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Author Topic: Advice on buying new PC under $500._  (Read 9673 times)
daniel1212av
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« on: January 18, 2008, 02:28:25 PM »

A friend asked me to help him but a new PC for under 500._ max.   After searching online  the one we are looking at seems to offer a lot for the money, and comes with a  3 warranty on system components and labor and unlimited tech help  (i am not advertising). (Link removed because it was advertising Moderator)

He is not interested in  games, or cpu intensive tasks like encoding or playing much media, but I would upgrade the cpu to the AMD Athlon dual core 5000 (40.00) and the memory to 2gb pc5400 ram (20.00), plus a case cooler (6.00). Total cost approx. 450.00 + S+H. A comparable one from Dell would be approx. 640.000

I pray i can recommend the most for the money, and comments are welcome, and my more specific questions would be if anyone knows how good Asus mobos are? The default one will handle up to 4GB ram, but only 2 slots.

And what Intel cpu would compare to the AMD 5000?

As for the OS. he really has no need for Vista, and XP (which is what he has now) would prevent any hardware and learning curve problems, but updates may cease rather soon. Linux is out

Thanks for any input, and thank God for His grace that we can even think about getting a new PC. May we, unlike aged Hezekiah, render unto the Lord according to the benefit (cf. 2Chrn. 32:25), and serve "the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things" (Deu 28:47) .

 and
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daniel1212av
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2008, 11:34:53 PM »

Re. deleted link. Let be known that i was simply trying to post specs for comparison purposes critical to my question, which is akin to mentioning a pertinent online story in other sections that was the subject of a post.  I assumed that the intent of any rule against advertising was to prevent abuse of the forum for commercial or personal promotion, and not to prevent referral to sources relevant to a post of valid concern.  Sorry. Sad 
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2008, 11:39:08 PM »

Daniel, you can post the specs on the forum, but not the price. The price was why your link was removed.

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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2008, 11:42:28 PM »

Thanks for the clarification.
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2008, 12:22:52 AM »

Quote
As for the OS. he really has no need for Vista, and XP (which is what he has now) would prevent any hardware and learning curve problems, but updates may cease rather soon. Linux is out

Hello Daniel1212av,

I can't understand why Linux would be out. I've left Windows behind and use Linux Ubuntu. Linux Ubuntu is FREE, takes minutes to install, and is extremely easy to use. The ease of use would be especially for people not needing to do many complicated things. By the way, you can do complicated things if you need to with completely FREE and excellent software. The standard installation of Linux Ubuntu comes with programs that are already familiar to many people that are also completely FREE: Firefox web browser, Thunderbird email program, and Open Office Suite. Everything works in a matter of minutes, and the learning curve applies only to complicated, heavy-duty tasks.

As one example of a more complicated task: the FREE e-Sword Bible Study Package works great on Linux Ubuntu, but it is more difficult to install. However, I would not consider this to be a highly complex task if one simply follows the step by step instructions.

I would have to say that Linux Ubuntu is great, FREE, and easy for ordinary folks who don't have tons of complex things they want to do. By the way, the documentation and support is excellent, and that's FREE also.

Love In Christ,
Tom

 
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2008, 11:10:30 AM »

"I can't understand why Linux would be out."

Sorry for not responding , but i guess i never saw any more posts after my last one. But i am glad to see your question, and if i may i would like to give my opinion on this. The reason is simply that Linux is not ready for the desktop for most users. and in one way it is too much like Windows You don;t have permission..). That will surely made a Linux devotee upset, and i much favor the concept of Linux, and i use  Firefox, Open  Office, Nvu, Gimp, Clonezillla and other open source offerings, but without becoming a programmer myself i cannot do on Linux what i do on windows.

I have tried Ubuntu (up to 7.10), and almost every other major Linux distro (and i actually liked PCLinuxOS the best, except for the wizard picture for it's partitioner),  but they (speaking of Ubuntu, PCLinuxOS) would not give me R+W privileges to all my NTFS Windows Sata drives (i have 3, with partitions), which some versions of Linux would not recognize at all. And of course you to be able to MOUNT Sata drives in the first place for full R+W access.  Nor would it let me copy to it's USR (if i rightly recall) folder things like my Windows Thunderbird profile. The right click and change permissions simply did not work on NTFS drives. I am told that i am not the owner, so Linux has decided i do not own not simply files but entire drives.  Vista will to lock a few files, which i consider unnecessary (no UAC for me), but i can just run Unlocker (freeware) on the few files it decides i cannot delete/rename,  (rather than jumping thru a lot of hoops). I do understand the need for security,  but one should be free to leave his room or file cabinet unlocked if he wants to, esp. when he is the only user and prays and uses it in a sanctified manner, and keeps a watch of what his PC (and modem) is doing. 

