Time to Upgrade Your Computer? - Comments Page 1

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Posted by:

Mike Nichols
24 Jan 2013

Well said Bob.
This is a lot like what I have told my clients for years. Proper maintaining can go a long ways toward keeping good performance too. One thing that does come into play is whether or not the computer and its data is critical to the user. If it might cost them substantially if the system goes down or loses data, then replacing every so many years might make better sense but as you pointed out - a lot of the decision is best based on what the primary use of the system is. I have users here with Windows98 still - and I keep one shop machine going with W2k still - so we are beginning to lose functional ability due to the software not being supported by some anti-virus software or browser software and that can be a big clue to move up - but again it is a very common mis-conception that a system slows down as it ages.
Do you know of a site that might list which current software works with the older versions of hardware and operating systems? That might be handy for users of older systems and collectors of old computers.
Thanks again for a good site and newsletter for all these years!
Mike Nichols - www.oldhackers.com

Posted by:

Nate
24 Jan 2013

Acutally, it is NOT hard to convert from Windows XP to Windows 7. The Windows 7 software came with a small tutorial on what needed to be done in preparation for the upgrade, i.e. some or all XP drivers would need to be updated to work with Windows 7 (and that really old printers or devices currently working with XP may not work with Windows 7 at all if the manuafacturer never bothered to update it's drivers or has gone out of business).

Posted by:

Eric
24 Jan 2013

Just a thought on hard drive upgrades...

I'd say it's worth considering SSD as well. Per unit volume, they're much more expensive, so 128 GB costs as much as a good 7200 RPM 500 GB SATA drive, but they offer an even bigger jump in performance. If you still need the storage capacity for photos and media, you can always buy an enclosure kit for the old hard drive and fairly inexpensively turn it into an external drive.

Posted by:

michael egerton
24 Jan 2013

I've installed lubuntu along with my XP to give me time to get used to it for when XP is no longer supported; I didn't choose ubuntu due to the narrowing from the left side with its menu/task bar, and lubuntu runs on lower spec laptops. Now's the time to check out lubuntu.

Posted by:

tim
24 Jan 2013

Still running xp..tried upgrading to 7 but was a bit much for my system.Its an HP system from 2006.but i have upgraded the power supply, video card is a few years old..just added more ram for total of 4gb..i currently have 2 monitors running on it..but as you say, if it runs fine, dont upgrade..but it still runs Corel Painter 12 and watch Netflix at the same time..only when it really dies will i upgrade.

Posted by:

Harold P. Morgan
24 Jan 2013

Nice article, Bob, as most of your articles are. I laughed when you touched on hard drive size. My first desktop...back in 1989...had a 20 megabyte HD in it and we thought we'd never need more. Ha.
There is one other advantage to upgrading rather than purchasing new. I've discovered that manufacturers usually equip their hot, shiny new speedsters with the minimum capacity parts that they can get by with. For example....when I went to put a faster, higher powered video card in my desktop (running Windows 8) I discovered that the original equipment power supply was only 250 watts and would not handle any extra add-ons. So it was another expense to buy another larger capacity power supply in addition to the cost of the video card.....on a 2 yr. old desktop PC. Might as well just kept my old desktop and upgraded it.
Good article. Lots of good tips.

Posted by:

Peter Ridgers
24 Jan 2013

Unless you're a dedicated PC gamer or have other special reasons it is rarely necessary to upgrade a PC before is actually physically wears out.None of my PCs is more than 6 years old.

Posted by:

Peter Ridgers
24 Jan 2013

I may not upgrade my PCs but I may have to upgrade my brain. In my last post the the last sentence should read "none of my PCs is LESS than 6 years old".

Posted by:

Jon
24 Jan 2013

I'm not sure if it's just me or do these 'my computer's slowing down' topics crop up about 6 months after every windows release?

98 to XP, XP to Vista/7 and now 7 to 8.

Yes we are also noticing a slowing down of our 7 based computers. NO we don't fancy 8.

Oddly enough I installed ubuntu as a dual boot on one of the laptops and now use it for surfing, email and all the connected computer stuff. And I am one of the people who tried linux a few years ago and swore I'd never use it again as 'I didn't need another time consuming hobby' etc. etc.

The biggest problem is that the vast majority, of our software will not run on linux. There are alternatives to most (firefox and filezilla are functional on both) but the emulators for running windows software on linux are somewhat buggy - some will disagree but that's our experience.

When Mr Gates decides that a lot of us don't want to turn our computers into big mobile phones and re-thinks windows for '9' we may re-think but for now it's 7 and ubuntu.

Thanks for all the great info,

Jon

P.S. I do have a tablet which runs android and I love it - I just want my computer to be a computer.........

Posted by:

Lee McIntyre
24 Jan 2013

I'm considering purchasing a new machine, but not for the reasons you might think. My senior-citizen wife does not relate well to technology, and is constantly asking me, "Should I update Flash?" "It says Adobe crashed. What should I do?" "If I click 'here,' will I get a virus?"

So, I'm thinking of the Telikin computer? It's targeted to seniors. Runs Linux. It's described at www.telikin.com. I'd be interested in your take. It's very expensive, but if it solves the problems my wife has using our Win7 machine, I'm gonna get her one. Your thoughts, Bob? ... Anyone?

(Remember: It's NOT target to anyone who reads this newsletter! It's targeted to seniors who feel cut off from friends and family because they're not adept at doing the things you and I take for granted, such as mouse manipulation, installing updates, backing up data, etc.)

