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desktop computer system question

anne1125

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I'm looking to buy a cheap desktop computer with monitor and printer for my daughter for Christmas. She would only use it to shop, check out II for trades and printing out flight tickets.

I tried to look at buy.com and some other sites but can't seem to narrow in what I'm looking for. I am sooooo not a computer person.

Thanks for any direction you can offer.

Anne
 

JeffW

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I think the biggest decision is if you want to go with Vista or XP. You'd have to do some work to find an XP systems, as 99% of new systems are all Vista now.

My sister had an old emachine system whose motherboard died a few months ago. I ended up buying a replacement one on ebay (about $55), specifically so she could stay with XP. She's not that computer literate, and I didn't want to subject her to the differences of Vista.

Jeff
 

bogey21

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I would just purchase the cheapest I could find at Best Buy, Circuit City, Costco, etc. Don't let them sell you any extras, software, extended warranties, etc.

I did this last December with a laptop and printer. Paid about $450 for an Acer 4720Z and a HP Deskjet 4135 Printer for about $45. I'm sure you can do much better buying a desktop. Vista was a bummer from the get go, but it seems much less so now. I'm guessing that some of those patches sent out by Microsoft have helped, or maybe I'm just getting used to it.

They tried to sell me everything from a special setup, to software, to extended warranty. They pushed hard for me to buy Microsoft Office (for Word Processing) and Anti-Virus software. I bought neither. Rather added "Free" AVG 8.0 (anti virus) and recently added Sun Microsystems "Free" Open Office 3.0 to get the word processing.

I only use my laptop for email, internet, travel arrangements, poker tournaments, betting on horses, etc. I know next to nothing about computers but it all seems to work ok for me.

My bottom line is that based on your needs spend as little as you can.

George
 
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PigsDad

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I would agree -- go with an inexpensive system. The only thing I would insist on is 2GB memory -- if you skimp on memory, it can cause all types of performance issues. As for XP vs. Vista: I would go with Vista at this point. It has been out for almost 2 years now and is quite stable (especially w/ 2GB of memory). If you are planning on keeping the system for quite a while, be warned that Microsoft is agressively trying to limit the support life for XP, which may impact the availability of future security patches, etc.

Kurt
 

Talent312

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I would look for systems recommended by www.cnet.com and read a few reviews.
Then I'd comparison shop at online sources like...
www.newegg.com
www.ecost.com
www.amazon.com

However, I bought two Dell systems from www.dell.com as they were competitive and they offered no payments/no interest for 90 days thru "Bill Me Later."
 
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JeffW

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...If you are planning on keeping the system for quite a while, be warned that Microsoft is agressively trying to limit the support life for XP, which may impact the availability of future security patches, etc.

Kurt

I haven't heard anything about that. From what I've seen, Microsoft has been unable to kill off XP. Earlier this year, they extended how long manufacturers such as Dell could continue to sell XP systems, a pretty clear indication that there was a still a big demand for non-Vista systems. I work for a Fortune 200 company, and I've heard absolutely no talk up any upgrade to Vista (we've gotten plenty of new computers in the past year or so, all XP).

From prelease information I've read, the next Windows OS, I think currently lableled Windows 10, is supposed to back off some of the major changes that when into Vista. I don't know if their plan is to create a more acceptable OS, and hope that corporate customers will skip Vista and upgrade to this new OS.

Lastly, in terms of patch support, even Windows 2000 is still actively receiving patches. And XP just had Service Pack 3 released for it this Summer. If you can get over the difficulty of finding an XP or W2K system (compared to just walking into a store any buying a Vista system), I think patch-wise you'll be okay for quite some time.
 

Icarus

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Windows XP will be fully supported until at least 2014.

-David
 

anne1125

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Thanks everyone. I bought a package deal with Circuit City, computer, monitor, and printer for $399.

They also have free shipping.

Thanks for the help.

Anne
 
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