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Need Help About I Am About to buy Dell Desktop
11/21/03 | Old Professer

Posted on 11/21/2003 10:13:15 AM PST by Old Professer

My present computer is dying; I must replace it. I need answers to a few questions and I can think of no better place to get them.


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This computer is 6 years old, was not much good to begin with and now the thing is slowing to a crawl.

Dell has a promotion good until 11/23 on a 2400 desktop with a 2.2 ghz processor, 40 gb hd, 256 ram, and a 920a printer.

It comes with a wireless keyboard, rw cd, and an optical mouse.

What I don't know is if it comes with a 3.5 floppy.

The data on my present hd can only be copied to floppy because this computer's cd has been broken for 3 years.

I am currently using a Packard Bell Multimedia C115 (quit laughing)and we have been holding on to it for so long because it has Winfax for W95 and we have been using that program a lot while my wife was submitting resumes; now that she has a full-time job we leave it on but we only get the occassional solicitation call.

It would be nice if my copy of Winfax would work with XP but I doubt that, anyone know for sure?

My daughter has a one-year old E-Machine that has a 3.5 so we could always copy to that and then to cd and then load to the new Dell, is that practical or is it difficult?

There is some question right now whether I can get Comcast broadband so I may be stuck with MSN but they will move me up to MSN 8 or 9, if that is the current "rage".

Dell's price is $399 ($499 before mail-in rebate), so I don't think I can get hurt by the price.

1 posted on 11/21/2003 10:13:15 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: Old Professer
Occasionally, I put the occasional extra "s" in occasional, sorry.
2 posted on 11/21/2003 10:15:07 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: Old Professer
We got a Dell last year, Dimension 4550. We love it.
3 posted on 11/21/2003 10:15:28 AM PST by ClancyJ
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To: Old Professer
I just won't buy one until they quit showing those dumb intern commericials.
4 posted on 11/21/2003 10:16:51 AM PST by zencat
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To: Old Professer
I suggest finding a good Indian resteraunt and go there frequently to get used to the accent so you'll be prepared when you call customer support.
5 posted on 11/21/2003 10:16:58 AM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: ClancyJ
Thanks.

Sorry about the extra "about" in the headline, when I screw up I do a good job of it.

6 posted on 11/21/2003 10:17:17 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: Old Professer
I have a Dell 4500. I love it! Plus, Dell is a big Bush supporter.
7 posted on 11/21/2003 10:17:55 AM PST by Wait4Truth
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To: Semper Paratus
I ran into that a few days ago when I couldn't get OE to connect.

Other than having no help for me and not understanding the importance of enunciating when conversing with a half-deaf old man, she wasn't that bad.

8 posted on 11/21/2003 10:19:44 AM PST by Old Professer
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To: Old Professer
I just bought a Gate Way($700):
2.6GHZ Celleron
40 GB harddrive
258 RAM
CDRW DVD
15" LCD flat screen monitor

Anything comparble at Dell is 100 dollars more... and Gate Way doesn't require shipping if you buy it at the store and supports the local employees.

9 posted on 11/21/2003 10:20:23 AM PST by Porterville (We are watching you liberal scum, soon we will take your welfare check, then we will take your home)
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To: Old Professer
www.techbargains.com, they always have a Dell "deal of the day", don't buy without checking their coupons first.
10 posted on 11/21/2003 10:22:29 AM PST by oceanview
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To: Old Professer
I think XP has faxing software built into it. Also check E-Bay for cheap software.
11 posted on 11/21/2003 10:23:07 AM PST by SeeRushToldU_So (Libs want to take my money, my guns, and my land....then sodimize me.)
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To: Old Professer
In general, Dell is a well engineered and well supported product. Of course, I'd suggest getting 512RAM because Windows XP will run better. You probably want to get a new monitor also - I can't imagine using one that's 6 years old.

The last dell I got had a floppy but I never use it. The best way is to transfer the data to the eMachines and then network the two together.

I'm not a big fan of MSN - I believe the new Dell's will give you earthlink for 6 months.

