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Computer Buying Advice

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Published on Feb 16, 2011

60 Minutes
Synopsis:

This class discusses the different types of computer and operating systems available. Whether you are interested in buying a Netbook, a Mac, Windows 7 or a Linux system you should watch this class. Arguments are made for and against each type of computer so that students can make an educated decision about what is best for them.

Prerequisites:

None
This class talks about:

Desktop, Laptop, Netbook and All in one Computers
Mac
Windows 7
Linux
Whether or not to Upgrade your System
Class Notes:

Opening Bit
People will try to sell you a new computer by saying that your current computer has an old operating system. Most of the time these sales people don't know what they are talking about.
Introduction
Myth of the old operating system -- Sales people say Windows XP is "old", and not a "modern" operating system. But if your computer does what you need it to do it doesn't matter.
If your computer is running slow you may just need to upgrade your RAM to at least 1 GB.
Before you decide to buy a new computer think about what you need your computer to do.
Types of Computers
Desktop Computers -- are cheaper and easier to fix and upgrade then laptop computers. Additionally you can use which ever size monitor and keyboard you like.
Laptop Computers -- are much faster than they used to be. Most people can do everything they need to do using a laptop computer.
Netbook Computers -- are basically really small laptop computers. They have the same power as the average computer built 4 years ago. They can be useful, but should not be used as a primary computer.
Nettop Computer -- is like a desktop version of a Netbook. They are very cheap starting at $200.
Types of Processors
AMD and Intel -- The average user cannot tell the difference between an AMD and Intel Processor. AMD Computers are generally cheaper.
Atom Processors -- are made by Intel and used in Netbook and Nettop Computers
32 bit and 64 bit Processors -- 64 bit Processors are generally faster than 32 bit processors. At this point almost all processors and operating systems are 64 bit.
Mac
High Quality, but Expensive
Macs rarely get viruses due to the way they are built
Always get Apple care extended warrantee
Macs are very good computers, but there are not as many pieces of software for them
VMware, Parallels, or Boot camp allow you to run Windows on a Mac
Windows
Windows 7 is Good
Upgrade current computer to Windows 7 only if it is less than 3 years old and has at least 2 GB of RAM
Buy online and get Ultimate or Business Edition Windows 7 with 4 GB of RAM
Your old printers, and software may not work on Windows 7
Linux
FREE
Try Ubuntu or SUSE
LiveCD's allow you to try Linux without installing it on your computer
Buggy, Limited Support
You cannot install Windows programs on it.
Video cards and Solid State Drives
Most users do not need a fancy video card
Buy the type of video card your software vendor recommends
Solid State Drives are fast and less prone to break, but cost 5 times more than a regular hard drive
Final Thoughts
You don't "HAVE" to upgrade. If your computer does what you need it to do then you can wait.
Decide what you want to do with your computer and then buy an appropriate system
Think before you give your grandma a Mac. "Simple" is in the eye of the beholder.

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