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Rob Pegoraro

Washington Column claimed technology columnist Rob Pegoraro was online to allocution about The Washington Post’s anniversary adviser to claimed computers.

Apprehend Rob’s Fast Avant-garde Cavalcade (“Mere Acceleration Is Not Enough”), or analysis out our Alternate PC Guide: (Flash required)

Rob Pegoraro (The Washington Post)

A archetype of today’s altercation is below:

Fast Avant-garde E-letter:

Appetite to apperceive what accessible accommodation are actuality covered? Sign up for Fast Avant-garde e-letter — get adapted admonition on claimed technology anniversary and artefact demos. Apprehend accomplished editions of Rob’s e-letter online here.

Editor’s Note: Washingtonpost.com moderators absorb beat ascendancy over Alive Online discussions and accept the best accordant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can abatement to acknowledgment questions.

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Rob Pegoraro: Acceptable afternoon–it’s time to allocution computer shopping. And handheld shopping. And corpuscle buzz shopping. And whatever abroad you all ability appetite to know.

First, though, this public-service announcement: I’ve already gotten one e-mail from a clairvoyant accusatory that he couldn’t bulk a Dell Dimension 4600 arrangement for the bulk we listed, $999. The way to get that bulk is to admission the “e-value” cipher of 6V411-460RPW at this folio on Dell’s site.

Dell says they’ll announcement this amalgamation deal, and it’s activity to be accessible for the blow of the anniversary season. But should we anniversary a bulk that requires this affectionate of accomplishment to find? I’d like to see your thoughts on that.

On with the show!

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Malvern, Penn.: 1. What is the advance in achievement for computers appliance the 64 bit Athlon processors for present day 32 bit software?

2. What 64 bit operating systems and compliers are available?

3. What happens to a computer with Windows XP operating arrangement both from operational (something fries, computer goes dead, windows aliment itself, windows allegation repairs, windows needs reinstallation)and activation with microsoft considerations, when:

1. I change the motherboard?

2. I change the processor?

3. I change the primary adamantine drive?

4. I change a borderline such as the video card, complete card, arrangement card, modem etc.?

If you can acknowledgment by e-mail, amuse do. My abode is sarbjit_2001-yahoo.com. Acknowledgment

sarbjit

Rob Pegoraro: 1) None if you’re active Windows XP.

2) Linux and Mac OS X accept some congenital abutment for 64-bit operations. Microsoft will be abacus this afore continued to XP, I believe. (The abridgement of accommodation for 64-bit accretion is why I didn’t acknowledgment it in my cavalcade yesterday.)

3) You should be accomplished in best of those cases except the motherboard advancement (which would allegedly beggarly your computer would lose its Ethernet address). Alike so, afresh you’d aloof alarm up Microsoft and explain the situation, and you should be able to get a new activation cipher (or so I was told by a guy who’s afresh this assignment several times to put the aforementioned archetype of XP on three or four machines).

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Beverly Hills, Calif.: I am planning to get a new PC for my assignment in the appointment and instead of affairs a workstation I am cerebration of affairs a laptop with advancing base and use it both in the appointment and at home. What are the pros and cons of this?

Rob Pegoraro: Pro: You can booty it with you–the computer, that is. And you save on the bulk of accepting to buy a home PC afterwards on.

Con: The keyboard, abrasion and awning will all be beneath able than what you’d get on a desktop, and the laptop will bulk added than a commensurable desktop.

My suggestion: Get a laptop that has all the accordant hardware–i.e., the optical drive and all the USB ports you plan to use–built in. You don’t appetite to booty the laptop *and* the advancing base from appointment to home aloof to watch a DVD or whatever.

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Birmingham, Ala.: Hi Rob,

This is both a catechism and complaint. In the accomplished year I accept had a Dell Dimension that died and afresh a Sony Vaio that absent all its media drivers aback I upgraded from XP Home to XP Pro (and Sony banned to do annihilation about it). Therefore, I got mad as hell, banned to booty it anymore and went high-end. So – aback are you activity to alpha autograph about complete alternatives like the hot custom-built jobs from Voodoo, Falcon , etc. so the masses apperceive there is an accession to the blah that they are actuality fed!

Thanks,

Charlie S.

Rob Pegoraro: Interesting: You get victimized by the PC industry twice, and your acknowledgment is to accord it added money. (Yeah, that’s affectionate of an arbitrary anniversary of the situation, but the irony is adamantine to absence 🙂

We don’t awning the high-end builders abundant for the simple acumen that they bulk so much. For the all-inclusive majority of people, as far as we’ve anytime been able to tell, the name-brand manufacturers’ accouterments works aloof fine.

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Amsterdam, The Netherlands: How can I bright my harddisk from spyprograms and assure it adjoin them? Why is the pc slowing bottomward from this affectionate of program?

Rob Pegoraro: Download a archetype of AdAware (www.lavasoftusa.com) to apple-pie out the infestation, and try to be added accurate in the approaching about what programs you download. Appliance a browser besides IE will additionally help.

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Leesburg, Va.: Why is IBM not on your anniversary of advised PCs?

Rob Pegoraro: Because IBM hasn’t fabricated a austere comedy for the chump exchange in years. Approved affiliation do still buy ThinkPads, but NetVistas and ThinkCentres don’t bulk to broad in the home-computing business. And I accept IBM would accede with that assessment, accustomed what I’ve heard from IBM’s own people.

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Washington, D.C.: Dear Rob,

I’m activity to buy a new computer afterwards Christmas. I appetite to accumulate acceptable banking records, do my taxes, cream the net, accept to music and watch video on the net. I additionally appetite to be able to angle up an Ipod and move my cd accumulating to the Ipod through the new computer. Babble processing and d arena are additionally important. I’m additionally because aing an internet radio base as a D-J. What should I buy? And should I accede an Apple?

Thanks.

Rob Pegoraro: If d arena is important, you should not accede a Mac, unless you can accord with a basal selection, and with accepting to delay for accepted PC titles to be ported over to the Mac. Sometimes that delay is short–I apprehend this a.m. that Halo will abode for Mac OS X on Dec. 11, which is not too abounding weeks afterwards its admission on Windows–but in added cases a Mac adaptation never arrives.

If you download iTunes for Windows (free, and bigger than the clutter best vendors bundle) and get a PC with a six-pin FireWire port–easier to allegation an iPod with–you’ll be set for all the uses you mentioned.

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Dulles, Va.: Hi Rob,

What’s the aberration amid the HP Pavilion laptops and Compaq laptops. I can’t assume to amount out the acumen amid these and the HP’s website doesn’t admonition actual much.

Also, what’s your booty on Windows Media Center? Too buggy to be anniversary it?

Rob Pegoraro: In general, HP (the company, that is) positions Compaq accouterments as the “value” end of the line, while HP-brand machines are declared to absorb added avant-garde technology and a bigger amount of design. I anticipate you can see that acumen adequately acutely in our writeups of a Compaq Presario and an HP Pavilion.

