Discussion in 'Computers' started by Doug Miller, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. Doug Miller

    Doug Miller Supporting Actor

    Feb 26, 1999
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    Real Name:
    Doug Miller
    Hi --

    Had my Dell for about 2 years -- It's a 2Gig, 512K with a 60gig HD.

    Long story short, I had to restore it last year when it kept crashing, something about a System 32 file being deleted. Now, I'm having a problem with my All-In-One, it won't recognize the scanner (like before, when my computer was ready to crash) and locks up on occassion. I figure it's just worn out, old, and a tad dusty. I'm considering just restoring the system and starting fresh again. (After transfering all my pictures and files to memory cards.)

    The other part of me just wants to buy a new computer. I'm moving into a new house -- Part of the new house is a new kid on the way, so Daddy looses his "Doug Room", so my 32" upstairs TV is going away. I've thought about buying a computer with a TV Tuner card. (I just hook cable up to it right?)

    I'm not a very smart computer guy. I've been considering buying another Dell, but when I hit Costco today, I saw they had a pretty nice Gateway w/a 20" widescreen monitor, built in TV tuner, for $1399. I've also considered the Sony VAIO, but don't know how good their computers are or aren't.

    Can anyone here give me some more current reviews and feelings about these? I'm not interested in having a computer built, like I said, I'm not a computer guy, I just want convenience, out of the box, it's loaded with all the crap I want (and some I don't).

    Mainly looking for reliability and current "luck". It seems like every computer I buy lasts about 2 years before going tits up.

  2. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

    Jan 15, 2002
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    Congrats on the new house and the new little one. [​IMG] Condolences on your Douge Room [​IMG]

    A system32 file being deleted is really suspicious. My first thought would be a virus, but you've wiped it and restored at some point. That doesn't preclude your computer becoming re-infected, but it's less likely. It could be a hardware problem corrupting files and with the communication problems with your all-in-one it's safe to say that at minimum your computer is no longer stable. Even though 2GHz is still a respectable speed for average home use, it sounds like it's time has come.

    I build my own machines for home, but I'm a network admin 9-5 and we use exclusively Dell. We have 40+ machines plus several servers and they've shown to be extremely reliable. We've been purchasing the Dimension compact line for a couple of years now. 4600Cs and the current models 5100C. (As I write this I've done a quick search, and the current model is 5150C ) I'm not sure if a TV tuner card is an option with those because they require compact cards. The XPS line are beefed up and flashy, but a little overpriced.

    Sony makes good machines too, but I've never been a fan of Gateway. It's been a couple of years now, but at my previous job some of our customers with Gateway machines had some consistent issues. I can't say you're going to match $1400 for the same equipment from Dell, but their reliability is a plus. Their "ultra Sharp" lcd monitors are extremely highly rated too.

    If you have a way to back up the data on your existing computer I'd make it a regular habit to do so while you're deciding, given it's behavior...CD Burner...USB drive, etc.

    Good Luck
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

    Dec 17, 2003
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    I've had pretty bad experiences with Gateway and Sony in the past. I still probably wouldn't buy Gateway, but the new Sony's look really sharp (especially the laptops!). I would be deciding between Dell and Sony if I were you. From there I'd just read reviews and compare features/price to make a decision.
  4. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Dec 16, 1998
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    I've had good luck with Dell, and more recently, Hewlett-Packard. I bought a low-end Compaq (HP owns them) Presario for my dad for Christmas, and recently purchased an HP Pavillion with an AMD Athlon 64 processor for home. Both the HP and the Compaq were much better values than a comparable Dell.
  5. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

    Mar 6, 2001
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    Have you considered Apple? They can't be beat for ease & simplicity right out of the box. I just converted my brother from an old Gateway laptop to a new MacMini. He hated Apple with a passion but I finally convinced him (by showing him that all the programs he commonly used were available) and now he loves his Mini and couldn't imagine not having an Apple.

    So many more people are getting tired of the PC crap (viruses, invasive hidden rootkit programs, spyware) that you just don't have to put up with on the Mac platform that there are articles being written about the migration.
  6. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

    Dec 15, 2001
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    I second this, and I don't even own one. You can still get a TV tuner for it, it'll just be an external one.
  7. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

    Feb 10, 2003
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    I've had multiple Gateways over the years and never a problem. A few months ago I got my first Dell, 3.2GHz Dual Core. So far I like it a lot.

    The reason I went with Dell, was because I found a hell of a deal through them (3.2GHz Dual Core, 2GB memory, 250GB HDD, DVD burner, CD Burner, 19' Flat Panel, media reader, Sound Blaster Audigy 2, nVidia GForce 6800 256MB PCI express, & more for only $1,610 shipped. Couldn't get close to that with Gateway.

    I don't think you'll be dissapointed with either Dell or Gateway. Just see which one you can configure the cheapest with what you want. Be sure to check out coupons and deals on sites like
  8. Linda Thompson

    Linda Thompson Supporting Actor

    Apr 4, 2004
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    I've had bad luck with 2 HP desktops in the past (inluding a very ill-fated Media Center Edition system), although I have a now-antiquated HP laptop (OS: Windows ME...the big new home OS when this laptop was new!) which simply refuses to die... That same laptop carried me through both of the HP desktop crash-and-burns, and allowed me to carry on with my day-to-day computing needs both times. USB 1.1, CD-ROM (no burner at all), no original ethernet port...that's how old this thing is. But I still use it when I need to, and it still gets the job done. [​IMG]

    I'm very much a fan of HP printers/ bad luck with those has been with Canon...go figure...

    My current desktop is a Sony VAIO (purchased June '04)... So far, it has been totally bulletproof, and BY FAR the best system I've ever owned. It has met and surpassed ALL of my video/audio needs. The proprietary GigaPocket PVR hardware/software suite even includes an IEPG (electronic programming guide) powered by Zap2it. It ain't TiVo (by a long shot), but it meets my needs rather nicely.

    With cable hooked in (yes, the same cable that delivers broadband internet service also delivers cable TV service to the computer), as well as a VCR and a standalone DVD player, my viewing, recording, and burning options are pretty wide open. (I don't use a camcorder, but one could very easily be added to the mix.) And, I don't really watch much through the computer (mostly just whatever I happen to be editing at any given moment), but I certainly could if I wanted to add a bigger/better monitor. (I just have a 17" flat panel, which is more than adequate for my setup.) When I wanna actually WATCH something, I do it on my TV. [​IMG]

    All in all, a very flexible and workable system, and one which has served me extremely well.

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