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Thread: New PC time

  1. #1
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    New PC time

    Whilst I sit here recovering in hospital, (covid), I have time on my hands to think about bits and pieces, I'll also have recovery time when I get home.
    Our desk top is quite a few years old now and we've talked about a new one.
    Question is, do we replace with a desktop or go with a large laptop.
    Reason for asking is that we have a proper study for it so would like to retain the room/facility.
    We have smart phones etc that get used for most things but sometimes a desk top is easier for certain tasks.
    Don't do gaming or anything like that, so just after a decent spec PC/laptop with a decent size screen.
    Also would like to replace our ancient printer as well.


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  2. #2
    Hi Steve,
    Hope you are recovering well. I have recently bought a couple of HP Elitedesk G800s, just out of curiosity. They are the gen1
    version and are tiny, about the size of a paperback and are brilliant. There are later generation ones which perform even better, they take up no space, Might be worth a look as conventional desktop machines are full of unused space.

  3. #3
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    Finally off the oxygen today, so heading in the right direction hopefully, but I know it's a long recovery when I get home.
    I know all things electronic etc are getting smaller and better, and for mobile devices that's fine, iphone and Samsung tablet sort that for me.
    Sometimes it's nice to sit in front of a decent size screen, ( age thing maybe ), and do some work etc
    Mostly gets used for our ebay work and document writing etc hence why we'd like a modern printer as well, and, as I mentioned, we have a purpose built study anyway.
    Quote Originally Posted by notnowkato View Post
    Hi Steve,
    Hope you are recovering well. I have recently bought a couple of HP Elitedesk G800s, just out of curiosity. They are the gen1
    version and are tiny, about the size of a paperback and are brilliant. There are later generation ones which perform even better, they take up no space, Might be worth a look as conventional desktop machines are full of unused space.
    Sent from my SM-T590 using TZ-UK mobile app

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    Finally off the oxygen today, so heading in the right direction hopefully, but I know it's a long recovery when I get home.
    I know all things electronic etc are getting smaller and better, and for mobile devices that's fine, iphone and Samsung tablet sort that for me.
    Sometimes it's nice to sit in front of a decent size screen, ( age thing maybe ), and do some work etc
    Mostly gets used for our ebay work and document writing etc hence why we'd like a modern printer as well, and, as I mentioned, we have a purpose built study anyway.


    Sent from my SM-T590 using TZ-UK mobile app
    Hi, the correct description should be HP Elitedesk 800 G3 or 4 or 5. Here is the sort of thing https://support.hp.com/gb-en/document/c06045012 . How long have you been in hospital, that must have been very worrying ?

  5. #5
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    Glad to hear that your on the mend!

    If you only want if for office, eBay and web surfing then the previous suggestion or something like a intel nuc would also do.

    That said so would a 13Ē mid range laptop which you could easily add a external screen to and cover desktop at home and any travel dutyís

  6. #6
    I haven't heard much about Windows 11 but it sounds like a good idea to make sure any new Windows machine is (or will be) compatible.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by notnowkato View Post
    Hi, the correct description should be HP Elitedesk 800 G3 or 4 or 5. Here is the sort of thing https://support.hp.com/gb-en/document/c06045012 . How long have you been in hospital, that must have been very worrying ?
    Been in hospital for 10 days so far, tried to recover at home after testing positive and feeling shite, finally after a week I knew it was serious, so my partner drove me to the covid ward.
    Ended up quite Ill and was on cpap mask, basically pumps air into your lungs to make them work, ( thatís frightening).
    Then gradually reduce the amount, lots of steroids etc etc
    I had both jabs and have been very very careful, so it shows it can hit you at any point.
    Would you believe thereís so many people in here that havenít had their jabs, ( and theyíre not all youngsters ).
    I will certainly look at life differently from now on.

  8. #8
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    The wife and I have migrated from Windows to Apple and its the best thing we have ever done computer wise. Laptops and Iphones all interconnected providing a seamless transfer of information. Also once the penny drops, it's a piece of cake to use.