Media Center is a an absorbing concept, but I don’t see how accordant it can get aback best bodies accept the computer and the home amphitheater in abstracted rooms–and aback a lot of companies are alive on accouterments to arrangement a PC with a home theater. (I plan on advancing this allegory in a cavalcade in the aing few weeks.)

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Upper Marlboro, Md.: I am absorbed in a aerial affection printer for agenda photos. I am broken amid the afterward new ones:

Canon i900D vs Epson R300M

HP Compaq 10 Pro SFF - Support  - hp compaq 6000 pro small form factor motherboard
HP Compaq 10 Pro SFF – Support – hp compaq 6000 pro small form factor motherboard | hp compaq 6000 pro small form factor motherboard

If you accept apprehend the specs or apperceive annihilation about them, which would recommend? Why?

They both are on the banker shelves.

Rob Pegoraro: Any admonition for Upper Marlboro? I’ve not approved either printer myself.

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Washington, D.C.: For Amsterdam:

Accession affairs which I’ve activate to assignment acutely able-bodied alongside AdAware is SpyBot

http://download.com.com/3000-2144-10122137.html?part=104443&subj=dlpage&tag=on

Rob Pegoraro: Thanks. We advised SpyBot beforehand this summer and admired it much, but it’s absolutely harder to use than AdAware. I usually acclaim AdAware first; Spybot can be a advancement if AdAware can’t fix the problem.

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Tazewell, Tenn.: Aloof a quick question: I accept been attractive at the specs for a (current) top of the band d apparatus from Alienware, are they anniversary the added bucks? About 4-500 added than Dell.

Rob Pegoraro: If you’re absolutely into gaming, Alienware could be anniversary a look–the aggregation is all about packing the latest, greatest, shiniest video and audio into its boxes, and it does so with a lot added appearance than Dell. It additionally does a lot added fine-tuning and testing (for instance, the affidavit with anniversary Alienware PC indicates what cine was acclimated to analysis the DVD drive on it).

But Dell has been responding with its own game-oriented apparatus lately, the Dimension XPS. I’m absolutely not able to analyze that with a new Alienware box; the accommodation on what to get is activity to depend in a ample allotment on “extras” like software bundle, tech abutment and, like it or not, one’s own taste. As in, do you appetite to go with the name-brand Big Huge Company, or do you adopt to buy the “cooler” computer?

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Arlington, Va.: A lot of your contempo column’s recommendations accomplish sense, but why did you beacon bodies abroad from amplification slots, serial, alongside and ps2 ports? The bulk aberration on these things is acceptable to be negligible, and they are important for aback things go wrong: if you accept bios or OS problems, a USB keyboard may not work, authoritative PS2 a lifesaver. Adamantine drive accession is able-bodied aural the ability of any competent teenager, abstracts is accepting bigger and amplification slots bulk basically nothing. Alike consecutive ports accept their place: if your onboard video dies, a null-modem affiliation may be the alone way a artisan can assignment on the apparatus and retrieve your data.

Yes, best boilerplate consumers will never use these things. But they’re actual cheap, and will be there on “traditional” configurations — in fact, the alone PCs I can anticipate of that are acceptable to not accept them are alien motherboards like the mini and micro ATX anatomy factors, which are added acceptable to accept their own heat, amplification and BIOS problems.

Rob Pegoraro: I acclaim USB ports because it’s the year 2003, and for all accepted uses USB is awfully adopted to those bequest ports. You can bung and unplug accessories afterwards a problem, you can calmly “borrow” either to use with any laptop (quite a few of which now leave out serial/parallel/PS2 ports) and best USB keyboards bifold as USB hubs, authoritative it easier to bung in a corpuscle buzz or a agenda camera off that added port.

For all of those reasons, I would abundant rather get a USB keyboard and abrasion on a new desktop. If manufacturers appetite to accommodate the bequest ports as well, that’s fine, but don’t accomplish me buy ascribe accessories that alone affix to them.

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IE question, D.C.: Whenever I get a 404 absurdity in IE 6, I automatically get beatific to an MSN Chase page. I aloof don’t like it. I’d abundant rather be beatific aback to the folio breadth I did my search, usually Beast or Google. Or if I can’t get that, I would adopt a apparent absurdity page.

I already approved allowance the “show affable HTTP errors” box in Options, but that doesn’t assume to accomplish a difference.

Is this aloof commodity you’re ashore with if you accept IE?

Rob Pegoraro: Dunno – my archetype of IE 6 has that “friendly errors” advantage selected, but I get a complete 404 folio aback I try visiting a absent abode on our site.

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Bowie, Md.: Rob, will I anytime stop accepting e-mails like (Sender:Subject) —

Microsoft Aegis Department: The Latest Patch

Admnistrator: Undeliverable Message

Elaine Woods: Why haven’t you called?

Or is that e-mail abode finer and assuredly asleep now?

Rob Pegoraro: You will never stop accepting e-mails like this until the aftermost spammer and virus columnist is adopted to a acceptable asteroid. The best you can do is try to accumulate your approved e-mail abode as clandestine as you can (i.e., set up a Beast or Hotmail anniversary to duke out if necessary), set up a acceptable arrangement of filters in your mail client, and annul the clutter that gets through anyway.

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Shepherd Park, D.C.: Rob,

Accustomed that I’m aggressive adjoin the anniversary buyers’ guide, this catechism may not accept a chance. But I’ll try anyway.

I’m attractive for a 3-in-1 printer/copier/scanner for beneath $200. The t is that I’m active Win98. What do you recommend?

Thanks!

Rob Pegoraro: There are lots of all-in-one accessories for beneath $200, and best of them should assignment accomplished Win 98–HP and Lexmark anniversary Win 98 as a accurate operating arrangement for their hardware. (Epson does not, at atomic not for the CX5400 all-in-one.)

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Arlington, VA: Rob, Can you acquaint us things to attending for aback purchasing a collapsed awning adviser for our pc? Are there any specs we should be acquainted of, besides alone the admeasurement of the screen? What brands do you recommend?

Thanks,

Ben

Rob Pegoraro: The best important is resolution, which is why we anniversary that. LCDs, clashing CRTs, attending abundant bigger if run at their “native” resolution–the pixel counts we listed in anniversary review. Contrast arrangement is additionally anniversary a attending (300:1 or better, but I anticipate they’re all at that level). Lastly, if you’ve got the advantage to affix the LCD to a digital-video (DVI) anchorage on the PC, you should get a better-quality picture–but this may crave affairs a added big-ticket adviser and video card.

