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Old 02-03-2009, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Virginia
97 posts, read 363,440 times
Reputation: 90

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
One thing you may want to consider is replacing the old desktop with a nice new one and getting a netbook in addition to it. Use the desktop for more serious work and use the netbook for recreational web use sitting the couch, etc. The pair probably wouldn't cost much more than a nice laptop. The netbook has the advantage of being more portable than a full sized laptop and since its so cheap, there's less concern over it getting broken.
I thought about this yesterday and really like the idea. Thanks for suggesting this.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Virginia
97 posts, read 363,440 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
Does your DSL modem have an antenna on it? Perhaps a silly question, but a lot of them come with wireless, and the antenna is the indicator.

Do not let a laptop intimidate you. It is nothing more than a desktop in a compact form.

If you do need a router they are not that expensive and setting one up isn't terribly difficult. Keep in mind that there are plenty of us here to help you through getting it all working.

I prefer a laptop. Summer on the deck, winter in front of the fireplace, life is good.
My modem does not have an antenna on it. It came from Verizon when we got DSL service with them , it is a Westell model #2200.

I really appreciate all the support here.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:50 PM
 
Location: Virginia
97 posts, read 363,440 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by mawipafl View Post
chispirit - I truly understand the feeling of intimidation - I know it doesn't make sense, but it's a real feeling ... after all, there was my desk covered with necessary equipment (the desktop computer) and then there in my two hands was all of the same equipment compressed into one small thin rectangle (the laptop).

That was five years ago, and although I'm not very computer-savvy, I quickly learned that the laptop was actually less complicated than my desktop. I love the mobility of the laptop - it's great to be able to work on it wherever I darn please.

One thing I really like about the laptop is the ease of getting on the internet. There's a slidr switch on the front and all I have to do is slide it and the laptop searches for a wireless network. I've taken the laptop out and about with me on day trips and vacation trips, and it's kind of fun to slide the switch and see what connections are available - you'd be amazed at the number of unsecured networks that can be used.

At home we have internet through our cable company. We have a modem (a black box) and a router (a flat thing with blinking lights and an antenna). One of our desktops is hardwired to this equipment, another desktop connects with a wireless adaptor plugged into a USB port, and the laptop connects whenever I slide the switch. Our daughter has a MacBook, and when she's home visiting, she too can connect wirelessly to our internet connection.

I'm going to guess that your older Dell desktop will work just fine if it's already working with DSL. Adding a router so that the laptop can also connect truly shouldn't have any affect at all. Our desktops are about the same vintage as yours, and when we went from dialup to DSL I figured the old dinosaurs would keel over and choke, but they didn't.

My parents just got their first laptop. So they now have three desktops and the laptop. One desktop (which is ancient!) is wired to the modem and router, and the other two desktops have wireless adaptors hooked into USB ports, and the laptop, well, I'm not sure what room it's in at the moment, but it connects through its built-in wireless. When my father wants to print something off the laptop, he just unplugs the printer from his desktop and plugs it into his laptop. I know there are other ways to do it, but for him that's the simplest way.

IMHO, yes, go with a laptop. It's really not as intimidating as it appears.

You really do hit the nail right on the head with what you said. Everything I know about computers I have pretty much taught myself.
This desktop has been my 2nd computer and I guess I feel comfortable with it and maybe I am just a little afraid to try something new...LOL..

It is great to know that my dinosaur will work with the router.

This is a great bunch of people here and I am glad I came here and asked my question.
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Old 02-03-2009, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Virginia
97 posts, read 363,440 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by titaniummd View Post
As long as you have a NIC card for the router, your desktop will be compatible. There is a network port on all routers.

Are you someone who likes to tinker with computers and change the hardware? If yes, get a desktop. It is cheaper to upgrade RAM, Hard drive and even CPU. Most modern applications require more RAM than anything else unless you are a gamer or work with extensive video editing software.

I prefer a laptop since you can go anywhere in the house. In fact, right now, I am typing from the cafeteria in Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. However, all you can upgrade is RAM, Hard drive and external peripherals through a USB port. Cost is about 2 times that of a comparable desktop.
I don't really tinker on the computer other than cleaning it outside and inside. I have bought myself an anti static wrist strap for that purpose.
Well, I thought I would add more RAM since that looked really easy but it turns out that my DELL Dimension 8200 can not be upgraded.

