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  1. #1
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    I need some help to make the right choice on a new computer system. My expertise is limited. I am like the one who closed the gate after the horses escaped when it comes to compt. tech knowledge. At 68 the learning curve is behind me, however when I saw the TV ad of the little girl doing photo computer skills I decided it was time to move up from a real slow desktop Windows 98 450MHz system (I know, go ahead and laugh) to todays technology. The problem, I don't know which direction to take. All I have heard about the newer systems, XP, but especially Vista, is to stay away, they are not user friendly. I am sure with some of the experts on these forums that maybe I can get some advice. I don't need the fastest jet plane to ride, but I can do better I know than on the Piper Cub I am using now. A question I have regards a proceedure I heard of that allows one to configure XP or Vista to look like Win98. Is that possible and would it simplify navagating one of these new systems. I know this is elementary, however Woody didn't write "Computer for Dummies" for nothing..Any help is appreciated.....

  2. #2
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    If you can, wait until Microsoft releases Windows 7, it is trying to do this in August. This will put Windows 7 machines on the shelf in November or before.

    Find yourself a local computer shop that can put one together for you. This way you should NOT get a bunch of extras that you do not want or need. Remember that a lot of the programs that you are running in 98 will NOT run of Windows 7. So plan on buying upgrades to the programs that you are using. Price them out and add them to your budget.

    We just bought a new machine with Vista Home Premium for the wife, for about than $700. We have dealt with this shop in the past. We got the hard drive upgraded to 500 gigs for free and then on top of that a senior discount.

    See http://hdnw.com/product.aspx?n=SY-SU07

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  3. #3
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    [quote name='foxpaul' post='776225' date='20-May-2009 19:41']I need some help to make the right choice on a new computer system. My expertise is limited. I am like the one who closed the gate after the horses escaped when it comes to compt. tech knowledge. At 68 the learning curve is behind me, however when I saw the TV ad of the little girl doing photo computer skills I decided it was time to move up from a real slow desktop Windows 98 450MHz system (I know, go ahead and laugh) to todays technology. The problem, I don't know which direction to take. All I have heard about the newer systems, XP, but especially Vista, is to stay away, they are not user friendly. I am sure with some of the experts on these forums that maybe I can get some advice. I don't need the fastest jet plane to ride, but I can do better I know than on the Piper Cub I am using now. A question I have regards a proceedure I heard of that allows one to configure XP or Vista to look like Win98. Is that possible and would it simplify navagating one of these new systems. I know this is elementary, however Woody didn't write "Computer for Dummies" for nothing..Any help is appreciated.....[/quote]

    Do some window shopping. Go to Best Buy, Walmart, Office Depot, or any other retailer you like and just look at what is available. Windows 7 will be released this fall. If you don't need a machine immediately I recommend you wait until either Windows 7 machines are available or a technology upgrade program is announced where you can buy a Vista machine and have it upgraded to Windows 7 for no money.

    Most likely you'll be able to find a PC that will work for you for less than $1000 USD. You'll be pleasantly surprised at how capable it will be.

    Joe
    Joe

  4. #4
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    [quote name='foxpaul' post='776225' date='20-May-2009 19:41']I need some help to make the right choice on a new computer system. My expertise is limited. I am like the one who closed the gate after the horses escaped when it comes to compt. tech knowledge. At 68 the learning curve is behind me, however when I saw the TV ad of the little girl doing photo computer skills I decided it was time to move up from a real slow desktop Windows 98 450MHz system (I know, go ahead and laugh) to todays technology. The problem, I don't know which direction to take. All I have heard about the newer systems, XP, but especially Vista, is to stay away, they are not user friendly. I am sure with some of the experts on these forums that maybe I can get some advice. I don't need the fastest jet plane to ride, but I can do better I know than on the Piper Cub I am using now. A question I have regards a proceedure I heard of that allows one to configure XP or Vista to look like Win98. Is that possible and would it simplify navagating one of these new systems. I know this is elementary, however Woody didn't write "Computer for Dummies" for nothing..Any help is appreciated.....[/quote]

    Also, don't believe that nonsense about Vista. The initial issues with Vista have long been rectified. A properly configured machine with Vista on it will run very well. I'd suggest that you not try to get any OS to look like Win98. Vista and Windows 7 look very similar. You'd be much better off spending the time getting used to the way they operate. You'll be better able to advantage of newer features if you do.

