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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    4,533

    Default I need to buy technology but don't know what to get!

    Our computer is an elderly defunct dell desktop. It's on its last legs so I need to find a replacement.

    I use the computer daily, mostly for internet and lots of pictures.

    Kids both use the computer for school and both of them could use a disc drive for programs, one photo editing and my son wants Rosetta Stone. The drive on this old computer doesn't work; they're missing out.

    What I'd really like is an affordable way for everyone to have their own and finally end the blessed arguing over whose turn it is on the computer. I don't see that happening though, maybe two and I could share with DD. I fully expect DS to drop his or spill something on it-which brings up another point, he has a pretty nice X box system with Live, he can get on facebook from that thing, can't it be his computer?

    I'm looking at the Chromebooks, but then wouldn't we need to buy a hard drive for the pictures and programs?

    I thought about a kindle for everyone but that doesn't seem like it would work for the pictures and programs...

    A kindle for each kid and a good laptop for me that they could borrow?

    I'd like to get away from the desktop I think... too many wires and it takes up so much room. Not sure if our printer can go wireless though but I'm willing to sacrifice that if necessary. But can't I hook up a laptop to the printer with a USB?

    I've never had a new computer, obviously... always got handmedowns from my brother's company and they were always half dead when I got them. This thing is 13 years old!

    what the heck do I need?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 26, 2006
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    709

    Default

    Do you mean a kindle fire? The regular kindle is terrible for surfing the net.

    What does your budget look like?

    If I had kids, they would get a cheap (<$200 netbook) to share and I would have the main laptop. You can definitely hook a laptop to your printer with a USB. I can make some more specific suggestions if you provide your budget. I love the Lenovo line for durability (and spill-resistance!) but they're pricier than the equivalent HP.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    3,759

    Default

    look at the Apple machines.... they are very good with photo editing



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    4,533

    Default

    We're in the $500-700 area. I know-not a big budget, especially split three ways. Worst come to worst we'll just get a laptop and continue to share.

    I was thinking of the Kindle Fire...

    The netbook plus laptap is a good idea, that's where I'd like to go with it...get everyone into their separate corners! I forgot about netbooks...



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,894

    Default

    Walmart is having a pretty good sale right now but that will get the anti-WMer mad:

    http://www.walmart.com/cp/Laptops/1089430?povid=cat1070145-env172199-moduleA080112-lLinkGNAV_Electronics_Computers_Laptops



    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Location
    Ocala
    Posts
    1,185

    Default

    What about Tablets? Or dont they do what you need? (I havent a clue what a tablet is, when my Dell croaks Im in big trouble....)


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2005
    Location
    England
    Posts
    10,321

    Default

    HP Mini laptops are good. (Using one right now!) I don't think they're that expensive. Only problem is that they don't have a CD slot.

    I looked at Chromebooks but I don't think I'd buy one. I'd rather have my info stored in one physical location than in the cloud.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
    Location
    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
    Posts
    10,797

    Default

    You're in Montana so you don't have much in the way of choices. I'd say that a brand new family desktop would be a good idea. You can easily get a robust one that can handle anything you and your family will throw at it. While laptops would be nice, they don't have a long lifespan and kids usually trash them quickly.
    SPACE FOR RENT


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2003
    Posts
    1,574

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
    You're in Montana so you don't have much in the way of choices. I'd say that a brand new family desktop would be a good idea. You can easily get a robust one that can handle anything you and your family will throw at it. While laptops would be nice, they don't have a long lifespan and kids usually trash them quickly.
    This.

    You can score nice laptops for in the $400/range, or build a sweet desktop for $650-$700 (sweeter than you could buy) so I would tell the kids if they want their own machine to save up their own money and build/buy their own. IMO knowing the basics of building a computer these days is like knowing how to change a tire or the oil in your car. And if they buy/build their own they'd probably take better care of it.
    "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 7, 2005
    Location
    Lancaster, PA
    Posts
    4,572

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
    You're in Montana so you don't have much in the way of choices. I'd say that a brand new family desktop would be a good idea. You can easily get a robust one that can handle anything you and your family will throw at it. While laptops would be nice, they don't have a long lifespan and kids usually trash them quickly.
    I agree that a family desktop is still your best bet for your needs as described. You may be able to save some money by not purchasing new peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse, maybe printer) as long as they/their drivers work with the newer operating system you will have.