  9. #9
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    Hope you're recovering well.

    We recently ditched our old desktop for a refurbed Thinkpad (T460).

    It does everything we need.

    It's pretty much indestructible (great for kids to use).

    It's easily upgradable from a storage and RAM standpoint.

    It was dirt cheap.

    That's what I would recommend unless you have some seriously meaty programmes to run on it.

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  10. #10
    Craftsman r.dawson's Avatar
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    Bad news on the illness but great news on the recovery. Hope all continues in the right direction.

    In terms of a pc I can't recommend pc specialists highly enough. Super knowledgeable and will help you whichever you decide. Personally I like a desktop for serious stuff, phone for everything else.

  11. #11
    Hope you're doing well mate.
    Some good suggestions on here, personally if I had the space (which I do), I would always go for desktop.
    There are more chances of it being more future proof and lasting longer, as well as being easier to open up and change/upgrade bits as required.

  12. #12
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    Probably will go desktop, as we have the room and also have other devices to use away from the desktop.
    Are there any particular makes to avoid, or even lean towards, printer wise,what would be a decent standard make, mainly black and white printing but odd colour page sometimes required

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  13. #13
    Craftsman jonasy's Avatar
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    I just went back to a desktop computer after 15 years of laptops. The new m1 iMac is hands down the best computer Iíve owned, and no cable clutter. Also looks like a piece of art.

  14. #14
    Master pacifichrono's Avatar
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    Hey Steve, so sorry to hear of your Covid situation after getting both vaccine innoculations. That's scary! I hope your recovery continues rapidly and completely.

    I've primarily used a desktop ever since the IBM PC was introduced 40 years ago. Seems to me that a better and more reliable computer can be framed within a large box, rather than squeezed into a tiny, tight space. A desktop doesn't need to be lightweight, so the "best" components can be utilized and be well-ventilated. Full disclosure: I travel with my little Samsung ChromeBook and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 5G.

  15. #15
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    Desktop- more power for your money, more easily upgraded or customised, more ergonomic.
    Laptop- portable, but limited by battery life.
    Another vote for PC Specialist.

  16. #16
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonasy View Post
    I just went back to a desktop computer after 15 years of laptops. The new m1 iMac is hands down the best computer Iíve owned, and no cable clutter. Also looks like a piece of art.
    Sorry to hear you had a nasty call with the virus, hope itís going well now.

    +1 here for an I-Mac. Had one for a few years now and Iím never going back to anything using Windows. The Retina display is pin sharp and the startup is lightning fast. I found it easy to use and it looks great as well.
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonasy View Post
    I just went back to a desktop computer after 15 years of laptops. The new m1 iMac is hands down the best computer Iíve owned, and no cable clutter. Also looks like a piece of art.
    I'll second the M1 recommendation (though mine is a MacBook Air). Phenomenally quick. Only frustration for me is the inability to get Excel at the moment ("Numbers" is c**p)

  18. #18
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halitosis View Post
    I'll second the M1 recommendation (though mine is a MacBook Air). Phenomenally quick. Only frustration for me is the inability to get Excel at the moment ("Numbers" is c**p)
    Numbers has always been total poo. Always will be. I use Google sheets instead.

  19. #19
    Craftsman jonasy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halitosis View Post
    I'll second the M1 recommendation (though mine is a MacBook Air). Phenomenally quick. Only frustration for me is the inability to get Excel at the moment ("Numbers" is c**p)
    Luckily I donít need Excel privately - picked a PC over a Mac as my work computer solely because of how crap the Mac version is. Despite how utter crap PC laptops are.

    But why canít you run Excel?

  20. #20
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonasy View Post
    Luckily I donít need Excel privately - picked a PC over a Mac as my work computer solely because of how crap the Mac version is. Despite how utter crap PC laptops are.

