Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The new computer

While we had upgraded our last computer, it was getting on a bit and while using Windows 10 improved its performance, it was still showing its age. I am allowed to slow down with age but my computer must not, so begone old computer.

Another issue we were having was the monitor was failing to come to life after switching the computer on and the problem was getting worse. After some experimentation, I found that unplugging the power at the back of it, waiting for a few seconds then plugging back in would get it going. Note, turning it off and on at the power point or unplugging it there would not work. Odd.

A friend had bought two computers by mail order from Sydney and then another for another friend. He gave the details to me and I looked at the website. I liked what I saw. I made a couple of alterations to this one, http://ticomputers.com.au/pdtDetailList_org.php?grp=pdt&pdtid=TIW0100 by adding another 4GB of RAM, and specifying the operating system be put on the solid state drive, which I believe will make it faster and leaves the hard disk drive free. I also added a wi-fi facility to future proof it against us being a Telstra captured customer. That added about $40 plus $15 for delivery.

I ordered it on a Wednesday, received the invoice and paid for it Thursday and it arrived Monday. Mucho work transferring files and setting it up but by the end of last week it was mostly how I wanted it. It is fast! I am very happy with it. Although it came with Windows 10 installed, we also received an original Win 10 on a USB stick, all in sealed packaging.

Never once have I ever been able to set up Outlook Express, now Windows Live Mail, without a call to Telstra and this time was no exception. Now you just hand over control of your computer to Aaron in the Philippines and he does it all for you. I would never recommend anyone to now use their isp email. You are too trapped by it. Gmail, Yahoo Mail are so much better, but they weren't around when we started with computers in the mid nineties. Yes, I know I could do isp mail through them but I am very used to Live Mail now.

So all is well with our fourth new computer in about twenty years. But not all is well with the monitor.

It was getting worse at starting up and R proclaimed on the Wednesday that he simply wasn't prepared to put up with a day longer. It is a pity it failed because we quite liked it. It was big enough at 21.5 inches. Gosh, I think 20cm is quite respectable. He pointed a couple out on the net to me and asked which one. I won't name the brand as we simply got what we paid for and $149 is not enough for a decent monitor. He went a short distance to the big office shop and came back with the new monitor. Oh, it was ugly. Oh, the screen was hard to read. Oh, it would not tilt. To be fair about his poor choice, it was not on display for him to see. We thought about it for a day or so after reconnecting the old  one and decided that regardless of whether the shop would take it back, we would always hate it.

So Saturday we took it back and the big office shop was happy to accept the return. We had boxed it up as best we could and everything was included. We sought the advice of an attractive young salesmen and he told us forget about statistics and details. Look at the price, look at the screen and decide if you are happy with what you see for what you are paying. At 23 inches, it is little bigger than the old one, but not really noticeably. So, we added another $107 to the $149 and this is what we bought, our first ever Hewlett Packard product.You will be pleased to know we are happy with it; looks, readability and the basic picture quality. The only quibble is the bulky external transformer, but we can live with that. It also came with an HDMI cable, so we used that to connect it to the new computer that we discovered had an HDMI input.

About $1000 spent, but money well spent and we won't have to spend on computers for some years.

Photos. Well, this is not a good photo of our new screen, but the screen is quite lovely.


The new is bigger than the old. Note that dvd read writer drive looks exactly the same. Clearly there is nothing sexy in the design of a better dvd/cd writer drive. It is old technology and I am slowly transferring cd/dvd storage to USB storage.


We really are such dirty housewives.


Safe to say the tangle of wires did not improve at all and that is in addition to what you see at the power point in the first photo. I plugged the external back up drive into the new USB3 port at the rear. Wow, that is.........not faster.


Household Management is telling me email things are not working like the used to for him. I can only do so much. Given he can still read an email sent in 1996, I don't do a bad job of keeping and fixing things.

22 comments:

  1. that is a big screen. Hope you're not having trouble with your sight. I would have said Happy Australia Day but I've just read your previous post!

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    1. Marie, it sounds and maybe looks large but it isn't really. I am happy to accept Happy Australia Day. Some of grumble about it, Aborigines call it Invasion Day, some just enjoy the day off and various celebrations and some very actively push the race boundaries. Then there are the ones who have not lifted their heads from their phone screens since new year and are surprised January is nearly over.

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  2. I agree with you about using gmail rather than ISP mail.

