Friday, 21 November 2008

New PC

OK, it's dead.

The DELL PC I've been using quite happily for the last three years or so has given up the ghost. It still tries, but it spends most of its time just whirring away in some senile digital dementia.

So, the question is, what do I replace it with? Answers on a postcard, please. Or, better still, in the comments.

I know, I know... You're all going to blame me for buying a DELL in the first place! Well, I'm sorry, but I like DELL. They're easy to deal with, cheap, and (so far) they've worked just fine. I have another here in the garden office which (so far) has caused me no problems at all.

And I have this theory that, whatever computer you buy, you have no guarantee where the bits inside were sourced at the moment when you choose to buy. The brand is just a brand. Inside any PC there's a whole load of stuff sourced from all over the far east, with a different combination every time depending on who's got the best wholesale deal going at the time. Buy a SUPERBRAND based on a friend's recommendation, and you'll find that most of the stuff inside is now sourced from somewhere completely different.

But, for what it's worth, I need a recommendation. What should I go for? Name me the brands that have given you good experiences in the past. Shame those that haven't.

And please don't tell me I need an Apple Mac. I can't face the complications (yes, I know they're meant to be easier, but it's just too complicated when everyone else I'll be sharing material with has a PC).


Piers said...

You should buy a...


Well in that case, I got nothin'.

Laura Anderson said...

From working in an IT firm for a few years I WOULDN'T recommend buying a Sony VIAO. I have a Compaq and the battery for this stopped working after a year too, so I'm not sure I would recommend them either.

I do know lots of people who swear by Dell, and 3 years isn't too bad a run now.

That's not much help, is it?

Anonymous said...

What materials do you have to share between PCs and Macs? I switched in 2003 and never had any significant problems (and if there were any, the overall better usability outweighed the trouble).

Not to be the one who yells "GET A MAC IDIOT!", but often enough the fear of switching is rather irrational.


P.S.: the word verification I have to type is "hater". That sounds like the beginning of a proper Mac / PC discussion. ;)

laurence timms said...

Paul, I use a HP/Compaq 6710b laptop. I batter away at it from 8am to 1am daily and lug it around all over the gaff and it chunters away merrily doing its thing.

Laptops and PCs expire with alarming regularity. Macs die too, contrary to popular belief. I've worked with PCs since slightly after the Dawn of Time (just after Time finished its second coffee of the morning, actually) and there is no such thing as a reliable computer. It's all just a question of MTBF: Mean Time Before Failure.

Safest bet: go with a well-known name such as HP or Dell, spend only as much as you need to get the spec you want and back your stuff up regularly.

Oh, and don't get too attached to your computer. We want them to be like faithful long-lived labradors but they're more akin to gerbils; prone to sudden unexplained catastrophic death.

Paul Campbell said...

Thanks Guys

The best advice is always the advice that chimes most with what you thought in the first place. Thanks, Laurence!

Danny Stack said...

I'm a Mac convert, but not a zealot. I use MS Word, and other MS applications, on my Mac with no problems, allowing me to share & use all my regular files. And, I know it's boring, but the difference in style & efficiency is huge compared to my PC (which still works but I got fed up with its slow & frozen responses).

Lara said...

Same as Danny , I am also a Mac convert using Office for Mac with no cross platform problems.

I have been through a multitude of laptops and PCs over the years and the difference between PCs/laptops and Macs /MacBooks is astounding. I have also noted a large amount of my IT bod mates have now migrated to Mac for their day to day business. There really isn't much to 'learn' with a Mac other than they only have one button on the mouse/clickpad! The only downside of course, is having to change all your software from Windows to Mac.

I got my MacBook at the same time as a friend chose to buy an all singing all dancing laptop and mine is still faster and 'cleaner' than hers is now & ever was...

Sorry! x

Suw said...

Definitely don't get a Sony Viao - they have a lot of proprietary software on them that will lock your work up forever if the thing goes. Happened to a friend of mine.

Do you have a desktop or a laptop right now? If a desktop, it might be salvageable, but either way, don't chuck it - find a charity that refurbishes old computers for use in the third world.

Regarding Macs, I converted about five years ago and never have any problem shifting stuff between Mac and PC, and now that you can run Windows on the Intel-powered MacBooks you can run all your old software *and* have all the fun of the native Mac software too.

The quality of software for Macs is generally higher too, with a lot of amazing software that's either very cheap or free, so kitting out your new machine wouldn't be painful. And the working environment is much, much nicer than a PC.

But if you're wedded to a PC, think hard too about where you get it from. PC World should be renamed World of Pain, if anything goes wrong. Make sure you know what the returns policy is, and if you can buy from a smaller shop with good customer service, then so much the better.

Either way, good luck!!

Phill Barron said...

Ooh ... touchy touchy:

Anonymous said...

Not specially cool, but if you're buying from a shop and don't have a tame, friendly local one, John Lewis is miles the best - excellent advice, only good brands, and not on commission.

FWIW, my friendly, local and hugely experienced (though not Mac-doing) computer consultant always tells clients to get Dells - since he finds them easily the best built and most reliable. He'll even come to your house and work out the spec with you online. I'm in Dulwich, and I'm sure he goes down to Bromley, if you want the details, Paul. He might even be able to breathe life into your old one instead.

And I'm with you on Macs. Yes, in theory, can't face it in practice. Besides, you get a lot less computing power and choice of peripherals and so on for your money.

Mikey Dred said...

Dell at least had Devo to advertise em. Get another Dell

Annie Wicking said...

Any computer is fine, just stay online and please drop by to say hello, to share a cuppa and a chat.

Is fine by me...

Who am I,

I'm Annie

Best wishes to you and your family,

JeanieB said...

Gat a Mac. Nuff said.