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Old 11-21-20, 01:10 PM  
difit
 
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Desktop Computer

Sorry for another off-topic.

I'm looking to buy a new desktop computer. The one I have and loved is a Dell microsoft windows XP that they longer make. I can't update or download anymore. I just use the computer for basic internet search, email, word perfect, excel, downloading music and photos.

I'm wanting something similar to the Windows XP. Our local library uses Inspiron and I have used them. It does seem similar to Windows XP.

I hate that I don't much about computers. Trying to decide which Inspiron has my eyes glazed over. I'm also looking at HP but I don't know anything about them. Does anyone here own a desktop Inspiron or HP? Any suggestion would be appreciated.
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Old 11-21-20, 01:11 PM  
sherry7899
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Following.....I think our Dell desktop is the same as yours.
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Old 11-21-20, 01:48 PM  
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I went from my beloved homemade computer with Windows XP. Ah...XP!! I miss it. I went to a small computer shop and bought a store built computer with Windows 8.1. There was a small learning curve with Windows 8.1 but nothing to drastic or hard to understand. I had to install some blocking software so it didn't update to Windows 10. I'm very happy with it.
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Old 11-22-20, 11:10 AM  
antbuko
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I have an HP all in one desktop. I don't see a model name on it but I love it. It has Windows 10 on it. I've been buying HP's for years. Can you get to a BestBuy and test drive some models to see how you like them? That's what I did. Just try to go during a non-peak time. I've been to BestBuy several times since COVID started, and it's been safer than the supermarket.
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Old 11-22-20, 02:08 PM  
Floren
 
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Hi – I can see how choosing a computer can be intimidating! I felt like that when buying a car.

I’m not an expert, but here are a few things that might help. ( disclaimer: I am VERY much oversimplifying here. I hesitate to post because I would give a different answer with different options for more advanced users.)

This is not attempting to be thorough, just to clarify a few points. I hope this helps a little and doesn’t just make it more confusing!

Windows 10:

If you buy a new computer now, it will likely come with Windows 10. That is the “operating system” software that makes a computer work. You don’t have to make this decision, it will come with it. For your purposes, Windows 10 is the updated, current version of Windows XP. (other option is to get an Apple machine, which you are not talking about here)

If you know how to use the basics of Windows XP, you will be able to use the basics of the newer version Windows 10, with a learning curve, like the interface and menus will look different and functions may be in a different place.

Companies

Then there are different companies that sell computers, like Dell and HP, that you have mentioned. Both of these companies sell computers that work by using Windows. Dell is the company that sells the computer model called Inspiron. (kind of like the Honda company sells the car model called Accord).

Devices

If you have a printer, monitor, mouse, and other devices, they may or may not work with a new computer. Or they may not work with the standard set up, and you may need to modify to make them work. I would write their model numbers down and ask when you are purchasing your new computer. ETA: they may ask you what the plug looks like for the monitor or other device, which will tell them how it connects to the computer.

Software

If you use Word Perfect, this might be the time you may want to consider a change to MS Word. It does the same thing with documents, but made by a different company. Word is much more the standard now by far, and having a standard set up will make your life as a “novice” computer user much easier in general. They both do all the same functions, but the look and feel is different, so you will have a learning curve. But worth it for the benefits, in my humble opinion. (There are free tutorials you can take online to help you learn!)

You can get a package called MS Office that includes MS Word, Excel, and other applications. I don’t know if that is purchased separately, or if it comes free with machines now. It’s been a while since I purchased.

What next? lol

My suggestion would be to make a list of what you want to use the computer for (word, excel, photos, music? What about playing video games? Wifi? streaming videos? print photos? etc). Then you can talk to someone who can help you choose the set up that will best suit your needs. In general, the less you know about computers the better it is to stick with standard setups. It makes maintenance and care much easier.

You can get from basic to very powerful machines, but if you are just doing basic stuff you don’t need an all-powerful expensive machine. One route you might try once you have your list together is to give Dell a call. I think they are pretty good for beginners. They can talk you through deciding what you need, based on your list of needs. Their hardware warrantee is good and their support is excellent. You can also watch for sales from them. I have purchased from Dell many times and would do it again. I am not familiar with recent HP machines or other companies, so maybe someone else might have a recommendation about another company. Good luck! ��

P.S. I also miss XP *sigh*
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Old 11-22-20, 03:19 PM  
cyana
 
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Oh, Windows XP, how I do miss thee!!! Best operating system Windows ever created, IMHO, and I'd still use it today if there was support for it.

Floren - I thought that was nice basic summary of things to consider when contemplating the purchase of a new computer.

I have a refurbished Dell desktop (from the OptiPlex series) and it works fine for typical home use. I use a Dell laptop for work and haven't had any issues with either Dell product.

If you've been happy with your Dell computer, I believe they sell refurbished machines (frequently machines that have come off lease from corporations) and going this route can get you a decent machine without spending a ton of cash. Also, if you have a small computer store in your town (as Sherri mentioned), they could potentially help you with a basic or refurbished machine. If you have a computer store such as a Micro Center in your area, they can also help with refurbished machines.

You will need to ask whether the Windows software package comes with a new machine. It did not come with my refurbished machine, but I use LibreOffice, which is a free open source product that I've used for years.
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Old 11-22-20, 05:45 PM  
bzar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floren View Post
Hi – I can see how choosing a computer can be intimidating! I felt like that when buying a car.

...

