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Old May 18, 2010, 6:57 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Calicajun View Post

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.
If she understands what she's doing on her PC she should find the Mac ok once she gets used to the look of the interface etc. My experience is that Macs usually take less steps to create an action than PCs do.

One thing you won't have to worry about as much is malware and virus attacks.


My tuppence worth

Bernice
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Old May 18, 2010, 9:15 PM   #22
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If she understands what she's doing on her PC she should find the Mac ok once she gets used to the look of the interface etc. My experience is that Macs usually take less steps to create an action than PCs do.

One thing you won't have to worry about as much is Malawi and virus attacks.


My tuppence worth

Bernice
That's the problem, her PC is just not simple enough for her to use. Hoping to find something that can be set up to be easy for her to use, just the basics, like e-mail, view stored pictures and a little web surfing.
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Old May 18, 2010, 10:12 PM   #23
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MAC are very simple to use, nice an easy, I switch from pc to mac when window 7 came out. Just drop the programs she use most in the dock. And then just click and you are there. I still use windows at work, but I much prefer the mac format, allot easier to use.
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Old May 19, 2010, 9:56 AM   #24
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There are plenty of similar docks around for other Operating Systems, too (Windows 7, Linux, etc.). Heck, the last Dell I bought had a pretty neat dock preinstalled. I removed it from Startup programs though (as that's just one more thing eating resources from my perspective, and I just put icons from frequently used programs in my taskbars (either Windows or Linux) instead.

I even remove the extra docks from Linux distros that install them by default (as many of them are designed to make the desktop look like a Mac if that's the way you like a desktop to look, with a variety of choices like Cairo Dock, Avant and more). There's nothing wrong with that approach. It's just a matter of personal preference and what you're used to.
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Old May 19, 2010, 12:19 PM   #25
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That's the problem, her PC is just not simple enough for her to use. Hoping to find something that can be set up to be easy for her to use, just the basics, like e-mail, view stored pictures and a little web surfing.
Use Linux. ;-)

Mint 9 was just released. I'd install it for her.

Here's a direct link to download the latest DVD .iso file for 64 bit capable computers from the University of Tennessee. I used it yesterday morning to download Mint 9, just before the release announcement and download speed was excellent.

http://mira.sunsite.utk.edu/...xmint/stable/9/linuxmint-9-gnome-dvd-amd64.iso

Basically, you just download the .iso file and burn it to a DVD and boot into it. If you use the Install Icon, it can resize your existing NTFS partitions for you to make room for Linux on your hard drive and install it, giving you a boot menu choice so that you can run either Windows or Linux Mint when you reboot your PC (it will automatically detect any Windows installs on your drive and add them to the boot choices).

I'd use the "side by side" choice so that it does most of the work automatically for you.

Here's a free tool that lets you burn the .iso file you download to DVD. Just install it and you'll see a "Copy Image to CD/DVD" choice when you right click on a downloaded .iso file in Windows Explorer.

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

Here's a review of Mint 8 (the old release, and Mint 9 has lots of improvements):

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

If you're dead set on a faster machine, I'd avoid the iMac model you're looking at (as it's only a dual core machine). You'd need to go with a newer, high end 27" iMac to get an Intel Core i7 CPU (and they're *way* too pricey for what you get with one, after upgrading from the base CPU in it to a newer Core i7 model, and you'll spend over $2K for a new one with a decent amount of memory).

You can get a relatively loaded Dell XPS 435 Tower with a Core i7 920 for under $800 at Dell Outlet after a coupon code for more off (through today, then it would cost you a bit more, but still at a dramatically lower cost compared to a new iMac), and you'd actually be able to easily add to it (multiple drive bays, card slots, etc.) versus the very limited options you'd have with the much more expensive iMac.

These machines have the same specs as the Studio XPS 9000 models, and come equipped with Intel Core i7 CPUs (so that you have 4 physical cores + 4 virtual cores with HT, for 8 total cores), with dramatically better performance compared to a model like the 23" iMac you're looking at.

Just go here, then click on the button to check availability and prices:

http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfh/deskto...35&s=dfh&cs=22

Click on the price column in the listings to see lowest price first. Then, click on the details tab to see more info about a system. I'm seeing some for around $900 with a Core i7 920, 8GB of RAM, dedicated video card, and more (before any coupon code for more off). So, with a 15% off coupon, that would bring your price down to around $800 for a nicely equipped box that would be dramatically faster than your AMD based machine.

Most of the under $1K systems have the Intel Core i7 920 (shown as Intel Core 2660 in the listings, but if you look at the details you'll see the specific Core i7 CPU model).

