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Old May 15, 2010, 9:23 AM   #11
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Hi Jim,
I was talking about taking a long time for each picture to load from a folder into the editing programs. I try to keep as little running in the background as possible but computer and me don't always see eye to eye. The computer has 8 gig of memory, Vista 64 and an added 1 gig video card.
Yep... but something is gong wrong if it's taking that long using a machine with those specs. I'd suspect a software or driver issue of some type.

What kind of virus protection/malware scanner do you have installed now? Are other applications also sluggish? Is your system fully patched (service packs and all critical updates from Microsoft; all drivers up to date, etc.)?

If you're interesting in getting a Mac... no problem. But, I'd get to the bottom of what's causing your issue first. ;-)

I've got a friend of my wife's that must have bought 3 different PCs in one year because they were too slow. I took a look at them and they all had the same problems (malware issues). IOW, he was buying new PCs every time he ran into a software related problem (malware in his case), when there was nothing wrong with his hardware. I ended up installing Linux on them for him with apps he needs.

What you're describing is not the way a machine like that should run unless you have some serious problems with it (malware, drivers, software conflicts, etc.)
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Old May 15, 2010, 9:39 AM   #12
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Get rid of Vista, and get yourself a copy of Win7. That will more than likely solve your issues, and you'll save a bundle over buying an iMac.

I am a strong Ubuntu (linux) fan, however I seem to be using Win7 more and more lately. In fact, on my work computer (which ran linux 95% of time) I've been booted into Win7 for almost three weeks. That's the longest I've ran any Microsoft OS in 2+ years.

I agree with Jim though, something is up with your computer. I have an older Pentium D (Dual Core) Dell XPS 400, that I've bumped up to 4GB of RAM and a 512MB video card. The thing moves along nicely for a 4-5 year old PC. I load larger files into PS rather quickly, with the exception of the initial launch of the program, which takes a bit longer. With the specs you listed for your PC, you should run circles around me.

I will also note that Win7 performs Much better then XP Media Center edition did (which was the original OS that was installed by Dell).

If you've got no issue dropping the $ for an iMac, I say get it anyway. Macs are sweet, just expensive Then fix your PC and give your son a kicking system.

Good luck either way!
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Old May 15, 2010, 9:44 AM   #13
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TCva, good things to know about Imac's, thanks for that insight.

JimC, I have Norton 360 and Spybot install on the computer. Maybe it is time to find a 12 year old who knows more about computers than I do to help check things out.
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Old May 15, 2010, 9:49 AM   #14
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Another thing about Mac Software is that even Apple is slow to provide updates and upgrades. For instance, even though Apple's Aperture already supported the Sony A900, it didn't support the A850, which produces identical image files, until more than a year after the A850's introduction.
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Old May 15, 2010, 10:14 AM   #15
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My advice...

Remove Norton (at least temporarily).

Install the free version of Malwarebytes and scan your PC (and it would probably be a good idea to install and scan it using "Safe Mode with Networking" (press F8 as you're booting to see Windows menu choices for getting into Safe Mode that way).

http://www.malwarebytes.org/

I just finished fixing up a laptop for a friend of my wife's (an older retired minister) running Vista that had *multiple* trojans on it that were missed by multiple malware scanners (Trend Micro, SuperAntispyware, Microsoft's tools, etc.). Malwarebytes found them. I've also cleaned up PCs in the past for friends that had serious malware infestations while running a fully updated version of Norton. Personally, I avoid Norton products anymore (although I was a big fan of Peter Norton's utilities many years ago, today's products can sometimes leave something to be desired).

I'd also install the free version of Avira Antivir on it and let it scan it for issues.

http://www.free-av.com/en/products/1...antivirus.html

Avira has one of the highest detection rates in the business (much better than Symantic/Norton). See these tests by AV Comparatives. Note that each .3% represents thousands of samples used in their testing (which is a very small percentage compared to the actual malware found in the wild anymore). ;-)

http://www.av-comparatives.org/image...c_report25.pdf

Avira also has the highest detection rate for new malware strains (dramatically better than Norton, which only recognized 36% of the samples in the last test I looked at). Avira's false positive rate is a bit higher. But, I'd rather have a false positive from time to time versus a malware infested PC (and I very rarely see a false positive using Avira with my Windows installs).

http://www.avcomparatives.org/images/stories/test/ondret/avc_report24.pdf

I'd also consider installing Threatfire after you clean it up:

http://www.threatfire.com/

I'd also make sure all Microsoft Service Packs and patches are up to date (using the Windows Update choice from Control Panel); and I'd check to make sure your drivers are up to date, too. For your video card, go here for ATI drivers:

http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx

Go here if you're using an Nvidia based card:

http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index5.aspx?lang=en-us

Then, select your Operating System (64 bit vista in your case) and video card to find the newest drivers for it.

