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Old 05-20-2009, 01:07 AM
 
Location: Diaspora
21,540 posts, read 24,674,751 times
Reputation: 8930

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We've come to a point where you can buy a core duo with 3gb of ram, 500gb of hdd, 256 video, and DVD drive for under $300 with an OS. Desktop computers are the same as microwave ovens. If it looks nice buy it. No one cares whats inside anymore. If it breaks out of warranty, throw it away and buy another. The days of dropping $2000 for a home computer are gone. BTW I built BTO's (desktops and notebooks) for close to 7 years and I watched the market dry up by 2004. Do the name brands put together crap computers? Yes they do. But they fit the price point people are willing to pay. And here in 2009 I purchased my first name brand computers. A HP slimline with the specs listed above for $279 and a HP notebook witha 16" screen and similar specs for $449 (both w/o mail-in rebates). And yes I removed Vista and replaced it with XP pro. Had to tweak the drivers a little.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:14 AM
 
11,715 posts, read 36,336,945 times
Reputation: 7514
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilVA View Post
We've come to a point where you can buy a core duo with 3gb of ram, 500gb of hdd, 256 video, and DVD drive for under $300 with an OS. Desktop computers are the same as microwave ovens. If it looks nice buy it. No one cares whats inside anymore. If it breaks out of warranty, throw it away and buy another. The days of dropping $2000 for a home computer are gone. BTW I built BTO's (desktops and notebooks) for close to 7 years and I watched the market dry up by 2004. Do the name brands put together crap computers? Yes they do. But they fit the price point people are willing to pay. And here in 2009 I purchased my first name brand computers. A HP slimline with the specs listed above for $279 and a HP notebook witha 16" screen and similar specs for $449 (both w/o mail-in rebates). And yes I removed Vista and replaced it with XP pro. Had to tweak the drivers a little.
The difference between a PC and an appliance like a microwave is that replacing a microwave is easy. You don't customize it, load apps, or save any data in it. If it dies, you just drop another one in in it's place. If your PC dies, its a pain to get a new one setup just the way you like it even if you have a current backup of your data. I prefer my PCs to last as long as possible so I still build my own with quality components that I expect to last. It costs more but I don't care. Crappy, unreliable PCs make me want to smash the company's CEO over the head with it so I don't buy them.
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Diaspora
21,540 posts, read 24,674,751 times
Reputation: 8930
10 years ago the name brands were crap. But now most problems are software related. I have a friend who opened a shop across the street from Best Buy. His shelves are filled with computers with software issues. He rarely does any hardware repairs anymore. And if you speak to Best Buy associates, they say the same thing.

In my POV it is an appliance. My thumb drive sets up the computer each time I use. Without my thumb drive the computer reverts to day one of coming out of the box.

If the PC I'm currently using goes dead (out of warranty), I will pull the hard drive and place it into an external enclosure (fyi-my desktop already does an image backup nitely to an external device).
Throw away the PC and go out and buy another one and spend a few hours reloading apps.

You are now getting a bigger bang for your buck. 10 years ago we were dealing with the Celeron based computers (the 300 just makes be shudder). The current group of computers is good for 90% of the market. The only people that need moded bto's are gamers and graphic designers (I'll leave it for another thread why Macs are better for those people).

And as I'm trying to come to an end to this response, My friend with the store just called me to tell me about a trojan thats hitting the area heavily. He's checking in computers about every 5-10 minutes. So I'm going down there tonight to help him out with these S/W issues that will take minimal time to resolve. These type of problems have nothing to do with H/W manufacturers, but I guarantee they are getting massive phone calls blaming them for it. You want to know how to stop most of the problems from happening? Buy a Internet Security package yearly and set it to auto update and buy a surge protector (at least $30 pls).

Just in case you are asking about the trojan. It threatens you if you don't give them your CC# and pay 59.99. It will not allow you to surf using IE. Heres the link to take care of it (AOL GUI, Netscape, mozilla will surf out). How to remove Personal Antivirus (Removal Guide). The trojan is called "Personal Antivirus"
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:46 PM
 
12,717 posts, read 18,841,622 times
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A bare bones budget computer is cheaper to buy, I must say, when you include the operating system, keyboards, monitor, etc...it's just cheaper. Someone mentioned budget systems on the market for less than $300. The operating system alone will cost you $100 if bought seperately.

Yeah yeah you can use other options besides microsoft and you can use an old monitor, but it raises the degree of complexity. That being said, I am gathering the specifications myself to build my own desktop, but I have specific needs, some existing hardware, and also an interest in the subject, and I will build one cheaper than I can buy. But for an average user, he can buy one cheaper.

Heck, for most users they can buy a 5 year old second hand computer for $100 with the OEM XP, reformat it to get rid of the crap, and happily use that. I'm seeing lots and lots of very very cheap pentium 4 computers on Craigslist. No dual core, no fancy GPU, but it's all 90% of the people need (which is - write email, view porn on the internet, download music).
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Old 05-20-2009, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Whittier
3,007 posts, read 5,204,983 times
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HP and DELL are easy.

(A majority of) people will NEVER build their own computers.

I do and I love it, but the price difference has come down so much where there really is no savings vs. building one one's self. I just do it because I like to.

And...we can't or at least build laptops which are big sellers for those companies.