You'll see a 15% off coupon on Dell's Twitter page -- about the third entry down (15% off on any Dell Outlet Home Laptop or Desktop), and the e-mail they sent about says it's good through the 19th. Just enter the code at checkout to see the discount.

http://twitter.com/delloutlet

So, you could pick up a very nicely equipped machine for around $800 (Core i7 920, 6 to 9GB of memory, dedicated video card, Win 7, etc.) after a coupon code for 15% off. An equivalent iMac would cost you more than twice that (and even then, you'd have far less expandability).

See some CS4 benchmarks here (faster CPUs towards the top of the list). The Core i7 920 does quite well (especially compared to much slower dual core based machines).

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2...CS-4,1387.html

For video editing and transcoding, the processing power of the Nehalem based CPUs like the Core i7 920 (or the equivalent 2.66Ghz XEON CPU in a Mac Pro) can make an even greater difference with apps that can take advantage of more cores). See some CS4 Premiere Benchmarks here. Scroll down a little ways and you'll see how much better the Core i7 based CPUs are compared to others (around twice as fast compared to many newer CPUs).

http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2...-CS4,1404.html

Basically (IMO anyway), buying Mac hardware is not a very good idea, unless you just like throwing your money away (since you're spending more for less), unless you *really* want to use OS X (which is the *only* reason I'd ever consider buying an Apple machine since the Apple hardware cost is so out of line).

You can pick up a Dell XPS 435 Tower with 6GB of DDR3 and more expandability for under $700 if you check the listings often (using the current 15% off coupon you can find on Dell's twitter page). I've attached a current screen print with examples to this post (before using the 15% discount code for more off).

There are variations in how they're equipped. The listings charge very often (about every 15 minutes or so during the day).

Just find the one that represents the best "bang for the buck" for what you need and add to it as desired. For example, another 1TB drive for under $100, a different graphics card with Nvidia CUDA support to take advantage of CS5's Mercury video engine that uses CUDA and doesn't support ATI cards, a USB 3.0 card for around $40 (not even supported by OS X yet), etc.

Then, go with any monitor you want to use with it, at a variety of price points (from a base model 22" display at under $200, to a 30" premium display at $999). Check Dell Outlet for bargains on refurbished displays (and some have *far* better color gamut display ability compared to the iMac monitors, at a *much* lower price point). Check the specs for a given monitor to see what it provides:

http://outlet.us.dell.com/ARBOnlineS...DESC=ALL&s=dfh

Or, go with more than one monitor if desired You'd have lots of flexibility in that area. The iMac monitors are not really that good anyway. Even though they're IPS displays (using LG panels), they only have about a 72% color gamut display ability from articles I've seen discussing them.

If I were going to upgrade to a newer box right now, I'd keep my existing display and be happy with that kind of system, while only spending around $700 for a Core i7 920 based system with 6GB of DDR3, taking a couple of drives from my existing system and adding them to the spare drive slots in that box to increase storage capacity.

Examples of systems I saw yesterday looking at refurbished machines at Dell Outlet (and the new Dell Studio XPS 9000 models are not much more). Click on the image for a larger version. This model comes with a Core i7 920 or faster CPU (which would cost you a *lot* more money in the apple lineup, even if you went with a refurbished Apple machine). Apple hardware is very pricey in comparison.


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Old May 19, 2010, 1:04 PM   #26
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I always though the dock was a pain. More than anything else, Microsoft and Apple alike, come up with more ways to waste all that computer power you bought. THe result is that your newer, faster computer runs the programs you want to run, just as slowly as they did on your old computer. I just put aliases for the programs I want to run on my desktop.
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Old May 20, 2010, 12:35 PM   #27
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I've been using a Mac since '94. NEVER had a problem! NEVER crashed. The 27" iMac should serve your purposes fine. No upgrades are necessary, although you can never have too much RAM. iPhoto (free app) works great as a photo cataloging application.
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Old May 20, 2010, 12:37 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calicajun View Post
That's the problem, her PC is just not simple enough for her to use. Hoping to find something that can be set up to be easy for her to use, just the basics, like e-mail, view stored pictures and a little web surfing.
Mac is the answer. That's what the Mac has always been known for 'ease of use'. And as mentioned before, you/she won't have to worry much about viruses etc.
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Old May 20, 2010, 1:02 PM   #29
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Thanks to all for your input, it's been a big help to me. I will be staying with my PC for now and continue running JimC tips on my system to get it back up to speed. Hey JimC, you wouldn't be coming to CA any time soon, just kidding. As for Mom will go with the Imac, as it seem easier and has less wires which Mom like a lot.

Thanks again all,
Craig
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Old May 20, 2010, 1:40 PM   #30
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Nope (not that I know of). ;-)
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