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Herndon, Va.: The Sony DRU510A multi-format DVD burner has gotten babble reviews, so I’m apprehensive if, aback I acquirement my new PC, I should buy one afterwards any DVD burner, and buy this burner separately, because I haven’t apparent any computers that accommodate such a acceptable DVD burner as this one in the package? Or, is it better, added economical, and aloof as acceptable to get what’s included? I’m attractive for a Media Center blazon of computer.

Rob Pegoraro: We advised a brace of desktops with dual-format DVD burners; aback of them was a Sony, it’s a safe bet it ships with a adaptation of the drive you describe. You will absolutely save money by affairs a apparatus with a preinstalled DVD burner, but best manufacturers won’t blueprint out the antecedent of their components.

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Laurel, Md.: Rob, I already adapted Gene Weingarten ask the Invitational Czar run a challenge to appear up with questions forth the curve of “Can God accomplish a bedrock so big He can’t lift it?” Archetype — ask the computer agent for “a computer so acceptable he wouldn’t advance demography the continued warranty.”

Accustomed the accent the food abode on those things, they allegation accomplish a lot of money on them. But — a lot of bodies would be aloof LOST already annihilation happened, and any affectionate of annual is aloof abuse expensive. Do they absolutely accomplish faculty for anyone; or will hardly any computers actualize a botheration covered by a assurance in 3 years, anyway?

Rob Pegoraro: Did the Czar anytime chase up on that thought? It’s a acceptable abstraction for a contest…

I’m not a fan of continued warranties myself, although for some categories of product–laptops, for instance–it may pay to buy continued advantage from the manufacturer. My own alternative is to buy with a acclaim agenda that doubles the accepted warranty; two years should be enough.

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Research Triangle Park, N.C.: On a PowerMac G4 active OS X Panther, I ambition to amalgamate a alternation of MP# files into a distinct blended MP3 file. Do you apperceive what software will do this?

Rob Pegoraro: You could pay for a authorization key for QuickTime Pro ($30?) or you ability appetite to try downloading a chargeless affairs alleged Adventurousness (audacity.sourceforge.net), which can do that affectionate of alteration for you (although you may allegation to consign the MP3 advance to .wav architecture in iTunes first).

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Olney, Md.: Breadth do Pocket PCs fit in the claimed computer picture? I see that a 9 Gig CompactFlash agenda is now available. That’s about all the deejay amplitude my appointment desktop had aback in ’97. (Signed G.V.)

Rob Pegoraro: Not a fan of Microsoft’s Pocket PC handheld operating system. The aggregation has gone way too continued afterwards acclamation its audacious interface deficiences–really, afterwards convalescent it abundant at all–while Palm has kept its artlessness while abacus the calendar/contacts-management options that were already complete to Pocket PCs.

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Uppsala, Sweden: I am attractive into accepting a laptop. It looks like OS X beats Windows easily down. But how does it analyze with Linux, or the BSDs? Is it anniversary the added cost? I will appetite wireless internet, alive with a agenda camera, media playing, and babble processing. Thanks.

Rob Pegoraro: How abundant do you adore tinkering with stuff? Linux can be a appealing aboveboard install these days, but abacus applications is way added assignment than in either Windows XP or OS X. Google the byword “linux annex hell” ancient 🙂 Borderline abutment is additionally awfully simpler in OS X.

Haven’t approved any of the BSDs, except the one that’s beneath Mac OS X.

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Chicago: Dear Mr. Pegoraro:

If there is one aspect of my present PC in which I am dissatisfied, it is in the cartoon performance. I accept a 2000 IBM Aptiva with cartoon on the motherboard and no AGP bung for abacus a cartoon board. The 1 Mb of anamnesis adherent to cartoon is artlessly afflicted by programs like Adobe PageMaker and PhotoShop; alike scrolling through abstracts in Adobe Acrobat Clairvoyant can be a time-consuming trial. I do not comedy amateur on the PC.

In arcade for a new PC for desktop publishing and accessible Web architecture applications, will the on-motherboard “Intel Extreme Graphics” of abounding lower-priced machines be able for my needs, or do I allegation to authority out for a apparatus with a abstracted cartoon board, and if so, which one?

Rob Pegoraro: Integrated cartoon should be accomplished for accustomed business uses, and for PageMaker (none of which are 3D apps that crave a committed graphics’ agenda bandwidth). Photoshop ability be a adapted case, but I’m not the guy to ask about that–that app’s a little too cher for me to abode about.

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Nebraska Avenue Complex…: Hi and acknowledgment for the chat!; Agenda cameras…ok, so alone somewhat PC related…would you accept a 2 mega pixel with optical and agenda zoom appearance over a 3mp with alone agenda zoom? Camera will be acclimated mainly to e-mail photos and accomplish 4×6 or 5×7 prints. Allegation to accumulate the bulk beneath $150 appropriately the question!; Hope you’ll answer. Thanks!;

Rob Pegoraro: Get the 2 MP camera with the optical zoom. Agenda zoom is no altered from agriculture a photo–so your “zoomed” shots on the 3 MP archetypal will allegedly the anatomic agnate of optical-zoom shots on the 2 MP camera.

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Tampa, Fla.: My catechism apropos anti-virus software: do any of the aloft anti-virus companies acquiesce assorted home PC use of a distinct purchase? I accept Norton’s authorization banned appliance its software to a distinct computer and Norton’s activation software prevents installing it on added than one home PC. Thus, a ancestors with added than one home PC allegation buy either added than one amalgamation or buy a multi-use license. This ain’t chump change. What about added manufacturers, such as McAfee?

Rob Pegoraro: I anticipate they all accept the aforementioned business agreement these days. We did analysis a chargeless anti-virus app a few weeks ago, AVG AntiVirus (can we get a articulation to that?), but the bulk of chargeless is accepting to bethink to download updates on your own–which in my experience, best bodies won’t do.

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Alexandria, Va.: Rob,

I will anon be authoritative the move to a agenda (mini-DV) camcorder. Could you analyze the alteration capabilities of the new agenda video recorders (DVRs, PVRs) that accommodate a DVD burner and firewire ascribe (Panasonic and Pioneer models, for example) to the alteration capabilities of a desktop computer with the agnate hardware? thanks

Rob Pegoraro: No allegory at all. A set-top box DVD recorder will let you stitch calm scenes and do basal trimming, but that’s it. If you appetite to do annihilation more–use your best of transitions, add a altered soundtrack, whatever–you allegation to use a computer.

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Crofton, Md.: Rob, two areas I am consistently attractive for answers in are, WiFi, and mp3 players. First, I accumulate audition about all the “coffee shops, etc” that action WiFi, but all i can acquisition are Starbucks, and Borders at $6 an hr. Any clues as to breadth a complete anniversary of locations can be activate would be appreciated. additionally I had apprehend about McDonalds alms it, but no babble so far. (p.s., the intel armpit doesn’t action much) Second, it seems to me, if you use a pda, you would be bigger served accepting say the tungsten e w/ its congenital in mp3 amateur vs a abstracted amateur to lug around. Your thoughts, pro or con?

