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OT: New Computer Advice?

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  • OT: New Computer Advice?

    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.

  • #2
    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.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

    It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


    • #3
      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.


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


      • #4
        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 ( I think) for free Microsoft Office compatible software. For images, try Gimp - similar deal.


        • #5
          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.

          Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
          Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
          Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
          There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
          Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
          Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


          • #6
            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.


            • #7
              <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.

              The entire content of this post is copyright by, and is the sole property of, the author. No assignment
              of title nor right of publication shall ensue from presentation of this material on any computer site.


              • #8
                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...
                Largest resource on the web for Taig lathes and milling machines,


                • #9
                  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...)


                  • #10
                    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.


                    • #11
                      Settle for nothing less


                      • #12
                        Mochinist, your into flight sims, or just another picture you found on the net?


                        • #13
                          Anyone want to guess which film this starred in.

                          all the best...mark


                          • #14
                            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.


                            • #15
                              <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.

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