    But why canít you run Excel?
    Years ago I sold Macs b2b and nearly everyone who needed Excel in a professional capacity ran the windows version in a virtual machine via Parallels and bought a copy of Windows separately. It'll never not be junk.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    Years ago I sold Macs b2b and nearly everyone who needed Excel in a professional capacity ran the windows version in a virtual machine via Parallels and bought a copy of Windows separately. It'll never not be junk.
    Interesting (perhaps only for me) a while ago I used to have to manipulate a reasonably large excel spreadsheet for work and when I worked on it from home on my Mac it was significantly slower and would crash with with little warning.

    I should have looked at parallels or a vm really.

  22. #22
    Craftsman Halitosis's Avatar
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    New PC time

    Apologies to the OP for derailing the thread with my Excel issue, but if I may ask what the best solution is to work with Excel on my Mac M1? Unfamiliar with Parallels and Sheets. Thanks

  23. #23
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    Excuse my ignorance but never had or used mac computers before, always stuck to good old windows stuff etc
    What are they like to get on with, work around etc

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  24. #24
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    New PC time

    Based on my 4 weeks of experience after a lifetime of MS Windows, itís extremely well built, amazingly fast processing, great screen, and massive battery life.
    Using the track pad with two and three finger shortcuts is brilliant, and finding my way around is getting easier - it isnít as different as I had feared.
    I use a Windows PC all day with work and have no problem flitting between the two - though miss the trackpad shortcuts. Apologies if some of this is irrelevant for your preferred PC over laptop.
    If an Apple phone user, then there are further benefits through linking them.
    Although relatively expensive, Apple are renowned for their build quality and residual value.

  25. #25
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    I do like that iMac, and although we live in an old cottage type house with exposed stone walls in the study, I think that would contrast rather nicely sat on the desk.
    Now to decide screen size and spec, and colour of course.

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  26. #26
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    Good to hear that they're not the monsters to get on with that you sometimes hear, and yes, having been used to iphones/iPads I suppose that could be a bonus
    Quote Originally Posted by Halitosis View Post
    Based on my 4 weeks of experience after a lifetime of MS Windows, itís extremely well built, amazingly fast processing, great screen, and massive battery life.
    Using the track pad with two and three finger shortcuts is brilliant, and finding my way around is getting easier - it isnít as different as I had feared.
    I use a Windows PC all day with work and have no problem flitting between the two - though miss the trackpad shortcuts. Apologies if some of this is irrelevant for your preferred PC over laptop.
    If an Apple phone user, then there are further benefits through linking them.
    Although relatively expensive, Apple are renowned for their build quality and residual value.
    Sent from my SM-T590 using TZ-UK mobile app

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    Good to hear that they're not the monsters to get on with that you sometimes hear, and yes, having been used to iphones/iPads I suppose that could be a bonus

    Sent from my SM-T590 using TZ-UK mobile app
    Not to teach you to suck eggs but itís not massively different when I moved over around 8 years ago everything I wanted to do but couldnít work out was only a Google away, I canít recall not being able to work anything out.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halitosis View Post
    Apologies to the OP for derailing the thread with my Excel issue, but if I may ask what the best solution is to work with Excel on my Mac M1? Unfamiliar with Parallels and Sheets. Thanks
    I’d assume the Mac version of excel unless you’ve tried it and have issues, are you a ‘power’ excell user or just general use?

  29. #29
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    I'll take any advice/help that's forthcoming.
    At present we save docs/pics etc on the computer and every now and then download onto an external hard drive in case of crashes/viruses etc, ( probably old school but it works for us ).
    Moving forward, probably iMac, would this be easy enough to connect and view if needed
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    Not to teach you to suck eggs but itís not massively different when I moved over around 8 years ago everything I wanted to do but couldnít work out was only a Google away, I canít recall not being able to work anything out.
    Sent from my SM-T590 using TZ-UK mobile app

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    I'll take any advice/help that's forthcoming.
    At present we save docs/pics etc on the computer and every now and then download onto an external hard drive in case of crashes/viruses etc, ( probably old school but it works for us ).
    Moving forward, probably iMac, would this be easy enough to connect and view if needed

    Sent from my SM-T590 using TZ-UK mobile app
    Yep super easy, if you have a existing office 365 with the apps you can just download the Mac versions.

