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Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by guy01, Oct 20, 2013.
LOL... it's inevitable.
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10GB RAM: RAM is cheap, came with the refurb, no regrets.
HD failure: has nothing to do with a refurb, perhaps it was a mfr lemon, only the 2nd HD that has failed in about 30 years of using PC's. Why do you endorse use of imaging software unless you foresee a HD failure? If a HD never fails, no need for imaging software.
HD replacement: 90 day warranty on the refurb, expired. That's the breaks. Had the computer fully restored within a day with the new HD I bought. No regrets on that either.
Recovery disks: agree not a good way to restore, but without an image backup with bootable media, that's the only option. My oversight in not creating a bootable image backup.
Quicker to wipe, clean install, and reload apps: no way. A clean install, followed by the long set of Win updates, and then reinstall many program, followed by updates, takes forever. We both agree that image backup/restore is the best way. I'm just very happy that I had the recovery discs, that I could reload Acronis, and then restore my image backup to the new HD.
No regrets on my refurb. A HD can fail at anytime, but rarely does in my experience.
Check out Ebay for re-purposed business class machines. Then get two identical ones, a couple extra HDs, and a copy of Acronis - with a regular backup/image routine, you'll be set for a long time & relatively crash-proofed..
I'm well stocked with HP Compaq DC7600's. They're cheap, plentiful, robust & reliable. Not cutting edge but they do everything I need, personal & business.
You have a point but when you actually invest a little time and effort into learning the basics of computers you can save yourself a lot of money. It always amazes me that people will go to Best Buy Geek Squad or some computer repair shop and drop hundreds of dollars on tasks that they could do at home for free if the educated themselves. I suspect that these are the same people that take their cars to the dealer to have them fixed.
10gb of RAM is great if you're using but most will never come close to using that much RAM. So if it's part of a system with a great price then go for it but if you're paying more for that RAM then it's most likely not worth it.
I never claimed that hard drives don't fail. I just wouldn't expect one to fail seven months after buying a system. I know that even that is possible but it's very unlikely and I'd find it extremely annoying if it did. Seeing as you only had a 90 day warranty on the system you had to pay for a new HD. If you had built your own system w/ new parts it would have been replaced under the manufacturers warranty if it failed seven months out. Just sayin.......
If you use recovery disks you will still have to do all the Windows updates that you'd have to do with aa OS reinstall. you still have to reload the apps, you're just doing it from the recovery disks which in my expereience is dreadfully slow, or if the apps aren't on the recovery disks, the same media/downloads that you'd need with a OS reinstall. Also the recovery disks are going to load a bunch of apps that you many not even use. Why waste time on that? If you prefer the recovery disks great but I never use them. I can reinstall my Windows 7 system with all of the apps I use in about an hour and a half using the OS disk.
Of course when we take a step beyond the average user we can start discussing disk redundancy with RAID arrays for both data and the OS. This may not be practical for many users as it can quickly get much more complex and costly than recovery disks and imaging software.
The machine on which I'm typing has 24 GB RAM. I do occasionally overflow that limit.
What are you doing on that system that uses 24GB RAM?
A lot of processor-intensive simulation work for microwave / physics / EM applications. I typically run multiple multi-core processors, such as two quad-core Nehalem Xeon's with anywhere from 24 - 48 GB RAM, and high-speed 15k SAS or serial SCSI solid state drives. I'll actually be making the move from microprocessors over to GPU's in the next year, as we're at the limit of what a microprocessor can do (Intel has not really improved on their performance since the Nehalem in 2010!). With a good GPU, I can run hundreds of parallel threads, versus just 8 or 16 threads on microprocessors.
If you watch my performance monitor, you will see eight of my processor cores are typically nailed at 100%, all day, every day. Memory load varies with size of the simulation, today I'm running one that's not so large, but note the processor usage:
This is just a wee bit beyond the OP's requirements.
You're speaking to someone who has had computers since the Radio Shack Model 1 with the cassette tape as a storage facility! I've built computers for over 30 years and know the advantages; however, to assume that the average Joe knows how to do it or even WANTS to do it, is quite a leap. It takes a special breed to do it successfully with minimum frustration. If he wants a computer to surf the web, it means he can't surf the web now so where does he get the knowledge? Face it > not everyone enjoys the pastime like you and I.