Posted by:

Sharon McBain
24 Jan 2013

Rather than buying a new computer, they may need a cleanup or backup all the files they want onto a storeage device. Format the system and reload a clean copy of Windows Vista or Windows 7, then do a Windows UPdate. Load the only files back onto computer that you want and keep the old files on the storeage device (eg. CD Rom) Your computer run faster and keep it maintained regularly with maintenance of up-to-date reg cleaners, firewalls and antivirus programs

If you don't feel like you can do this take it to a computer tech who will do it for you, it is cheaper than buying a new computer. But again maybe you are looking for an excuse to buy a new computer.

Posted by:

Elna
24 Jan 2013

You said: "a new Windows 8 computer, and you don't mind spending some time learning the new interface, then that's a fine choice, too."

I just recently (this month) I needed to replace my computer, so I bought a new Toshiba laptop. It came loaded with Windows 8. I have experience with operating systems going back to DOS, pentium, Windows. I struggled with that computer for two weeks, and I have decided to see if I can return it. I should have researched it before I bought it, but I thought, with my experience with Windows I could just move ahead. WRONG. I managed to fix this Win7 computer, but if I require a new one I will switch to Apple MAC.

Posted by:

john
24 Jan 2013

Bob How can you say backup? How can you do backup? If you do not have access to a 3.5 floppy then good luck. I've Googled it and the best I can come up with is that I should enrol in a Microsoft program to become a wizard. Why in the name of, can they not allow us to use an external drive or usb to complete the backup process is beyond me . Thanks though for a you do for me/us. Best regards, john.

EDITOR'S NOTE: What? Who still uses 3.5-inch floppy disks? What backup program are you trying to use?

Posted by:

bob price
24 Jan 2013

Computers do not "slow down" they "bog down". We install mountains of s/w then wonder why it slowed down. Load a ton of concrete into your car's trunk and it will affect performance. Take out the concrete. Same with computers. Use any number of free programs that show what junk you have loading every time, and then uninstall 75% of them.

Posted by:

rob
24 Jan 2013

If you have a reasonable amount of RAM the best value for money upgrade is an SSD. If cost is an issue use a small one and keep the old C: drive for data storage.

Posted by:

js
24 Jan 2013

I have an option to purchase Windows 8 for $14.99 that expires Jan 31, 2013, since I bought a new Laptop with Windows 7 in a few months ago....
Should I upgrade to Windows 8 or keep Windows 7, as have heard negative reviews about Windows 8.
Should I pass on being one generation ahead, as I have an 8 yr old dell Laptop with Windows XP which will be extinct soon and if I was one generation ahead, the Dell Laptop, XP would not be facing the extinction...

EDITOR'S NOTE: Faced with that choice, I'd buy Windows 8 for $14.99 and not install it now. If you ever want to install it later, you've only spent a few bucks.

Posted by:

Rick
24 Jan 2013

If you're an older person who uses the computer merely as an occasional tool (eg to keep in touch with friends/family, play games alone, write letters etc) it will be best to delay the upgrade to Wndows 8 as long as possible. Windows 8 is such a radical departure from the logic and familiarity of earlier operating systems that older users will have to devote considerable time and energy merely to use the tool again and the danger is they may simply give up. If you want to update your parents/grandparents machines please bear this in mind. Cheers Rick

Posted by:

MerryMarjie
24 Jan 2013

This article hit home with me as I've just been salivating over the newer, faster, flashier computers out there, plus I don't like to be left behind in technology. My computer is over 5 years old, but I bought it "big," with 4GB RAM and a huge hard drive and a GeForce 8500 graphics card. It (sadly) came with Vista, but I was able to upgrade to Windows 7 a year and a half ago and have been very pleased with the performance, until lately, when it has seemed to slow down. (There was a huge Microsoft Update on January 10th --- did it affect anyone else's computer? It actually destroyed my ability to Hibernate as now that setting just turns off my CPU, never did before.)

I think I'll add another 4GB RAM and see if I can struggle through another 12 months of antiquated tech, then go for the whole enchilada next Christmas. By that time Windows XXX will be out, for sure!

Posted by:

MmeMoxie
24 Jan 2013

Though, it has been awhile, since I have posted ... I am still reading all of your newsletters and loving it. Thanks for sharing with us, your vast knowledge.

As to the topic, at hand ... I know personally, how to take care of my computer, by upgrading, defragmenting the hard drive, routine virus/Trojan Horse/Worm scans, so forth and so on. But, I know it is time for me to upgrade/update my computer. I am still running Windows XP Pro and while I love it and am completely familiar with it ... The time has come to start using Windows 7. I am NOT interested in Windows 8. I simply do NOT want to have an intense learning curve. At least, Windows 7 has some similarities to Windows XP, where the learning curve, wouldn't be as intense.

As for a "new" computer, I have been looking at used computers online. I know of an online website that will sell "off lease" computers, with a 6 month warranty, which is very good. Most website will only give a 90 day warranty. I just know, that the time is right, for this move. Hopefully, I can find an "off lease" desktop computer with Windows 7 Pro. I have learned to love the Pro editions and NTFS. Once you understand what the NTFS can do for you, your computing becomes much easier.

My only regret, when moving to Windows 7, is I will be losing some of my most favorite games, since I have been playing most of them, since Windows 98SE. But, that is progress for you. :)

Posted by:

john
25 Jan 2013

Some hours later I have taken your advice and backed up with Easeus. This is all new to me so I ask everyone's forgiveness regarding the previous post / rant? My salient point though remains. A Windows backup without an available 3.5 floppy would try Joab's patience. Best regards all.

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