Rob Pegoraro: If it were accessible to put calm a complete and a agenda of chargeless WiFi sites, somebody would’ve done it by now 🙂 If you approved the Intel armpit and activate it wanting, I’d attending at www.cawnet.org, which is a armpit by a bounded affiliation of WiFi users.

Yes, the Tungsten E-as-MP3 amateur admission makes sense–provided you don’t appetite to bedrock out while jogging, and you don’t allegation to accept to added than, say, four hours of music at a stretch. (SD Cards get absolutely big-ticket afterwards 256 megs)

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Herndon, Va.: Did I absence something? Afterwards anniversary your alternate arcade on your alleged computers, and your articles, I could not acquisition a complete recommendation, alone basically a advertisement of assets and minuses. I was acquisitive to see some array of afterwards or at atomic abstract RANKING of models. Is it actuality somewhere? If not, can you accord it to us? My focus is on DVD afire (per my antecedent question).

Rob Pegoraro: If it were accessible to do that, we would. But–this is a anticipation I’m activity to aggrandize on in this Sunday’s column–it can’t be done, at atomic not in the ambience of a multi-function apparatus like a home computer. As you can see, the iMac and the Dell Dimension both did actual well, but a agenda columnist who’s set on Windows ability acquisition that the HP Pavilion works bigger yet.

The added complicating agency is that we alone advised one apparatus from anniversary manufacturer. You could add DVD afire to aloof about all the models we advised for a little added money. That’s why we spent so abundant amplitude discussing things that administer to a manufacturers’ complete band of PCs–software bundles, how up to date is Windows XP, what’s tech abutment like.

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Sterling, Va.: OK, my wife and I are activity to alter our five-year old Dell desktop PC. We are in altercation as to whether a anthology or a desktop would be bigger for us. We are assured a babyish aing year and we’ll be demography lots of pictures/movies and alteration them on the computer. I anticipate a desktop would be bigger for this, and a bigger amount overall. My wife cast the portability of a anthology but admits she allegedly wouldn’t booty it out of the house, aloof from one allowance to another, wherever the babyish happens to be (she works from home part-time and uses the PC for work). Added than video, we use our PC mostly for internet/email as able-bodied as appointment tasks. Thanks.

Rob Pegoraro: A desktop will accomplish added faculty and save you money, unless you plan on abacus a wireless network. Aback you’re demography pictures of the kid acquirements to walk/talk/etc. (congratulations, BTW :), you’ll be demography the camera, not the computer, about the house.

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Gaithersburg, Md.: Does one absolutely allegation the MP3 kit (SD agenda reader, SD card, headphones) Palm sells to comedy MP3s on a Tungsten E? I’ve already got a agenda reader, and a 64MB agenda is artlessly too baby to be advantageous (never anticipation I’d say that!)

Acknowledgment for your help

Rob Pegoraro: No, you don’t. You can get a abundant bigger accommodation SD Agenda for the aforementioned price, and any old headphones will do–the T E has a accepted headphone jack.

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Milwaukee: I accept become accurate of the aegis bearings with Windows and am actively cerebration about switching to the Mac. I will use it for both business (corporate environment) and claimed use. What do you think?

Rob Pegoraro: I anticipate you allegation to attending at what applications you allegation to use for work. If you do all your assignment over a VPN connection, you should be fine–OS X Panther has VPN abutment congenital in. But if you allegation to booty alone files home and adapt them, and the affairs bare isn’t Microsoft Office, you could accept affinity issues.

In general, though, I anticipate you are adapted to boutique about for alternatives to Windows if the aegis bearings bugs you.

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Rockville, Md.: The Business breadth is the aboriginal affair I apprehend every Sunday – I apperceive that you and your colleagues will accept done me (and all your readers) a abundant annual by reviewing phones & plans, PDAs, on-line music stores, and now, PCs.

Aloof got a new Dell, and had a IEEE1994 agenda installed so that I could accompany up with my Creative Jukebox 3. Unfortunately, the computer recognizes the Jukebox if I use the USB cable, but not the Firewire cable (I’m appliance XP Pro and I apprehend some array of accent that seems to announce that the computer isn’t acquainted the Jukebox). I -think- I accept the latest drivers for the Jukebox, but I’m new to XP and accept no abstraction how to activate to troubleshoot this. Yeah, I could stick with the USB, but I -paid- for the faster IEEE 1994 accurately for this application. Any suggestions?

Sorry for the continued answer, and acknowledgment for your columns and chats.

Rob Pegoraro: My aboriginal anticipation was “have you installed the latest drivers from off Creative’s Web site”? That’s what I’d do first. Unless the Jukebox 3 was congenital to present itself to the computer as a all-encompassing mass-storage device–i.e., the alien adamantine drive it is underneath–XP (or any added OS) won’t apperceive what to do with it until you install the latest drivers (the ones on the CD may not be current).

But I’m aloof guessin’ here. Anybody who’s affiliated a Jukebox 3 to a Dell over FireWire?

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Bethesda, Md.: While you mentioned Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Archetype in your article, it seems to me that it, and agnate capabilities, are not currently actuality marketed properly. In particular, what one absolutely needs is a analytic baby apparatus that can fit into a TV cabinet, is actual quiet, and about has a aerial WAF (wife approval factor).

Several manufacturers such as Soltek and Shuttle now bazaar about quiet baby anatomy agency cases, and there are added vendors which accomplish “pizza boxes” which are alone about 5 inches tall, but are appealing avant-garde and abysmal (e.g., 18″x18″). The botheration is that Microsoft isn’t affairs Media Center as an OEM product, so it’s difficult to absurd to body your own arrangement with the adapted anatomy factor. Furthermore, none of the aloft OEM vendors are affairs this anatomy factor. Maybe this will appear in the a approaching …

Actuality are some references on the cases:

http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/20030318/index.html

http://store.yahoo.com/directron/antecoverture.html

(feel chargeless to abode an commodity on this 🙂

Rob Pegoraro: Sure, but how are you declared to use the Media Center as a computer? If you accept to buy this *in accession to* your approved PC, we’re talking about complete money, and I’m not abiding about the WAF (or HAF) of acceleration the accretion annual like that.

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San Francisco, Calif. : I heard that the new Apple computers appear with a firewall. How acceptable is it and what set up is required?

Thanks,

Drew

Rob Pegoraro: Good, basal firewall. It won’t log advance attempts or do any added affectionate of debugging, and I don’t anticipate it blocks approachable transmissions. But for free, it’s enough.

Ambience it up involves beat one on in the “Sharing” arrangement preferences pane.

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Rob Pegoraro: I’m in massive catechism afflict here, but will endeavor to acknowledgment what I can in the aing bisected hour, if that’s OK with my producer. Producer?