Get broadband. It's definitely worth it and then you can get rid of MSN
12 posted on 11/21/2003 10:24:13 AM PST by byrony
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To: Old Professer
Forget the floppy drive- save yourself a lot of trouble, by a network card for the old PC and you can copy your data over in a fraction of the time it takes to burn CDs or swap diskettes. LAN cards are dirt cheap- you can get one these days for the price of a box of CD-Rs.
13 posted on 11/21/2003 10:24:22 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (Earth first! We can mine the other planets later.)
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To: Old Professer
I'm sort of crashing your party here, but I'm looking for a printer (laser quality) or a really good black/color printer in the $300.00 range (is there such a thing?). Also, can anyone recommend a good digital camera in the $250.00 - $350.00 range?
14 posted on 11/21/2003 10:24:55 AM PST by The Grim Freeper
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To: Semper Paratus
LOL! I've had occasion to call customer support numerous times during the past couple of weeks, and you are correct. My hard drive went bad, and it took about 1 hr. 45 minutes of telephone time with a customer service technician who had a thick Indian accent to determine that my hard drive was, indeed, bad. They sent me another hard drive. After I installed the new hard drive, reloaded the OS and all my programs, I couldn't get online. Another call to Dell customer service, another 1 1/2 with a service technician with a thick Indian accent. Result? Bad modem. Sigh. They sent me another modem.
15 posted on 11/21/2003 10:25:14 AM PST by .38sw
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To: Old Professer
The data on my present hd can only be copied to floppy because this computer's cd has been broken for 3 years.

You can probably move the old HD to your new PC and use as a second HD. Clean it all the old software and move what you want to your main HD.

16 posted on 11/21/2003 10:25:34 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: Old Professer
This computer is 6 years old,...

Anything, and I mean anything, you buy to replace it will seem like a rocket ship on steriods.

Don't go crazy trying to buy the perfect computer, it's not out there. Buy one that does what you want, not just what it used to do or what you hope it will do.

List all the programs you use on a daily basis. Then list all the programs you use, but infrequently. Then make a list that tells you what you would like to do.

Explain these lists to whoever you are purchasing your new computer from and you will have a much easier old-to-new transition. Good Luck OP.

17 posted on 11/21/2003 10:25:43 AM PST by JoeSixPack1 (POW/MIA Bring 'em Home, Or Send us Back!! Semper Fi)
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To: Old Professer
You might watch here for some pretty good deals.  It is compusa's auction site for their demo models.
 
 

18 posted on 11/21/2003 10:25:53 AM PST by Lokibob
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To: Old Professer
Whoops, almost forgot...we bought a Dell about 8 months ago, and we love it. Never have had a problem.
19 posted on 11/21/2003 10:26:00 AM PST by The Grim Freeper
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To: Old Professer
I believe (but am not absolutely sure) that Dell has dropped standard floppy drives on many or most of their machines for cost reasons. I imagine the low-end machines you're talking about do not include a floppy drive, where every penny counts.

You should be able to add one back in as an option - that might be the cheapest route. Or you can buy (I think) external USB floppy drives that would do the trick. I would never sacrifice having a floppy drive; they're still very useful now and then.

My Dad buys 2-3 Dells a year (yep) because he loves fooling with the latest and greatest, then sells or hands down the machines. He buys *only* from the Dell Refurbished site (there's a link from their main page - look for it) and saves big money.

The refurbs are fully warranted, but usually don't include monitor, speakers and other peripherals. Sometimes they're brand new, just built to the wrong specs or something and never shipped. Include just mouse and keyboard as I recall, plus whatever is in the main box.

Good deals.

I switched to Dell from Gateway in '98. No regrets.


Suggestion: unless you really, really don't use a computer much, spend a few more dollars for one that you can keep and use for several more years. For $399, you'd be getting a servicable, but stripped down, machine. Check out the refurbs.
20 posted on 11/21/2003 10:26:01 AM PST by Hank Rearden (Dick Gephardt. Before he dicks you.)
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To: Old Professer
The data on my present hd can only be copied to floppy because this computer's cd has been broken for 3 years.

Don't worry about it. The new machine will support the HD. Just add it as a second drive. I did it with my Mom's new Dell. She got one just like you're getting.

21 posted on 11/21/2003 10:26:50 AM PST by TomServo ("Yes, I will take money from my dad's wallet and send it to Soupy Sales.")
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To: Old Professer
Dells don't usually come with floppies as standard equipment any more, you have to add them (they overcharge, I think they want about $20, you can buy them yourself for $10). If you know what you are doing, getting your old files to your new computer can be done any number of ways:

You could set up a wireless network. You could do this for $50-75 or so these days if you look around for deals. The advantage of this is that you get to still use your old machine on the Internet.

