HUNTING THE PERFECT COMPUTER AND COMING ATTRACTIONS

It was our anniversary yesterday. I didn’t spend the day reading blogs and writing. Instead, I goofed off.

We went out to dinner. After we came home, I didn’t start putting together a post for today. I did put together something special for Saturday. Garry wrote it. I did most of the photography (and all of the processing … but I always do all the processing). It’s fiction and funny. It sure made us laugh. And we had a lot of fun putting it together. It took much more work than most of our posts and far more planning that either of us is usually willing to do. So it will be up solo (!!) on Saturday. Hope you like it.

It’s fiction. Those of you who know old movies will recognize bits of  Sunset Boulevard peeking through.

72-Portrait-Anniversary_4

I spent the rest of the day not buying a new computer. I know I’ll have to buy something eventually, but I not sure what I need or want.

I’m not thrilled with Windows 10. I’m less than happy with the road Microsoft has been taking for several years. I’m least happy with their requiring you to take all update downloads automatically. I have not had good experiences with automatic updates and I’m reluctant to  surrender control of my computer.

On the other hand, I’m pretty sure Apple invented the word “proprietary” and having owned lots of Apple computers and other devices over the course of my life in technology, I’m not sure they would be a better choice. Just … different.

Most Apple computers I’ve looked at seem under-powered and over-priced. The tech support people are snobs. Sorry, but they are. Every time I have had to deal with them, I wanted to whack them.

After a lot of browsing, I’ve found a couple of computers I like. One is an Asus, the other is by MSI. Neither is a company with which I’ve previously dealt. The machines are priced right and have impressive specs. Both also have well-documented issues: Hinges and build quality on the Asus, and getting too hot to handle and weird software glitches on the MSI.

alienware side view computer

I have always found Dell/Alienware to be solid, long-lasting machines that work perfectly right out of the box. But — they are expensive. Almost all of them cost at least 25% more than equivalent machines made by other companies, yet maybe they are worth it. Every Dell I’ve owned has continued to run when other computers are buried in a landfill. Most are still running and essentially problem free many years later. I’ve moved up and on, but my former computers are running fine for people who aren’t Photoshop users. And don’t have a strong preference for listening to audiobooks while processing photographs, which is what finally forced me to get this machine. Discrete graphics makes a huge difference.

I’m putting computers on wish lists, hoping something will pop, be the perfect combination of specs, build quality, and price.

Until I find whatever, I’m looking, not buying. I’m open to suggestions and would appreciate them. Although I’m not a gamer, I’m addicted to having a computer that will do everything — at the same time. Fast. And never, ever crash.

22 thoughts on “HUNTING THE PERFECT COMPUTER AND COMING ATTRACTIONS

  1. I’ve been very happy with my ASUS — a 17″ screen — desktop replacement laptop. I’ve had it for several years, and it’s never crashed (the software has had some issues along the way, but the computer itself works well. I once had a service man tell me “it’s a smokin’ computer!” Good luck in your choice!

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    • The ASUS ROG computers are really hot and loaded. It’s the durability I’ve been worrying about. Thank you. That helps. The ASUS is the only one that still has a DVD burner/player, which is another nice touch. A bit big and heavy, but I have other things for traveling. It doesn’t really need to leave home.

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  2. Asus seem to be the runner of the season for computers. Mr. Swiss read a few reports that they are selling well. I treated myself to an Acer Aspire V17 Nitro Black Edition when I got my new Windows 10 computer and have never had a problem with it (yet). It is my second Acer. They used to have a problem with the keyboard, but that now seems to have been cured. I have a special edition. I also have an apple which I love. I only deal in laptops as I like to be able to move around with my online business. Sometimes outside, indoors, in the kitchen or in my office. I think computers are the luck of the draw. We all have our preferences, but I am happy with my solution. And I always have the iPad for the inbetween stuff, although only really looking and not so much writing.

