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  1. #891
    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: Computer help desk

    It's a pretty old machine - an Inspiron 6000 and I'm running XP. There isn't a battery icon on the task bar. Now it looks like the battery is fully charged. I haven't used it in a while, so it needed to be charged. I don't know that this battery has ever been in the machine for very long since it's the one that came with it and I bought one with a longer life (that's the one that probably died today) and used this one as a back up. It's been in a drawer for at least a few years.

    I would just leave the battery out, since it's rare for me to NOT have it plugged in, but I have cats. Sometimes, they pull the cord out of the machine and, without a battery, that's not good.

    Honestly, this computer is so old, that I probably won't spend any more money on it. If it needs more work or parts, I'll probably just scrap it, go back to using my desk top and wait until I have enough to buy a new laptop.
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

  2. #892
    FORT Fogey
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    Re: Computer help desk

    Quote Originally Posted by Critical;3942553;
    It's a pretty old machine - an Inspiron 6000 and I'm running XP....
    Honestly, this computer is so old, that I probably won't spend any more money on it. If it needs more work or parts, I'll probably just scrap it, go back to using my desk top and wait until I have enough to buy a new laptop.
    Those old Dell's are great workhorses - I've got an Insprion 5000 stashed in a closet here somewhere. Great keyboards for touch typing (but they are murder to have to lug around). Sounds like you are all good to go. A couple of notes for future reference:
    • If you need to see if your battery is charged in Windows XP, go to the Control Panel, and select Performance and Maintenance, and then Power Options. In the Power Options there is a Power Meter tab that displays the current power status.
    • You can get a replacement for your dead 9 cell battery for about $50 on Amazon.
    • If the computer feels slow, you can get the biggest bang for buck performance increase by replacing the RAM with bigger chips - something that would have cost many hundreds of dollars when the computer was new, but now you can max it out for about $60.
    • Your biggest risk with this computer right now is the hard drive going bad. I know that this is the oldest advice in the world, but make sure you have a backup of everything that you don't want to lose. Also, since you also have a desktop, are you familiar with free online synchronization services? You designate a special folder on your computer(s) as a "drop box", and everything you save to that folder is sync'ed to all your computers, as well as a copy available online. It's a great way make sure you have the same documents on any computer on which you decide to work. And, in the event of a crash, it guarantees that your important documents are stored in multiple places.

  3. #893
    FORT Fogey carolinamom12's Avatar
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Don't know if this is the right place to ask. I am thinking of getting a laptop computer. Does anyone know which name brand is better? Or does it matter about name brand if you get everything you need on it?

    If this is not the right place to post this could someone let me know. Thanks

  4. #894
    FORT Fogey Ellen's Avatar
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Quote Originally Posted by carolinamom12;3952954;
    Don't know if this is the right place to ask. I am thinking of getting a laptop computer. Does anyone know which name brand is better? Or does it matter about name brand if you get everything you need on it?

    If this is not the right place to post this could someone let me know. Thanks
    I have a small MacBook and love it -- as well as the excellent customer service from Apple.
    "There's no crying in baseball!"
    -- Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own

  5. #895
    FORT Fogey carolinamom12's Avatar
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Quote Originally Posted by Ellen;3953365;
    I have a small MacBook and love it -- as well as the excellent customer service from Apple.
    Thanks I never thought about a Mac until your suggestion. I think I will go check it out and see what they have. They are so many out there that my head is spinning, and with all the option's they offer!

  6. #896
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Quote Originally Posted by carolinamom12;3953478;
    Thanks I never thought about a Mac until your suggestion. I think I will go check it out and see what they have. They are so many out there that my head is spinning, and with all the option's they offer!
    I don't doubt that your head is spinning! The Mac's are great, but pricey (starting at $1000, you can find them at Apple). Can you say what your budget is, and tell a little more about what you need (and want) to do on it and how and where you will be using it? Will you just use it at home? Be carrying it around to meetings or classes? Choosing a laptop is all about what you are willing to give up to get what you need at a reasonable price.
    Last edited by TopCatDC; 06-28-2010 at 01:48 PM.

  7. #897
    FORT Fogey carolinamom12's Avatar
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Quote Originally Posted by TopCatDC;3953530;
    I don't doubt that your head is spinning! The Mac's are great, but pricey (starting at $1000, you can find them at Apple). Can you say what your budget is, and tell a little more about what you need (and want) to do on it and how and where you will be using it? Will you just use it at home? Be carrying it around to meetings or classes? Choosing a laptop is all about what you are willing to give up to get what you need at a reasonable price.
    I just need it for home and some travel. And I may pass it on to my son for college in two years. I was looking at a Dell, they let you put what you need on it. I really do not want to spend a $1000 on it.

  8. #898
    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: Computer help desk

    I have loved Dell for years. They have a very wide price range and good customer service.
    I've never had problems with Dell.
    To Thine Own Self Be True

  9. #899
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered prhoshay's Avatar
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    Re: Computer help desk

    I'll second that!
    "...each affects the other, and the other affects the next, and the world is full of stories, but the stories are all one." - Mitch Albom, one helluva writer

    When you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, you know which one you hit by the one that yelps!

  10. #900
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    Re: FORT Koffee Klatch

    Quote Originally Posted by carolinamom12;3953562;
    I just need it for home and some travel. And I may pass it on to my son for college in two years. I was looking at a Dell, they let you put what you need on it. I really do not want to spend a $1000 on it.
    OK, I'm going to make some assumptions here:
    • You are primarily doing web browsing, writing, e-mail, social network, playing music and maybe doing light consumer photo editing and sharing.
    • You will not be running Photoshop or doing video editing
    • You are willing to lug a 5 - 6 pound laptop on the few times you travel, rather than pay an addition $500 for a lighter 3 lbs machine.
    • You want a regular sized laptop and keyboard, rather than one of the mini netbooks that are cheap and portable, but harder to see and type on

    Here are general recommendations for Windows laptops (since a new Mac is probably outside of your price range):
    • Get Windows 7 Premium (or Windows 7 Professional - but that's more than you need); do not accept Windows Vista
    • Get at least 2mb of RAM memory with Windows 7 32 bit; if they will only sell you Windows 7 64 bit, you should increase the RAM memory to 4 mb (but that is overkill for your needs).
    • The processor (or CPU) is the heart of the computer, and there are many models out there from Intel and AMD, but the good news is that your needs are so modest, any of them will work for you.
    • Every laptop is going to have at least 100 gigabyte of hard drive storage, so you shouldn't have to worry about this.
    • You should be able to find lots of choices that weigh around 5 lbs. That is reasonably portable. Anything over 6.5 lbs is technically portable, but a big pain (literally) to carry around. Consider those heavier machines as desktop replacements, but not good commuter choices.

    Here are some ideas of computers you can get online from the major manufacturers:
    • Dell Vostro 3500 - part of Dell's business line; latest Intel processor; under $600.
    • Gateway EC5809u - moderate weight and extra long lasting battery; (under $700)
    • Lenovo G550 - Great keyboard; 15" screen; (under $600)

    Here are some you can find at Best Buy and other retailers:
    • Gateway NV53A24u - good budget choice with an AMD processor, (about $500)
    • Samsung NP-R480-JAB1US - Comes with a Blu-ray DVD drive and latest Intel processor; (under $600)
    • Toshiba A505-S600 - Powerful, but on the heavy side; (under $600)
    • HP Compaq Presario CQ60-615DX - good, cheap, basic computer; (under $350)

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