You could do a direct cable connection between the computers. All this takes is a cable between them. Windows Help will tell you how to do this. Cable costs about $15.

The most direct solution would simply be to take the hard drive out of your old machine and put it in as a second hard drive in your new machine. This can be done in about half an hour even if you don't have experience, it is basically a matter of turning a few screws.

You could get both machines hooked up to the Internet separately on separate lines and do direct file transfers between them on IRC.

Lots of possibilities, others I don't personally use, too (such as just getting a USB jump drive).

22 posted on 11/21/2003 10:27:36 AM PST by KellyAdmirer
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To: zencat
I usually don't wish ill on people, but the news of the Dell "Dude!!" guy getting busted for possession of weed made my day.

The commercial I am praying to see someday soon igoes as follows:

The scene opens with the Verizon guy with the black-rimmed, Coke bottle glasses laid out in a casket.

A group of twenty grumpy old men and ladies (Noo Yawkahs all) gather around the casket with their cell phones pressed against their ears.

Then comes the voice-over of them addressing in unison his cold, dead, corpse: "Can you hear me now? Good!! Ya putz.......

23 posted on 11/21/2003 10:27:37 AM PST by tracer
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To: Squawk 8888
Forget the floppy drive- save yourself a lot of trouble, by a network card for the old PC and you can copy your data over in a fraction of the time it takes to burn CDs or swap diskettes.

Pull the old drive out and put it into the new PC as a second hd.

24 posted on 11/21/2003 10:27:53 AM PST by cinFLA
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To: Old Professer
I bought a Dell Dimension 8300 ($2500 total) last year and had problems with it right out of the box. After probably forty hours on the phone with India, six components replaced, and a letter from my attorney, they sent me a new machine. Of course, it may be the same with any other brand too.

If your old machine has USB ports, you can get a memory stick for about forty dollars and use it to transfer files.

25 posted on 11/21/2003 10:27:53 AM PST by TroutStalker
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To: Old Professer
I just purchased a new Dell system. They don't come with the floppy so you have to add it. I also recommend upgrading the memory to 512. Everything you add now is cheaper than if you add it afterwards.

You can follow the building of your unit online. It's really great.

Also... Windows XP RULES!
26 posted on 11/21/2003 10:29:38 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs (I have a plan. I need a dead monkey, empty liquor bottles and a vacuum cleaner.)
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To: Porterville
Just wait 'til you need support from Gateway - you'll regret your purchase big-time. After a $3000 mistake with Gateway, I'd buy anything Dell has.
27 posted on 11/21/2003 10:30:02 AM PST by WarEagle
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To: Semper Paratus
And I hope the customer support folks remember to say "Senk yoo veddy mohch!!" after each technical help session Old Professor has with them...
28 posted on 11/21/2003 10:30:51 AM PST by tracer
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To: Old Professer
Dell sells computers cheap, but you get what you pay for.

Have you looked at Apple? Using a Macintosh means no virus problems, no product activation codes, fewer privacy worries, and a much better user experience. Apple offers seamless integration between the OS and hardware. OS X is muchb easier and more pleasant to use. Compare OS X and win XP and see which you prefer.
29 posted on 11/21/2003 10:31:20 AM PST by Astronaut
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To: Old Professer
Why buy a computer (Dull) that is dead on arrival, I mean technoligical speaking.
30 posted on 11/21/2003 10:31:36 AM PST by observer5
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To: Old Professer
Don't get a floppy drive, use one of these puppies that hooks up to your USB port.

http://www.xpcgear.com/128lmusbdrive.html
31 posted on 11/21/2003 10:32:14 AM PST by So Cal Rocket
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To: observer5
I mean unless you like Worms etc.
32 posted on 11/21/2003 10:33:07 AM PST by observer5
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To: TroutStalker
You sound like you might know a thing or two about computers.

I have a question and I hope I can be clear with my problem.

I get text files via email that I need to open in Word Perfect or Notebook.

