Go Back  Bike Forums > The Lounge > Foo
Reload this Page >

I need advice on a computer for a complete computer idiot.

Foo Off-Topic chit chat with no general subject.

I need advice on a computer for a complete computer idiot.

Old 01-14-09, 12:21 AM
  #1  
steveknight
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: portland or
Posts: 1,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I need advice on a computer for a complete computer idiot.

my brother inlaw may never learn much about computers. got him a vista laptop and he can't deal with it. all he does is browse the internet and look at pictures from his camera. plays cards too.
he tends to download crap or go onto pages that add crap to his computer.
he used a old xp computer somewhat ok. my sister wants to return this laptop. debating on getting a cheaper notebook with xp or maybe linux. a mac may be the way to go of one could be had for little this laptop was around 550.00
my sister is a return freak so mail order is problematical.
steveknight is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 12:35 AM
  #2  
Wordbiker
Pwnerer
 
Wordbiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,909
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I can think of no better computer for an idiot than a Mac.
__________________
Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
Ski, bike and wish I was gay.
Wordbiker is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 12:38 AM
  #3  
steveknight
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: portland or
Posts: 1,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
the only bad part about a mac is getting one thats affordable. locally I don't know if it is possible.
steveknight is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 03:02 AM
  #4  
mlts22 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 998
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd consider a Linux running netbook for him, if he can't/won't do basic security practices. Netbooks are inexpensive, and most of them allow plugging in an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse, so they can function as a low-end desktop.

A Mac would be ideal because one can have sloppy security practices (download/run stuff) and have a less chance of being bitten by Trojan horses or spyware. Macs also can display Flash and whatnot for the sites this guy visits. Finally, Macs have decent support, even for dumb user questions. However, as you said, Macs are hefty in the pocketbook, especially the laptops. Expect to pay about $1000 plus tax for the low-end white Macbook, $250 for AppleCare (which is worth it for laptops), then maybe $100 for an external hard disk for him to plug in periodically and back up to with Time Machine. This way, even if he scrozzles the machine's filesystem completely, he can reinstall, pull his home directory from Time Machine and have a clean OS.
mlts22 is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 03:56 AM
  #5  
DannoXYZ 
Senior Member
 
DannoXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Saratoga, CA
Posts: 11,739
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Used 1st-gen Intel Mac laptops can be had for $600-750. Check your local classifieds or Craigslist. Otherwise, for the basic stuff that he does, a netbook, like Asus eeePC for $269-299 from Target fits the bill perfectly.

Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
This way, even if he scrozzles the machine's filesystem completely, he can reinstall, pull his home directory from Time Machine and have a clean OS.
Heck, I even back up and restore my favorite apps folder. Instead of installing it in the default Applications folder, I install it into a separate "MyApps" folder (or drag it into there after installation). Nice thing about UNIX systems is they allow read-only access to running programs and open documents. So TimeMachine backs up "MyApps" as well my documents folder. Then after a clean OS re-install, I just would just need to restore my documents and the "MyApps" folder and I'm back in business. Or restoring to a new computer works just as well, no need to re-install 50 applications one at a time.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 01-14-09 at 04:00 AM.
DannoXYZ is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 05:25 AM
  #6  
ehidle
T-Shirt Guy
 
ehidle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Lansdale, PA
Posts: 464

Bikes: 2005 Fuji Team Issue, 2007 Fuji SL-1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Vista becomes a lot more usable if you switch it to the Windows Classic theme and disable all the crap that takes up your desktop space.
__________________
Yellow + Blue Jerseys!

