I need a new computer

I have been asked to recommend a replacement computer three times in the first fortnight of this year. So I thought I’d summarise what I think are the salient points to consider.

Pat Bell Websites - Perth I need a new computer

The portability of a laptop means you can work anywhere but you can save as much as a third (specification for specification) by buying a desktop PC instead. Mac or Windows PC? It doesn’t matter too much these days in terms of functionality but again spec. for spec. a Mac is much more expensive albeit possibly more reliable. However, as a computer professional I have always found the proprietary nature of everything Apple makes for a lack of flexibility and a drastically increased cost with anything related. OK I’ll hold my hand up, “I don’t like Apple” I can’t frig about with their devices as much as I can non-Apple stuff.

Laptop with camera, glasses and plant
Less sexy, but it more than does the job. Plus there’s a pot plant.

Actually, as an update to this post, since I wrote this I have had two separate clients with Mac issues. For many the main problem is usability, they were used to a PC and the Mac is very different. However, as I told them, in a couple of months, probably much less, they will be wondering how they ever even used Windows. Macs are more reliable both software and hardware, which is probably why I have less experience of them. The software isn’t perfect, most of the problems, though, seem related to conversing with the outside (my recent support related to Mac eMail not reading IMAP folders – which was solved by Mozilla’s Thunderbird). The thing about all Apple products is design and especially if you are of a creative bent, I guess their devices are more appealing. When they do go wrong (and they do) most replacement/fixing stuff is proprietary and more expensive than the bulk PC stuff.(ed)

So you’ve made an “unbiased” decision to buy a non-Mac portable, now what?

  1. What will I use it for?
    1. eMail and browsing the internet with a bit of printing?
      • Chromebook only 10″ screen and usually 32gb solid state drives so you might want extra USB storage
    2. as 1 plus word processing and a bit of spreadsheeting
      • 15″ laptop plus Office 2016 perpetual (or Open Office) min 4gb RAM onboard and 500gb hard disk
    3. as 1 and 2 plus photo storage
      • 17″ laptop Office as above plus possibly photo manipulation software (Photoshop elements or my fave of Lightroom). min 8gb RAM onboard and 1Tb hard disk
      • Consider SSD as the c: drive big enough to run your photo apps like lightning and use a hard disk for data.

By the way, Microsoft and Adobe are pushing their online versions of their software rented monthly, I believe this is a bad thing and a ripoff so I’d always recommend what they call “perpetual” versions that work even if you are waiting for Orange to re-establish you broadband.

Gone are the days of the 286, 386, 486 and Pentium making processor comparison easy. To be honest, as far as processors are concerned, I gave up comparing years ago, each processor has different parameters that relate specifically to the machine making it impossible for direct comparison (not like comparing the 386, 486 or pentium). AMD or Pentium are equally good. Quad core is faster than twin core. Some have much lower power usage (eg Atom) hence longer battery life. Others are better for graphics. So I go for the price range first, then, since I process photos, a good graphics card, then RAM (for photos at least 8gb otherwise 4gb is good for most purposes. USB3, SD card slot, HDMI port to plug-in the tv. And screen size 15″ or so is standard, but for photos and web design I go for 17″ or an external larger monitor

As for transferring from your old machine. Windows is usually sold on the machine and is not transferable so don’t be misled into saving money because you already have windows unless you have a full system cd. The pre-installed Windows systems are OEM versions and only work on the machine on which it is installed. Even replacing the hard disk on the same machine and restoring can give you Windows licensing errors. New machine, new installations. You need a spring clean anyway and a reinstall of up-to-date version of software, downloaded from the manufacturer’s sites is usually best for your new machine.

If you want to transfer your personal files across, a usb stick if your old computer still works. If not bring it to me and I’ll see if I can get the hard disk out and connect up to your shiny new laptop.

Acknowledgements

Icons by dDara from www.flaticon.com is licensed by CC 3.0
Icons made by Pixel Buddha from www.flaticon.com Photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash Beach Image by  Gregory Culmer Icons made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com Icons made by fjstudio from www.flaticon.com Icons made by Pixelmeetup from www.flaticon.com Icons made by Darius Dan from www.flaticon.com  
This product includes GeoLite2 data created by MaxMind, available from https://www.maxmind.com.
A relaxing, therapeutic massage including pure essential plant oils blended and selected for your individual needs.

One hour
45 euros

30 mins
30 euros

Aromatherapy

Subscribe to receive new articles as soon as they are published

eCommerce

It’s a complicated world, the world of online selling. So I make it easy for you by using WooCommerce – the most popular shopping platform on the internet, by far. Used byover 3 million businesses worldwide, small and large.

The possibilities are boundless but I make it easy for you. We talk and figure out what you need – taxes, shipping, payment gateways plus all sorts of variations depending upon your specific products and business.  I will guide you through the options leading you to the most efficient and easy to use site for you and your customers.

The cost depends upon any specific extras you require. There is an initial extra for integration and implementation (usually around 50% on top of the site cost). There are also extra monthly licence costs for some of the add-ons. It is easy for these to accumulate, but I will guide you to what will work for your business at the most economical cost.

 

Marketing

There are a lot of options for marketing on the internet. Starting with simply collecting email address of prospects and following a mailing plan. You can connect up with advertising possibilities such as Facebook and Google.

I have a number of options that help you through the process. Made easy by simple email templates and strategies, tried and tested by email marketing experts.

 

Hosting

Managed WordPress Pro server

Content Delivery Network by CloudFlare

WordPress

All Care Plans Include...

All the time

Every Month

Specific Plans Plus...

Personal plan - $35 pm

Tweaks and fixes.

Business plan - $50 pm

Website care report. Tweaks and fixes plus weekly /daily (as required) backups and up to 30 mins additional tasks (non-transferable). Extra tasks $75 ph

Performance plan (for high access sites) p.o.a

As above plus bespoke performance specifications eg. extra storage, extra processors and extra bandwidth. Required for high traffic ecommerce or membership sites.