For some reason, and I think it's because I clicked a weird button when I first got my system, they are all opening in a very old program called Symantac Q&A write. Since this is a program from 1993 and unupgradable, it won't convert many of the text files.

How can I reprogram or click on something to have my computer open email text files in Word Perfect or Notebook?
33 posted on 11/21/2003 10:33:07 AM PST by Hillary's Lovely Legs (I have a plan. I need a dead monkey, empty liquor bottles and a vacuum cleaner.)
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To: Old Professer
Does it have the Pentium 4 processor? Or the Celeron? I would recommend that and also that deal you are looking at does not include a monitor. Check your specs carefully.
34 posted on 11/21/2003 10:33:23 AM PST by tom paine 2
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To: Old Professer
My advice: Don't buy Dell.

We just bought a brand new Dell laptop...

The salesman was nice as he could be. We got the computer...

Had a 3 minute question...that took us 6 hours (over a 4 day period) to get through their maze of call centers and got serious run around. Then when we FINALLY got through the guy had NO IDEA what he was doing and barely spoke english.I got hung up on too.

Dell is very nice...until you get the thing home...

Go to Best Buy or something and get a system that is just as good and they will fix it if it breaks (while you wait)...

35 posted on 11/21/2003 10:36:13 AM PST by maui_hawaii
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To: Old Professer
I have had three Dell's. I won't buy anything else. One of my systems crashed out of warranty because of my mistake and Dell's Customer Service was nothing short of magnificent. They researched for 3 days and came up with a solution and did not charge me. I have a great deal of respect for Gateway, don't care about Mike's politics and I hate the intern's commercials but I'll stay with Dell like I stick to my guns (CCW rules!). Get as many USB ports as you can! I agree that you should forget the floppy unless you must be compatible with a host unit (shool/work owned computer). Good Luck and happy computing!
36 posted on 11/21/2003 10:36:23 AM PST by ASA.Ranger (LTC West is a HERO!!)
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To: Old_Professor
I bought a 4500 a year ago & have been *very* happy with it, overall.
Just a couple suggestions:

1) Get a CD burner when you place your order & Dell will cut you a great deal (~$100 extra). Copying CDs is a real piece of cake with a burner in your spare drive.

2) Get the "In Home" warrenty!!
No ther way to go. On my system one of the CD drives went haywire & Dell sent a techie to my home in a matter of days, swapped me out and had me up immediately. Money well spent, IMO.

The poster who recommended 512RAM was right also, IMO.
Dell will upgrade you for little $$ & that'll markedly improve the quality of your computing life.

...& WinXP has fax etc built in, too.

37 posted on 11/21/2003 10:38:47 AM PST by Landru
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To: Astronaut; Old_Professor
I have also become an Apple fan. You might want to check out what they have to offer. I used to use PC's, but no longer. I had too many problems too many times, and dealt with too many rude and snotty people trying to get those problems solved. I now own three different Apple computers, and have had no serious problems with any of them. Like the ads say, "they just work".

Please consider switching to Apple, I don't think you'll regret it. You can get a very nice eMac for around $750, and if you are on a tight budget you might consider a used Mac. If you can spring for a few extra bucks you might consider one of the iMacs, those are very nice, and flat panel displays are easy on your eyes.
38 posted on 11/21/2003 10:39:12 AM PST by Elliott Jackalope (We send our kids to Iraq to fight for them, and they send our jobs to India. Now THAT'S gratitude!)
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To: zencat
"I just won't buy one until they quit showing those dumb intern commericials."

Glad to hear from someone who hates them as much as I do. Like Dell computers; hate their current ad campaign.

39 posted on 11/21/2003 10:40:45 AM PST by Irene Adler
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To: Old Professer
Sony Vaio computers are great!
40 posted on 11/21/2003 10:41:51 AM PST by abner (In search of a witty tag line... found it! http://www.intelmemo.com < go there or be square!)
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To: Old Professer
Tech support is the biggest worry with buying any computer now. Gateway, Compaq, HP, Dell. Even if you spring the extra dough and get the corporate line product (have over 400 Dells here) then you may still run into the same issues with language barriers.

If you are like myself and do not think that wasting time on the phone is worth your while, let me pose an option to you. Consider purchasing a HP or Compaq from a store like Staples or Circuit City. Buy the extra protection plan from them if they will take care of servicing problems. I've never done this myself but would consider it an option.

