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Thread: Dad PC advice

  1. #17
    Moosekateer CAT-THE-FIFTH's Avatar
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    Re: Dad PC advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Thorsson View Post
    I resemble that remark. I'm a Dad, and not that far from 65. And you know what, there were computers being used in business even before I went to Uni (OK they were the size of a planet and looked after by men in white coats, but...) to do a degree in Maths & Computer Science.

    OK so some older people might have had their heads in the sand over the last 20 years, or are scared of technology, but there are also 80 year olds doing all sorts of things with their computers. Reaching 60 doesn't make you brain dead - some people were like that all along.
    Yep,I agree with you entirely as I know older family members who love using computers and find them very useful and love having the latest tech!Some of them have used computers in 1970s too which were HUGE and joked how a modern calculator probablyt had more RAM!! It does take them a bit longer than younger people for them to get used to using new tech but the enthusiasm is there! Once you are geek you tend to stay one for the rest of your life methinks!


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: Dad PC advice

    Quote Originally Posted by CAT-THE-FIFTH View Post
    For the price I would go for the Asus M3N78-VM which has the Nvidia 8200 series chipset over the Asus M3A76-CM which has the AMD 760G chipset. The 8200 has better video acceleration features over the 760G.
    Great, thanks a lot :-)

    I didn't realise Windows 7 was so cheap, so now I'm wonderering whether or not to wait for that. Thing is, which is more Dad-friendly: XP, Vista or Windows 7?

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Dad PC advice

    indeed my dad's in his 60's now, he built our first computer, a uk101, it involved him buying a circuit diagram, a whole bunch of resistors, transistors, capasitors and such, then soilderd it all together.
    He did have to buy a keyboard, but not a case (He though the plastic cases where not worth it) instead he built one out of wood.

    Back to the topic, as has already been said
    1: SSD is to expensive and will not really do much for just for an office, e-mail and internet pc
    2: The AMD 7xx and nVidia 8xxxx onboard graphics will be fine for this, if anything it's slightly overpowered for just office & internet, However as you've noticed they are cheap while still being good.

    Monitor, personally I much prefur a standard 4:3 ratio monitor for internet & office than a wide screen.

    20.1" Iiyama non-wide screen
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/201-I...ts-1600-x-1200

    also a highend monitor with IPS panel is not really that needed, but a good TN panel is fine
    22" Hyundai widescreen
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/22-Hy...DVI-HDCP-10001

    the other thing to consider is his eye sight, running these monitors at full res maybe too fine for his eyes ie too many pixels per inch making text harder to see
    So you may wish to consider 19" screens instead, while only very slightly smaller (and taller than a 22" widescreen) they have a far lower pixel-per-inch count so while things will still be sharp (a single pixel) it will look bigger which is good when the old eyes start to go.

    Nice looking and speced 19" Sony
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/19-So...0001-450-cd-m2

    Or 19" Viewsonic, with very nice full height adjustable, tilt and pivot stand. (MVA panel)
    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/19-Vi...250-cd-m2-VESA
    A nice trick you can do here, that is done by print designers is to pivot the screen and use it that way (i.e. the sides become the top&bottom and the top&bottom become the sides), that way it's the same orintation as most paper. Ok this may not be of any use to your dad in this case but it's nice to have the option open and which way round you want the monitor is the sort of physical question he could grasp easily

    Will you need new keyboard and mouse as well? Speakers? Printer?
    it's all these bits as well as software which will easily push the overall budget up, if you take CAT's base unit at £274,
    + £16 for a couple of decent 120mm fans
    + £18 for keyboard and mouse http://www.ebuyer.com/product/160333
    + £120ish monitor
    + £50 OS
    + £70 MS office home & student edition (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
    or +£115 MS office pro (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Publisher, Access)
    + £26 Kaspersky InternetSecurity 2010 (anti-virus + anti-spyware + firewall)
    + £50 All-in-one printer (colour inkjet & scanner) http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150564

    that's already up to £600-650 from a £274 starting price, although I would sugest cutting out MS office and use open office, it's free and is actually very good + it still looks like MS office 2003 or lower.
    If he's used MS office before in the past he may get totally lost and confused by the layout change in office 2007 (strangely enough at work I've had a few people clamoring for 2007 and after installing it they've almost all asked for 2003 to be put back on as they cannot find anything in the new version because of the layout change although not an issue if you've never used office in the first place)

  4. #20
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Dad PC advice

    Quote Originally Posted by testbreakdown View Post
    Great, thanks a lot :-)

    I didn't realise Windows 7 was so cheap, so now I'm wonderering whether or not to wait for that. Thing is, which is more Dad-friendly: XP, Vista or Windows 7?
    Thatr's a low pre-order price to get people to buy it
    I'll have to check if this is correct, but I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong
    you download a copy of the windows7 beta, and install that, buy a pre-order pack, then when it comes out you should be able to upgrade the beta with the pre-order pack so you don't have to reinstall it.

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    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    Re: Dad PC advice

    Do I gather that there is no "Ultimate" Windows 7? And do you really need to use the Beta, or can you just wait for the package to turn up in October?

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    Re: Dad PC advice

    More really useful advice, thanks Pob :-)

    I need to speak to him about what monitor he'd prefer then. Perhaps a trip to PC world so we can test a few out.

    Need speakers, mouse and keyboard but he already has a printer. Pretty sure he's used Office 2007 before so I'll go for the Home and Student version.

