What software would you buy for a new PC

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Cosmic

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Going to a local computer show tomorrow to buy a new PC. Always get one of those VAR's guys who puts together a PC to your order as to the parts. You get to select the software.

What software would you have installed? My present PC has Win98SE and I love it. But probably not a good selection for a new PC that I would plan on using 4 - 5 years. Zero support from Microsoft these days too in terms of drivers, etc.

Talking to my neighbors and friends, they all seem to says they hate WinXP-Home. Some seem to prefer WinME?

What is the real difference between WinXP-Home and WinXP-Pro. Should I avoid WinXP-Home at all costs?

These type PC's, you get the full software on CD with a manual.
 
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I'll go with BigTex. I love XPPro. XPPro has remote desktop and better networking capabilities. I also have a system with 98SE, and at first I didn't like XPpro, but got used to it super fast. Now I wouldn't go back.

Even though you find zero support from Microsoft, I have found better advice and help from people like BigTex and Tech TV.

Are you set on a PC or would you consider a Mac?
 
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With xp you shouldn't have too many problems with drivers anyway and you should never go to microsoft for then in the first place..If you not into networking then use XP home cause they are basically identical..
 

Cosmic

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Ok, thanks for that guys.

No, I really don't want a Mac. Not into networking. These PC's are a menu selection type, you select the parts, etc desired and they slap it together that day. You get to add whatever desired. Some even will add something you provide.

The software is not included in the basic systems and is purchased separate, again your choice with a price for each selection. Typically they have been charging $40 extra between Home and PRO.

What I am hearing XP-Pro is trouble free but XP-Home gives many people problems. But could those complains be because they are not maintaining the systems?

One of my neighbors has XP-Home and he blames it a lot but the system is horribly screwed-up because he does zero maintenance. Somehow he is convinced the system will protect and maintain itself. Finally got him to download and install the TechGuy Forum but he says it is "Too much work".

He has lots of system crashes, but probably is loaded with every virus, bug and scum ware ever written. Is that a fair assessment of the reported problems with XP-Home in most cases.
 

Cosmic

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See what you mean.

There is that one entry "Software Installation and Maintenance – automatically install, configure, repair, or remove software applications."

They list that as a difference. Seems to be the only one that could remotely apply to the way I would be using it. But that was down under what might be considered a networking type heading.

I have seen posts here, where somebody is trying to do something and the conclusion is, it would be easy if they had Pro but not possible under Home. Don't remember an exact example but that also was pointing me to spend a few extra bucks and get PRO. These seemed to be normal home use type of a problem.

The conclusion being getting the PRO version has no downside even if you don't use all the features. Would that be a fair statement? The money is not really an issue. Basically I made it in the stock market and the new PC is "Free".
 
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Then by all means if money isn't an issue go ahead on Pro..Get at least 512 on ram as well..
 
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The next things you need are:
AntiVirus
FireWall
Back-up/Recovery plan


FWIW, I use WinXP home and have never had a problem with it.
 
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XP is all the rage, I know; but, I forced myself to run XP Pro here for about four months so I could familiarize myself with it for my work. After four months, I just decided the reason I didn't like it was that it wasn't at all friendly for people like myself who wanted instant access to the internal settings that I like to do manually.

XP is an attempt by Microsoft to make a computer more user friendly to people who have never used another version of Windows and are just getting introduced to computers. In my opinion, they didn't succeed as well as they would like to think.

Windows 2000 is my choice because it looks and feels more like what I am used to and it is as stable as XP without a doubt. XP is built on the 2000 foundation.

I wouldn't worry about support for Windows 98. I'm still not able to purchase a 3com network card that doesn't come with drivers for even Windows 3.1 so I don't think they are going to abandon drivers for '98 for quite some time.

If you do go with XP, do get Pro; but, Home and Pro are equally stable.

I have heard many people complain about the lack of stability in every OS since Windows 3.1; but, I have from experience learned that those who complain the loudest should actually be blaming cheap, cost-cutting or defective hardware instead. I have learned over the last 9 years that cheap and cost-cutting hardware is to blame for about 98% or more of the chronic problems people have with Windows.

Overall, if you get good brands and models of hardware, you'll have a stable system no matter which OS you choose.

As for firewalls, I don't think ZoneAlarm can be beat for home use. For Antivirus, I have used Norton for years; but, I am getting away from it because of chronic problems of various types that are difficult to trace down and difficult solve even if you already know what the solution is. I've begun using AVG from Grisoft. Both of these programs make my costomers happy for two reasons: First, they are good performers. Second, they are both free.

For backup, I recommend you back up to removable media. Backing to another hard disk as your only means is, in my opinion, foolish. If that hard disk fails, you have only one choice for recovery and the costs start at $3000 and go up from there, depending on the size of the drive. The amount of data on the drive is not relevant, only the size of the drive. So if you have a 100-Gig drive and it breaks (hardware failure), and there is one file or ten thousand files on it, the cost will be over $3000 regardless.

I make my full system backups to DVD--to CDs before I had a DVD burner.

The strongest advice I give concerning backup is do-it, do-it, do-it. And when you feel you don't have the time, do-it.
 
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