    If not then most find the free Mac apps pages (word), numbers (excel) & keynote (PowerPoint) suffice and will open the existing documents.

    Regarding backups get a additional external drive or even a cheep nas and use the built in backup app time machine it will keep hourly snapshots of you docs/photos etc without you doing anything once setup and just take manual copyís on your existing drive for belt and braces

  31. #31
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    How do/did, people find the keyboard switch, obviously I've been used to the bigger standard version, sausage fingers don't help either.
    Is the mac a standard size keyboard or can you get bigger versions?

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  32. #32
    Master PhilipK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    At present we save docs/pics etc on the computer and every now and then download onto an external hard drive in case of crashes/viruses etc, ( probably old school but it works for us ).
    I hope you store that external hard drive in a physically separate location. Otherwise there are a whole host of possible events (theft/fire/flood/etc) which could mean that you could irretrievably lose all of your documents and pictures.

    All of my data (including photographs, music and documents) is backed up onto three separate external drives, at least one of which is always in a separate location. You can pick up a 5Tb drive for well under £100 these days, so there's no excuse for not doing it.

    (Cloud backup is another option, but I'm personally not a fan. Apart from the - significant - privacy implications, you are effective trusting your data to be stored on somebody else's computer. There have been enough high-profile failures for that to concern me.)

    Was also very sorry to hear about your Covid experiences. It's worrying that despite being double-jabbed and being careful it still hospitalised you. A salutary lesson for the rest of us. Hope that your recovery is speedy and complete.

  33. #33
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    Believe it or not its kept in a safe, proper old vintage safe that I restored a few years ago, so hopefully secure enough.
    Now just thinking of screen size, 24/27"?
    Yes, it is worrying that even double jabbed it will still get you, but they are doing wonderful things now to reduce the severity of its effects once you're in hospital.
    Talking to the nurses/doctors here you can tell it's totally different to the first wave.
    Still frightening though.
    Quote Originally Posted by PhilipK View Post
    I hope you store that external hard drive in a physically separate location. Otherwise there are a whole host of possible events (theft/fire/flood/etc) which could mean that you could irretrievably lose all of your documents and pictures.

    All of my data (including photographs, music and documents) is backed up onto three separate external drives, at least one of which is always in a separate location. You can pick up a 5Tb drive for well under £100 these days, so there's no excuse for not doing it.

    (Cloud backup is another option, but I'm personally not a fan. Apart from the - significant - privacy implications, you are effective trusting your data to be stored on somebody else's computer. There have been enough high-profile failures for that to concern me.)

    Was also very sorry to hear about your Covid experiences. It's worrying that despite being double-jabbed and being careful it still hospitalised you. A salutary lesson for the rest of us. Hope that your recovery is speedy and complete.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    Believe it or not its kept in a safe, proper old vintage safe that I restored a few years ago, so hopefully secure enough.
    Now just thinking of screen size, 24/27"?
    Yes, it is worrying that even double jabbed it will still get you, but they are doing wonderful things now to reduce the severity of its effects once you're in hospital.
    Talking to the nurses/doctors here you can tell it's totally different to the first wave.
    Still frightening though.

    Sent from my SM-T590 using TZ-UK mobile app
    At the moment only the 24Ē is the new m1 cpu, the 27Ē is an older intel chip and I couldnít recommend buying one now.

    If you need a larger screen youíll need to either wait or buy a Mac mini or MacBook Air and external display in the size you want.

    Also the internal memory and ssd canít be upgraded so consider if you want to upgrade at purchase, 16gb / 512gb is not unreasonable depending on the amount of data you have today.

