I am still using XP machines and this 1 is working fine. The others are not working to well as they take forever to boot and what not.
I am on dial up internet.
I am considering getting a new computer if I can find 1 that is not ridicules in price.
But I am concerned about the complaints on win 8 and 7 and frankly don't feel like poking and prodding for days before i can send a email.
So what advice can you give me as to what to look for? I am wanting to put this machine, a 8 year old HP in the shop as it works great but I sit here in the house and do my reading and emailing.
Check eBay for a good used Mac. Costs a lot less than new and frees you from Windows.
I hated Windows 8. Version 8.1 is better but takes awhile to get used to. I wish I would have bought Windows 7 instead.
Frankly though, I don't ever turn on my PC since I got a tablet. I can read and send emails, shop at any web site and read this forum just as easily from anywhere in the house or the shop with my little Kindle. It only cost about $100 on sale and runs on WIFI. To me, a tablet is one of those things you wonder how you ever got by without one once you have it.
Agree with Brian. My son, who like a lot of younger folks just has to have the latest, gave me his "old" I-pad and I've been using it quite a bit. My lap top is an '08 and still works well but the pad is a goof to use. Take it any where and do any thing a lap top or tower system can do. I was looking at a Dell system in Costco the other day. $350. Large screen with just a key board and a mouse. It's all contained in the screen. Even the disc drive. If I was looking that's what I'd consider for home use. Windows 10 operating system.
If you like the XP environment, try to find a Windows 7 computer or one that has "downgrade rights". I was so put off by Windows 8 that I jumped at the chance to get a Win 7 computer when we decided to ditch our Win 8 ones here at work.
However, supposedly now you can make a Win 8 look just like a Win 7.
In the end you'll be adapting to something new so there will be things you like and things you don't.
I have Apple products (not computers) and they're usually very simple to use. But they don't really allow you to customize and of course you pay a premium for them.
If ALL you are doing is reading the internet and emailing, just about anything will do, to be honest. If you need spreadsheets, word processing, or databasing functions, then its a different ball game.
I got a new (refurbished) one a year or so ago and was able to find one with Windows 7. I had read negative reviews of Win 8 on here, so I avoided that. I had been using XP for years, and 7 isn't much different.
I know folks rave about their Apples (my wife included) but I couldn't justify the extra cost for one of those. Also, my son is a computer whiz, and he said it wouldn't be worth the extra cost for an Apple for the way I use a computer.
Mack, Windows 8 (8.1) is actually on the way out. Windows 10 is now here taking its place. Will it be any better? Frankly, I doubt it. That's why Steve has a better idea. It'll be my next move.
Went to Walmart on line and got a refurbed Dell with Win 7 for under $200. The refurb people are available for assistance. Lots of choices of brands, OP systems, etc.
I agree with Steve Jelf.
Buy a used or refurbished Mac from a reputable dealer.
Once you own a Mac, you'll never go back to a PC.
I do everything on an iPad. I won't go back to Windows for the Internet. The wifi is what makes it great. I have never had a security problem. I watch movies on it. Listen to books on it. Take all kinds of photos and videos with it. Send emails and text.
My computer here is on Win7 and I'm on dial-up and it works--well, as much as dial-up works!
My laptop is still XP, but it's taking forever to load, and bogs down a lot--its 10 years old, probably on its last legs. Hmm, my computer is about 8 years old.. . . uh oh.
If you get a Windows 8 computer, google classic shell down load and install the program. It is free and will make Windows 8 look like Windows 7.
That being said. Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 is coming out 3rd quarter. Anyone that has Windows 7 or 8 can apply for a free copy of Windows 10, but only in the first year of Windows 10.
Microsoft also states that Windows 10 will be more user friendly.
Be careful with Macs, good computers but a lot of Mac users think they are immune to virus. Macs have not been a good targets as there were not enough to be profitable. That is changing as more enter the market. All I am saying is if you get a Mac be sure to get good antivirus as cleaning up any current Mac virus is not fun.
my 300 used mac laptop has been runnin just fine for 3 years, no virus problems since the windows machine died. i'm on a sprint hotspot, in the garage, for 39.95 a month. usually runs at 6-7 mph. much better than the phone line at the house, about 2 mph. for 85 bucks. why is it still there?
