digital LCD Sony Monitor and a seperate analogue monitor for my Photoshop menus. It ain't necessary but it sure is sweet to have if you do a lot of post processing of your digi's .

Early Photoshop versions would let you resize the menus so it wasn't such a big deal. Now, when you call up some of these menus they are pretty big and cover up your artwork so you work in the blind unless you want to constantly move the menus around.

BillH
11-08-2005, 09:49 PM
Speaking of Photoshop workstations, my teacher uses pen tablets for doing all his editing. Looks like something I should try out, he says its much quicker

Wingnut
11-09-2005, 11:14 PM
Thanks Gents,
I'll keep looking. There's a local repair outfit that sometimes has used stuff they fix & warrantee.
Take Care, Will A.

madman
11-10-2005, 01:27 AM
Ive built my own always with amd athalon cheaper and seem to last well.

Your Old Dog
11-10-2005, 05:54 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by andy_b:
Will A.,
for you to be able to plug in a second monitor you will need a dual-monitor capable video card. i guess you could order a system like that. but most dual-monitor systems i've seen were either homebuilt or for video gamers.</font>

My video card is an off the rack regular G-Force 4 video card with both Digital and Video outputs. Think it cost me $129.00 but I might be wrong. Nothing homebrew about it but I did buy it for gaming purposes.

I should add, I bought mine at Office Max or Office Depot, one of the two.

[This message has been edited by Your Old Dog (edited 11-10-2005).]

bobbybeef
11-13-2005, 06:00 AM
The HP product I have is at240a. It is about three years old and I use norton protection. It has 512 sdram and 160GB.CD writer and a lot of other stuff. It produces publications and does all the stuff that I need to stay in touch. Huge file of photos,which i use in my wifes publications. I am hard pressed to think of what else you would need if you are just starting out. In the last three years the industry has moved forward,but most are using windows XP anyway. It will be OK for quite a while yet.
I looked long and hard at second hand but it was mostly really out of date to a bad degree.
The experts do know a great deal but it is often difficult to know what they are mumbling about. Its mostly double dutch to me.I have been using a computer since 1985 when Computer Aided Livestock Marketing was introduced here.
Read carefully the installation instructions and the operating instructions. Mostly on line these days.Put a lot of effort into protecting your machine.
In the end the only person who can solve your needs and problems is you.
go for it .
bobby.