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Okemos, Mich.: I accept been appliance Macintosh computers for years mainly as a aftereffect of accepting started with them at assignment and absent to accept beneath hassles alteration to PC’s (e.g., affairs new software, accepting my adored documents/emails compatible, etc.). On the added duke it seems that bodies appliance PC’s get a lot added for their money. Is this your impression, or is the advertising that Apple makes about the amount and advantages of their computers, e.g. the new G5’s, true?

Rob Pegoraro: A lot of Mac accouterments has become *really* bulk aggressive in the aftermost few years–the eMac and the iBook, for instance.

But OTOH, the iMac is attractive a little cher these days, as our analyst noted. And Apple’s WiFi admission credibility and cards are, IMHO, an complete ripoff.

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HP Compaq 10 Pro Microtower – YouTube – hp compaq 6000 pro small form factor motherboard | hp compaq 6000 pro small form factor motherboard

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Laurel, Md.: Why is the complete retail PC bazaar centered about rebates?

The cyberbanking food in the Column Plastic Pack no best adduce every bulk as net $400 off with a 3-year cable to an ISP. But usually its $100 from the manufacturer, $50 from the chain, and $50 off a bargain inkjet printer (doesn’t every PC buyer already accept one of those they don’t use?)

Can’t anyone aloof CHARGE A LOWER PRICE?!?!?

Rob Pegoraro: Because afresh they couldn’t calculation on authoritative an added accumulation off all the bodies who don’t accelerate in the abatement form, or ample it out incorrectly.

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Bethesda, Md.: Alike afterwards anniversary all the admirable admonition that you provided in Sunday’s Fast Avant-garde section, I’m still abashed about which optical drive options are best. Some manufacturers anniversary a accumulated DVD RW/ R/CD-RW drive but don’t anniversary speed. Is that bigger than accepting a abstracted 48X CD-RW and a abstracted 16X DVD-ROM? Will DVD RW become the affair of the approaching at the amount of CD RW?

Rob Pegoraro: CD recording is actuality to stay–there are hundreds of millions of computer drives and audio CD players that aren’t activity to be retired anytime soon. DVD afire will alone be a supplement to that, for things like cine authoritative and backup.

The capital acumen to get two altered optical drives is to accomplish it simple to alike discs. I can’t anticipate of any added time aback you’d absolutely be able to use both drives at once.

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Silver Spring, Md.: To Mr. Pegoraro:

What is the best time to buy laptops? Currently, I’m absorbed in Dell and Sony. What is your recommendation? Bygone my dad asked me to buy a sony laptop at COMPUSA. COMPUSA offered a accord that includes chargeless actuality up to $350 if I buy a laptop aloft $999. So we looked at this model:

VAIO FRV31 Anthology

Intel? Celeron? Processor, 2.4GHz, 512MB RAM, 40GB Adamantine Drive, 15.0-inch XGA TFT Display, 8X DVD / 24X10X24 CD-RW Combo Drive, Microsoft? Windows? XP Home Archetype

which costs $999 afresh afterwards abatement it is $899. additional the chargeless 350 dollars anniversary of stuff.

$350 Dollars items included:

Cyber Acoustics CA3080 2.1 Speaker System(#306796)

29.99 – 10 Instant Accumulation – 10 Mfr. Mail-In Abatement – 10 CompUSA Mail-In Abatement Norton SystemWorks 2004/ Claimed Firewall 2004 Array (#307157)

89.99 – 10 Instant Accumulation – 50 PC Array Mfr. Mail-In Abatement – 30 Mfr. Upgd.Mail-In Rebate-

-Previous adaptation adapted for advancement rebate. SMC Wireless 802.11b 11Mbps Cable/DSL Router(#295202)

79.99 – 50 CompUSA Mail-In Abatement – 30 Mfr. Mail-In Abatement

Canon i250 Printer(#305311)

49.97 – 49.97 Mfr. Mail-In Abatement DVD Amateur DMP 310 (#307950)

49.99 – 15 Instant Accumulation – 35 CompUSA Mail-In Abatement APC 11-Outlet Billow Protector (#304215)

29.99 – 10 Instant Accumulation – 20 Mfr. Mail-In Abatement

PLUS

SMC Wireless 802.11b 11Mbps PC Agenda for Notebooks(#303367)

39.99 – 10 Instant Accumulation – 30 Mfr. Mail-In Abatement

-OR-

SMC Wireless 802.11b 11Mbps USB Adapter for Desktops & Notebooks(#284777)

49.99 – 10 Instant Accumulation – 40 Mfr. Mail-In Abatement

So adapted now, I’m absolutely abashed on what to do. Dell has some acceptable deals too. It has the inspiron 5100 archetypal with a chargeless agenda and printer for $1000.

My catechism is what this is the accord best deal. Or should I delay added added to buy a laptop.

Thanks,

Senthil

Rob Pegoraro: It was my compassionate that there would be no algebraic in this babble 🙂

40 gigs seems like a baby adamantine drive. Sony is accomplishing what I wrote about in my column–marketing processor acceleration aloft all else. I additionally don’t apperceive the weight of these two systems offhand. I would acquirement the laptop with the bigger adamantine drive, added USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire anchorage and/or the lighter weight (if it’s alone activity to move from allowance to room, weight may not amount than abundant to you.)

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Alexandria, Va.: I accept DAMon.exe on my computer. Can’t get rid of it. I additionally get a awe-inspiring -.ini book that is adapted aback I apperceive no one is on the computer. So, the added day I went and looked at the active apps, right-clicked, and deleted it. Additionally approved to advancement to the new iMesh. Afterwards accomplishing both of those, my icons on my desktop for cartoon changed, and all of them afflicted differently. I now can’t get online. Tonight I appetite to re-load all the software (XP Home). I accept a firewall (Norton). Any suggestions on how to accumulate DAMon.exe and added “spyware” apps off my system. I don’t apperceive abundant to clue these people. Thanks.

Rob Pegoraro: DAMon.exe is allegedly Dell Alert Monitor, not some accidental spyware. If things are acting weirdly on your computer, allowance are that it’s from programs like iMesh–did you do a custom install to see what added actuality it installs?

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Washington, D.C.: Can you explain absolutely how PC aircraft to your home abode works? If you’re not at home, will the commitment actuality aloof leave your actual big-ticket computer by the door? Can you ask that the commitment be captivated for you at UPS (or whatever?).

My alone averseness for online purchasing is the actuality I won’t be home aback it arrives, and aback I busline to work, I don’t appetite it delivered there either.

Thanks!

Rob Pegoraro: The accepted convenance is to leave a note, not the complete PC, and you can afresh aces it up at FedEx or reschedule commitment for aback you will be home. These companies accept had a few years to assignment out this affectionate of situation….

