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Thread: IT in the 'Hood

  1. #1
    Old but Crafty RayMac's Avatar
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    IT in the 'Hood

    My neighbor up the street has been creaking along with a 2007 Vista desktop the past few years. His son is in the IT headhunting biz and had to get a few more pieces of hardware for his company so he got Bob a small form factor Windows 8.1 desktop at the same time. Nice little machine - quad core Pentium, 1TB drive, DVD-RAM and 8GB of memory. The son promised to come set it up but Bob knows that'll be a while, so he called me.
    We started the process yesterday by copying his documents, photos and music off the old beast onto a thumbdrive. I told him to get a new DVI to HDMI video cable to replace his old VGA one, so he picked that up at Staples.
    Today we unplugged the old desktop and plugged in the new one. By the time we connected the hardware, set up Windows, fixed it so he didn't have to see the Start Screen any longer, dumped the security suite bloatware and activated Windows Defender, installed Libre Office, Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird and configured his email, added Malware Bytes and CCleaner, transferred his email contacts and email itself, got Picasa and iTunes working, got his special websites set up with desktop icons (don't ask why), configured and tested his printer, transferred all his old files to the new unit, updated, scanned and rebooted ad nauseum - we had spent nearly 4 hours. Granted I'm not as efficient as a Geek Squad guy but that is still a lot of configuration.
    I don't know how the average old fogey copes with this stuff. Bob was grateful - he said his son would likely have hooked up the hardware and turned on the box - that's it.


    Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. ~Doug Larson

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  3. #2
    The amount of effort Windows takes to set up and (crucially) maintain is a major turn off for me and seems very much at odds to the way the market has moved in the last few years. I have a 3 year old HP laptop, no gaming monster but still decently specced and it runs like an absolute dog now despite minimal use.

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    Another Member crownpuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatmeworry View Post
    The amount of effort Windows takes to set up and (crucially) maintain is a major turn off for me and seems very much at odds to the way the market has moved in the last few years. I have a 3 year old HP laptop, no gaming monster but still decently specced and it runs like an absolute dog now despite minimal use.
    I'm not a huge fan of the 'throw more resources at it' approach.
    If you want to stick with non-Apple hardware - LINUX is the answer The days of it being a bit of a black art are fading fast, and the 'front end' of some new distributions are very familiar for Windoze users.
    Some people have opinions - The rest of us have taste.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by crownpuller View Post
    I'm not a huge fan of the 'throw more resources at it' approach.
    If you want to stick with non-Apple hardware - LINUX is the answer The days of it being a bit of a black art are fading fast, and the 'front end' of some new distributions are very familiar for Windoze users.
    My main machine in terms of the use it gets is a Chromebook. Does almost everything I need it to, boots in seconds and required zero maintenance

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  7. #5
    I put Linux on my latest laptop as an alternative to Windows 7. I never use it. Presumably it's just hoarding unused memory?

    I find that my issues with Microsoft products are more easily dealt with simply by getting simpler / older freeware programs (eg a deliciously oldschool file manager)

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    Member Rusty's Avatar
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    IT in the 'Hood

    Nice job Ray.
    I am a fan of win7 still, suppose I will have to upgrade someday.
    I like your choice of free ware, I go with Avast and Malware bytes too.
    No icons is cool with a good wallpaper.
    I enable the quick launch bar too, them put the trash can there.
    Windows is still a good choice for a PC I recon.
    Last edited by Rusty; Apr 2, 2015 at 09:59 AM.

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    Old but Crafty RayMac's Avatar
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    My Windows 8.1 desktop on a notebook. With Classic Shell and the right Start button it looks just like Windows 7.
    I install and run Linux Mint all the time and it takes me half the time to set it up. Mind you I don't have to worry about bloatware, CPU sucking security programs and installation of open source stuff like Firefox - as it's already there. Even a Linux install is getting more complicated what with worrying about Secure Boot and UEFI. That's why I like putting Linux on old hardware or something I built myself.
    I have not set up a new Apple machine so I can't comment there, but I know it's a lot easier networking and printer configuring on a Mac.


    Few things are more delightful than grandchildren fighting over your lap. ~Doug Larson

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    Another Member crownpuller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatmeworry View Post
    My main machine in terms of the use it gets is a Chromebook. Does almost everything I need it to, boots in seconds and required zero maintenance
    Also Linux based. Not used one myself, but only heard good things. I have plenty of 'dinosaur' hardware and like to get the best out of it, and Linux offers the best (financial, at least) solution. I like free stuff
    Some people have opinions - The rest of us have taste.

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  13. #9
    The Dude Abides Nokie's Avatar
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    I am a fan of Chromebook too. Very efficient and pretty easy to use as well.
    "Either He's Dead, Or My Watch Has Stopped....."
    Groucho Marx

  14. #10
    I'm thinking about getting a Raspberry Pi powered machine for my son soon

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