If you are set on Dell, check out their Outlet Store. Cancelled orders and machines that do not pass testing are then rebuilt and put up in the Outlet Store. Savings can be considerable. Laptops at $1,900 versus $2,500 for example. You get the same warranties as you get with "new" products. The downside is that you can not customize the computer you choose. So you just have to wait until one like you want comes available. Stock rotates constantly so you need to watch it often.

Regards,

Jim
41 posted on 11/21/2003 10:42:17 AM PST by jrhepfer
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
I don't know all that much about them anymore, but more than I want to know. Check the options in your email software; there should be a way to select the default program you want.
42 posted on 11/21/2003 10:42:17 AM PST by TroutStalker
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To: Old Professer
My daughter has a one-year old E-Machine that has a 3.5 so we could always copy to that and then to cd and then load to the new Dell, is that practical or is it difficult?

I missed this the first time around. If all your files will fit on a floppy, then this is the way I would do it, unless I wanted to set up a network or use the old hard drive in the new computer. Very easy to transfer files this way.

43 posted on 11/21/2003 10:42:19 AM PST by KellyAdmirer
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To: Old Professer
That's a pretty basic computer. As you've no doubt been told, you need more RAM, but you can buy that and put it in yourself. Winfax will work. . .but check with Symantec about a cheap upgrade to the latest and greatest.

Also, the hard drive could be bigger: I'd push for a 80 GB.

You also didn't specify what you'll be doing with it: word-processing and surfing, it'll do fine. If you're a gamer. . .you need better. MUCH better. . .

All you need to be compatible with broadband is a network card. If you have no other options, Comcast is acceptable, but I'd try for DSL with Speakeasy first. Message me privately and I'll show you how to check. . . .

Lastly, you probably need a better monitor, you can generally get a decent 17 inch CRT in the $150 range
44 posted on 11/21/2003 10:42:41 AM PST by Salgak (don't mind me: the orbital mind control lasers are making me write this. . .)
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To: Hillary's Lovely Legs
"How can I reprogram or click on something to have my computer open email text files in Word Perfect or Notebook? "

Try right clicking the document's icon. You should see an Open With... menu selection, click on it. A listing of applications should appear. Select the appropriate application (Word, Notpad, Adobe, etc.). You should be in business.
45 posted on 11/21/2003 10:45:37 AM PST by GunnyHartman
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To: Old Professer
Sounds like your machine is clogged up with parasite programs picked up while web browsing. Use Ad-aware and Spybot Search and Destroy, both downloadable at no cost to clear them out. Even possible more malicious programs than that are running in there.

With Windows XP don't use less than 512 megs of RAM. Sounds like you are running Win 95. A some of your programs may not work properly in Win XP, but most should.

Think about a two year old machine. They go for peanuts.
46 posted on 11/21/2003 10:46:31 AM PST by Iris7 ( "Duty, Honor, Country". The first of these is Duty, and is known only through His Grace.)
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Dell is Great! One at the office, one at home in my Den, and am buying one for my children for Christmas. I used to swear by Gateway, but Dell overtook them about 8 years ago.


47 posted on 11/21/2003 10:46:42 AM PST by Truth Table
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To: Old Professer
Dell's are the Toyotas of the Computer world. They are reliable and long-lived.
48 posted on 11/21/2003 10:47:57 AM PST by ZULU
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To: Elliott Jackalope
I'm with you on Macs. I've used them for years. Wouldn't consider anything else. I've had this iMac for over 3 years and have never had to call customer support. I'm handing this one over to my son in the spring and getting myself one of their new 20" screen iMacs. Can't wait. It's my retirement present to myself.
49 posted on 11/21/2003 10:47:59 AM PST by mass55th
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To: Old Professer
Verify the processor is not an Intel Celeron. If it is, then do not waste 400 or 500 dollars on it. I would recommend either an Intel Pentium, or AMD processor. Here is the analogy for you. The Celeron is like a one lane Highway. Moreove, the traffic can only go one way at a time. An Intel Pentium is like four lane Highway. Traffic can travel both ways, therefore its a lot faster. I hope this analogy helped you out. Good Luck!
50 posted on 11/21/2003 10:48:02 AM PST by Sprite518
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