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  3. GO to “Everymac.com” they will tell you everything about every Mac ever built and sold. They will also give you average prices on used Macs and refer you to vendors that deal in used machines. they will also refer you to companies that offer hot rod mods for many.., some of which you can do yourself. There is an outfit out here called “Orchard” that deal exclusively in used Macs.., I haven’t bought a truly brand new computer in years and I’ve lucked up on a couple from folks blowing one away that I’ve managed to set up for my edit machines. Just picked up an iMac 27″ (mid 2011) from a friend ’cause he wanted one with “retina” display. The standard display is already a high resolution display and so fine for my use and photography. I paid $200 for that machine valued at $1300. As far as being under powered and over priced, not true. Maybe a similarly equipped “Windows” machine would fit that description being so convoluted in operation, but Macs, in general, run very efficiently, plus you can always load more RAM into most of them if needed. There’s a reason music editors, graphic artists and photographers prefer Macs.., check ’em out again, you may be surprised.

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  4. Have you checked out Dell Outlet? It’s for computers people have ordered then returned. Usually for a small scratch somewhere. I got my laptop 2 years ago from there – no problems, no scratches (that I can see), £650 down from £1200. We often buy computers for work from there (it’s an official Dell site, a bit like Amazon Warehouse I guess).
    Maybe other manufacturers have something similar.

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    • They are actually having a sale at the Dell outlet. But they aren’t offering much that seems to be a real savings. They used to have a much better selection. I think my bottom line problem is not being entirely clear on what I’m looking for. I think until I am sure of what I need and why I need it, i won’t like anything I find … though there’s an Asus I’m looking at so hot … tempting. Very tempting.

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  5. My son built his own computer to get the specs he wanted. Now he wants a car but he has promised to give me this computer next year when he upgrades. Unfortunately Photoshop needs a grunty computer which comes at a cost. He also says that Apple are expensive for their specs compared to other computers.

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    • That’s how I feel about it. I don’t want less when I pay more. I want MORE when I pay more. More something, anyway.

      I found an ASUS that I really like that I can almost afford. But now I’m wondering if I should buy anything. Maybe I can just pretend everything is fine and it will be.

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      • But will they work better for what I want to do? Better for general purposes … but what about graphics processing? Running Photoshop? My DVD version of Photoshop may not run on the new Apple OS. I’m not sure it’ll run on the new Windows OS either, so I may be screwed either way. Until I know what I really want — and need — I’m not buying anything.

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        • You didn’t read my previous post in answer to ANGLOSWISS.., I quote myself; “There’s a reason music editors, graphic artists and photographers prefer Macs.., check ’em out again, you may be surprised.” Apple has always been, and continues to be, the first choice of the pros (also including video editors) for exactly what you and I do.

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          • And if I owned a copy of Photoshop for Mac, I’d feel much happier about this. But the version I own is PC and it is not available for any price anywhere anymore. It may seem a small thing, but it’s the basic tool I use for all my photography and I literally have no idea how to do what I do without it. You may have some software that is essential to you … and is no longer available. It’s a real — BIG — problem. I have no idea how to deal with it.

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            • I get it, and so I ask, are you sure your software is PC only.., sometimes they will include both versions on the same disk? I realize that this software/computer thing is a crazy dilemma and has screwed up many a person depending on it for professional reasons. I too have software I’m not sure will work on a later model computer and OS. So I rely on a rather older Power Mac where everything I have works. The one thing many of the SW companies do for us Macophiles is release software that is retroactive on older machines, but then the computer companies jump in, change a kernel or an extension, and end support for the SW claiming they have to move on. It’s rude but do they care?., I don’t think so. I was just trying to help you a little.., and maybe didn’t help much at all..?.

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  6. It’s sounding like it’s time to go to the best computer store you have nearby and talk to the sales people. I have found that I learn more that way than any other when it comes to techie things — if I want a laptop, I go to the laptop store, tell them what I have, and what I think I need, then ask what they suggest. Then I go home and compare it to what I learned elsewhere (it helps that we have both Apple and MS stores locally, as well as a laptop store and a general computer store!)

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