Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 4 of 7 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >
Topic Options
#173219 - 05/13/09 12:36 AM Re: I Hate Computers... [Re: MartinFocazio]
LeeG Offline
Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 100
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Doug,

I am a programmer and network consultant and I live in the Phoenix area. I personally have had great luck with HP's notebooks, and since Service Pack 1, Vista has been quite stable. If I can be of any assistance to you, please PM or email me.


Top
#173224 - 05/13/09 01:51 AM Re: I Hate Computers... [Re: LeeG]
ame Offline
Member

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 162
Loc: Korea
There's a lot of misinformation here:

Quote:
I'll chime in here with the sad news that a 4 year old computer is actually OLD and you need to get ready to say goodbye.


Not true. It was adequate when purchased and is adequate now. A problem has occurred that is most likely software.

Quote:
Unless you're running really advanced video editing stuff, you actually don't need a lot of processor power. RAM is the magic, and if you want a lot of RAM you need a modern OS that can talk to all of it well - like Windows 7 or - dare I say it - Mac OS X..


Hmm, so he doesn't need a lot of processing power... so I'd suggest that something 4 years old is adequate. And the claim that only a modern OS will 'talk to' all of your RAM properly is ludicrous. Not to mention that Windows 7 is not actually available yet.

Quote:
I personally have had great luck with HP's notebooks, and since Service Pack 1, Vista has been quite stable.


'Quite stable' is praise indeed, but he doesn't want it. And for every person who has great luck with HP's notebooks there is probably 0.15 of a person that has been severely disappointed by them. When did we start talking about notebooks? What has happened here is that the OS has become unstable and must be re-installed. Doug says this will take 1.5 weeks. Doug doesn't want to do this. Too bad. It will also take 1.5 weeks on a new or replacement PC (whether purchased, donated, or provided by Dell under some warranty).

So, the plan of action should be:

1) Test the RAM. I recommend running memtest overnight.

2) Reinstall the OS. Actually, this has already been done, and it works. It just needs 1.5 weeks of effort to get it to the state it was in before. Eugene's suggestion is even better, since it eliminates the possibility of a bad hard drive, allows a clean install without affecting what was already there, allows for an orderly process to copy data from the old drive to the new one *and* provides something of a backup.

Finally, I mentioned rolling back the driver, but I don't know how to do it. I still don't know, but have you tried this (How to Restore Windows XP to a Previous State)?

A

Top
#173229 - 05/13/09 03:16 AM Re: I Hate Computers... [Re: LeeG]
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1998
Thanks for the offer, I may contact you.

Not sure where anyone got the idea this is a notebook. It's a desktop.
_________________________
Doug Ritter
Editor
Equipped To SurviveŽ
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
www.DougRitter.com

Top
#173236 - 05/13/09 05:16 AM Re: I Hate Computers... [Re: MartinFocazio]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2117
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
I'll chime in here with the sad news that a 4 year old computer is actually OLD and you need to get ready to say goodbye.

You'd probably freak out at the old P-III 1Gz 768kb machine I'm typing this on right now! Yes, it's a Dell, a Dimension 4100 - and I bought refurbished at that. I don't even remember HOW old it is (10 years?) but it just keeps going and going. All original parts, including the fans. I have upgraded the original OS (Windows 95 I think).

I'll admit it's the oldest of our seven (!) computers, but it works fine for what I require of it. Windows 2000, Firefox, Thunderbird, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Visio, Photoshop Elements, iTunes, The Sims game (my kids), Warcraft III, etc. I have other newer and more powerful computers, but no reason to trash this one. I don't expect to edit videos on it, but I have other computers that could do that (not that I actually edit videos!) I also sometimes run a minimal Linux on it (totally running in memory, not from harddisk or CD) and it runs like a scalded ape in that configuration. It's a workhorse.

Top
#173240 - 05/13/09 01:05 PM Re: I Hate Computers... [Re: Doug_Ritter]
airballrad Offline
Gear Junkie
Enthusiast

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 245
Loc: Gulf Coast Florida, USA
I'm chiming in late on this, so most of my thunder has already been stolen. Aside from the video editing you mentioned, I don't think you really need much in the way of hardware for the tasks you mentioned. More memory is always better, storage/processor appropriate to the task.
All that said, it does sound like an OS issue. I generally keep my data in a couple different places (server, external hard drive) and the really critical data (vital docs and family photos) also on several encrypted USB thumb drives. With a setup like that, I don't feel so bad when I need to nuke from orbit and start over.
Fortunately if you do go the route of purchasing, you get a lot of bang for your buck these days. I just got a $200 netbook that beats the pants off the desktop I bought 13 years ago for $1600. grin

Oh, and I am also happy to help with questions and/or monetary donations toward new equipment. I appreciate what you and ETS do for the preparedness community.