    Iíd suggest the mid range 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU model as the lower spec doesnít have a Ethernet port and less usb connectivity.

    You can upgrade to a full size Apple keyboard with a number pad for £30 and I found the transfer painless.

  35. #35
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    Thank you for that info/advice.
    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    At the moment only the 24Ē is the new m1 cpu, the 27Ē is an older intel chip and I couldnít recommend buying one now.

    If you need a larger screen youíll need to either wait or buy a Mac mini or MacBook Air and external display in the size you want.

    Also the internal memory and ssd canít be upgraded so consider if you want to upgrade at purchase, 16gb / 512gb is not unreasonable depending on the amount of data you have today.

    Iíd suggest the mid range 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU model as the lower spec doesnít have a Ethernet port and less usb connectivity.

    You can upgrade to a full size Apple keyboard with a number pad for £30 and I found the transfer painless.
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  36. #36
    If OP has Windows PC I'd stick with Windows TBH. Have Mac Mini but never got on with it and wasn't worth learning something different. Tried Parallels etc but not guaranteed 100% compatible with Windows software, especially USB devices etc.

    Have iPhone and no problem using that alongside Windows. Mail/Calendar on iPhone integrates well with Outlook on PC, can view and edit (though not easy on any phone) Word/Excel documents too.

    Always had a desktop but this year bought a 13" DELL XPS laptop, not cheap but top spec and should have done years ago. Have an external GPU I can use along with large monitor if required.

  37. #37
    Craftsman r.dawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    If OP has Windows PC I'd stick with Windows TBH. Have Mac Mini but never got on with it and wasn't worth learning something different. Tried Parallels etc but not guaranteed 100% compatible with Windows software, especially USB devices etc.

    Have iPhone and no problem using that alongside Windows. Mail/Calendar on iPhone integrates well with Outlook on PC, can view and edit (though not easy on any phone) Word/Excel documents too.

    Always had a desktop but this year bought a 13" DELL XPS laptop, not cheap but top spec and should have done years ago. Have an external GPU I can use along with large monitor if required.
    Couldn't agree more. For what you need to do a Mac would be massive overkill, more money than you need to spend and unfamiliar.

    Sometimes Mac owners are akin to Scientology members!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Morgan View Post
    I‚Äôd assume the Mac version of excel unless you‚Äôve tried it and have issues, are you a ‚Äėpower‚Äô excell user or just general use?
    The Mac version (Numbers) is pants. I use Excel all day at work and only use it at home for a couple of tasks (domestic finances and for a charity Iím treasurer of). Not a power user. I donít want to sign up for anything that requires a subscription and cloud storage.

  39. #39
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    New PC time

    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    Believe it or not its kept in a safe, proper old vintage safe that I restored a few years ago, so hopefully secure.
    Unless itís a fire-proof safe then Iím afraid the contents wouldnít survive a house fire.
    Cloud photo storage can be bought for a couple of pounds per month. We already have Amazon Prime so I threw our thousands of images and videos onto that. It automatically syncs daily with my phone so any snaps I take are on the cloud same day.
    I love the daily notifications I get that show me images from this date in years gone by

  40. #40
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    Excuse my ignorance but never had or used mac computers before, always stuck to good old windows stuff etc
    What are they like to get on with, work around etc

    Sent from my SM-T590 using TZ-UK mobile app
    I suppose it depends what you want it for. I mainly use it for web surfing, social media, occasional writing of letters and essays, photo storage, website editing, e-mails and probably not much else. Does what I need and pretty simple to use really.

    What I don't do is keep having to find ways to fix stuff thats not working and playing computers. I just use it and it works. Starts up really quick as well. And the 4k retina screen is just the dogs.

    I can see why people are scared of them, some things are very different to Windows, but if I can use one I'm sure most people could. Thing is you have to forget Windows and not say 'oh thats not like Windows' all the time, just accept they're different. Having said that it's still just clicking on stuff and typing!