I'm on XP and am not having any trouble with load times or the computer taking to forever the things over either. But I'm not running dial up either, I'd be willing to bet that is most of connectivity problems right there, that and too many cookies and temp files you haven't dumped in a long while.
Not too fond of Windows 7 as it doesn't like legacy, 8's really no better and I'm not going to even try 9 or whatever other number they come up with.
As for Mac's?...no artist in his right mind wants to draw on one, they clunky and top heavy (command wise).
I'm thinking of going to Linux running Ubuntu, Cinnamon or Mint, one of those. They're the most trouble free OS you can get and there is no backdoor either.
Computers are like air conditioners. They work fine....till you open windows.
Keep Windows XP! You can buy brand new units with XP from Nixsys.com. I highly recommend upgrading any unit to a Solid State Drive. There are no moving parts as found in a standard hard drive. Don't worry about the MS hype that XP is no longer supported. Make sure you are running a good anti virus like AVG (it's free).
As far as the internet goes, you can now use your phone as a modem and it is light years faster than a dial up. iPhones come with "Personal Hot Spot" which allow you to connect via USB or Wi-Fi. It's as fast as a cable modem.
This December, I bought a new Dell computer equipped with System-7 because from the horror stories I'd heard, there was no way I was going to want to deal with System-8.
I'm fairly happy with the new computer, and System-7 is close enough to XP that the learning curve wasn't painful. It's different, but not by much.
Here is 1 that stood out for me on ebay.
I like the fact I can get a 2 year warranty on it and it has the 56 k modem all ready in it. Most I am looking do not have the modem in them.
What concerns me is I don't know if I can hook my keyboard,mouse and monitor to a laptop for use here in the house?
And Steve, i will look at Mac's before I decide on something.
I have a little job overhauling a Kohler 10hp on a john Deere mower and when I finish I am thinking of investing the earnings into a better computer.That is what prompted this question.
I've been repairing computers for over 15 years now. Mac's and PC's both. The main thing with any computer is to get it clean and keep it clean. Know what programs you install and their effect on the computer. Most programs are designed to continuously run in the back ground robbing you of resources and slowing the system down. Their are some good free programs to clean your system but you need to get in the habit of using them. Windows 7 is a good upgrade from XP and is very easy to use. You can purchase OEM install disc of Win7 for around $100.00. Do your own install and have a very stable system. When you purchase a store bought computer the first thing you need to do is clean all the crap out of it. Keep in mind that many brand name computers sold at retail stores are built to last only until the warranty ends. The best way to shop for a computer is to know what the motherboard brand is. ASUS is about the best board you can buy. Ignore the brand name on the outside and ask who made the motherboard. You'll find ASUS is a bit more money but it will last years beyond most others. Just my 2 mb's..
There is NO cell service around my property--believe, I've looked. It ends a few miles away, and even there it's spotty.
Don, FREE computer cleaning programs? Where, everyone I've tried to use requires a payment before it will clean all the problems it announces it has found.
They advertise free, then ask for money!
Mack, you'll need a keyboard/mouse with a USB plug. You can even get them wireless where only the sensor plugs into the USB port on the laptop.
David, check out CCleaner it has a free version and also a paid version. Just be sure to get the free one. Also Malwarebytes is a free tool to use. If you know how to get in to "Safe Mode" you can run both of these programs and by doing so in safe mode clean the machine the best way.
Without getting too technical, here are a few things the user can do to keep his machine running good.
1. turn it off if you are going to not be using it for a few hours. This clears the memory.
2. At least twice a month do a full anti-virus scan in "Safe Mode". This will detect virus' that start up during booting.
3. No more than 4 times a year delete ALL files located in the "Prefetch" folder of windows. This a common folder similar to cookies. This is were most virus' will land and begin their dirty deed.
4. Keep all programs up to date. Most updates are patches against virus'.
5. Disable "cookies" and set to accept cookies during the browser period. Some websites require cookies so get use to knowing how to able-disable.