So i go searching and asking questions, as an identified newbie, on forums, who usually give brief responses as if a newbie even knew what  Terminal and sudo this and chmod that was all about, and which can require lots of experimentation, an overall a learning curve that is far beyond what a desktop ready PC should require for such a basic function. As i recall, though i could mount NTFS volumes under Ubuntu feisty, as offered here: http://www.ubuntugeek.com/widows-ntfs-partitions-readwrite-support-made-easy-in-ubuntu-feisty.htmli i still could get full R_W (777?) privileges to all my driver.

Even  under FAT32, i had to run scripts like 'sudo mkdir /media/windows_hda1
sudo mount /dev/hda1 /media/windows_hda1/ -t vfat -o iocharset=utf8,umask=000,' and variants of this for each drive, hardly what you can expect an average person to want to learn.

Outside of ease of use, which is not restricted to the above, there is the problem of it's scope of usability and customization. I want to play mp3 files or some others, then i must break the law in the USA,  according to the info i have read, which is why they are not included with most Linux distros. i do not want to break the law.

And if want to record or encode audio and video files under Windows, and to author DVD's and burn the same, there is a good amount of freeware that will do so, or even Windows movie maker to make short movies from pictures, but unless K3b or some others will now do all that, and as well, then i would be too restricted.

Moreover,  there is an abundance of other freeware apps for Windows that are very easy to find and use, from system information and process explorers to icon makers to screen capture apps to to a keyboard piano player, and while WINE can run  some of such, it will not do all, and again, it has it's problems and learning curve.   

So while Linux is impressive in it's own right, for most users it is not ready for prime time. In fact, the kind of questions and answers you see on Linux user forums evidence why it is not ready as a replacement for Windows, though Vista was probably more of a help than a hindrance in that quest (if it is one).

Having said the negative, i want to say that Linux has lots of potential and has come a long way, and if i had more disk space i would probably be running a version  of it now, but one of the very things that makes it appealing, that of every individual being able to contribute and modify it, seems to also hinder it, as rather than more of them working together to make one version the tops, like a Firefox, too many perhaps are too scattered about making different flavors.  And it is good that a "Christian" version was developed, though things like"virtual rosary" must be removed.  Maybe you could package your version with E-sword up and running on  it!

It is good that Linux has some good Bbie software, though i would miss my  very good basic free Bible program  that lives up to its name, but maybe that would work under WINE. http://www.genesis.net.au/~bible/  (qv4nonav.exe) -

   
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2008, 11:59:23 AM »

Hello Daniel,

It sounds like you have much more than just a basic desktop for personal use. The permissions is actually a security feature that's great. You simply set a root password which really amounts to another account and use that for critical setup features, especially network features. They also have all kinds of excellent solutions for networking computers. In fact, Windows has a very difficult time in competing with them. I don't do networking, so I don't have that to worry about. For those that do networking in a big way, Windows is many times not the choice at all. Unix and Linux have been the BIG BOYS in networking for a long time, and this includes much of the business world.

A lot is probably what you're used to and what you've gotten comfortable with. Changing does involve some learning. I chose Ubuntu because of the outstanding user support and documentation. The biggest advantage is everything is FREE, and Linux/Unix systems are much more secure than windows. For those who feel they must keep some Windows functions, it's pretty easy to run Linux on a Windows machine and vice versa. The main thing that most folks need to know is there are excellent alternatives to BIG MONEY SOFTWARE, and most of those alternatives are FREE! If you reach a decision that you refuse to be held hostage by Microsoft any longer, it's easy to escape.

If you have a huge and complicated system, you will obviously have more of a chore in changing over. Just know there are outstanding alternatives for just about everything. The look and feel will probably be different, but it works just as well - BETTER in many cases. I don't know anything about the Bible Study program you are using. I use a slightly older version of e-Sword that I'm very happy with - under Wine. It works great. For whatever reason, I was unable to setup the newest versions of e-Sword. I think I know why, but I'll just keep that part to myself. I also use an outstanding smaller Bible Study package called Bible Time  that's specifically designed for Linux.