    I've found I cannot use my Bigpond account whilst travelling overseas. I can receive email through that account but cannot send nor reply to email using it. ('Server cannot be found').

    I even could not use Bigpond whilst in both Melbourne and Brisbane for the same reason.

    I don't know what the problem is but it is just one more of my negative experiences with Telstra.

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    1. I have several relatives with Bigpond and they've had no trouble. My brother sent emails and photos from Europe when he was there and I let him know I had received them. That was a few years ago though, maybe things have changed.

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    2. Victor, I can manage Bigpond mail when travelling but it is certainly clunky. I don't know that I have sent an email using it. Yes, I have. I remember I had to find a work around on the tablet because there was no reply visible on the screen. Telstra obviously don't want to spend money on it. I expect some of your settings may not be correct.

      River, was that using his Telstra isp email, called Webmail?

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  3. Why does anyone keep emails from that far back??
    I've been with Yahoo mail for years now and I'm happy with it still.
    I wouldn't mind a bigger screen, but since I don't have a desk computer, that would mean buying a bigger laptop which is out of the question.
    One day I'd like a bigger TV with a computer connected so I could do everything on a big screen. TV, DVDs, computer, USB, all on the one screen.

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    1. River, history, that is why, and it is not like they take up shelf space. You won't have to wait long, I don't think, before smart tvs like ours taht pick up the wi-fi signal become very cheap.

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  4. River, when I bought the new computer I had delete 3 thousand emails from Miss O'Dyne, yourself and Elephant's child.
    I love my desktop and big monitor and being able to leave it in the study out of temptation or I'd be on it all night.

    And Andrew, tell me can you transfer fonts from a 32bit computer to a 64bit computer? I put all my fonts on disc but it reads empty and that's the only reason I can think of. My old computer didn't have a dvd component just cd.
    I also hate Windows 10, I was quite happy with XP.

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    1. Jah Teh, so you didn't delete my emails. Too precious, hey.

      I don't know the answer to your question. Get googling. I think this computer is the first proper 64bit computer we have had. Although others had indicated they were, they weren't really. Windows 7 was much better than XP and there is not a lot in Windows 10 that impresses me.

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  5. Andrew, How is the smoke today?
    Actually it's rather smokey here today as there is a fire madly burning over Mt. Barrow way, the breeze is south easterly so hence the smoke comes out way.

    Computers and monitor.
    Our screen is 23 inches, we have had for some time and we both have one. For me anything larger would be too big.
    I don't use bigpond email very much at all, seems old hat now.
    My desktop computer I have had since 2010 and I notice it's just started to get slower, but should last a while yet. Laptop, I need a new one.

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    1. It was still around this morning Margaret but seems to have cleared now with an easterly. Of course here easterly means rain.

      Yes, 23 inches is quite large enough, unless you use it as a tv from a distance. While we have a laptop and notebook, they really don't get used now, just the desktop and tablets.

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  6. Lovely set up. Some days I miss having a desktop, mainly when I'm editing pics and a big screen would come in handy. Otherwise, the laptop is fine.

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    1. Fen, I just find a desktop so much faster to do things with than any other device.

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  7. Congratulations to your new computer ! It's certainly a difference with the old one !

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    1. Gattina, yes it works much quicker for a start.

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  8. wow what a great screen now you can work comfortably

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    1. Gosia, work at the computer? No, the home computer is for pleasure.

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  9. Sounds like you got a great deal on the tower. Monitors must be good as that is your window into the web world. I no longer use my one Cd/dvd write drive. I do little with this computer that holds all the information in the world virtually and so many ways to utilize. I write the blog, and hold pictures and watch videos of kittens.

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    1. Strayer, we aren't particularly demanding of our computer. We want it to work fast and be able to cope with multiple open windows. Our old one was just not doing that. The price was ok. I could have done it cheaper for the same if I had the time to put in.

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  10. So agree Andrew, changed over from laptop to desktop a while back, so much better for the photography side of things.. and the Lenovo for sitting on the couch while watching telly stuff :) Hopefully a long and happy technological relationship is in your future :)

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    1. Grace, I am sure messing about with photos must be a wretched thing on anything else but desktop. Visible wires is the disadvantage of a glass desktop. Can't do much about it though until everything will work wirelessly.

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  11. P.s. all those wires would drive me crazy :)

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