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Old Jan 2, 2006, 9:19 AM   #1
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My daughter has asked me to advise her on a general computer set up (she has none) to get started not only with the usual computer stuff but also for digital photo (mostly snapshot) shairing with the family????

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Old Jan 2, 2006, 9:27 AM   #2
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tedbelow wrote:
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My daughter has asked me to advise her on a general computer set up (she has none) to get started not only with the usual computer stuff but also for digital photo (mostly snapshot) shairing with the family????

Ted Below
Just about any computer built within the last three years can do that kind of work. Since she is not looking for a "professional solution," simply make sure you have a CD burner and you are in business. And yes, buy from a reliable source.
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Old Jan 2, 2006, 11:01 AM   #3
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I agree, just about any computer built recently is likely to do the job, but you should watch out for asmall hard drive and a small amount of memory. Go for as much of both as you can - for sure don't settlefor a 40G hard drive and 256M of memory. A large high quality monitor (or two) is a good idea.


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Old Jan 2, 2006, 12:14 PM   #4
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BillDrew wrote:
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I agree, just about any computer built recently is likely to do the job, but you should watch out for asmall hard drive and a small amount of memory. Go for as much of both as you can - for sure don't settlefor a 40G hard drive and 256M of memory. A large high quality monitor (or two) is a good idea.
Bill's advice is spot on. For the level of work your daughter is contemplating virtually any Windows XP machine will work, but certainly don't skimp on memory and hard disc. I'm still using a Dell Dmension 4500c from several years ago, and I've added a 160 GB hard disc to the original smallish one. I have 524MB of memory, but really wish I had gotten more. When I trade up I won't settle for any less than a gigabyte, and will probably get as much as I can decently afford above that. DVD burner is also a must (IMO) for storage if you're using a camera with 8 MP or more resolution, especially if you shoot RAW.

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Old Jan 2, 2006, 5:43 PM   #5
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I would go for at least 1GB of memory and at least a 160GB HD. You might also think about adding a second (large) HD.

But I would stay away from the DVD burners. Home burned DVD's are simply not very reliable. There are problems reading disks (CRC Errors) and reading the disk on any drive other than the one that did the original burn.

I, along with many others who were using DVD's for archiving, are now switching to HD archiving, due to the continuing failure of our burned DVD's.

CD's, by contrast are MUCH more reliable and should be fine for her photos, assuming she is taking JPG's.

What I would suggest is to get a CD-RW/DVD reader combo drive. That was she can burn CD's and watch DVD movies.

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Old Jan 3, 2006, 3:31 AM   #6
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1 GB is minimum I would recommend. (and 512 absolute minimum)
So there's very big pile of few years old pig in poke brand/packet PCs which are worth of "burned half of wooden penny" without serious upgrading.
(XP, antivirus+firewall, and "includes kitchen sink" useless crap collections of brand PCs easily hog 200MB as appetizer)

Also CPU should be decent fast (so big no for three years old cheapest models) but graphic card doesn't matter.


And backups of images should be taken from the start, although you can affect to when you need those in hard drive selection. (with certain brands it's propable you need those backups quite fast)

amazingthailand wrote:
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But I would stay away from the DVD burners. Home burned DVD's are simply not very reliable. There are problems reading disks (CRC Errors) and reading the disk on any drive other than the one that did the original burn.
Considering your location you have very propably used forged DVD blanks whose quality is pure s**t and if they can hold data longer than burning takes then little time does the job.

Try burning one of those blanks you have and after burning check it with quality scan, if quality "percentage" is considerably under 100 there's either problem between drive and those medias or blanks are pure crap.
http://www.cdspeed2000.com/

Technology of single layer DVD blanks is quite similar to CD-Rs which have been produced for years.
And actually DVDs have far more advanced (about 15 years) error correction than CD-Rs.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 4:06 AM   #7
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I run any photo program I want, on a AMD 600 Thunderbird chip. 256 megs of ram, and a 20 gig drive with a small 4 on the side. It all sets on a AMD server board. With a 64 megNvidiavideo card. I don't have a burner, but there two other machines on the network that have one. It's not always about speed, but rock solid stability.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 5:43 AM   #8
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Consider getting any current apple mac. For a start it comes with iphoto which is an excellent tool for organising photographs.*The comptuer itself is more intuitive, and you don't have to worry about the level of virus protection, updates, and firewalls that you do with windows.*Same caveats apply though - max out the memory and get the largest hard disk you can.*
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 7:07 AM   #9
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Steve40 wrote:
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I run any photo program I want, on a AMD 600 Thunderbird chip. 256 megs of ram, and a 20 gig drive with a small 4 on the side. It all sets on a AMD server board. With a 64 megNvidiavideo card. I don't have a burner, but there two other machines on the network that have one. It's not always about speed, but rock solid stability.
With a network, that could be workable - but not otherwise. Likely you have offloaded the firewall and virus software to another machine (memory hogs) and you have someof their disk space available.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 8:14 AM   #10
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I have everything backed up on a DVD disc and never ever had any problems reading them back. I do DVD slide shows for people and they are great. I use Roxio software for Data and Pro-Show Gold for the slide shows. I think amazingthialand has a problem with either his software or DVD burner.
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