Get your Cranky T-Shirt!
Men's
and Women's designs available
ehidle is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 06:01 AM
  #7  
gbcb
J3L 2404
 
gbcb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 1,075

Bikes: 2007 Jamis Nova

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Used 1st-gen Intel Mac laptops can be had for $600-750. Check your local classifieds or Craigslist.
+1 Used Mac. For what he's using the computer for, there's no need to buy a new machine.
__________________
gbcb is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 08:45 AM
  #8  
jsharr
You Know!? For Kids!
 
jsharr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Just NW of Richardson Bike Mart
Posts: 6,163

Bikes: '05 Trek 1200 / '90 Trek 8000 / '? Falcon Europa

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just PM UnsafeAlpine and find out what he uses.
__________________
Are you a registered member? Why not? Click here to register. It's free and only takes 27 seconds! Help out the forums, abide by our community guidelines.
Originally Posted by colorider View Post
Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.
jsharr is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 09:11 AM
  #9  
StupidlyBrave 
Chepooka
 
StupidlyBrave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South Central PA
Posts: 1,167

Bikes: 1990 Trek 1400 7spd; 2001 Litespeed Arenberg 10 speed

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 219 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
I think UA uses a cray

StupidlyBrave is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 09:48 AM
  #10  
trsidn 
Jeff Vader
 
trsidn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Putting the 'fun' in dysfunctional
Posts: 381

Bikes: Cannondale CAAD8, Trek SU200

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1042 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
ooohhhh, I forgot about Cray. I needed a good 'do it yourself' project
__________________
We are all a litter of piglets in the barn fire of life - Piney McKnuckle
trsidn is offline  
Old 01-14-09, 11:01 AM
  #11  
KingTermite 
On my TARDIScycle!
 
KingTermite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Eastside Seattlite Termite Mound
Posts: 3,925

Bikes: Trek 520, Trek Navigator 300, Peugeot Versailles PE10DE

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you do stick with the computer (or a Windows computer), then google the biggest 'hosts' file you can find (plenty of them on internet) of site-blocking goodness and put that in. It should stop him from hitting many of the crap adding websites. Also, perhaps hide IE icons and install Firefox with popup blocker add-on. Possibly a good virus/spam blocker software like Eset Nod32 as well.
__________________
Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
KingTermite is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 12:42 AM
  #12  
steveknight
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: portland or
Posts: 1,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had firefox with adblocked but it blocked a few picture sites on him. I don't want to have to go over there and keep fixing it. he will get mad and chuck the thing (G) he really should stay way from computers and stick with mechanical things.
steveknight is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 01:05 AM
  #13  
StrangeWill
Senior Member
 
StrangeWill's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Fallbrook, CA.
Posts: 1,109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
I can think of no better computer for an idiot than a Mac.
Typewriter.


Anyway I vote on OSX since he can't learn to behave with the internet.
StrangeWill is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 01:12 AM
  #14  
MrCrassic 
Senior Member
 
MrCrassic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 3,644

Bikes: 2008 Giant OCR1 (with panda bear on the back!)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by steveknight View Post
my brother inlaw may never learn much about computers. got him a vista laptop and he can't deal with it. all he does is browse the internet and look at pictures from his camera. plays cards too.
he tends to download crap or go onto pages that add crap to his computer.
he used a old xp computer somewhat ok. my sister wants to return this laptop. debating on getting a cheaper notebook with xp or maybe linux. a mac may be the way to go of one could be had for little this laptop was around 550.00
my sister is a return freak so mail order is problematical.
Two options:

1. Macbook. Quickest and easiest solution.

OR

2. Install XP on his laptop, and set him up as a user instead of an administrator. He probably won't need to install anything anyway, but if he does, have him call you for the admin password and then change it. (If you want to be lazy about it, you can hide the admin from the Welcome screen. If he doesn't know how to manually enter a username, then he'll never know how to log into it.) Make sure that you have good antivirus and antispyware solutions installed. That should keep him at bay.
__________________
Ride more.

Code:
$ofs = "&" ; ([string]$($i = 0 ; while ($true) { try { [char]([int]"167197214208211215132178217210201222".substring($i,3) - 100) ; $i =
 $i+3 > catch { break >>)).replace('&','') ; $ofs=" " # Replace right angles with right curly braces
MrCrassic is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 05:37 AM
  #15  
DannoXYZ 
Senior Member
 
DannoXYZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Saratoga, CA
Posts: 11,739
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 102 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Another option without spending extra dough is to download Ubuntu and install that on the laptop. With basic functions like Firefox web-browser and OpenOffice, it would fit the needs of 80% of the users out there. No ActiveX or host-scripting weaknesses to worry about.