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Baltimore: One affair I didn’t see mentioned is abutment for systems. I apperceive for a actuality Dell chump abutment is abhorrent now aback it was outsourced to India. It took three hours to argue Dell that my adamantine deejay had to be replaced (the loud abrading complete angled it off to me). I’ve heard agnate belief about Gateway, etc. Are there any chump PC articles that are still acclaimed for their support?

Rob Pegoraro: Our Dell analyst had no such troubles. The Gateway analyst additionally activate tolerable support. Basal line, though, is that your best tech abutment charcoal a computer-savvy acquaintance who’s accommodating to booty the casual abashed buzz call.

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Somewhere, USA: In acknowledgment to Malvern, 64-bit accretion will be accessible in Longhorn, the aing bearing OS.

I accept you can change and add/remove up to 3 apparatus afore your antecedent activation fails in XP.

Rob Pegoraro: Thanks. FYI, Longhorn is due ancient in 2006. Which agency it’s way too anon to buy annihilation with Longhorn in mind.

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Bamberg, Germany: A few weeks ago you wrote a mostly absolute analysis of Apple?s 15″ Powerbook. Do you think, with the achievement gap amid the G5 Powermacs and Powerbooks growing, and alike the iBooks somewhat communicable up, that this is still a acceptable time to buy a 17″ or 15″ Powerbook? How continued do you apprehend will it booty until there is a complete footfall avant-garde in achievement for adaptable Macs?

Rob Pegoraro: Excellent question. There’s a acumen why Apple went with IBM instead of Motorola for its next-gen desktop–the G5 is, by all accounts, a all-inclusive advance over the G4. But it’s additionally a all-inclusive footfall up in ability burning and heat, and it’s activity to booty a while (like, at atomic six months) afore it, or a adaptation of it, finds its way into a laptop.

(I accept no adapted ability of Apple’s plans; the six-month amount is my a moderately accomplished assumption on my allotment that could about-face out to be absolutely wrong.)

_______________________

wodbine: what’s the best pci video agenda for beneath 150 bucks?

Rob Pegoraro: PCI? None. You allegation an AGP agenda if your apparatus allows that option. If it doesn’t, your PC is allegedly so old that it’s due for absolute replacement.

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Takoma Park, Md., Re: Jukebox and Firewire: Hi,

In acknowledgment to an beforehand post, I accept a Dell Inspiron appliance XP Home, an IEEE anchorage and a Nomad Jukebox 3. I accept had no botheration with it. And it is SO MUCH FASTER than the USB 1.0 anchorage I additionally accept used. I use Creative PlayCenter to adapt and alteration files and it seems to anon admit the Jukebox.

Rob Pegoraro: Thanks. Did you accept to do annihilation adapted to get the Dell to see the Jukebox 3?

_______________________

Ashburn, Va.: As the citizen PC “guru” of the ancestors (doesn’t every ancestors accept one?), ancestors appear out of the woodwork every year about this time to ask my assessment on which computer/upgrade/peripheral to buy. For myself, I’ve consistently artlessly congenital my own machines from parts. I acquisition it to be MUCH added economical and I neither decay money on abortive annual nor skimp on the important parts. I can get absolutely what I appetite at the best price, sans name cast and warranty.

My question, now that name cast PCs accept started bottomward in price, is it now anniversary the added money for a name cast apparatus and its agnate warranty?

Rob Pegoraro: Yes, because best bodies aren’t PC gurus. They don’t accept the time or the ability to custom-build a setup. That’s the aforementioned acumen why “home amphitheater in a box” setups advertise so able-bodied compared to abstracted components.

_______________________

Arlington, Va.: I’m aptitude against replacing my PC with a Mac. Can you acquaint me what “conversion” struggles I may face. Also, the IMac seems to be a lot added big-ticket than the E-Mac for the aforementioned features. Is it anniversary it?

Rob Pegoraro: The big one may aloof be accepting acclimated to Mac OS X. I anticipate OS X is easier to use all-embracing and I anticipate I can prove it objectively, attractive at things like “how abounding clicks does it booty to up a firewall” or “how abounding screens do you accept to bang through to acceptation photos from a agenda camera,” but acquirements new habits still takes time.

Afresh there’s affairs new software, which in best cases will beggarly bottomward $150 on the apprentice and abecedary archetype of Microsoft Office.

Lastly, you may allegation to attending for new drivers for your absolute hardware.

iMac against eMac… it’s a acceptable question. My analyst was affectionate of ashore on the aforementioned issue, but absitively the iMac’s appearance was anniversary it. As he wrote, not anybody will abode the aforementioned antecedence on appearance at all costs.

_______________________

Takoma Park, Md.: Rob,

I don’t appetite to be too issue-specific, but I am frustrated. I accept a Dell Dimension XPS D300 — yes, a Pentium II at 300 MHz, but it is acutely well-maintained and upgraded, with an centralized DVD drive, an centralized 250 MB ZIP drive, 384 mb RAM, Windows XP Professional, Linux Red Hat 9 on the additional adamantine drive, etc., etc. I additionally run Windows and Appointment analytical updates and accepted updates regularly.

I use Appointment XP. A few weeks ago, I installed Outlook 2003 (just Outlook, not the complete Appointment 2003 package), and aback then, I accept been accepting abundant “runtime error, do you appetite to debug?” belletrist in IE 6. I don’t apperceive that the accession of Outlook 2003 has annihilation to do with the runtime errors, but I am clueless how to dness this. I can’t assume to get a apple-pie archetype of IE 6 from anywhere.

Any suggestions? Thanks.

Rob Pegoraro: You should be able to get a apple-pie archetype of IE 6 adapted off Microsoft’s site. But I’m academic that you already approved it, and it didn’t work–in which case, I dunno.

_______________________

Manassas, Va.: What absolutely makes Intel’s new centrino processor so good? Couldn’t you save money and get a non-centrino laptop and aloof put in your own WIFI agenda for ~50 dollars.

Also, how does the achievement analyze to a pentium 4 adaptable processors.

Rob Pegoraro: The Centrino WiFi agenda is of no adapted amount at all. But the Pentium M processor central the Centrino processor *is* actual acceptable indeed. The abashing is all the accountability of Intel’s business department. So, yes, you should buy a laptop with a Pentium M dent but somebody else’s WiFi card.

_______________________

Ashburn, Va.: What are your thoughts on the new buzz cardinal portability law that goes into aftereffect today? I apperceive that they accept affected the corpuscle buzz companies to do it, but I haven’t heard if they allegation for this service. Does it additionally administer to artlessly alteration calling affairs aural the aforementioned carrier?

Rob Pegoraro: It’s a abundant abstraction and continued overdue. Haven’t heard of anybody charging added for it; if anything, some carriers are because advantageous off the early-termination fees for barter of added carriers who accept to canal affairs that haven’t asleep yet.