    Joe
    Joe

  5. #5
    Bronze Lounger
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    You may be able to lease, borrow, or otherwise find an opportunity to learn the applications you will be using without having to worry in the short run about which operating system and hardware you will purchase (if you need to purchase at all).

    In theory, at least, an operating system is supposed to sit in the background and keep the computer operating smoothly and trouble-free (hah!) while you use the applications you plan to use for word-processing, number crunching, presentations, databases, web browsing, email, and all manner of other things. You may want no more than a fraction of those, or others more exotic (music, photography, video), but when it comes to the learning curve, that is something you can work on in your own time and at your own pace, or if you prefer, you can take classes in. There is also a range of prices for suites of applications according to how many programs they have, and how complex the programs are.

    I think that is where you should do your shopping and learning first, and you may even be able to purchase a computer with everything you are likely to need pre-installed (or at least included) and included in the price. The vast majority of users only use a small fraction of the capabilities of these applications, many of which, like Word, are packed with features that no one bothers to learn. The program will perform the same under any operating system, so learn the program first and worry about the operating system later.

  6. #6
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    [quote name='foxpaul' post='776225' date='20-May-2009 20:41']I need some help to make the right choice on a new computer system.[/quote]
    I agree with the quote from Joe that says: " I'd suggest that you not try to get any OS to look like Win98 "

    Many users spend hours of agony trying to make XP or Vista look or behave as their "old Windows" used to do. Each new operating system has, in addition to new features and capabilities, a new LOOK AND FEEL. You spend a lot less time and gastric juices if you teach yourself how this new system works instead of trying to make it look like the former.

    Dave and Joe have suggested two excellent local alternatives - local build or major local retailer. However, I've had excellent good fortune with online purchasing of computer equipment. I started many years ago when Gateway was in the heyday of its business, buying a number of times from them online.

    My most recent two purchases have been from Dell online and were also quite successful and more than satisfactory. The reason I like online computer buying is that you get to look, shop and compare to as deep a level as you like, choosing as much or as little customizing as suits your need and pocketbook. With today's online capabilities, you can leave a shopping page open, go somewhere else to lookup or study about something you don't understand and then come right back to your "buying" page to continue your customization.

    Much good luck in your hunting and decision making! AND, Welcome to Woody's Lounge!

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger
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    All the advice given thus far is spot on!

    - Wait for Windows 7
    - Custom-built is the #1 choice and and retail stores #2 (Beware of Best Buy and do look at pre-builts on http://newegg.com/)
    - Leave the "looks" alone. It doesn't take long to get acclaimated.
    - Check your software requirements as the new system will demand upgrades. You may not be able to use some.
    - Check your peripherals, e.g., printer, scanner, etc. for updated drivers for the new OS. Most likely you will have to buy new.
    - Enjoy the new system.... you are going to be astounded.
    Jeff
    simul iustus et peccator

  8. #8
    Bronze Lounger
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    I agree that you should consider online shopping as well as looking at other sources. I purchased a Dell online with highly satisfactory results and Dell made it to the top, at the time, with its highly-efficient workflow combined with direct shipping. Computers cost a lot of money in those days, where now they are a commodity, in the economist's sense of the word.

    I don't know if others are familiar with this source or not and can recommend it or not, but I have just discovered it and suggest you check CONSUMER_SEARCH for reviews.

  9. #9
    New Lounger
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    New Egg, Tiger Direct are good web sites to check. Also, if there is a FRY's near you, that is a good place. They have many more choices to offer. Since I build my own, this is a good place because they sell all the hardware (motherboards, cpu's, memory etc) seperately so you can custom build your own

  10. #10
    2 Star Lounger zigzag3143's Avatar
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    Yeah I know its an old thread but still a worthwhile question. Obviously there is going to be some sticker shock when going from 98 to XP, Vista, or Win 7. It seems that if you are going to have to learn a new OS, you might want to go to one of the newer windows versions out. That being said, the only choice is win 7,. The OP is going to have to buy new hardware and probably will not buy another computer for years. Has to be win 7


    Ken J+
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    MCC 2013-2015

    Wanikiyi & Dyami--Team ZigZag3143

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Johnston View Post
    Yeah I know its an old thread but still a worthwhile question. Obviously there is going to be some sticker shock when going from 98 to XP, Vista, or Win 7.
    I'd suggest that it would be pleasant sticker shock. Prices for decent Windows systems that accomodate the majority of users are significantly less than is was in 1998/99.

    Joe
    Joe

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