The computer thread

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
How about a computer thread for help, advise and any thing computer related.

For starters:
At the moment I am using Vista and it has not really been a good experience previously I had XP which from memory was pretty much trouble free, I have heard that windows 8 also has a host of problems so I have a couple of questions:
a. Have you any experience with Apple computers if so how would you rate them.
 
b. If you had to change your computer would you stick with Windows if so which version would you go for.
 

Mat

New member
Staff member
Sr. Regulator
Regulator
I've had very little experience with Apple computers, and it wasn't pleasant. Maybe it was the matter of getting used to a new OS, for which I didn't have either time or patience. In case you decide to buy a Mac, here's a tutorial that might come in handy.

As for Windows, I've used XP for a very long time now and I'm very satisfied with it. Never had any major problems, apart from a few little, fairly easily fixable, glitches. I don't think I experienced the infamous BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) more than five times during the time I've used the system. I've also had the pleasure to work on Windows 7. And indeed, it was a pleasure. The thing I like the most about it is how you can change almost every element of how it looks. I'm talking about changing the color of the taskbar or changing the order in which icons appear on it, ect. It's little things, I know, but they make using 7 much more comfortable.

One thing I cannot understand about Windows products is the default browser - the Internet Explorer. It's absolutely dreadful. It's slow, it constantly freezes and it seems like every time I want to give it another chance it comes up with a new way to annoy me. I've used IE 6 through 9 - haven't noticed any improvement.

But back to your question. If I had to give up XP, I would definitely switch to Windows 7.
 

Dorsetmike

New member
Not a fan of Apple products, prices always seem to be considerably above similar performance Windows machines, I sometimes think they're a bit of a cult thing.

Another vote for XP, I use Firefox as like Mat I'm not a fan of IE, I did once try to remove it, only to find that some things like parts of control panel would not work without it! I also at that time tried to remove Adobe Reader and using Foxit reader, it is impossible to completely remove Adobe reader, it leaves bits which can only be lost by doing a format and reinstalling Windoze but not Adobe, which is a bit drastic!

I see reports that Microsloth are having to issue a major update to Win8 so one can choose a traditional screen and lose the touchscreen or retainte touchscreen for mobile apps.

I've said this before but the main thing that gets up my nose is the continual "you have updates" I don't recall seeing any differences after updates they claim most are security issues, I'm sure a decent programmer should be able to write code that isn't so susceptible to security breaches.
 
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teddy

Duckmeister
I am still using XP on both machines and have very few problems. My daughter uses Windows 7 and that also seems relatively problem free. Vista was a nightmare from day one. Her university installed it which gave us problems until I installed a conversion program on our machines. I think 8 has been rushed out and I would avoid it at the moment. I would go for 7. I doubt you will be sorry. As far as hardware my cousin who lives in California and is a top computer bod swears by Apple with Microsoft software. Mind you the hardware is a lot cheaper out there. I.E can cause so problems but I need it for some of my programs. Why not use I.E. and Firefox and chose according to what you are doing. Alternatively a combination of carrier pigeon and an abacus will probably do the job.

teddy
 

Krummhorn

Administrator
Staff member
I've never been a fan of MACs - but to their defense, they are excellent working machines - my late uncle used them in his sign business and swore by them.

I grew up with DOS 3.2 (the dark ages) and graduated to Windows 3.0, 3.1, Win 98. I skipped over the Win2000 and Millennium versions and went to XP and stayed with that for 8 years with no problems at all. I found XP to be a very stable OS. I still use a laptop XP machine when I travel, and it works out just fine for me.

My only reason to move to Windows 7 was when my XP machine (pressing 9 years of age) started giving me the BSOD treatment almost daily ... it was the mother board that was crapping out ... Fortunately, I had forseen the problems coming and bought an external 1.0 TB drive and moved all my files and applications there for a backup plan. Finally, the XP machine gave up the ghost ... repairing it was just not worth it and I don't like buying used stuff, so I ordered a new Dell Win 7 machine.

(I did not even think about getting Vista - glad I bypassed that one, for sure)

The period of adjustment from XP to Win7 has been difficult at times. Win 7 likes to store things where it wants, not where you think it should have gone, but I've got that almost figured out and can deal with it finally. There are still some files that I haven't been able to find though.

Of course Win7 came with IE as its default browser ... that was the first thing I did to this new machine: installed Firefox and changed all my browser default settings to steer completely away from IE - but others swear by IE and other browsers. I retain an older version of IE for one site that I must visit twice a year - other than that I have zero use for IE and will stick with Firefox.

I just started using Foxit and quite pleased with what it can do. For my virtual music scores (public domain organ music) I an actually add a note to the first page of the music indicating what date I last played the piece for a church service, and/or add registration comments. Pretty nifty thing ... gotta watch out when installing it to make sure it doesn't install all the Yahoo add-ons ... it did add a couple icons at the top of the page though, one of them being a live radio station streaming.

. . . I've said this before but the main thing that gets up my nose is the continual "you have updates" I don't recall seeing any differences after updates they claim most are security issues, I'm sure a decent programmer should be able to write code that isn't so susceptible to security breaches.

I hear you on that ... but many of those changes cannot be foreseen in advance ... the hackers and spammers are always creating new ways to cause trouble, and it seems each week they come up with something new that the programmers haven't seen before and then need to write new code to stop/correct it. Sad to say, but it's always going to be like that Mike; there is no 'crystal ball' to determine what the hackers are going to try next.