Windows 10:

If you buy a new computer now, it will likely come with Windows 10. That is the “operating system” software that makes a computer work. You don’t have to make this decision, it will come with it. For your purposes, Windows 10 is the updated, current version of Windows XP. (other option is to get an Apple machine, which you are not talking about here)

If you know how to use the basics of Windows XP, you will be able to use the basics of the newer version Windows 10, with a learning curve, like the interface and menus will look different and functions may be in a different place.

...
Devices

If you have a printer, monitor, mouse, and other devices, they may or may not work with a new computer. Or they may not work with the standard set up, and you may need to modify to make them work. I would write their model numbers down and ask when you are purchasing your new computer. ETA: they may ask you what the plug looks like for the monitor or other device, which will tell them how it connects to the computer.

Software

If you use Word Perfect, this might be the time you may want to consider a change to MS Word. It does the same thing with documents, but made by a different company. Word is much more the standard now by far, and having a standard set up will make your life as a “novice” computer user much easier in general. They both do all the same functions, but the look and feel is different, so you will have a learning curve. But worth it for the benefits, in my humble opinion. (There are free tutorials you can take online to help you learn!)

You can get a package called MS Office that includes MS Word, Excel, and other applications. I don’t know if that is purchased separately, or if it comes free with machines now. It’s been a while since I purchased.

...*sigh*
I echo what Floren mentioned.

my 2:

Windows version:
there's not much difference between Win 8.1 and 10, and 8.1/8.0 stopped being supported in 2018. granted you may not want support for it per se, but other software tends to prefer newer/the latest versions of Windows, which would be Windows 10, including browser software. similar to what Floren mentioned about devices, that they tend to prefer the latest operating software in order to function. i believe you could also "make Windows 10 look like Windows XP" in order to transition yourself:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jf_Y2aLu4B0

Microsoft Office (aka "Office")
Office is now being offered on a subscription basis. Your employer might have a discount on Office - find out if that's available to you.

CD/DVD drive:
i haven't owned a desktop in over 10 years - switched to all laptops. in case this affects desktops, many laptops now come without a CD/DVD drive, and if this is important to you, determine whether you need to purchase a plug-in CD/DVD device for your desktop. it also might require a suped-up USB port - make sure your USB ports on your machine are compatible with everything you plan to plug into your machine, such as printer cable, CD/DVD drive if needed, FitBit watch, mobile phone, tablets, etc. USB port speeds can vary and need to be aligned.

Floren has given you excellent advice, but if you still need a hand to hold, talk to a teacher, if you know one, who can give you plain-language advice. i used to do this with a friend of mine years ago - he is the IT trainer at the local middle school. Ever since then, i just buy my laptops from Costco and it's plenty enough for me since they cater to Joe Average Computer buyer.

The most recent laptop we bought was last year during Black Friday, an HP from Target. it's a winner, and the price was really good - $350. came with a built-in CD/DVD drive too!
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Old 11-22-20, 06:40 PM  
adawn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyana View Post
You will need to ask whether the Windows software package comes with a new machine. It did not come with my refurbished machine, but I use LibreOffice, which is a free open source product that I've used for years.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bzar View Post

Microsoft Office (aka "Office")
Office is now being offered on a subscription basis. Your employer might have a discount on Office - find out if that's available to you.

Even when Microsoft starting pushing the monthly/yearly subscription model, I kept/keep buying the one-time purchase/1 computer option, which still exists:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/micr...%3aoverviewtab

I keep my laptops for three years at least usually so it works out. Currently I have a Lenovo P50 laptop and that's the computer I have Office on. The only issue is I have a smaller Lenovo yoga laptop that I move from room to room and travel with and I'm too cheap to buy a one-time purchase/1 computer version of Microsoft Office for that laptop as well.

It's not a huge issue because I can still open and look at Microsoft Office documents on that laptop (just can't edit them). To be able to edit them and have some sort of office-like software, I ended up downloading LibreOffice (which is free) on that laptop and it actually works fairly well with Microsoft Office documents (at least for Word and Excel) and is user friendly if you're used to Office. So that solved that issue.

I still would prefer Microsoft office on that laptop vs. LibreOffice, but it's one of those "would be nice to have...but I'd rather spend the $150 on yarn instead" kind of things.

FWIW, I may be in the minority but I like Windows 10. Now, there was something in between Windows XP and Windows 10 that was awful where they took away the start menu and I had to google how to shut down my system because the shutdown/restart was sort of buried in a nonsensical location. But Windows 10 has been fine so far.
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Old 11-22-20, 07:05 PM  
bzar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adawn View Post
... I kept/keep buying the one-time purchase/1 computer option, which still exists:
https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/micr...%3aoverviewtab
thanks for this. we found out that my kids who are in college, they can get Office for free - the full suite of tools too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by adawn View Post
...but I'd rather spend the $150 on yarn instead" kind of things.
... or fitness stuff!
Quote:
Originally Posted by adawn View Post
FWIW, I may be in the minority but I like Windows 10. Now, there was something in between Windows XP and Windows 10 that was awful where they took away the start menu and I had to google how to shut down my system because the shutdown/restart was sort of buried in a nonsensical location. But Windows 10 has been fine so far.
i like Windows 10 better than 8.1/8.0. DH still has 8.1 on his machine but we made it more user-friendly so that he can shut it down and find things.
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Old 11-22-20, 09:08 PM  
hdw
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I would get a laptop. 15" is big enough and very portable. I have a 17", and I think it's too big. My daughter enjoyed her 14" -- it's almost an ipad.

Get the highest processor so it would last you for a while. i7 is probably sufficient.
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