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  1. #1
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    Recommendations to replace existing computer

    We need a new computer because of XP lack of support. My son, who built the computer we are using, said we should not get a Windows computer but switch to iMac because of the way Windows is going. My husband grumbled when he heard this but, anyway you look at it, it's going to take some time getting accustomed to a new computer.

    I need some input from forum members before we (I) make a decision about purchasing a new computer.

    Any assistance will be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

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  3. #2
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    To be able to advise you appropriately it would help if forum members knew a little bit more about what you and your family currently use your present PC for and what you want to be able to do with any replacement in the future.

    (For example, if your needs are limited to just being able to surf the internet safely and get email then it's possible that another alternative may be a better proposition.

    The more you are are to tell us about your circumstances, what you want to be able to do with a PC, what IT support you have, etc., the better forum members can provide their input.

    Hope this helps...

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  5. #3
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    If you Google mac vs windows you will see a number of links both for and against the Mac and Googling what is an imac will give you a few others which also may help you to decide as to your needs.

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  7. #4
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    It's used for e-mail, social networking, some office work, tax preparation, kids games, photos. IT assistance: if I can't figure it out, I'll post here or other forums, call my son, look in a reference book about whatever system we are using. I subscribed to Langalist from the time we purchased out first computer and learned so much from that. I don't know what other information you need.

  8. #5
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    Hi suvi - e-mail, social networking, office work, kids games and photos can all be done on an iMac (running OSX). They can also be done on your existing PC if you installed a Linux distribution, something like Linux Mint (which is one of the Linux distributions that looks similar to Windows). I don't know about tax preparation 'cos I'm in the UK and don't know about the US. If you prepare taxes online using a browser then this could also be done using OSX or Linux.

    The iMac has a very good reputation for being intuitive to use but is relatively expensive in comparison to a Windows PC. Linux is usually free but has a reputation for a steeper learning curve (which is why I mentioned Linux Mint so the change doesn't come as too much of a shock). Of course, these statements are only gross generalisations but it will give you a slightly better idea of what's possible.

    One thing to consider is what peripheral equipment you use, e.g. printer, scanner, etc. as there could be some issues changing to a non-Windows OS.

    Another thing to consider is IT support. The Lounge here has an immense collection of knowledge about all flavours of Windows (and Microsoft applications) but far less so for other operating systems. For example, the Non-Microsoft OSes sub-forum has only 464 posts in total in comparison to the thousands in the various Windows sub-forums... the Windows 7 sub-forum alone has 5,096 posts. There is thus the chance that your questions may not be answered by the same amount of informed contributors.

    Did your son say exactly why he advised a change to an iMac? Is it because he uses an Apple device himself? I must admit I didn't actually like using Windows 8 so when I needed a new laptop recently I bought a MacBook Pro from Apple. I'm over the moon with it but still tend to use (and love) my Windows 7 desktop PC, whilst I become familiar with OSX.
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2014-04-05 at 21:06.

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  10. #6
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    Hi suvi,

    IMHO, the consequences of a lack of support from MS for Windows XP are vastly over-rated. For however long anti-virus vendors keep supporting XP (and I know of none that have said they plan to stop anytime soon), your existing XP box will likely remain as secure as it is now. Yes, it's possible some cretin will devise some new form of malware that anti-virus vendors can't guard against on an XP-box but, until then, I wouldn't be inclined to worry too much about it. If you're still worried, you could quite possibly simply upgrade the OS on your existing box to Vista or, preferably, Win 7, for a minimal outlay.

    As for whether it's worth switching to a Mac for what you've said you do, that's something only you can decide. None of your current software is likely to run on a Mac (unless you install Windows (XP! or Vista) on it, which makes me wonder why you'd bother getting a Mac if that's all you're going to do), so you'll have to go to the expense of replacing that, whereas you might not have to replace so much if you stick with Windows. Furthermore, Macs are no more secure than Windows PCs and typically cost a whole lot more for the same level of performance & security. Plus you'll have to learn all over again how to do everything you now do on a PC differently on a Mac. As for your son's advice that you "should not get a Windows computer but switch to iMac because of the way Windows is going", that's nothing more than prejudice - unless he's privy to the boardroom discussions of both Apple & Microsoft, I am certain he knows nothing of consequence as to how either Windows or Mac "are going" in either absolute or relative terms vis-à-vis their future OS directions.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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  12. #7
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    WAIT
    If you are an experienced computer user who has been a long time signatory to the Langa List/Windows Secrets newsletter,
    then I figure you'll be experienced enough to understand basic computer security and backup regimens.
    That will give you all the knowledge needed to protect yourself in the interim while you decide on your computing direction.
    There's no big rush as Windows XP will not self destruct. Experienced users can successfully hold on to it for a little while longer.
    *Windows 9 may be something worth waiting for.
    *Save up for an Apple based system and take the time now to learn about them.