Kh ♫
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
I always thought that Apple (Mac) were known for their simplicity of use and stability but you paid a higher price for this, why oh why can't MS get it right?????
 

teddy

Duckmeister
The Microsoft system was almost a steal from the old Mac system, which was more user friendly. It just shows how effective marketing can be. I believe the Mac hardware is good but it depends on the price. Acer currently have a good reputation being well regarded by WHICH MAGAZINE.

teddy
 

Krummhorn

Administrator
Staff member
Every "Acer" (lap or desk model) I have gotten across my test table at the charity shop is a piece of junk ... same goes for the Sony Vaio ... HP isn't much better. Strange though, never had a MAC donated ... nor a Linux system. No wait, we once got 15 MAC CRT's ... those with the apple emblem on the back, and the clear plastic sides so we could see all the electrons floating around I suppose.

I used a Linux system at work ... acted and ran a lot like MAC's ... funny keys, strange pull down menu's, etc.

What do you all have for memory and storage these days. When I got my Win 7 machine I ordered it with 8 GB Ram, and it came with 650 GB drive. My wife's Win 7 machine (6 months later) came with 1.0 TB as standard drive. I have an external 1.0 TB (WD) attached and a WD Passport 360 GB drive that goes with me when I travel - has my virtual music library on it.

Kh ♫
 

Dorsetmike

New member
I run 2 almost Identical Dual core Gateway PCs, (nearly 6 years old) only differences being RAM, 4Gb and 2Gb, both have 180Gb hard discs partitioned as 3x 60Gb. One machine mainly for Music apps and files, the other for Photo apps, email and internet. One 23" Samsung monitor, keyboard and mouse switchable between machines, the music machine spends most of it's time streaming Last.fm.
 
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Corno Dolce

Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler
And I generally use, for the moment at least, a simple Macbook Air with 8 GB ram and 512 GB flash storage. An IBM machine from 1980 got me started and then I switched to MAC in 2005 and don't care to return to a prior platform.
 

Mat

New member
Staff member
Sr. Regulator
Regulator
My current machine runs on 4 GB of RAM and a (at least six year old) 120 GB WD drive. I use WD only for the OS, the software/apps and some other files that I need daily. All my other files are stored on a 500 GB external drive. I also have a spare 250 GB drive but I'm not using it at the moment. Well, actually this is where I keep all the back-ups, but it's just not hooked up to my PC.
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
I have DELL desk top with 4GB ram and 500GB HD but I have a Seagate ext HD 500GB for back up and storage the only draw back is that I am running Vista, I like the Dell as it has one feature that has been a god send on more than one occasion and that is (DELL restore) unlike MS restore it actually restores the computer to its original condition and hence gets rid of any errors and bugs that MS can't remove the only thing is to make sure you have saved all programs and files as they will have to be re installed.
I also have a HP lap top with a massive 2GB ram and 30GB HD this has XP installed but only 10GB free and I don't seem able to get any more :cry: do you think it would be worth deleting XP and re installing I do have the original CD some where.
 

Dorsetmike

New member
If you're thinking of doing a reinstall on the laptop, I'd be inclined to swap out the hard drive, Amazon UK price for 320Gb is under £40 and if you're opening it up add another 2Gb Ram, keep XP, that set up should be adequate for most things.
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
If you're thinking of doing a reinstall on the laptop, I'd be inclined to swap out the hard drive, Amazon UK price for 320Gb is under £40 and if you're opening it up add another 2Gb Ram, keep XP, that set up should be adequate for most things.
That would be the way to go Mike but the thing is about 10 years old not really worth it IMO
 

Dorsetmike

New member
Depends, if the drive and RAM would be compatible with a newer machine, if so then get the use out of the old one until it has a major crash, then transfer the drive and RAM to a newer lappy.
 

teddy

Duckmeister
If I was you i would just replace Vista with 7. Straightforward and saves spending too much and will not disturb your old machine which is still working well. Minimal cost and disruption. Incidentally the first machine I had was built by Gateway to my spec for the business. Apart from hard drive failure after three months it ran well for years. £100 bought me a three year on site warranty and unlimited free phone helpline. What a bargain

teddy
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
Update...I have decided to re-install XP on my lap top this may take a while as I will have to update to SP2 and 3 etc but that should give me more room on my HD and get rid of unwanted programs etc this will be used as a spare PC in case of trouble with my Desk top and I will set it up with a wireless connection so I can work in the warm lounge.
As far as the DELL Desk top goes I have had another go at Firefox and find out that this is a new version that is very fast (so the blurge goes) so it was a pleasant surprise to find that for once the blurge was right I have increased the speed by a factor of at least 4 or 5 "Oh happy days" now I have to find my way around it will keep you informed.:grin:
I could not delete IE so have sent it to the sin bin
 

JHC

Chief assistant to the assistant chief
Which Security system do you use and if money was no object which one would you choose?? I have tried one free version AV I think it is called and have it installed on my back up PC it seems OK, I have also tried Norton which slowed the system down but this was 4-5 years ago now I am using McAfee which is not bad but this also slows down the system when doing a scan.
 

Dorsetmike

New member
I've used AVG free for many years with no problems, it quietly updates itself daily picks up the occasional attack, not that I get many these days, probably because I use the same sites most of the time that I've been using for ages..
 
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