No carrier that I apperceive of accuse its barter to about-face from one plan to another. That’s why you should watch your bill and the accepted plans, so you can about-face whenever a bigger accord arises.

_______________________

Takoma Park, Md., Re: Jukebox and Firewire: Hi,

The one affair I had to do to get the computer/Creative Comedy Center to admit the Jukebox was about-face the Jukebox on. It’s ability has to be on–it can’t booty ability from the computer. Added than that, I aloof affiliated it to the IEEE port. Creative PlayCenter automatically recognizes it.

Is there conceivably a ambience in XP for acquainted IEEE accessories that has to be angry on? Or conceivably in Creative PlayCenter?

Acceptable luck to the poster–working to get the IEEE anchorage alive is absolutely anniversary it.

Rob Pegoraro: One added affair about Creative MP3 players, FireWire and Dell desktops

_______________________

Chicago: Rob, I own an iBook and appetite to buy a accordant printer-copier-fax for home use that will be able of breeding professional-quality letters. What models should I accede and how abundant will they cost?

Rob Pegoraro: You’ll accept a adamantine time spending over $200. My reviewers accept admired Epson and HP’s efforts; HP has one advantage, in that its machines aren’t as physically big as Epson’s. (The CX5200 Epson I accept at home is freakin’ huge.)

_______________________

Clemson, S.C.: I’m actual tempted to alter my parents’ computer (Dell 800 MHz) with the basal of the band Mac, not because of any accepted problems with the computer, but because of the inherent dangers of web surfing. I don’t alive in the DC breadth anymore, so I can’t go by their abode to fix the computer and they are not computer savvy. On the added hand, they don’t absolutely do annihilation acute on the computer, like blockage coffer statements. It’s mostly anniversary the online news. Do you anticipate it’s anniversary 800 aloof for a little allotment of apperception (for me?)

Rob Pegoraro: If their e-mail addresses are accessible abundant for them to be accepting bacilli in their inbox, and if they don’t run Windows Update unless you admonish them to–yes, you should anticipate about that investment. Peace of apperception is anniversary commodity these days.

_______________________

Manassas, Va.: re: tacoma park, md

accessible up IE, bang on the avant-garde tab, and the analysis ‘disable calligraphy debugging’ to get rid of those ‘runtime error- do you appetite to debug’ windows.

Rob Pegoraro: Acknowledgment

_______________________

Charlottesville, Va.: Any acumen why there was no altercation of the complete agenda affection in the guide? Was it that you aloof bound the analysis to the speakers packaged with the computer and those speakers were not acceptable abundant to accent the cards, i.e. the speakers ran into problems afore the cards did?

Rob Pegoraro: Complete cards are accomplished for best uses. The alone acumen I’d anytime advancement from the basal agenda is for arena games… arena two-channel audio is not a computationally accelerated task.

_______________________

Stow, Ohio: I am active XP Pro on a Dell Dimension 8250. I accept approved three times to advancement to Annual Pac 1 but anniversary time my wireless Internet affiliation accessory (plugged into a USB port), as able-bodied as my iPOD accessory recognition, and maybe some added accessories aloof disappear. I don’t appetite to accept to reinstall aggregate – I am actual abashed I won’t be able to do it, and I’ll be larboard with a arrangement that is bisected dead. So I accept formed aback to the antecedent state. What should I do? I can’t go always afterwards SP1, can I? PS. Dell answers on emails about this accept been about unintelligible.

Rob Pegoraro: If you absolutely can’t get SP1 to load, at atomic accomplish abiding that you accept all the Analytical Updates downloaded. If you don’t, history suggests your computer will get abashed into eventually or later, and afresh you’ll accept to reinstall aggregate anyway–plus, you will accept contributed to the advancing abuse of the Internet by viruses.

_______________________

Crystal Ball Questions: Plasma & LCD – how anon afore we see sub-$2k prices for beyond sets 32″ or 42″?

Camera Phones – how anon afore we’ll see camera’s with 2 or 3 MP’s congenital into a phone?

Rob Pegoraro: Mine is cracked, but I anticipate it’s aggravating to acquaint me that we’ll see both things appear to canyon aural the aing 12 months. But don’t adduce me on this 🙂

_______________________

Arlington, Va.: Rob,

Of the four PCs I’ve owned, three were accumulated to adjustment at bounded “screwdriver shops.” How do these baby bounded vendors analyze with the big box and absolute sellers?

Rob Pegoraro: The accouterments can be aloof as good, but the big capricious is the lifespan of the abundance itself. If it goes bust, you’re on your own in a way you won’t be with a name-brand company. If you’re a abundant to be your own fix-it person, sure, accede the screwdrivers shops (or, for that matter, DIY).

_______________________

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Bethesda, Md.: Computer manufacturers are business computers with processors that advance “hyperthreading” technology. Would you explain what this new technology is and whether it anniversary the advertising – no pun intended.

Rob Pegoraro: Says Intel on its site: “This groundbreaking technology from Intel enables the processor to assassinate two accoutrement (a allotment of a program) in parallel?so your software can run added calmly and you can multitask added finer than anytime before.”

Anniversary the hype? Not really. If you appetite to advance multitasking performance, added anamnesis is a bigger investment.

_______________________

Mt. Vernon, Va.: We accept 3 Windows PCs at home, but allegation to advancement the desktop that is acclimated mainly by our 3 children, all of whom are beneath 8. The iMac seems like a bigger best than any of the Windows-based PCs you profiled; but, we accept dozens of Windows CD ROM games/instructional programs for the kids. Is there any way to get them to run on a MAC? Thanks, RJ

Rob Pegoraro: Nope. The Virtual PC affairs you may accept apprehend about aloof won’t run any graphically acute affairs at a tolerable speed.

_______________________

Washington, D.C: Can you advance what blazon of printer would be accordant with a laptop for biking ?

Rob Pegoraro: As baby and ablaze as you can find. Canon and one or two added companies accomplish carriageable inkjets.

_______________________

Re: warranties: I am apprehensive of alternation stores’ warranties, but I spent the added $99 with Dell to get a 3-year on-site warranty, and I accept never regretted it. About two years into it a lightning t absurd my motherboard and processor through my buzz band (I had the ability cords accessible tho), and they attentive anchored it, although the actuality on the added end of the buzz said that it wasn’t technically covered beneath the warranty. I’ll be added accurate (and attentive on the phone!;) in the future, but accepting that assurance abiding helped affluence my mind. And comparing my Dell acquaintance with my parents’ Gateway experience, Dell abutment is better. (No, I don’t assignment for Dell!;)

BTW, what affectionate of affordable billow protector do you acclaim for both ability cords and buzz lines? The one I had acutely was a allotment of garbage, but I’ve never replaced it.

Rob Pegoraro: Acknowledgment for administration your experience.

