Blog, Information Technology

Buying a new computer

A few things have occurred over the last week that have led me to purchase a new desktop computer….which of course allows me to get all nerdy/geeky and ready all the hardware/software reviews, etc.

I’ve been using a Dell 8250 for the last 4 years and have to say I’ve been very happy with the machine. I’ve never had a problem with it…except for the operating system needing to be reinstalled about once a year.

Last week the machine started really slowing down and instead of reinstalling XP, I decided to buy a new machine and ‘repurpose’ the old Dell (I’m thinking Linux Home Media Server and/or Home Automation). So…I bought a PC with Windows Vista Premium.

As usual (at least for the last 5 years), I bought a Dell. I wanted to build my own but just couldn’t pass up the good deal I found at Dell for their Dimension E521 with an AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core machine with 1GB RAM and 250GB Hard drive with Vista Premium….all for roughly $500. Not bad. The machine comes with an integrated NVIDIA GeForce 6150 LE graphics card…which will be upgraded to a much better graphics card.

After I received the machine, I pulled the old machine out of the way and replaced it with the new machine and turned it on and waited for the new ‘WOW’ of Vista. I think Microsoft got it right this time with their “WOW” marketing campaign...I said “WOW” multiple times while trying to figure out what the usability experts were thinking when they designed this Operating System. WOW…and not in a good way.

After recovering from the shock of the new Vista interface, I started tweaking the machine for my wife to use (this machine is primarily hers). I installed a few programs and our network printer and was generally happy with how everything seemed to be working…until my wife came in and asked “Why’s the screen all blurry?”

So I decided its time to buy a new monitor to take full advantage of Vista’s offerings. In addition, I had already planned on upgrading the graphics card so it looks like I have 2 things on my shopping list.

Perhaps I should have built a machine from scratch…looks like my $500 machine is going to increase to ~$900 after a new graphics card and monitor. Oh well….like I said…I at least get to read all the reviews of graphics cards and monitors and figure out which to buy thereby embracing my inner nerdiness for a few days.

[tags] Microsoft Vista, Buying a new Computer [/tags]

About Eric D. Brown, D.Sc.

Eric D. Brown, D.Sc. is a data scientist, technology consultant and entrepreneur with an interest in using data and technology to solve problems. When not building cool things, Eric can be found outside with his camera(s) taking photographs of landscapes, nature and wildlife.
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