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Old 02-26-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
Wellllllllll - DUH!!!! My reading comprehensions skills obviously suck today.

But my point is still valid.
Extremely valid point, huge difference between XP and 7....
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Old 02-26-2012, 06:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukesgrrl View Post
The problem: Grandma's Dell desk top is 11 years old and starting to show signs of failure. I've done a yeoman's job keeping it clean and operational all this time but one more blue screen of death and I'm going to insist that she get something new. It only had one gig of memory when she bought it. Several years ago I doubled that, wiped the hard drive and re-loaded the Windows XP. She's still got plenty of space, the speed is reasonable, too, and it boots up pretty quickly for how old it is. But in addition to the blue screens and automatic shutdowns, her mouse sticks a lot (it's hardwired and she has no USB ports for a wireless replacement), her keyboard has a lot of the lettering worn off, etc.

How she uses a computer: I've set her up to do banking and bill-paying online, she files her taxes, reads daily newspapers, does some shopping, uses Yahoo E-mail, types some snail mail on the OpenOffice writer I downloaded, plays solitaire, and Googles answers for her crossword puzzles. She does not watch movies, play games other than solitaire, download music, or store large files or graphics beyond family photos. Her usage probably averages no more than one hour per day.

What she wants: She's 85, so she wants exactly what she has. I've given up trying to talk her into a laptop. She's comfortable at her big desk and as a lifelong touch typist she does not like the laptop keyboards (I made her practice on mine). I know I could hook up the kind of keyboard she likes to a laptop, but she would never move the laptop, so what's the point?

My shopping mission: I don't want her to spend a lot of money on this. She doesn't go out shopping anymore and has no idea about any computer terminology, so I will be buying this on her behalf. Am I correct to think I could get hardware to meet her needs in the $300 range? As to a monitor, I know she will freak out over any new one because she's never seen anything bigger than my 15-inch laptop screen. I'm thinking I should get her a 20-inch LED — Newegg, Amazon, etc., seem to have some of those for not much over $100 that have reasonable reviews. I assume I could hook up her current functioning monitor to a new computer but for $100 it doesn't seem worth it. Agree or disagree?

Opinions I seek: Am I on the right track about what would meet her needs? Anyone have any brand recommendations for low-end merchandise? Is there a benefit to the monitor being brand compatible to the computer? I bought my laptop from Costco because of their multi-year warranty and service I've been happy with, but they don't seem to have much choice for this circumstance. Any retailer recommendations beyond Newegg or Amazon? Would a store like Staples have an all-in-one that would work? I'm not crazy about BestBuy and I do NOT want anything refurbished. I know it works for some people, but I've had issues I don't want to repeat.

If anyone would like to chime in with an opinion, I'm listening and appreciative. She can surf away on her Dell for the time being, but I want to be prepared if there's a meltdown. Thanks!
I love HP brand computers. I find them most user friendly. I think you should be able to get her a decent desk top for around 600 for pkg. I have seen them even cheaper....Sam's club, Walmart, Best Buy. I think they are the best for ease of introduction....seriously plug and play. You can get her set up, so rest will be easy for her on this forum, she probably has tons of sage advice
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:13 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
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HP computers are loaded with an obscene amount of junkware. Not a fan of either their desktops or laptops. My dad's desktop was HP. Lasted long, but it was not any more user friendly than any other. 95% of user friendli-ness comes from the operating system.

I think the OP is approaching this correctly though I would suggest a new all-in-one unit. Fewer cables, less clutter on the desk. Mostly a monitor and keyboard. Easy to find a 20 inch unit from Dell, HP, or maybe even Sony.
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:36 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
4,243 posts, read 12,765,214 times
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This is all great information -- wish I had had the time to ask all my questions prior to my purchase last summer.

Since I have a HP, I concur that it is very friendly. I also agree that it does have more bloat than some others, but since Grandma doesn't need speed and space, she'll not notice. I easily got rid of a lot of junk though.

Mine isn't an all-n-one, and although that type does mean fewer cables and such, I like having all the separate parts so that everything still fits well on my desk, and I can adjust the location of my monitor and keyboard if necessary. I like my separate speakers for clearer sound. Lije Baley brings up a great point about sound.

I also agree with Tek_Freek about 32 bit. However, perhaps Grandma doesn't have any old programs or peripherals to transfer from the XP machine to the Win7 machine, and it won't matter as much. It mattered to me, and cost me dearly. Wish I had known the difference between 32 and 64.

{Tek-Freek ... give a heads up and I'll see what I can do about pizza!}

Jukesgrrl ... if Grandma has been using the Microsoft preinstalled version of solitaire, she'll find a number of differences with the Win7 version. One difference is that cards are turned over automatically instead of the player clicking to turn them over. But the biggest one is that the game appears to still have plays when it really doesn't. There may be no more moves left, but if there's the useless play of moving a stack on top of another stack, the game doesn't end until the player makes that useless move. So many times I've stared at the cards wondering what move I'm missing when I realize there aren't any except to move a lonely red 6 onto the black 7. So, just a forewarning to Grandma to trust her instincts, and when she knows a game is over, it really is no matter what the program thinks.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,820 posts, read 13,961,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lije Baley View Post
I hate laptops for several fundamental reasons, including the Dell I'm typing on right now, and would only recommend them to people who must have a computer they can take with them. Otherwise, I would stick to a desktop, .
Totally disagree. I don't want to sidetrack, I understand the OP's need for a desktop, but for 95% of consumers out there, there is ZERO need for a desktop computer.
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Old 02-27-2012, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,904,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Totally disagree. I don't want to sidetrack, I understand the OP's need for a desktop, but for 95% of consumers out there, there is ZERO need for a desktop computer.
95%?

I disagree completely.

Laptops cost more for equivalent computing power. The break more often and are less serviceable. They cannot be expanded except with external devices. Their keyboards are worse than a $20 Microsoft keyboard. The display height is fixed.
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Old 02-27-2012, 11:19 AM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,649,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Totally disagree. I don't want to sidetrack, I understand the OP's need for a desktop, but for 95% of consumers out there, there is ZERO need for a desktop computer.
Why do you say that?

I disagree with the statement. Many people are not "on the go" types requiring mobile computing, have no need to compute in bed or the bathroom...
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Old 02-27-2012, 01:51 PM
 
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I agree. My friends with laptops buy them simply because they want to be able to use the computer and sit on the couch and watch tv at the same time. They dont really need mobile computing.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,820 posts, read 13,961,605 times
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I really don't want to sidetrack the thread.
I shall start a new one.
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Old 02-27-2012, 02:07 PM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,649,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
I really don't want to sidetrack the thread.
I shall start a new one.
Great! I really am interested in that study about the 95%...
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