    Do that first, and if you have a little left over then look at adding a laptop or tablet that a second person can work with while the desktop is in use.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 4, 2007
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    2,878

    Default

    A Mac mini for about $600 would suit your family's needs quite well.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    8,812

    Default

    Ours melted down this summer, first the monitor died and then a week later it decided to shut itself off whenever it felt like it, it's 10 years old and I don't care what they say it's always a hassle to import all my creaky old files to a new program or machine plus I have to buy the latest Office or dowload Open office and then recreate all my master copies or try to get them to import and it never just works.
    Upgrade schmupgrade.

    We have a batch of flashdrives that DD carts around and carries her data to school on. Please never stuff one in an envelope and try to mail it. Use a padded bag or box.

    Interestingly enough the whole mess is wireless, so the last year new laptop in DD's room can access the printer, it's a little cheap HP, and print up her homework while I'm here surfing coth. Much fewer wires. Counting the new monitor it was in the range of $700 -$850, we bought an external drive and it brought the price up but I can't remember how much.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2006
    Posts
    343

    Default

    urgghh -- it's cyber monday! I wish you had posted this on Friday. You could probably double your purchasing power if you can commit yet this evening.

    How old are the kids? Yes, you can hook your laptop via a usb cord to a printer, screen, etc.

    For instance, this is a great deal:
    http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/produ...38259bdfeben02

    But there are better ones out there, with some searching on cyber monday websites.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    6,551

    Default

    A Kindle Fire is not a computer and can't be used as one. I agree with all the above folks urging you to get a good desktop computer. GET ONE WITH WINDOWS 7, NOT Windows 8. The Windows 7 machines are steeply discounted right now. Windows 8 is untested and unproven, and will not be in wide-spread use for another two or three years. Get an Intel processor, a 500 gb hard drive, and at least a 6 GB memory. I would stick with Dell. I've never had a problem with a Dell and I've been buying them for 15 years now.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    Happily in Canada
    Posts
    4,604

    Default

    Try your library - may have Consumer Reports or PC Magazine. Those will have articles comparing features and prices.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2007
    Location
    ....in a classroom in Fl, by the ocean
    Posts
    3,505

    Default

    also when you decide on what do get, do your shopping thru fatwallet.com its like ebates.com but better.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2001
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    6,756

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by stryder View Post
    A Mac mini for about $600 would suit your family's needs quite well.
    Ditto. Buy a Mac mini with your kids' student discounts, and find a good monitor.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2008
    Posts
    3,874

    Default

    A desktop would be more useful and longer lasting. While it is not as easy at it once was, it is still easier to upgrade a desktop, rather than buy a new one.

    So, if you get a desktop with a certain memory and processing speed, then find that this is not sufficient, you can upgrade the desktop. You cannot upgrade the laptop.

    If you want, you can get a desktop for the family and then get a tablet (I like my kindle fire and it costs about $150) for yourself. You can surf the net, upload pictures, etc. You would have to download the pictures off your camera, to the desktop and then from the desktop to the tablet.

    But you can also have one of the kids use it to surf the net while the other one is doing homework.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    4,533

    Default

    Ok you guys, I'm hearing you. I ran this all past my kids tonight too and my son wanted the desktop still... so it's all pointing back to the desktop.

    We really need a good computer-the three of us use it hard and it will have to fill a lot of roles.

    I think after looking at everything I'll point toward the desktop and ask my mom for a kindle for myself.

    I know, perfect timing right? I noticed everything is sold out on every website but it will come back to some degree. I was deathly ill the last three weeks and just couldn't even think about shopping online. I'll have to just do the best I can with what comes up online.

    I really appreciate it folks-it's a little mindbending to find the right machine.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,742

    Default

    I think you're radically overestimating how much computer you really need while underestimating what your budget can buy. Just about any machine on the market, even the most basic piece of junk, can handle the basic stuff that you're describing (yes, including the photo editing. We live in an era when even the cheapest junk can handle lightweight VIDEO editing. It isn't 1999 anymore!)

    You could pick up a new desktop tower for around $300 and reuse your current monitor, or pick up a new desktop/monitor combo for around $400, and still have plenty left over for a cheap laptop for the kids to split. If you're worried about destruction, slap a Square trade warranty on the laptop for about 60 to 90 bucks. They come with accidental damage and handling protection and it's easy enough to find a 40% off code for Squaretrade warranties this time of year.

    I swear I didn't make these numbers up. Try salescircular.com and click on Montana. These are pretty normal prices even in big box retail stores. To see the really real deals, try slickdeals.net.



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