I built the things for years. The machines are so cheap anymore I don't see ever building one again.
(I still have my RS Mod I in the basement in a box.)
Yea, Brother, I should have said that too about being so much cheaper to buy one ready to go. In my earlier example, a functional tower system WITH flat screen and Printer for $375! You only build your own now if you want to customize with a cool looking case, souped up motherboards and video cards, and a lot of extra cooling to be a killer gamer.
My RS 1 and 3 are long gone. I used to write programs in C for work before there was a C++. Times they are a changing.
Had a RS Mod1, Mod2, Apple Lisa and a few Macs up to the SE. Sadly they are all gone now.
(My IBM power 7+ has 32 gig and 8 drives.)
I'll see your Apple Lisa and raise you a DEC Rainbow! Talk about a waste of money! I still have the $900 monitor!
I understand maybe not wanting to get into the hardware aspect and building your own. But when Best Buy is charging people $150 to remove malware and viruses I think that it serves as pretty good financial incentive to learn how to protect your computer and use antispyware/malware/av apps, install apps, recover files, add printers etc etc and do these tasks for yourself. I'm talking the basics. It's not rocket science but it's real money that people could be saving.
I always build my own and I'm not into gaming, high end graphics cards, cool looking cases or any of those types things. There are several reasons I like to build my own:
1. I can completely customize it from scratch. Every component of the system is something that I have picked out for a reason and not a bunch of parts thrown together by the HP or Dell. The reason the commercially available units are so cheap these days is because they use budget parts of inferior quality. Even in 2013 there are some instances in which you stil get what you pay for.
2. If something does go wrong and hardware needs to be replaced I can fill out a form on Western Digital Seaget, Asus etc website and get the part replaced fairly quickly. If it's a brand name system you usually have to call the manufacturer and speak to some level 1 tech support person reading off the screen who's going to ask you to spend about 30 minutes to an hour troubleshooting what you already know is wrong. I don't need the waste of time or aggrevation.
3. When you buy a system from HP, IBM, Dell etc they usually come preloaded with all kinds bloatware. There are at least 10-30 worthless junk apps sitting there on the HD that need to be removed. More time and aggrevation. When I build my own machine I load the OS and then only the apps I want.
At home, I use a 2008 vintage 32-bit laptop. Something about the cobbler's children comes to mind...
<-- has a love/hate relationship with personal computers
If there is one advantage to the Apple side of things now, its that Apple has changed rhythm and the latest OS is a free upgrade to those who are running 10.6 or higher on compatible systems, kind of an 'in your face windows 8' thing
Time flies. Nov or Dec 1980 I went into a retail computer store in downtown Minneapolis and looked at computers. The clerk showed me an IBM PC, pushed a key to show me how to do something, and I asked, "why does that happen when you push that key?" The clerk was clueless, so in Dec 1980 I bought a Timex-Sinclair, membrane keyboard, about $100, which used a portable cassette recorder for programs and data. It came with Basic, which I then learned and programmed a working bookkeeping system, and then also learned why X happens when you push Y key.
In Jan 1981 I bought an IBM PC for my business, reprogrammed the Basic bookkeeping system, and used it for several years. Parity check errors, lost EOF markers, and more made an interested person recognize a need to know how to located bad disc sectors, find an fix errors directly on the disc, know a little assembler, etc. I've had dos-based PC's ever since, but with Windows I did not follow up on the internal working of the programs or the system.
I don't long for the "good old days," but am glad that I still know how to do some things with the internal workings of a PC. Incidentally, my first HD had 5MB storage, cost $5000 with the computer in which it was installed, and I thought no one could ever fill that much storage. When programs ran in 64K and 256K of RAM was a powerful machine, that might have been the good old days. I still use on Win XP computer programs I did in dBase II, and re-programmed in dBase III, and then re-did and compiled in Clipper. Lighting fast data processing in Clipper makes a person wonder about the need of today for the super fast processors, GB's of RAM and TB's of storage. I'm disappointed that WIN 8 will not run MS-DOS programs (or maybe that I don't know how to do that on a Win 8 system).
You have to use a 16 bit emulator.
MS wasn't as quick to obsolete third party applications with OS upgrades as Apple was. That's why I never got into Apple.
DOSBox also plays nice.