Brother, I'm positive that some applications would be more difficult than others to change over to. However, Linux Ubuntu is a free and excellent choice for people who don't have a lot of money to spend. For the simple and average home user, they can have it up and running in a matter of minutes. Users with more complicated needs and needs for networking would obviously spend much longer. They have made it easy for new users, and it's getting easier by the day to change over from Windows or to use both operating systems on the same machine.
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2008, 11:03:10 PM »

Thanks for your reply. I am well aware that permissions is a security issue, but getting Linux to mount and automatically give full R+W rights to most files in NTFS drives (as in  Windows) is not just a matter of setting a root password. As far as i know there is no easy solution, and Linux warns about even writing to NTFS drives.  That kind of "security" i do not want, nor one that makes it a complicated process to gain permissions (that goes for Vista also).  Like your own  house (if i had one), you should be able to decide what you want locked up. Like driving, responsible surfing is safer than excessive security.

And sure,  some of my lack of zeal is due to things i have gotten  used to, like fast GUI's instead of running scripts, but   a modern Desktop PC should not take you back to the days of DOS for basic functions like gaining permissions and installing some software.

As for the free aspect,  in years of computing i have only bought 2 pieces of software (outside of OSes), one of which was unnecessary (deleted my Windows drive trying to install Linux while talking on the phone. On Sunday. After deleting my backup. Ouch).  The other was a 14.00 Roxio 8 dvd creator software.  All the other 50 or more are freeware,  praise the Lord.

The biggest draw then for Linux is that the OS itself is free,which is a very big attribute. But i have heard too many people hype Linux as a replacement for Windows - which i would like it to be - when for most people it will not be until it can easily do all  what Windows does thru GUI's, and legally play what you throw at it.  And thanks for letting me give my "protest" against hype.  But i do hope Linux grows, and with the Vista SP1 troubles it may be needed.   

You might be interested in the Puppy Linux churchpup project: http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=23355

And may we do it all for Jesus.

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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2008, 12:06:08 AM »

There's a variety of everything - probably to make individual folks happy. So, whatever makes you happy, use it.

My system might use scripts, but I don't see them. Ubuntu already has GUIs for almost everything. I only have a couple of programs I run from the command line, and they really aren't necessary for the average user. The commands are one or two words, and I only have two that I use. I could set them to automatically run, but I didn't want to.

The legality of some software is a can of worms that most folks don't have to worry about. There is separate distribution for software that has any kind of restriction at all. A common and big example is "Free for Non-Commercial Use". I don't do anything involving money, so I don't have to worry about that. Lots of so-called free Windows software has the same restriction or worse. In fact, the license agreement for lots of free Windows software might be multiple pages. Most of what Linux wants in their main distribution is free FREE software without all the restrictions and pages of agreements. Try reading the E.U.L.A. on the next piece of so-called free software you get from Microsoft and you'll see what I mean. I prefer using the free software without all the strings attached. Microsoft won't like it, but things are headed that way with or without them and their software. In fact, Microsoft is changing some of their ways right now because of competition from "free and no strings" software. The thing I dislike the most about Microsoft is the GIANT SPYWARE and control tactics. Free or not, I'll do without that. It's really a matter of choice, and we do have some choices now where folks have a variety to choose from. It isn't just a choice of Microsoft or nothing anymore. In fact, there are may choices to make just with Ubuntu, not including the many other distributions of Linux. There's pros and cons to just about everything, but we do at least have a choice. I'm not familiar with the drive problem you're talking about. I just know that I don't have any problems except for trying to run some Windows programs I own on my Linux machine. Other than Wine, there's a list of solutions I haven't even tried or looked at. I replaced most of the commercial programs I own with free replacements that I'm quite happy with.

Love In Christ,
Tom 
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2008, 09:26:49 AM »

Now to be fair, the GPL is not all it has cracked up to be either.  As it states any piece of software that basically touches a GPL'd program must also be GPL'd...in other words... if I take the output of a program that is under GPL and I take that output and do whatever with it... by the GPL my software must also be GPL.  This became an issue in Galoob v Nintendo.  There has not been any other major cases or issues concerning it, however the wording would imply that once GPL then anything else relating to it is also GPL.

And as far as one license being longer or shorter...  http://www.brotherjerry.com/EULA.html compares the GPL version 3 with a Freeware license I ran across.
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2008, 04:58:14 PM »

Hello Brother Daniel, Jerry, and All,

We mentioned a tiny number of examples and samples regarding various kinds of software. I wanted to add a few things for fear that some might be mislead or misunderstand. We could write a thick book just on this subject, and it would be obsolete by the time it was printed. The big point all should recognize is to read the agreement if you must agree to something before using a piece of software.