    Quote Originally Posted by r.dawson View Post
    Couldn't agree more. For what you need to do a Mac would be massive overkill, more money than you need to spend and unfamiliar.

    Sometimes Mac owners are akin to Scientology members!
    The first two sentences there remind me of some watches I own.....and a car........and other 'stuff'!

    And I put my hand up for the Scientology bit
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldoakknives View Post
    What I don't do is keep having to find ways to fix stuff thats not working and playing computers. I just use it and it works. Starts up really quick as well.
    What you've just described is the experience I've had with my desktop pc for the past 6 years. This notion that you can't have a stress free experience with a Windows PC is just not true.

  42. #42
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by r.dawson View Post
    What you've just described is the experience I've had with my desktop pc for the past 6 years. This notion that you can't have a stress free experience with a Windows PC is just not true.
    Hey if it works for you that's great. Just my experience with Windows over the years that's all.
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  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halitosis View Post
    The Mac version (Numbers) is pants. I use Excel all day at work and only use it at home for a couple of tasks (domestic finances and for a charity Iím treasurer of). Not a power user. I donít want to sign up for anything that requires a subscription and cloud storage.
    Well I wish you good luck thenÖ

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by r.dawson View Post
    What you've just described is the experience I've had with my desktop pc for the past 6 years. This notion that you can't have a stress free experience with a Windows PC is just not true. for some users
    Iíve had more issues with windows updates than macOS updates so would disagree

  45. #45
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    I know the imac route is probably way over the top for my/our needs, but as has been said, do we ever only buy to suit our needs.
    I've got watches in the safe that hardly ever see the light of day but were purchased because I like them and rarity value, I just tend to stick to a daily wearer and maybe on a special occasion take one from the safe.
    After what I've just been through recently, and still recovering from, my attitude is, if I want it and can afford it, I'm going to have it, and enjoy it, believe me it opens your eyes being in a covid ward and being asked if your next of kin details are correct, just before putting you in one of those cpap masks.
    I'll carry on looking at imacs and still appreciate feedback/advice on these, but I'm still open to other suggestions.


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  46. #46
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    If it's interesting there are more Mac's being released this year, maybe even a 27 inch iMac. I wouldn't buy before the September event personally.

    You have the right idea. My mum's saying for this is "you'll be a long time dead".

  47. #47
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    If it's interesting there are more Mac's being released this year, maybe even a 27 inch iMac. I wouldn't buy before the September event personally.

    You have the right idea. My mum's saying for this is "you'll be a long time dead".
    I have the iMac Retina 4K 21.5-inch, with the 3.1 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5. Nearly bought the 27-inch but decided the 21.5 inch was plenty big enough for my needs. The 27 inchers must be great for looking at photos etc though!
    ďThe more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.Ē

  48. #48

    Hello

    Hope you feel better soon Steve.

  49. #49
    Craftsman wigdog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    I know the imac route is probably way over the top for my/our needs,


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    I would just buy it-you won't regret it and will be up and running in a few days. We've used Macs at home for years, and the kids all have macbook airs for studies. I personally just find them so much slicker than anything windows based.
    If you like photos ( I do) then try and get the largest you can afford would be my advice.
    Sorry to hear you have been unwell-must be really frightening but hopefully onwards and upwards now.

  50. #50
    Master
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    Oh no, just when I thought the 24" would suffice.
    I thought the 24" imac only came out this year in it's current spec/form.
    People have said about overkill/cost etc but looking around at windows PC's you can quite easily pay similar money, if not more, for what looks like a similar spec set up.
    Anyone had any good/bad experience with printers and apple computers, or basically do they just do what they're supposed to.
    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    If it's interesting there are more Mac's being released this year, maybe even a 27 inch iMac. I wouldn't buy before the September event personally.

    You have the right idea. My mum's saying for this is "you'll be a long time dead".
    Sent from my SM-T590 using TZ-UK mobile app

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