BTW I had and emergency appendectomy at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville in 1991....wow it's been a long time

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Old 02-03-2009, 02:15 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 3,619,219 times
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You sure you can't swap out the ram that's in there for more memory? If you're sure you want a new computer you're probably due, but you should be able to get 2 gigs of ram in that sucker, which should be plenty if you're running XP.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Virginia
97 posts, read 363,440 times
Reputation: 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naptowner View Post
You sure you can't swap out the ram that's in there for more memory? If you're sure you want a new computer you're probably due, but you should be able to get 2 gigs of ram in that sucker, which should be plenty if you're running XP.

I went to crucial.com and used their 'ram tool' and it told me that the 256 mb RAM that I had on my pc was all that I could put on it.

Somebody told me that some DELL demensions 8200 are built to where you could not add any more RAM.
Now, I know a little bit but not enough about computers to know if that is true.

If I do decide to get a new desktop my kids would get this one to play some simple games on it , so there is no loss.
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Old 02-03-2009, 02:52 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 3,619,219 times
Reputation: 646
You never know . . . apparently there are some Dells that have odd-sized boards that don't accept much memory, but 256 was pretty low even for 2002/2003. I'd be really surprised if you couldn't pop out the ram that's in there and replace it with something else, although you might very well not have any more slots available.

Are you running XP or Windows ME? ME is limited to 512 meg, so that's not worth an upgrade. But even if you just want to use this for games for the kids, seems like a memory upgrade would make it run quite a bit better, and if it's getting "slower and slower," as you say, you might be able to improve the performance by quite a bit just by getting rid of programs you don't use and removing unused programs and services from the startup using msconfig. There's no reason low memory would make a computer get worse and worse over time.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:51 PM
 
28,611 posts, read 40,594,929 times
Reputation: 37281
Go here:

Dell Technical Support Home Page / Dell Troubleshooting Search

and enter your service tag number. If you click on the "Enter a service tag" button the next screen will have a place that lets you have them scan your PC for the tag. By doing this you will know exactly what the specifications are for your particular model.

Don't think that laptops really cost twice as much as desktops. The key is that "comparable" laptops cost more than desktops. The laptops on the market now selling for $500 are so much more powerful than what you are using that you wouldn't believe it!

Go to a store and play with some laptops. Ask questions, and believe 20% of what they tell you. Go to another store and play with some. Ask the same questions and see how much info jives. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the new crop of laptop computers.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:04 PM
 
Location: St. Croix
737 posts, read 2,283,916 times
Reputation: 756
Got a Vista operating system - do NOT do this (I'm sure many will disagree). I have three laptops, no desktops, all used for different businesses. Totally agree w/ Tek Freek on the Dell issue (have 2 that are Dell) the other is a Sony Vaio - BIG mistake. Dell guy was out last month replacing parts, nice guy and glad I got the extended warranty, worth it. I've been a Dell person for 10 years and I'm not sure why I went went the Sony stuff, oh well, live and learn.

Last edited by SunsetBeachFL; 02-03-2009 at 04:05 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Virginia
97 posts, read 363,440 times
Reputation: 90
Default Thanks to everybody

My husband and I decided to go with a laptop and we ordered one today.
We ordered a [SIZE=4]HP-Laptop with IntelĀ® PentiumĀ® Dual-Core Processor T3200-G60-235DX .[/SIZE]
[SIZE=1][/SIZE]
I wanted to say THANKS to everybody who has given me the confidence to jump on this. I was really unsure about it but when I read all your posts of how much you loved your laptop I just have to give it a shot.
If I have more questions I will come right here to this forum cause you have been awesome.

@Tek_Freek...
I will go and try that at the DELL site and if I can upgrade my pc I will do that for sure. We paid 499 for the laptop and the desktop with the same configurations but without the monitor would have been 399, with monitor over 670$. So I think that was a pretty good deal.


@Naptowner...
I have XP on my old computer and I love it. I know the 256 megs are just not enough for it and I will do what Tech_Freek suggested and see if I can't pop in more RAM.
I have used msconfig. the other day to scale down some programs but my PSP (Paint Shop Pro / I got 3 on my pc) are taking up lots of space . I had 4 on it and deleted one with tears in my eyes .....LOL...
Oh btw, I do have an external hard drive hooked up to my pc and already transferred lots to it.

One thing that has been bothering me about my old pc is that the USB ports are all 1.1 so everything that I hook up will run much slower of course, cause everything out there is running on 2.0 now.
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