There used to be several broad categories of software about 15 years ago, and nearly everyone understood what the names of those categories meant. Now, their are categories within categories within categories and so on. As an overly simple example of software categories 15 years ago, there was freeware, shareware, public domain, and commercial. These broad types are still with us, but there is much more, and things aren't simple any longer.

"Generally" is a very poor term in trying to talk about types of software these days, but I'll still use it to talk about some fairly broad categories that apply to many types of software and the restrictions that go with them.

1 - For Personal Use Only - versus for public use, government use, institutional use, foreign use, etc. If you fit the "Personal Use Only" category, you can eliminate yourself from all kinds of red-tape.

2 - Non-Commercial Use - versus money being involved with the use of the software before, during, or after the use of the software and related to the software. If you fit the "Non-Commercial Use Only" category, you can eliminate yourself from all kinds of red-tape.

3 - Re-packaging, Re-Engineering, Reverse-Engineering, or otherwise changing or using the software for the purpose of using it or parts of it in other programs. Again, if you fit an a category that this doesn't apply, you can eliminate yourself from all kinds of red-tape.

This will have to be part one. I have to go to the doctor.
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2008, 05:07:38 PM »

I understand where you are coming from, and with a world going to Hell this should not being a big issue, except as how the principals behind it line up with Christ.

I do read the pertinent part of EULA'S (not the part of nor using in nuclear reactors, etc.), and overall scan the whole of it, and i like the one's i can share for free  ( like GPL's), and i would not know where to start to "Reverse-Engineer"   (is this like trying to remember where you lost your keys?). And i am not commercial either.

As for MS, it  certainly gets it's criticism and i could start in also, and i hope Linux continue to improve, though we would not be in the stage of development if it were not for MS, under God's grace.

As for EULA's i brought this subject before, as it is east to see how Christians could be effectively banned from  the web when hate crime legislation gets passes. Who decides what is "objectionable? 

This goes a bit more under the current events  political section, but I  recently recvd an updated TOS agreement from Verizon, which reads sin  part:

"Verizon reserves the right to deny Service to you, or immediately to terminate your Service for material breach, if.. your use of the Service ; (b) espouses, promotes or incites bigotry, hatred or racism; (c) might be legally actionable for any reason, (d) is objectionable for any reason, or (e) in any manner violates the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy."

What espouses, promotes or incites bigotry or hatred, and is objectionable is in the eye of the beholder (Sox vs. Yankees), but as men increasingly call evil good and good evil (Is. 5:20) then taking a Biblical stance is itself construed as fostering the above, and those that do so as hate mongers. I would just as gladly help a homosexual change his tire as i would a straight person, but how can i love my neighbor as myself if i do not warn them of a practice that  can send them to an early grave and an eternal hell?

 Kodak Easy Share prohibits use that "that fosters hatred of any race, religion, ethnicity, age-group, gender or sexuality..

A useful piece of freeware, (Linux reader) for Linux/windows dual booters excludes Christians,  as any use that is "promoting hatred, discriminating or displaying prejudice based on religion, ethnic heritage, race sexual orientation or age is strictly prohibited." 

If James Dobson could be implicated in  the murder of Matthew Shepard, my web pages refuting homosexual arguments but reaching out to save them  would easily be construed as  promoting hatred 

But here is one i qualify for:

All users may use WordWeb for 30 days for evaluation purposes. After 30 days it may freely be used only if you personally:

Take at most 4 flights (2 return flights) in any 12 month period
AND do not own an SUV (sports utility vehicle).
 
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2008, 05:35:59 PM »

Hello Brother Daniel, Jerry, and All,

We mentioned a tiny number of examples and samples regarding various kinds of software. I wanted to add a few things for fear that some might be mislead or misunderstand. We could write a thick book just on this subject, and it would be obsolete by the time it was printed. The big point all should recognize is to read the agreement if you must agree to something before using a piece of software.

There used to be several broad categories of software about 15 years ago, and nearly everyone understood what the names of those categories meant. Now, their are categories within categories within categories and so on. As an overly simple example of software categories 15 years ago, there was freeware, shareware, public domain, and commercial. These broad types are still with us, but there is much more, and things aren't simple any longer.

"Generally" is a very poor term in trying to talk about types of software these days, but I'll still use it to talk about some fairly broad categories that apply to many types of software and the restrictions that go with them.

1 - For Personal Use Only - versus for public use, government use, institutional use, foreign use, etc. If you fit the "Personal Use Only" category, you can eliminate yourself from all kinds of red-tape.

