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Author Topic: Need some help picking out a cheap PC  (Read 1099 times)

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Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« on: July 27, 2011, 06:39:24 PM »
Okay. My dad's PC is going on 12 years old and he's got the computer hygiene of a plague site. I'm working with my brother to get two small PCs (sort of like a Mac Mini) that I can get through Best Buy.

Criteria.
-1. NOT the Mac Mini because they took out optical drives on the lastest version, and I'm an Apple aficionado and I dont' want him calling me hourly.
-2. Something stable, easy to run/set up and preferably near indestructible to stand up to my dad's mischeif.
-3. And if anyone knows a remote access program that works cross country between PC machines (or better yet PC to Mac) that would be helpful to as I can 'peek in' on these machines weekly to make sure he's not destroyed them.


For an example of what I mean.. he had 54 start up programs and 10 browser toolbars last time I used his PC.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 06:45:11 PM »
Can you get him a speak and spell and just tell him it's a PC? >.>

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 06:48:36 PM »
Can you get him a speak and spell and just tell him it's a PC? >.>

Don't tempt me.

I need to provide 2 'in the box' machines so he can have his to melt down and one my mom can use when she needs it. (I'm tempted to slick my Mac Mini project machine and give it to her so that he will avoid it). She has need of a 'safe' machine from time to time.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 06:50:22 PM »
I can't help you with the machines, since I have more experience with building PCs than buying them. However, the idea of 10 browser toolbars just sort of floored me. Apologies for the unhelpful comment.

... 10! ...

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 06:58:43 PM »
I can't help you with the machines, since I have more experience with building PCs than buying them. However, the idea of 10 browser toolbars just sort of floored me. Apologies for the unhelpful comment.

... 10! ...

It gets worse.. click on the start button and he had like 40 install programs in the menu bar. 2 Christmases ago, I spent like 9 hours sanitizing his PC.. 12 GIGS of temp files among other things.. I had it defragging for like 15 hours afterwards, and had to resubscribe him to his anti-virus program..again.

It put grey hairs in my hair. I didn't do it this year because I didn't want to waste my time. (I enjoyed spending time meeting my future sister in law instead). 

Offline Oniya

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Re: Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 09:00:48 PM »
Recommendation on the software side:  Set yourself up on the Admin account.  Install everything he should need.  Set up a 'user' account and set Parental Controls out the wazoo.  Do not give him the Admin password.  (12G?!)

It works to keep Mr. Oniya's system safe from a 'too smart for us' 10-year-old.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 09:07:24 PM »
Recommendation on the software side:  Set yourself up on the Admin account.  Install everything he should need.  Set up a 'user' account and set Parental Controls out the wazoo.  Do not give him the Admin password.  (12G?!)

It works to keep Mr. Oniya's system safe from a 'too smart for us' 10-year-old.

Not sure that he'd be happy with that unless I can remote access to fix issues. Trust me.. if I could I would. He's got me tearing my hair out. I woke up Sunday around 8 am and later in the afternoon when I was having a migraine because he couldn't access his email on his iPhone, last week it was him losing his wi-fi login password.. definitely need to work on it.

Offline Oreo

Re: Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2011, 06:31:12 AM »
I understand your frustration Callie. My hubby is the same way. It got better after I installed firefox and adblocker plus. He used to click on everything that said congrats you just won an Iphone or new PC. What he can't see he can't click. I still have to wipe everything about once a year :P

I am an Asus fan and perhaps something like this might be suitable if all he is doing is web browsing and such. It doesn't have a dvd player, but an external player is a relatively inexpensive perk. The Memory is expandable to 2GB if needed. It even has the back lit keyboard which is a big plus or older folks.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2011, 10:44:45 AM »
He likes desktops.. for some reason to him laptops/netbooks will always be 'weaker'.

The reason I'm against the Mac Mini, aside from tripling the number of 'panic calls' he'd give me, is the new one dropped their optical drive (and made the memory soldered in place) and he's also a big believer in CDs (he's still whining that it's getting harder to find zip drives again)

Offline russ

Re: Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2011, 03:36:56 PM »
Sticking with the Asus theme these are good boxes if you can find a decent deal. Again, these don't have optical drives but you can pick up an external drive for relatively cheap. Not sure how expandable they are though - I've not had time to play around with the one I bought at work. Otherwise I'm not sure what small box you'd be able to find.

On the other question; logmein is one of the best tools I've found to remote control computers. You install a client on the machine you want to remote control and then use a web client to control it.

Offline russ

Re: Need some help picking out a cheap PC
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 03:38:01 PM »
As the last bit about logmein I forgot; their free version is probably good enough for what you want to do - don't pay for it!