[thechat] how do you buy a PC?

Erika Meyer ekm at seastorm.com
Thu Jan 8 22:46:09 CST 2009

I know how to buy a Macintosh (you walk into the Apple store and buy the 
first one you can afford, use academic ID, add Applecare).

but I want to buy my daughter a PC. Probably a laptop.  Hers (read: a 
Dell laptop which I bought three years ago in order to debug websites in 
IE and she appropriated and became atttached to) is on its last legs and 
repairs would cost more than the computer is worth.

I was working on converting her to Linux but she went onto some forums 
and read lots of terrible feedback about the performance of her favorite 
games (Sims) on Linux.   Plus at school they use and assing projects w/ 
MS office (which I don't yet have but probably should buy, though i 
think if schools want us to use powerpoint, they should provide it).

I feel that I did not do a good job purchasing a PC last time because 
the Dell was loaded with a whole bunch of crap and trial crap software, 
and this super annoying McAfee virus program that was CONSTANTLY sending 
stuff back and forth on the Internets and plugging up the tubes. 
Uninstalling software is a pain in the ass, though granted, daughter has 
gotten rather good this stuff (I am not so good at it).

I just want a damn computer with Microsoft office and that is relatively 
protected against viruses, worms, and all the other parasites PCs are 
prone to, preferably without clogging up the internet or sending my 
personal information to Bill Gates.

Also, I DO NOT WANT VISTA because I was at a cafe the other day and a 
guy showed me what it's like to shut down Vista and it took something 
like three days.  I dont' have that kind of time.  And twitter streams 
on vista have not been favorable.

I just want to download the software I want, and to buy MS office.  I 
can't think of any corporate software, aside from virus protection and 
MS office, that I want.

We need a boatload of memory because of Sims.  We need to play lots of 
sims. I might need an external hard drive but I want to start with a 
hefty hard drive to begin with.

How do you buy this kind of laptop?  $600 is about the most I can spend.


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