6. Turn off all unnecessary background programs. An example would be "quick time" player. It will start when you need it but there is no reason to have it running all the time.
7. Turn off automatic updates for installed programs. (Not Windows update) Get in the habit of checking for updates to your programs manually. These auto update features also are continuously running and dragging your system down.
8. Defrag your hard-drive(s). It can take some time to do this so plan it out. Also run the Defrag 3 times. It will speed your system up.
9. Error Check your hard-drive. This requires a restart, and can take several hours depending on the size of the hard-drive.
The most important thing a person can do is take the time to run your anti-virus program in Safe Mode. Along with your anti-malware program. Do them separately but do them. Most virus' need to start up with the system and by running them in safe mode they can not defend themselves from removal.
There are many ways to keep your computer clean and I've just mentioned a few. Browser add-ons and desktop gadgets are a common program that can cause slow downs. Also be aware that only 3% of virus' come across in email. All others are pickup while surfing websites.
Hope this helps and give these a try...you may amaze yourself.
I know everyone has a different opinion on this subject. I have been using computers before the days of Windows and have suffered through each system upgrade. I am also a computer programmer.
I say to keep XP because newer versions of Windows will require you to upgrade ALL of your programs. Version 7 allows you to install an XP shell for backward compatibility.
The single slowest device in your computer is the hard drive. I have upgraded all of my drives to SSD's. The other thing to do is uninstall all programs you do not use.
You can still get high speed downloads via satellite thou I am not a fan. I hope this helps.
I agree with Rod, XP is a solid operating system. Keep in mind that Microsoft recommends you wipe out and reinstall Windows once a year to keep it running sound. This is a big pain and shouldn't be attempted unless you are familiar with installing the correct drivers for your system. But, it may be something you should consider if your computer is hopelessly buggie and it hasn't been done in a while. One last thing I'd like to mention is the installation of browsers. Windows has a built in browser if you install another such as Chrome it actually installs over IE. Sometimes it will work fine other times it will cause problems and slow downs on the web.
computers are female, they are wonderful, but they don't do what you want them to do all the time
A computer is NOT smarter than you are. But your wife might be...yikes~
Good info, all. Rod, where do you find the XP over 7 shell?
If you do buy a used PC with Windows XP installed, be sure it comes with a valid key. (Certificate of Authenticity sticker on the bottom) Windows XP is no longer supported by Microsoft and many versions available on the web are hacked. Having the key will allow you to reinstall or repair Windows from any valid CD of the same product level. If it doesn't come with a CoA sticker, the Windows version installed is probably counterfeit and could cause operational problems later.
Also keep in mind that Windows XP isn't likely to be supported by current antivirus software to their full design. They will say that it runs on XP but the AV functions may be severely limited. The OS and hardware protections used in newer versions are not in XP or the processor.
Here are some things that will help you computer run much faster with windows XP.
1. Buy an external hard drive or large memory stick and store all your data files on that unit.
2. Only allow software programs on your computer or Desktop files that are in work.
3. Keep your Desktop files to bare minimums.
4. Run Disk Defragmenter once a week.
5. Run Disk Cleanup once a week.
6. Install a good malware and anti-virus program and run it frequently.
7. Hijackthis is a good free program that lets you know every program is running to take computer time and also lets you shut the program down.
Ricks, you can download XP compatibility mode here http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=8002
Once you have a MAC you will never be happy with anything else!
Don Booth, why do you say: "No more than 4 times a year delete ALL files located in the "Prefetch" folder of windows."?
I usually do that once a month, along with defrag, CCleaner, malware, AV.
Hi Ken, dumping the prefetch file can have a adverse effect if done too often. I was playing it safe stating 4 times a year. Some prefetch files are associated with the operating system and frequently used programs. By deleting those files the system and programs have to regenerate them and this can have a "slow down" effect. I tend to lean on the safe side when it comes to the prefetch file.
This is what I recently did with my windows XP desk top computer.
I have been fighting an operating system upgrade for years because it would cost me a lot of money to upgrade the programs I had.
