Skip to comments.Vanity. Need computer advice.
Posted on 03/19/2013 8:39:54 AM PDT by saminfl
I need some computer advice. I have 4 computers at home. Two laptops and two desktops. One laptop has Windows 7 and is used by my wife for genealogy research and net surfing. The others are mine and they have XP (desktop currently needs new MB) Windows 7 (desktop) and Vista (laptop used in my traveling and some of my work. I absolutely hate the Vista machine. It is slow and even slower when running multiple pages. I have run every correction and restoration program available on it and I still hate using it.
When I use it at work, I use Excel to analyze some telemetry data. I also play video from a weapon system. After XP, the media players sucked. With XP I could pause, copy a video frame and post it in my report. Can't do that with media player after XP.
I want to buy a new computer. I absolutely hate the look of Windows 8 and refuse to buy it. Windows 7 works on my desktop for surfing, email, etc, but I really don't like it.
I refuse to buy a MAC as I can afford 3 or 4 PCs for the price of one MAC. I am not fond of Apple as I think they are an arrogant company. You have to buy their 2 year warranty program to speak to them after 90 days from purchase. I have an IPAD and an IPhone and neither thrills me. My wife loves the IPAD. I have used computers since my TRS-80.
The advice I would like is: Can I use linux on a computer as my primary OS? Will it run Office? Will it play .avi videos? Would I buy a new laptop with Windows 8, remove that OS and use linux? How hard would that be? Is Linux hard to use?
I love my I mac all in one 27
OMG the trash 80
I do not know if Linux will run MS Office, BUT, it probably will run Open Office, which WILL run MS Office files.
That being said, IF you have to purchase a computer make sure it comes with Windows 8 PROFESSIONAL (NOT the home edition) you will then have downgrade rights to Windows 7.
This coming from myself, as a 30 year veteran IT professional. Just sayin.
I used to hate Macs too - until I bought one. Now I love it. I will never go back! Rush uses an Apple computer too, so I’m in good company. Before you completely discount the idea of an IMac you owe it to yourself to at least visit an Apple store and play around with one.
Yes, you could run Linux but I’d advise against it if you’re not experienced with it.....plus you would definitely be “giving up” a lot of Windows apps you need.
Buy a new laptop. It will come with Windows 8. Don’t worry about it. Go to www.dowmload.com and get a copy of “Classic Shell”. It’s free, and it makes Win8 MUCH more friendly; more Win7-like. You get the “Start” button back, etc....will look very familiar.
Check out the Fujitsu’s. Bought one recently for a lady friend and was blown away by how much laptop you get for the money (17” display, 1TB of disk, 6GB RAM, USB 3.0 ports....the works).
Yes. There may be people here who try to convince you otherwise, but unless you consider spending time trying to fix computers a hobby, you won't enjoy it. Tracking down binary drivers, figuring out dependency issues, and googling for command line syntaxes gets frustrating after awhile. And that's before you even get to your point about .avis (and their codecs), Office compatibility, and more.
I'm a Mac user, and I can appreciate your stance (though a Mac Mini isn't expensive), so I won't try to push it on you.
Thus, I'll simply recommend going for Windows 8. As always, the bark is louder than the bite, and while you'll be annoyed at a few of the changes (lack of a start button, "Metro" interface), you can largely use it just like previous versions. It's not as bad as those make it out to be.
I'm a technical guy. I use Linux on my servers (hosted in the Amazon cloud). But I wouldn't ever recommend Linux to anyone on a desktop unless they have a ton of free time and patience.
Linux will not run Windows applications like Office. There are alternatives however.
I would install either one of them without choosing defaults, then selectivley set just the defaults you need, so as to not change everything over to the new player.
I use MPCSTAR on my Windows 7 boxes for video, but still use Windows Media Player for MP3s and WMAs.
F11 will do a snapshot for MPCSTAR, not sure how to do it with VLC. (I'm sure VLC does snapshots too.)
For videos, your options for players are limited but you should be able to play any typical format with a Linux player.
The issue with Linux is the limited amount of software. If you need a unique piece of software one day it will probably only be available for Windows. There are windows emulators but it may not be perfect.
If you aren't frequently in need of new quirky software and do typical things like office, browsing and videos, go with Linux.
You can make Windows 8 look and act like Windows 7.
There are 27000 laptops on Ebay.
They sell cheap. Pick whatever you like and bid low.
If you get outbid, another will come along shortly.
Don’t bid on any seller who has a score lower than about 95%.
Get the windows8 Machine and add start8 from stardock for $4.00. You never have to look at the new UI (unless you want to). Plus you get the real benefits of windows 8.
In the market for a new computer also, why is Windows 8 to be avoided? I mainly want it for storing photos, surfing the internet.
My iMac was bought for its photo capability which is superior to anything I would need to add to my old Dell.
Does Ubuntu work?
I used to spend $2K on my (high performance) home made Windows computers, so spending $2300 on a computer that runs OSX, any flavor of Windows and Linux (simultaneously) wasn’t that great of stretch.
I used to buy my kids $500 computers. Never had one that wasn’t a total pain. Low cost is offset by bloatware and trial software that is a pain to remove. They often had cost saving features like video RAM taking from regular physical RAM, no copy of the operating system provided (it was in a hidden area of the hard drive, which is useless if the hard drive fails). Decent (not high end) home builds usually cost me between $1K and $1.5K.
As for Apple not talking to you after 90 days...I have NEVER been able to get a human being at Microsoft. When you home build you get only individual part warranties. My experience is that HP, Dell, Acer, etc., offer abysmal tech support. Apple has customer satisfaction ratings in the 90’s - no one else comes close.
My wife just got a new iMac. Runs Windows simultaneously for the digitizing software she needs to use. It is fast, does what we need, and cost $1200.
Oh and Linux is the pain in the arse! I’ve tried it for my desktop several times over the past 2 decades and it has improved but still a pain. Too many flavors and they still have the hunt and peck for the libraries you need so you can compile the latest program you want but it’s not on an installer for your flavor of Linux. You see Linux has a “greatest distro ever” every few months and then everyone flocks to that except for the older build that became stable. So you then have to choose go old or go bleeding edge. But both will leave you needing to compile programs.
I tried several media players with both XP and Win7.
I liked Media Player Classic, but it would not play some files.
Most recently, I have found VideoLAN (VLC) to be the better one currently. It plays most video formats, including the weird WindowsTV (WTV) format.
It is also available for Windows, Linux and numerous other OS.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.