    Keep your current computer if...
    If the current computer you have isn't too old, say about 4-5 years, you could just clean install a genuine copy of Windows 7 32 bit and you'll be fine.
    There will not be a whole lot of learning to do with Windows 7. Just make certain you run the upgrade advisor for hardware and peripherals compatibility.
    You could even install a 64 bit version of Windows 7 if your processor is compatible, just add more RAM as needed and get an SSD.

    Buying a new computer...
    If your current computer is too old and you need to replace it, then Windows 7 is the way to go if you want to stay
    within the PC mindset with the minimal amount of learning curves.
    Upgrade your Office software and peripheral devices if they're antiquated.

    Even a PC with Windows 8.1 preloaded will not be too great a learning curve.
    Just make certain you upgrade your office if it's current version was created during XP or Vista's time.
    We can pretty much offer all the 8.1 support you'll need when it comes to finding your way around the OS and setting things up the way you might with XP. (start menu and such)

    There is a lot of discontent With Windows 8 right now and that's why I'll suggest avoiding it if you are someone who requires a lot of support.
    Windows 8's future iteration will prove to be much more mature and user friendly as we are starting to see MS responding more
    to much of the discontent associated with it. With a move to Windows 7 you'll have plenty of time to wait it out.

    APPLE
    Apple will be a bigger learning curve if your new to it, and probably a bit more expensive too.
    We're a PC community and therefore offer little support when it comes to Apple software and operating systems/settings.

    LINUX
    Linux will be an even greater learning curve, even with the simpler UI of Ubantu.
    If your son is an experienced Apple OS or Linux user than go for it, nothing beats free support for life from an experienced family member.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Windows 8.1, 64 bit
    Motherboard: DX58SO2*Chipset: X58 Express/Intel ICH10*BIOS: SOX5820J.86A.0888.2012.0129.2203*Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU X 990
    GPU: Nvidia GTX 580*Memory: Corsair 12 GB, 4x3@1600*PSU: Corsair HX1000*Hard drives: REVO X2 160GB*OCZ VERT X3 120GB*5 mechanical storage drives (12 TB) total.

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  14. #8
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    If the dropping of support for XP concerns you, be aware that Apple routinely drops support for older versions of OSX with almost no notice. You are pretty much forced to update/upgrade. Don't believe any of the Apple hype either. They have issues with the huge updates that are regularly released just as PCs do. Apple gets a pass from the tech press about anything negative with software and security.

    Also, if/when there is a future shift in CPU architecture you can count on Apply to leave its installed base high & dry.

    Joe

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    I use both Windows [XP, Vista, 7, 8.1] and MacBook Pro [now up to Mavericks]. Going from OS X Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion cost $20 and going to Mavericks was free, latest upgrade policy of Apple.

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    Microsoft may be going the same route as the Windows 8.1 upgrade was also free. The Windows 8.1 update to be released tomorrow is also free but I think that's more of a Service Pack than the 8.1 was.

    Jerry

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  20. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by suvi View Post
    We need a new computer because of XP lack of support. My son, who built the computer we are using, said we should not get a Windows computer but switch to iMac because of the way Windows is going. My husband grumbled when he heard this but, anyway you look at it, it's going to take some time getting accustomed to a new computer.

    I need some input from forum members before we (I) make a decision about purchasing a new computer.

    Any assistance will be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
    If your son is your IT guy, then you should probably go with what he suggests, since he will be supporting your computer.

    Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would probably switch to Windows 7, since it will be supported for some time to come, and it is a lot like what you currently are using. In fact, it is likely that all of your software will work in a Windows 7 environment. On the other hand, you'll need to get all new software, etc., if you switch to the Mac.

    You'll probably end up paying a lot more to switch to the Mac than to switch to Windows 7.

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  22. #12
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    You'll probably end up paying a lot more to switch to the Mac than to switch to Windows 7.
    That's a given, my MacBook Pro with only 4GB RAM was more than twice what a comparable Windows Notebook would have been at the time. Most all Mac computers are more expensive and then there's the cost of programs. Microsoft publishes a version of Office for Mac, I bought version 2008 on a special that was offering a free upgrade to 2011.

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  24. #13
    Silver Lounger mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    If your son is an experienced Apple OS or Linux user than go for it, nothing beats free support for life from an experienced family member.
    Funny! That son is going to be busy!

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  26. #14
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    As several others have suggested, consider the ability to upgrade to 7. If you missed the link to the Win 7 upgrade checker to see if your computer is a candidate, here it is again.

    http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downl...ils.aspx?id=20

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  28. #15
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    I have a neighbor who recently bought a Mac to replace her XP computer. She is now having misgivings about the purchase.

    I used to help her out with problems on her Windows machine, but I can't be much help for a Mac user.

    Bill

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