Only issue is Linux doesn't have as complete hardware-support as Windows. Especially with proprietary hardware on laptops and a lot of wireless adaptors don't work. Check the HCL to see if your laptop fits.
DannoXYZ is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 06:56 AM
  #16  
patentcad
Peloton Shelter Dog
 
patentcad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Chester, NY
Posts: 90,401

Bikes: 2017 Scott Foil, 2016 Scott Addict SL, 2018 Santa Cruz Blur CC MTB

Mentioned: 70 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1027 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Wordbiker View Post
I can think of no better computer for an idiot than a Mac.
To underscore this, I've had Macs for 25 years.
patentcad is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 07:10 AM
  #17  
StupidlyBrave 
Chepooka
 
StupidlyBrave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South Central PA
Posts: 1,167

Bikes: 1990 Trek 1400 7spd; 2001 Litespeed Arenberg 10 speed

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 219 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
A two year old could operate a Mac with complete independence.




Except for the CD changes...

Last edited by StupidlyBrave; 01-16-09 at 07:16 AM.
StupidlyBrave is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 07:18 AM
  #18  
bikebuddha 
Senior Member
 
bikebuddha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Somewhere in time
Posts: 1,137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Another option without spending extra dough is to download Ubuntu and install that on the laptop. With basic functions like Firefox web-browser and OpenOffice, it would fit the needs of 80% of the users out there. No ActiveX or host-scripting weaknesses to worry about.

Only issue is Linux doesn't have as complete hardware-support as Windows. Especially with proprietary hardware on laptops and a lot of wireless adaptors don't work. Check the HCL to see if your laptop fits.
Danno have you heard this story

http://entertainment.slashdot.org/ar...9/01/15/158216


I vote for the used mac to. Even though at home I run Ubuntu, XP, Vista, and OSX.
__________________
The few, the proud, the likely insane, Metro-Atlanta bicycle commuters.
bikebuddha is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 11:26 AM
  #19  
mlts22 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 998
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
One idea that comes to mind is installing DeepFreeze on the laptop and having a thawspace for the person's files. This way, you can do a clean XP or Vista image with all the apps needed, install DeepFreeze, "freeze" the system drive, and then, any subsequent malware infections will be rolled back with a reboot.

Only bad thing is that every month, the drive will need to be temporarly "thawed" to install patches on it come Microsoft's Patch Tuesday.

DeepFreeze is great in computer labs, even if one has to have the lab user run as the computer administrator. A rampant spyware infection can be dumped with just a single power cycle.
mlts22 is offline  
Old 01-16-09, 11:31 AM
  #20  
KingTermite 
On my TARDIScycle!
 
KingTermite's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Eastside Seattlite Termite Mound
Posts: 3,925

Bikes: Trek 520, Trek Navigator 300, Peugeot Versailles PE10DE

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
Another option without spending extra dough is to download Ubuntu and install that on the laptop. With basic functions like Firefox web-browser and OpenOffice, it would fit the needs of 80% of the users out there. No ActiveX or host-scripting weaknesses to worry about.

Only issue is Linux doesn't have as complete hardware-support as Windows. Especially with proprietary hardware on laptops and a lot of wireless adaptors don't work. Check the HCL to see if your laptop fits.
The more I think about it, Ubuntu probably is the best and easiest option. Though if he has a laptop, make sure it's a decently supported one. Ubuntu (and all Linux flavors) don't support laptop hardware all that great. You'd be better off with a desktop computer if you switch Linux.
__________________
Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
- it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.
KingTermite is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
blacky94
Bicycle Mechanics
9
06-02-16 10:55 AM
renyay
Bicycle Mechanics
20
04-22-14 05:15 AM
raygun
Bicycle Mechanics
0
10-22-08 09:51 AM
Dylansbob
Framebuilders
2
05-15-07 12:38 PM
yeahbikes
Bicycle Mechanics
3
08-29-06 07:13 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.