My XP machine had multiple hard drives, an enhanced graphics card, upgraded power supply, and the maximum memory.
I tried all the tricks to keep it running fast defrag, etc. but it continued to run slow.
I finally decided to get a Windows 7 system mostly because XP would not support some of the browser updates, and I learned that many of the "specialized programs" such as scan to PDF and picture editors were now standard in MS Office.
After numerous discussions with our IT guys I decided to purchase a used windows 7 HP ProBook "business grade" laptop and a docking station.
That way it would still look like a desktop computer to the family.
I then added a 1 TB USB drive for less than $100
and MS Office upgrade for another $100
The whole thing cost just under $600.
Why one computer is fast and another with the equivalent components isn't ? That is the golden question. My thoughts on it...
When computer users started to demand more from their computers, such as pictures and video programs. They took 9 of the most brilliant programmers in the world and locked them in a room for close to a year. Their task was to determine how to convert 1's and 0's into graphics. They came out with the mission accomplished. We could now see the world in a way never before. The draw back to this is when problems occur no one person can solve them because no one person knows everything there is know about graphic conversion. The same thing applies to the components of a computer be it a laptop or desktop they are still put together with a conglomeration of different manufactures and their respective components. Then in order to make these components talk to each other the need for programmers to write the code came about. This is what is known as "drivers". Many cases of a slow computer is a poorly written or incompatible driver. The northbridge and southbridge chips are what talks to the processor and feeds it the 1's and 0's and the driver for the north and south bridge's are called "Chipsets". What I'm getting at here is they all have to live happily together in order for a computer to operate at its designed speed. Now, if you read this over again you will see that the same could be said about a Model T or any other machine. Had they not crapped up todays computers to where they do everything the consumer wants but rather do only one or two functions the poor things would work flawlessly. Example is the fly by wire jetliners of today. The computer systems are individual computers doing only the function they were design to do. And they do it the same over and over again. They are protected because they are not loaded down with other expectations. Programs we load on our computers are bloated every way possible to provide the functions whether you use them or not, and are the main reason your poor computer is dragged down. Sorry for the hot air but be it a Mac or Pc, the demands you put on the computer have everything to do with the speed and stability of the system as a whole.
Northbridge and Southbridge interfaces to the CPU are ancient history now. AMD might still use something similar but I don't follow them. No one "follows" them. They are so far behind everyone else is "ahead" of them.
Mine has been doing the black screen thing off and on for the last month or so. I have an old Dell desk with XP. I checked to see if I could upgraded to 7 or 8 but mine will not support it without some up grades. So have been looking at refurbished laptops with WiFi on ebay. The prices are all over but have found a couple that are in my price range (CHEEP!).
You are right Ken I was just using that as an example. It could have a direct link of me being ancient history also...
Back in the old days, I used to build my own computers. The day finally came when I could buy a new Dell with a Pentium3 for less than I could build it. From then on, I just upgraded CPU's and memory periodically. Now days, I buy refurbished Dells on ebay for a song. The latest I got for my kids was an Optiplex GX755 with dual core CPU and 4 gigs of ram, DVD/RW fresh install of XP for less than a hundred bucks. Works great and if it fails, I'll get a quad core with 8 gigs of ram for about the same price. I also use Win 7 on some of my PC's and it ain't bad, but as long as I can get drivers, I'll stick with the best OS microsoft ever built.
Windows 7 is a great release. It has the closest UI to XP that you will ever see again. Win8/8.1 is a bust and Win9 was pulled from development because it was too much like Win8.
I'm waiting to see how Win10 stands with hardware compatibility but I may make the switch. Not much is available since it's still in testing. Most testers are using Win8/8.1 drivers for some hardware. It's supposed to be configurable to be close to the Win7 UI for those of us that like to see detail and despise the crayon cartoon look. It will be a free upgrade for the first year after release so it should get a lot of "real world" testing. And there surly won't be a shortage of reviews.
Install the free, and crap free, Start Menu 8 and you won't know WIN 8 from WIN 7 or XP as far as that goes.
The machine will boot straight to the good ol' desktop.