I have my custom machine, triple booting XP, Win7 beta and Ubuntu, and other than the IT guy at work, I don't know anyone who knows as much as me. And I STILL don't know that much after being a hobbyist for over 15 years.

People want something simple, quick and easy to use. My systems have gotten easier (since trying to get Dungeons and Dragons games to work on Dos) to use but none of them have been trouble free.

It is extremely frustrating for people who know little about computers when something goes wrong. They feel helpless and often resort to spending money to get the problem "fixed" or they just buy a new computer.

Do you really think people are going to want to waste their time building one?
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow in "OZ "
23,985 posts, read 23,221,257 times
Reputation: 30780
The last time I built anything electronic was 1965 a Heath Kit. I've often wondered if I could build a system. Not having any electronic support gear just plan shade tree mechanic tools. The question I have is compatibility can you have two oranges and one banana and a strawberry work in harmony and not be out of balance.Then to purchase a operating system like XP and have nothing go wrong... my middle name is " Tim the Tool Man " I can see $500 going up in a mushroom cloud flash and having the whole neighbourhood be blacked out for a couple days..... So is their a book for dummies on how to build a real working system ?
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Detroit Downriver
620 posts, read 1,883,993 times
Reputation: 403
I don't know if I would start calling computers simple appliances just yet. The term just doesn't fit. And forget about blaming all the trouble on the software so you can label the hardware appliance like. Neither one does very much at all without the other. Certainly, if you are knowledgeable enough to build your own from cheap component parts, the perception of the device as a simple appliance is easy enough to swallow. However, in the aggregate, people are not that adept at sorting through the myriad options that would befuddle and thwart them at every turn.

Every choice for every individual component both enables as well as disables other possible options. You can't have it all in one machine. If you already know the evolution of available hardware options, then it's easy to connect the dots to an ideal compromise between cost vs performance and reliability. If you're entering the field as a novice with the prospect of making your first computer your own design/build, without the knowledge to back that up, you better get ready to feel like a retard. Old man Murphy will put the kibosh on your plans of saving money in a hurry.

Of course, if you're in no hurry and you're a self taught individual who likes to experiment, and you don't mind getting your lessons in the school of hard knocks while you throw nickels away on useless rubbish to litter the shelves in your closet, you can be an expert in computer building from day one.

It's not a microwave. In a microwave, you take the cardboard out, plug it in and toss food in it before you set the timer and push the button for a nice hot meal. A brand name PC, supposedly already configured to provide its new owner with an easy transition into computer ownership, is closer, when compared to white box builds, to being the most appliance like. Yet in addition to being plugged in and turned on, it must also be configured for the Internet and email. It must have specific software defined, acquired, installed and learned for the tasks targeted by its new owner. It must have freeware removed, be personalized, be protected from viruses, trojans, adware, bogus tool bars and also must be updated at regular intervals.

Macs are the closest computers to appliances. (Not intended as a Mac vs PC argument. It's just the nature of the beast) They come pre-configured with a multitude of fully licensed software, whether you need it or not. You just have to learn how to use it. All of the usual problems of malware are absent. You need only add an external Firewire or USB 2.0 HD and set up Time Machine to secure your data with backup protection. The OS is as easy to learn as most generic remote controls, and still ... I would not call it an appliance. It is still very complicated.

To be considered appliance like, they would have to be making under multiple brands from multiple manufacturers a generic enough computer that was so simple to use that every Tom, Dick or Harry with enough sense to step up to a bathroom mirror and recognize their own face would be able to pull one out of the box and get crackin' with it without any instructions or the need to open a manual. No one would ever destroy their data, because no matter how you mismanaged the thing, it would always save it in multiple copies that any pencil neck could find and retrieve.

But most of all, PCs will never be considered appliance like because no one ever entertains the notion of building their own appliance from component parts. Appliances are dedicated uni-purpose machines. No one ever looks at a microwave and thinks, "Gee! I could get a magnetron tube and a metal box and build my own cheaper than what these guys are wanting."
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:51 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 36,336,945 times
Reputation: 7514
It's the fact that a PC is infinitely flexible that keeps it from being an appliance. No other device in the home can do so many different things in so many different ways. To make it truly an appliance, it would have to be like the iphone but with no 3rd party apps where apple says "Here's the device. Use it the way we intend. Put on your robe and drink our koolaid."
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:12 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 85,092,512 times
Reputation: 18083
Face it most have no interest in buliding their opwn compuetr.most are satisfied with waht they can but in a cpu ofr baout 500 dollars. In fact most are over the have to have the tops in computers. In japn for insatcnes they have done surveys that show that their are m,any more elctronic iems that are more wanted and that is why so mnay keep their older compuers. They do everything most want now.
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Old 05-20-2009, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Detroit Downriver
620 posts, read 1,883,993 times
Reputation: 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
It's the fact that a PC is infinitely flexible that keeps it from being an appliance. No other device in the home can do so many different things in so many different ways. To make it truly an appliance, it would have to be like the iphone but with no 3rd party apps where apple says "Here's the device. Use it the way we intend. Put on your robe and drink our koolaid."
Lemmie think this through.

Apple coolaid... good, tasty, trouble free.

Microsoft coolaid... bad, nasty, full of vile viruses.

Balmer is the new Jim Jones.

Yes, I agree with everything EscapeCalifornia said.
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