Spinsterella

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Help (again)

(No, it's not about how to get into some other young feen's trousers. It's very boring. Sorry.)

I need your help.

Due to ever-less-erratic employment of late, I am increasingly in a position to buy stuff. Nice stuff. Fun stuff. Stuff other than Aldi food and the odd bottle of ropey red.

I desperately, desperately need new clothes. I don’t actually own a pair of shoes, and I don’t think my faithful FMBs will take yet another re-heeling. But fuck that, I’m going to buy a computer.

But where to start? I know nothing about technology. This machine I bought off of a dodgy bloke and it doesn’t do anything except word and the interweb – erratically. I can’t listen to music on it or even save pics. Or even open pictures most of the time. Plus I’ve fucked up the screen so the bottom half is blank – it’s like looking through a letterbox.

It needs to be a laptop, because *sigh* I don’t have a room to put a PC in.

So I’ve started looking and – aaaarrrgh!

I’ve been on the Dell and PC World websites and am utterly bewildered by the talk of RAM and gigs and whatever.

Should I just buy an entry-level version, or are they rubbish? Is it worth paying the extra £100 for the next one up? I do know that the next-one-up-from-the-house is a really bad way to order wine – does the same principle apply to computerey things? Help!

Oh, and I need to get a printer as well. I am almost 32 years old, for fuck’s sake, I am sick of having to go to the library every time I need to print something.

Oh yeah, I kind of need to do it sharpish for tax reasons.

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23 Comments:

  • Do what I do: email a techie with your budget and what you want to do with the machine and say "buy me the best computer for XX money." I bet LC would be willing to help, and I'd trust his advice.

    By Blogger Chaucer's Bitch, at 8:15 PM  

  • I always go for the 2nd cheapest of anything. But CB's advice is good.

    By Blogger Billy, at 9:18 PM  

  • As I don't know any techies I await lc's comment.

    As for XX money.

    My budget is 'As cheap as possible but not complete shite please'

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 9:37 PM  

  • If all you're really doing is using the internet, listening to music and general office type stuff (word processing, etc..) then Dell's cheapo £329 jobbie (the Inspiron 1501) is more than adequate. Anybody who tries to tell you to spend a bit more money is full of it.

    If you can spare the extra £50, then it would be worth going for the next model up, mostly because it's got a bigger screen so it'll be a bit easier on the eyes - and there are a few useful extra bells and whistles too.

    If you want to spend less money, there are places which sell refurbished ex-corporate machines that will suit your purposes perfectly well. Mail me if you want more details about them.

    I'm also available for weddings, bar-mitzvahs and ritual human sacrifices.

    By Blogger LC, at 9:58 PM  

  • there y'go. job done.

    By Blogger Chaucer's Bitch, at 10:41 PM  

  • Wny not consider a Mac? PC's are the work of the devil, after all. An iBook or a PowerBook will last a lot longer than a PC will, and won't crash constantly.

    By Anonymous wolfie, at 10:56 PM  

  • I'm with Wolfie - buy a mac if you can afford it. Even a second-hand mac that's a couple of years old should be reliable and virus-free for longer than a PC.

    By Blogger Timorous Beastie, at 11:09 PM  

  • Get a new MacBook. I've had mine for a few months now and the only trouble I've had is that Photoshop is a bit slow, but that'll be fixed soon.

    They're so easy to navigate and never give any jip. Plus they're beautiful.

    By Blogger Annie Rhiannon, at 11:19 PM  

  • Ask LC for lots and lots of advice about buying computers, so that he spends hours doing research on specs and prices across the whole Dell range.

    Then buy a Mac. Just walk into a shop and buy the first one you see.

    Then LC can write a desperately bitter and heartfelt post about how he's never going to offer techie advice to a woman again.

    By Blogger Tim Footman, at 1:07 AM  

  • *weaving baskets quietly*

    By Blogger First Nations, at 2:12 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger LC, at 7:12 AM  

  • Ah Tim - one of life's great lessons is to be free and generous with your technical advice, no matter how often it gets ignored.

    If you're interested in buying a Mac, you can find more information here.

    (Also: Oh god, am I really that tragic?)

    By Blogger LC, at 7:24 AM  

  • Not at all, LC. I'm constantly amazed by your ability to maintain a (profoundly black) sense of humour in the face of such a succession of lady-related mishaps.

    Got an iBook, ta, quite happy with it, but will check that out if I start feeling footloose.

    By Blogger Tim Footman, at 8:16 AM  

  • Tim, I was amused by your contribution to that Charlie Booker's rant against Macs the other day. Who'd've thought a debate about something so dull as computers could get so heated?