I'd also check Gateway's site for any BIOS updates or other chipset updates available for your PC.

You may also want to consider going dual boot with both Linux and Windows. I'd look at Linux Mint for that purpose, as it's very easy to install and use. Here's a screen capture from a Sony laptop I recently installed it on that way (for an older retired minister my wife goes to church with), after I finished removing multiple malware infections from his Vista install. I set it up with Firefox for web browsing; OpenOffice.org for docs, spreadsheets, etc.; HPLIP for managing his HP multi-function printer; Kdenlive for video editing; Picasa for basic image editing; digiKam for more advanced image management; Bibbletime for Bible study; KMyMoney for finances, VLC for media playback, and much more.

Click on this image for a larger version:




It's really easy to install in a dual boot config. One of the install choices will be to install it "side by side" with Windows when it sees Vista installed on your PC. Just use it's defaults after selecting that choice and you'll end up with a boot menu that lets you pick the operating system you want to use when you reboot your PC (it will downsize your NTFS partition to make room for Linux partitions and create them for you).

That way, you could make sure your hardware is working OK and have another operating system to use when Windows has issues.

Here's a review of Mint 8:

http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/l...nt-helena.html

Basically, all you need to do is download the .iso image for it and burn it to CD, then boot into and use the install icon (it will actually run from a CD, but it's much faster from a hard drive installation). Here's a free tool you can use that will give you a "Copy Image to CD/DVD" choice when you right click on a .iso file from within Windows Explorer:

http://isorecorder.alexfeinman.com/isorecorder.htm

Download links for Mint 8 (and I'd use the direct download choice for the "Main Edition"):

http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

Or, wait a couple of days and a newer Linux Mint 9 version should be finished (the release candidate has already been released and the final version is expected within the next few days). It will have more software in it's repositories (and it can use all software that works with Ubuntu 10.04) with lots of new features. Keep an eye on this page and you'll see an announcement when Linux Mint 9 Final is released:

http://www.linuxmint.com/

As Billy mentioned, Win 7 would probably be a good bet, too. I'd backup your data and perform a "clean" install (Operating System and Programs) if you go that route, so that you're not taking your problems with you with an upgrade. But, I'd still go dual boot with at least one Linux distro installed and give a few of them a try, so you'll have better performance for many common tasks.
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Old May 15, 2010, 9:55 PM   #16
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The unfortunate part of using a Mac is that application updates and upgrades are slow in coming and sometimes just don't come at all. Microsoft Office upgrades for the Mac are always a year behind upgrades for Windows, Adobe Photoshop Elements for the Mac only gets the even numbered upgrades, and Intuit QuickBooks for the Mac went without an upgrade for years.

There are purposes for which the Mac is clearly superior, but if you've got anything else in mind that you'd like to use your computer for, Windows is a better choice.
It depends on the program really. So can say that the window program supplier push out programs before they are ready, requiring countless updates to patch issues.

Mac has gotten better at getting updates out, but if a program does not need to be patch, there is no need for a update.

So it can go both ways. Windows has it place, so does mac. Each application provider push out updates for their program when need or to fill a problem with their software for a given operating system. If a flaw is in one system, it may not be in another.
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Old May 15, 2010, 9:59 PM   #17
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The aperture raw support issue is because apple was getting ready to launch aperture 3, so they did not do much on aperture 2. But you do not need to use aperture 3 if you have a mac, you can get photoshop for the mac also.
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Old May 17, 2010, 1:43 AM   #18
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JimC,
Lots of information in your post, will give it all a shot later in the week to see what happens. Just made it back home from two days at Mom's house, where I found out what it is like to be a handyman. Which is why my reply is a bit slow and need a day just to rest up before starting a new project.

Thanks to all for the information,
Craig
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Old May 17, 2010, 3:38 AM   #19
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Quote:
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It depends on the program really. So can say that the window program supplier push out programs before they are ready, requiring countless updates to patch issues.
I wasn't just taking about updates. I was also talking about upgrades. For instance, Adobe Photoshop Elements for the Mac has only been getting every other upgrade for years now. And some features just aren't implimented on the Mac version, like Microsoft's Macro Editor for Excel is crippled when compared to the Windows version.

To be sure, there are things that the Mac is better at, but there are also things that the Mac isn't as good at.

And since the Mac OS is still based on BSD Unix, you still must repair the disk permissions periodically.
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Old May 18, 2010, 6:31 PM   #20
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I'm going to hi-jack my own thread, seeing it is on the subject of Mac computers.
My Mom was walking through Best Buy with last Sunday and saw a IMac computer. She starting asking if the IMac would be easier for her to operate than her PC Laptop. So the question is what is your opinions on a IMac (23" monitor) ease of use over a PC (16" monitor). Mom just wants to get and send e-mail, store some pictures and just a little web surfing.
P.S.
I'm still working on my PC at home and making a little head way.
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