Top
#173246 - 05/13/09 03:31 PM Re: I Hate Computers... [Re: haertig]
MartinFocazio Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/21/03
Posts: 2148
Loc: Bucks County PA
Originally Posted By: haertig
Originally Posted By: martinfocazio
I'll chime in here with the sad news that a 4 year old computer is actually OLD and you need to get ready to say goodbye.

You'd probably freak out at the old P-III 1Gz 768kb machine I'm typing this on right now! Yes, it's a Dell, a Dimension 4100 - and I bought refurbished at that. I don't even remember HOW old it is (10 years?) but it just keeps going and going. All original parts, including the fans. I have upgraded the original OS (Windows 95 I think).


I have found that if you're a casual web/email forwarder/digital picture manager then yeah, an old computer is fine.
I tend to push all my computers to the limit and I am VERY impatient with all of them. If you're impatient, RAM matters a lot (contrary to the other person who suggested that processor matters) because more ram means less trips to the disk for swap space and the trip to disk and back is usually slower than the time it takes for a processor to mull over something and come back with something else.

Just to give you my perspective on this.

At work, I typically have 10 to 15 applications running at once, on two large monitors. My "desktop" is usually configured as 3,840 Pixels by 1200 Pixels for my main computer, plus I have a laptop, another desktop for certain secure applications and I also access an array of test systems remotely. So my perspective is from a position of big jobs need big hardware.

But it's also from a perspective about old systems that comes from having a lot of them around. For most people, older systems, and yes, it's older WINDOWS systems, get flakier and stranger over time, and the answer always seems to be re-install Windows, and the problem with that is it takes a week for things to stabilize after a re-install and unless you're like me - so obsessed with protecting my data from computers - you're going to have to rebuild a lot of your file organization and storage, not to mention application settings and all that.

I make a living with my computer, and my time is worth money and faced with a week of lost productivity and hours of twiddling settings, I'll take the hit and dump a system that is exhibiting signs of brain rot, wipe the drive with an install of Ubuntu and give the darn thing away or move it into a non-important part of my life (like the workshop).



Top
#173247 - 05/13/09 04:02 PM Re: I Hate Computers... [Re: MartinFocazio]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2117
Loc: Colorado
Definitely agree on the "old Windows box = increasing brain rot" statement. I think that's what Doug is running into, not a hardware issue. It is rare to get more than two years of performance out of a Windows system without having to reinstall the OS. Not "repair" it ... reinstall it clean from scratch. And it does take a few days to get everything back to normal after that. I keep all my documents, important data, printers, photography, music, etc. on a Slackware Linux box and make that available to the Windows boxes via samba. The routine Windows OS reinstallations on the client computers are less painful that way, but still painful. However, I do admit some glee in walking up to one of my Windows boxes on it's deathbed and running "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=512 count=63" from a LiveCD. There's something immensly satisfying in doing that!

Top
#173249 - 05/13/09 04:45 PM Re: I Hate Computers... [Re: MartinFocazio]
Doug_Ritter Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1998
OK folks, I love the concept of a $400-$500 computer, BUT I never seem to be able to get there.

Based on comments about HP, I went over to HP Small Business and configured a computer pretty comparable in the features to what I have now, less the keyboard, mouse and **dual monitors** which I'd keep. I selected a processor from middle of the pack, no idea what a best value pick would be, whether there's any advantage for me to going up to a Core Duo Quad processor. I do hate waiting, that is a trade-off I realize. I upgraded the video card to more or less what I have now, I think, with required dual monitor support, I think. I moved up to 4 GB RAM, as had planned to do on the current machine.

See it here: http://tinyurl.com/ysav3

I don't want to buy something and then start mucking with it to get where I need to be. That is time and trouble I don't need and then warranty becomes an issue. Many of you might be comfortable with basic warranty, you are comfortable digging into the damn thing when it breaks, which it will. I very much prefer they jump to fixing the damn thing when it breaks. Every penny I've paid in warranty has been a good investment, dollar-wise. Though the service from Dell under warranty has been less than stellar of late, they eventually got it fixed previous times it died. If I have problems, I need someone else to fix it ASAP. Whether I'd need the 24/7 4hr option is debatable. <shrug> but the 3/3/3/next business day is my minimum. Since it is hard drives and motherboards that seem to go most frequently, I want those covered, which means buying the HDs OEM.

While I obviously need to come up with a better back-up plan than Windwoes, the RAID 1 in the current computer saved my butt when I needed it too, allowing me to finish a critical project on time. If I decide to get a new computer, that project paid for this computer, though I still would prefer not spending money these days. I wish HP offered larger drives, but 500GB is double what I have now. If I proceed, I may look at DELL again as well, but..... <~>

I just want a reliable, FAST computer with enough memory to not slow me down, RAID HD for quick recovery from HD disaster (BTDT) and good responsive warranty service when I need it.