  7. #23
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Dad PC advice

    Yes there is an Ultimate version
    Windows 7 Starter/home basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Enterprise, and Windows 7 Ultimate.
    in both 64bit and 32bit versions

    For just office and internet Windows7 Home Premium 64bit is the best bet.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2340338,00.asp

    the reason for using the beta is haveing a working OS before October and not having to reinstall everything when it does come out. EDIT: Ok it looks like you can upgrade from vista without a full reinstall, but how successful it wil be is another matter and it will mean buying vista then buying windows 7

    EDIT: I would seriously look at Open office, it can do everything that MS office does, includeing open and save MS office files, the only area it cannot do is Access (the database program) and it looks exactly the same as MS office 2003
    And of course it's Free!
    Last edited by Pob255; 19-07-2009 at 12:50 PM.

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    Re: Dad PC advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    For just office and internet Windows7 Home Premium 64bit is the best bet.

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2340338,00.asp

    EDIT: I would seriously look at Open office, it can do everything that MS office does, includeing open and save MS office files, the only area it cannot do is Access (the database program) and it looks exactly the same as MS office 2003
    And of course it's Free!
    Why 64-bit? I couldn't find anything in that article (unless I missed it). I know there used to be driver issues on XP 64-bit, has that improved with Vista/Windows 7?

    Right, I'll try Open Office then. Saves a bit of cash and I can always swap it for MS Office later if necessary I guess. Thanks :-)

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    No-one's Fanboi Thorsson's Avatar
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    Re: Dad PC advice

    OK, 7 Ultimate seems a waste of money. Professional (like XP) appears to be the best version, being Home Premium with some useful Network stuff. Unless I read it wrong.

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Dad PC advice

    You'll need to do more research to find out which is best for you

    Rule of thumb
    For just a home pc or a home adhock network, ie a couple of pc's shareing a printer or hard drive then home premium is fine

    If you're connecting to a managed domain network (ie logging on to a server), then Pro version or better will be needed.
    The differences between the versions is small but key, depending on your network structure, something like Applocker could be very useful on a managed network, how much use it is I don't know as I've not had the system to test it.

    And unlike the cruddy xp 64bit both vista 64bit and window7 64bit work and work well, and you should look at 64bit versions if running 4gb or more memory.

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    Re: Dad PC advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    And unlike the cruddy xp 64bit both vista 64bit and window7 64bit work and work well, and you should look at 64bit versions if running 4gb or more memory.
    That's good to know. I was thinking of 4GB memory maximum, are there any other benfits to going 64bit?

    Sorry for the endless questions guys. You've already helped enormously

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    Re: Dad PC advice

    Quote Originally Posted by testbreakdown View Post
    That's good to know. I was thinking of 4GB memory maximum, are there any other benfits to going 64bit?

    Sorry for the endless questions guys. You've already helped enormously
    It's the future! I know Paul Thurrock was quite surprised that Windows 7 even shipped in 32-bit versions. At the end of the day, 64-bit has the 4GB benefit, and as things stand virtually no negatives as compared to 32-bit, so there's just no reason to get 32-bit instead.

    I'm sure somebody will tell me I'm wrong, and talk about unsigned drivers or something, but at the end of the day I don't think there's any compelling reason to take 32-bit instead of 64.

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    Re: Dad PC advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Pob255 View Post
    the reason for using the beta is haveing a working OS before October and not having to reinstall everything when it does come out. EDIT: Ok it looks like you can upgrade from vista without a full reinstall, but how successful it wil be is another matter and it will mean buying vista then buying windows 7
    I was told that upgrades were disabled in the "E" editions that Europeans need, thanks to the recent EU ruling.......

    Haven't got my hands on an "E" edition to test yet though.
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    Re: Dad PC advice

    OK: Windows 7 - it cannot be upgraded over the RC or Beta versions - get one of those and you'll be doing a clean install. Windows 7 E - the version licensed for sale in the EU - cannot be upgraded over a Windows Vista install, so you'll be doing a clean install. So, get Windows 7 RC now (the download is going to be closed soon) and preorder Windows 7 Home Premium as quickly as possible - you may already have missed the best deal (I recommend trying PC World which seems to be the place with the most copies going spare).

    As far as 32 vs 64 goes, as I understand it you don't get hardware certification on Windows Vista / 7 unless you have both 32 and 64 bit drivers - so as long as you use certified hardware you'll not have any driver issues (I have a cheap generic USB wireless adapter that runs perfectly under Windows 7 64bit using the supplied Vista 64bit drivers, for example). At this point there is no disadvantage to going 64bit (32bit software runs just as smoothly under 64bit Windows), and it guaranatees you're ready for the point where some companies suddenly decide they're not going to write 32bit software anymore.

    Pointless Aside - Windows 7 probably has a 32bit release to support Atom processors that don't have 64bit extensions. Besides, the 32bit market exists out there - why ignore it? An Atom 1.6GHz and 1GB of RAM runs Windows 7 smoothly (according to reviews / blogs / forum posts I've seen, anyway ), and not releasing a 32bit version would keep Microsoft out of that very lucrative market! Besides, it also gives me the chance to try it on my old Athlon XP 2600+...

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    Re: Dad PC advice

    Quote Originally Posted by scaryjim View Post
    OK: Windows 7 - it cannot be upgraded over the RC or Beta versions - get one of those and you'll be doing a clean install. Windows 7 E - the version licensed for sale in the EU - cannot be upgraded over a Windows Vista install, so you'll be doing a clean install. So, get Windows 7 RC now (the download is going to be closed soon) and preorder Windows 7 Home Premium as quickly as possible - you may already have missed the best deal (I recommend trying PC World which seems to be the place with the most copies going spare).
    Based on what you say your advice would appear to be partly wrong. If you cannot upgrade over RC, then the best bet is to order non-E Windows 7 now, and forget the RC. Unless you want to do a clean install, when you might as well get the RC and not worry about the version of the full 7.

    I'm gathering that there's not to be an Upgrade version?

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