2 - Non-Commercial Use - versus money being involved with the use of the software before, during, or after the use of the software and related to the software. If you fit the "Non-Commercial Use Only" category, you can eliminate yourself from all kinds of red-tape.

3 - Re-packaging, Re-Engineering, Reverse-Engineering, or otherwise changing or using the software for the purpose of using it or parts of it in other programs. Again, if you fit an a category that this doesn't apply, you can eliminate yourself from all kinds of red-tape.

This will have to be part one. I have to go to the doctor.

I know this is just the start and you will add more...however let me also expand upon some things that you are already hitting upon.

Quote
The big point all should recognize is to read the agreement if you must agree to something before using a piece of software.
This is not a matter of some pieces of software, but pretty much ALL pieces of software.  You have to realize that when you download or purchase a piece of software you do not own that software.  You are only being given permission to use that piece of software as long as you agree to the terms in the EULA (End User License Agreement)  And yes GPL is a form of EULA.

1: Personal Use - You have to watch this one.  Yes this is for your personal use.  However if you use a copy of Open Office with the mindset of it being your own personal use and you write a best selling book using it....it is no longer personal use, it is for profit.  If you bring your work home and again you plug it into your GPL'd word processor you are breaking the agreement of personal use, because then it is for professional use.

2: See above

3: Actually under things like GPL you are free to "look under the hood" and you can even modify things all you want too.  However anything you do like that must also remain GPL of the same sort.  Now the problem also comes in that the GPL can be interpreted to also mean that any data used from a piece of software that is GPL must also be GPL and thus any other program that reads the data that is GPL thus must also again be GPL.  So once it touches GPL in any form or fashion it must remain GPL'd.

Now these are extreme cases.  And there have not been any cases of prosecutions over them.  However you have also never heard of anyone being prosecuted over using the same copy of Windows XP on a computer they used to replace one that blew up either.  (EULA for MS is that one copy of Windows per computer...your computer dies and you build a new one means you should buy another copy of Windows).
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2008, 08:01:29 PM »

 Grin   Grin   ROFL!

I loved some of the examples you guys came up with. YES - there are many absolute ridiculous agreements attached to many pieces of software. My part two is going to have to wait some.

I remember reading several agreements for Microsoft that basically gave them the rights to look over your shoulder and into your computer any time they wanted to. This and a series of events leading up to it convinced me to go Linux, and I've never been sorry. Treatment of their customers was also getting pretty bad, so I waved bye to Microsoft and took Bill Gates off of my Christmas Card list.

Reference the use of Christian materials and what does or does not constitute so-called hate speech, I don't plan to pay any attention to it at all. I'll use the Bible for GOD'S Work until either the day I die or the CHURCH is RAPTURED HOME. It is my firm opinion that the Constitution must be legally changed by the people before laws like that can be implemented. In the absence of legal changes, such laws are illegal and Unconstitutional. A great number of Christians have given their lives to share the Gospel of the Grace of GOD in countries where this is illegal. We have laws and rights that can't be taken away without the proper democratic processes. Regardless of what's done, the LORD'S WORK will go on, and nothing will be able to stop it. The devil will use his whole bag of tricks trying to stop it, but he CAN'T. The world's biggest armies in China haven't been able to stop it, and the devil himself won't be able to stop it during the Tribulation Period. Great hosts have been martyred for CHRIST throughout history, and even greater hosts will die for CHRIST in the future. I will never be ashamed of the Gospel of the Grace of God, and I will never renounce CHRIST, even if it means death. Portions of numerous generations have fought and died to secure and preserve our rights and way of life. I, for one, will not go quietly, nor will I sit down and shut up. There are many millions more just like me - young and old. So, evil tyrants need to carefully select the areas they decide to subject under their rule - PLAIN AND SIMPLE! We are NOT a nation of WIMPS, and we are well-accustomed to fighting and dying for our rights.

Love In Christ,
Tom

Ephesians 1:18-23 NASB I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
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« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2008, 01:12:44 PM »

"(EULA for MS is that one copy of Windows per computer...your computer dies and you build a new one means you should buy another copy of Windows)."

True,  a OEM disk that comes with the PC is "married" to it for life, with the mobo being the key component that cannot be replaced, unless perhaps it died prematurely and was replaced under warranty, and  you can persuade MS. Other major changes to the HASH fie can also require reactivation. 

But if you buy a retail version, which cost about twice as much,  it can  be unistalled form one PC and installed on  another or resold. Thank God, as i am using one. 
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