This computer has worked fine for 4 years under Windwoes XP. No reloads, etc.

My primary software, from memory, is:

Office Pro 2003 w/ serious heavy duty Powerpoint presentations
Corel Photopaint (an older version, works great, I prefer it to Photoshop)
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Acrobat Pro
Adobe Premier
Adobe Illustrator
Homesite
Dreamweaver
CAD stuff, mostly as readers
ACDSee
Eudora (probably moving to Outlook soon)
Firefox
avast! AV and some other such complimentary software
Skype
Carbonite
There are 160 programs in the Program directory, including a bunch of small utilities and programs to make me more productive, many of which are semi-ancient, but work well for what I do.

I expect to be doing much more video work going forward, so that woudl help drive requirements.

Here's what was configured at the above link, in case it doesn't work:

-Configurable- HP Compaq dx7500 Microtower PC FN838AV
-Configurable- HP Compaq dx7500 Microtower PC
Genuine Windows VistaŽ Custom Downgrade to XP Pro
IntelŽ Q45 chipset integrated
HP dx7500 Country Kit Includes a Quick Setup & Getting Started manual in English and a country-specific power cord.
IntelŽ Core 2 Duo E8600 (3.33GHz L2-6MB) processor
4GB PC2-6400 (DDR2-800) 2x2GB
ATI Radeon HD 3650 (512MB, DVI-I, (2) DisplayPort ) PCIe x16 Graphic Card
Integrated 1394 Port
HP 500GB SATA NCQ HDD SMART IV Hard Drive
HP Backup and Recovery Manager Software standard
HP 500GB SATA NCQ HDD SMART IV 2nd Hard Drive
RAID 1 Configuration (If RAID Configuration is selected, both hard drive 1 and hard drive 2 are required and must be the same capacity hard drive)
HP 22-in-1 3.5" Media Card Reader
SATA 16X SuperMulti LightScribe drive
No keyboard
No Mouse
Genuine Windows VistaŽ Business32 System Recovery DVD Kit
No Item Selected
HP 3-3-3 (parts/labor/next business day on-site) warranty Microtower

$1,132.02 plus shipping, etc.

3-year 24x7, 4-hour response on-site coverage, desktop only (electronic) (for 3-year warranty selection only) ADD: $159.00

Thoughts and comments welcome.


Edited by Doug_Ritter (05/13/09 04:48 PM)
_________________________
Doug Ritter
Editor
Equipped To SurviveŽ
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation
www.KnifeRights.org
www.DougRitter.com

Top
#173251 - 05/13/09 05:14 PM Re: I Hate Computers... [Re: Doug_Ritter]
Leigh_Ratcliffe Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/06
Posts: 1355
Loc: United Kingdom.
May I suggest running every thing important off an external hard drive? I run two laptops and a netbook. Both laptops are second hand. I also pay very close attention to the windows update's and to my antivirus updates. Ignore them and watch your computer die.

_________________________
I don't do dumb & helpless.

Top
#173252 - 05/13/09 05:14 PM Re: I Hate Computers... [Re: Doug_Ritter]
haertig Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2117
Loc: Colorado
Hi Doug -

Looks like a nice computer setup you've configured.

One thing to remember (you probably already know this): RAID can only protect you from disk failures. Human or software errors are not helped by RAID (say you accidently delete a file, a virus infects a file, or a program corrupts a file). For those types of errors - which are actually more common than disk failures - you cannot rely on RAID. You need to have backups. Do not consider RAID as your "backup". It is not.

Sorry - I don't mean to preach. But many people don't understand this. They say "I have RAID, so I don't need to backup my data." This is very very wrong.

Top
Page 4 of 7 < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, chaosmagnet, cliff 
February
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Who's Online
2 registered (Jeanette_Isabelle, chaosmagnet), 236 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
marco234, GarethDuncan, readyforthefall, Acropolis50, SimonBlack88
5302 Registered Users
Newest Posts
Japan's Tsunami Caught On Camera
by Jeanette_Isabelle
Today at 01:19 AM
Revising and updating your EDC
by Janysboy
Yesterday at 09:46 PM
Coronavirus outbreak in China -- now spreading
by Janysboy
02/15/20 09:17 PM
Electrically conductive glue
by Eugene
02/12/20 11:23 PM
Heat Rescue Disaster Recovery
by Jeanette_Isabelle
02/12/20 05:51 PM
Latest knife purchase...
by Herman30
02/12/20 10:54 AM
Locusts in Africa
by clearwater
02/10/20 06:05 PM
Don't Get 'Juice Jacked'
by Herman30
02/09/20 08:04 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.