    THe thing is, I have to use Macs at work sometimes and they confuse me greatly. Will look at some iBook type things now though. Keep yer options open, I say.

    By Blogger Spinsterella, at 8:58 AM  

  • I'd go to John Lewis, they answered all my "what do I get for my extra 100 quid" questions very well. Also have a good selection of both pc's and macs.

    By Blogger Jaunty Rakes, at 9:24 AM  

  • macs are fab stylewise - but if you dont care about all that - just buy a basic dell like LC says and get extra memory if need be. or in fact by a separate external hard drive to stor all your music on so it doesn't clog your hard drive up.

    By Blogger Kirses, at 9:42 AM  

  • Macs will confuse you because you're so used PCs, the navigation systems are very different. But give a Mac a proper chance and soon it'll seem much simpler than your PC ever was.

    This feels like a competition now. If you end up choosing a Mac I want some kind of prize. In a choice of colours.

    Of course, you could always go Linux...

    By Blogger Annie Rhiannon, at 9:51 AM  

  • I agree with LC. If you don't want to play games you really don't need a high spec. If you can get a cheap computer with a deal that gives you extra ram go for it though - ram is random access memory - which basically means how much space your computer has to open up pictures, have different windows open at the same time, have serveal programs running at the same time. The more you have of it, the quicker all those things will work.
    Printer-wise, I'm not sure whats good at the moment but check the prices of the cartridges first - the printer might only cost £40, but if the cartridges cost £20 each (they often do and you usually need two, one black and one colour) and they don't last long its going to cost you a fortune in the long run.

    By Blogger belladona, at 12:54 PM  

  • For printers...ink cartridge price is not always the best thing to look at-HP printers have new print heads on every print cartridge, so they always print nice, but you pay for it. Epsons don't so they're cheaper but tend to plug up and need fixing if you don't use thenm a lot. Some printers are better for photos than others.
    I have a memory of taking my old epson printer out into the yard after I graduated and destroying it with a bat after it broke for the 3rd time during final papers, so for sanity's sake, don't cheap out on a printer if you can avoid it. Laserjets are best for fast printing...the cartridges cost more but they print way more...but no color. Why am I spouting this? I just went through getting one myself.
    I've got a HP print/scan doohicky to go with my Mac. My husband edits video and music on it so it's more than what you might want for simple stuff, but it's great if you want to edit and muck abooot with photos and stuff. And they don't crash...but a cheap PC will do for most things.

    OK shutting up now.

    By Blogger Geosomin, at 2:33 PM  

  • "For printers...ink cartridge price is not always the best thing to look at-HP printers have new print heads on every print cartridge, so they always print nice, but you pay for it. Epsons don't so they're cheaper but tend to plug up and need fixing if you don't use thenm a lot. Some printers are better for photos than others.
    I have a memory of taking my old epson printer out into the yard after I graduated and destroying it with a bat after it broke for the 3rd time during final papers, so for sanity's sake, don't cheap out on a printer if you can avoid it. Laserjets are best for fast printing...the cartridges cost more but they print way more...but no color. Why am I spouting this? I just went through getting one myself.
    I've got a HP print/scan doohicky to go with my Mac. My husband edits video and music on it so it's more than what you might want for simple stuff, but it's great if you want to edit and muck abooot with photos and stuff. And they don't crash...but a cheap PC will do for most things.

    OK shutting up now."

    Jesus, Mary and the Orphans - you put in the obstacle course for pissed posters like me that is wrod veciftatoin to stop wankers like HP spamming you, and then invite posts like this....

    Can we get back to the Feen's???

    L.U.V. on ya,


    Bob

    By Blogger Robert Swipe, at 8:16 PM  

  • I bought a very nice gateway laptop ffor my daughter from Tesco! it was £400 - it's never gone wrong and does every thing an student would require - whatever that would be and came complete with all the software required (by her)

    Mine's an acer and it's shite - it's spent more time being 'looked at' formatted and generally out of service than is reasonable - I hate it - it cost nearly £700

    By Blogger ziggi, at 8:56 PM  

  • "then invite posts like this...."

    ERm...OK. I know I blather on, but damn.
    Ouch.

    By Blogger Geosomin, at 3:48 PM  

  • Well I'm rather late but I'll stick my ha'penny's worth in - if you've ony ever used PC's and are fine with that then I'd go the LC Dell route. If not - I'd go entry level macbook.

    By Blogger rockmother, at 6:30 PM  

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