It's the first thing I do when working with WIN 8.
Windows 7 is ok except
Can not use Outlook Express
Can not download older programs from original disc
Photo programs are more difficult to work with
Folder options hard to set
Copy and move files not as easy
some web sites won't open with MS Explorer
UNLESS YOU ARE A TEENAGER or EXPERT USER
Outlook Express was not secure and support was dropped. Use Windows Live Mail.
I don't know what "downloading" from original disc means. Perhaps it's a hardware problem reading an old disc. I've installed 1999 releases of software on W7. For most older programs, you don't need to run them in the available Virtual XP mode. They will run in W7 under compatibility mode. If you're talking about old 16-bit software, it's time to upgrade.
What photo programs? Paint is the same. I've always used IrfanView since the early days of XP so I haven't seen any big changes.
Folder options are easy to set as well as how they are viewed. Perhaps your file organization method needs work.
Copy and move is also simple. You drag and drop or copy and paste. Can't get any easier than that.
MS IE-11 follows the international standard for HTML3-5 so the web site probably has errors. You can also set specific web sites or all web sites to be viewed in compatibility mode. You can also change the document mode all the way back to IE-5 as well as the User Agent String. Sites that you still have problems with are probably using non-standard or dangerous scripts. Windows 7 alone (with no AV) tries to protect itself from malware.
You don't need to be an expert. Just RTFM.
I got a tablet for Christmas but I doní use it much as I find I waste too much time trying to figure it out.
I downloaded the operation manual to my 'puter but can't figure out how to transfer it to the tablet.
So every time I want to look something up in the manual I have to boot up the 'puter first.
The manual's not great either, it says it can be done but doesn't tell how to do it. Lot's of things the manual says to do or can be done but doesn't tell how to do them.
It's supposed to have a GPS on it but I can't figure out how to use it.
My old GPS (20+ years) just turn it on, it finds and locks onto the satellites and away ya go.
I use Outlook express for my email address from the phone company. I have no idea how I would access it with out it. I think they have a home page you can go to and then log into to your email there but it takes 2 forevers and a day to get it to work now for some reason. Used to about 7 or 8 years ago it worked fine.
I noticed the newer machines don't have it. I despise windows mail, as my Hotmail page got changed to it and it is a slow snail to open now.
I found a laptop I liked, 150 shipping and all that works. I ask about the dial up modem,dont have 1. :>0
Looks like getting a newer machine is going to be a mess. I may just try to get a hard drive for a nice older dell I was given a few months ago. But then I have to load the operating system I think?
My neighbor who does not have a ebay account had me to purchase thing called a "Nook"? for his daughter for her birth day. I tried to sit down and look at it,had to wear my glasses.touch screen only. I pushed or touched the wrong thing several times and just gave up. so tiny,so sensitive. I reckon my arthritis has some play in my troubles but how do the Old people work this stuff?
Any PC, laptop or desktop, with a modem is going to be ancient as far as technology unless someone added a card for some reason. I would get the best PC you can afford then get a USB modem for around $30. It can be used on any PC or just removed if you ever upgrade your connection.
You can keep your email address. It will be firstname.lastname@example.org no mater what machine you use. All you have to do is set up an account(s) on the machine you get. Live Mail is very fast for me unless someone sends me huge pictures. I have both my personal accounts and a Hotmail account through it and it's all on one page. I can send and receive email for all three accounts. I don't have to log into Hotmail to check there. You can set up any number of other mail accounts including Gmail and access all of them through Live Mail.
There's many reasons why a PC will boot/run slow but dialup is going to be a major contributor if you have some programs "phoning home" at startup. Without knowing what apps are in your startup or what your system configuration looks like, it's hard to tell why you're running slow. Windows 7 makes it easy to see and eliminate unnecessary startup programs. There should only be a few. Perhaps an AV and maybe a couple of User Mode hardware drivers.
If you run a tool bar, especially Google, many of those will try to upload all the URLs you've visited the previous day. Some will also record what you've typed. Other "free" software packages will do similar functions at startup. You have to be very selective on what programs you add to your system. Few are really "free".