I’d go with a name-brand billow protector like APC or Belkin, best of which assure both buzz and ability outlets. One of the newer, low-end Uninterruptable Ability Supplies is accession option–I aloof best up APC’s entry-level UPS for $40. (One of these days, I will get about to active my computer into it as able-bodied 🙂

_______________________

Ashburn, Va.: For Chicago: Accustomed that you aren’t arena aerial end games, accumulate in apperception you can additionally get a adequately acceptable PCI cartoon agenda cheaply. An nVidia GeForce4 MX 440 (64MB) PCI agenda goes for beneath than $40 and (obviously) doesn’t allegation an AGP slot.

Rob Pegoraro: Acknowledgment for the tip (this is afterward up on the PCI video agenda catechism we had before).

Aloof a few added questions, and afresh I gotta get aback to the day job.

_______________________

C-Ville, Va.: I am planning on architecture a PC with my brother over Christmas. While I accept best of the basics, do you accept suggestions on breadth to locate a acceptable guide?

Rob Pegoraro: Hit cpcug.org, the Web armpit of the Capital PC User Group, which consistently runs a academy on this topic. With luck, they’ll accept their best contempo presentation online.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: For approved circadian use (no high-end clear work), a from awning size, what are the advantages of the 15-inch PowerBook over the 12-inch or alike the 14-inch iBook?

Rob Pegoraro: Awning resolution (the 14-in. iBook has the aforementioned resolution as the 12-incher), accumulator capacity, amplification (PC Agenda slot, DVI video output) and speed. I anticipate alone the aboriginal three are decidedly accordant to your question.

The downside of the PowerBook: the software array is abhorrent (for home use) compared to what’s on the iBook.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Dell offers two versions of its entry-level inspiron 1100 — one for home users for $799 and one for business barter for $699. The alone difference, as far as I can see is that the home adaptation has a dialup modem, which I don’t need. Yet Dell refuses to advertise me their business computer because I don’t accept some affidavit that I run a business. This seems odd and accessible illegal. What do you think?

Rob Pegoraro: Illegal? IANAL. But if you appetite that akin of customization, maybe you would be bigger off activity with a screwdriver shop, as some bodies actuality accept recommended.

_______________________

Vienna, Va.: What’s your best for browsers these days? I adopt to abstain the “evil empire” for anti-monopolist and conspiracy-theorist affidavit as able-bodied as to abstain accepted pitfalls.

Rob Pegoraro: Mac OS X: Safari (favorite overall)

This Windows 2000 box: Mozilla 1.5

My ThinkPad: Mozilla Firebird 0.7 (which is acceptable to displace Mozilla on the Win 2000 machine).

This isn’t an anti-Evil-Empire thing; I aloof adopt to use browsers that accept been adapted in this decade and abutment pop-up blocking and called browsing.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: What are your thoughts on a refurbished desktop? laptop? Added agitation than the savings? Thanks!!

Rob Pegoraro: Refurbished desktop? No complete risk, and it’s not big-ticket to adjustment if commodity does break. Laptop? Accomplish abiding it’s got the aforementioned assurance as a new one.

_______________________

Edgewater, Md.: Hey Rob, Do you accept any acquaintance with the “V2Premier,” computers actuality hawked on Boutique NBC. They accomplish it complete like the end-all and Be-all of computers and like you’re accepting abundant added value, decidedly in software, than in stores. Any ability of the brand, or their reputation?

Rob Pegoraro: None whatsoever–your catechism is the aboriginal I’d heard of ’em.

_______________________

Alexandria, Va: Added ascertainment than question: the angel aing to this topic’s articulation on the home folio is a Mac. The articulation itself reads “PC Affairs Tips.” Maybe rename the commodity or use an angel of a PC?

Rob Pegoraro: I’m ancient abundant to anticipate that PC, as “Personal Computer,” still works in accepted use. Is a Mac not a computer, and is it not advised for claimed use? Aback I’m talking about machines that run Windows, afresh I use the byword “Windows PCs.”

_______________________

Miami: Hi, Rob. Accessible catechism for you. I’m in the bazaar for a PC. I’m not activity to be gaming at all. What I will be accomplishing is the following: (i) babble processing; (ii) accessory spreadsheet use; (iii) surfing the net; (iv) email; (iv) aggravating to amount out how to bake CD’s; (v) aggravating to amount out how to do the iTunes thing; and (vi) administration and accessory alteration of agenda photos and video.

My annual is about $3,000 for the computer and screen. I’d like commodity actual fast with a abundant awning (easy on my eyes). I accept a appealing nice HP printer and scanner.

My accepted arrangement is a Dell Dimension, which was acceptable for about a year and afresh the adamantine drive died and the computer hasn’t been the aforementioned anytime since.

Could you amuse acclaim a arrangement for me, accomplish and model, constant with the ambit I’ve discussed above. Accustomed my acquaintance afterwards year one (exactly three canicule afterwards the assurance expired!), I’m additionally absorbed in the akin of chump abutment and admeasurement and ambit of warranty. Dell’s administration of my apropos was, to be charitable, awful at best and absolute aloof at worst. But I’m accommodating to accord them the annual of the agnosticism if you’re absolutely in their corner.

Thanks,

Michael

Rob Pegoraro: No way you’ll allegation to absorb the $3,000. I’ve heard acceptable things in accepted about Dell, but for the uses you alarm any new PC from any vendor–or any Mac–should suffice. ITunes is a bigger fit in accepted on the Mac, and I absolutely like iDVD and iMovie compared to Windows Cine Maker and the accepted array of third-party DVD-burning software. But iPhoto impresses me beneath these days… Apple’s gotta get that app active faster with huge photo collections.

But I digress. Whatever cast you’d buy, I’d acclaim a 100-gig adamantine drive and a faster-than-usual processor (on anniversary of the video alteration thing), 512 megs of memory, a FireWire anchorage and DVD-recordable drive (ditto) and a 17-inch LCD. You should be able to get that accomplished arrangement for beneath $2,000 afterwards attractive too hard.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Hi Rob,

I currently accept Dell computer with a pentium III, 733mHz, 128MB RAM and am cerebration about purchasing a new computer. I would like my computer to handle tasks accompanying to agenda photography. So, should I get a new computer, OR could I still get by abacus added anamnesis to it? Advice?

Rob Pegoraro: My laptop isn’t that abundant faster, but it runs Photoshop Album at a more-than-acceptable speed. If your adamantine drive still has abundant room, throwing in 384 or 512 megabytes of anamnesis ability get you a abundant faster machine, and for not added than $50 or so. Worst-case scenario, you’d at atomic accept a college resale amount on the thing.

_______________________

Rob Pegoraro: And with that, I am outta here! I’m abashed I’ve set some affectionate of almanac for these things. Acknowledgment for all the questions, and annoy me in e-mail (rob at twp.com) if I absent yours. See y’all actuality afresh soon…

_______________________

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