New computer advice

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Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
"...Did read that they have 5 years update only..."
As XRV John has mentioned, LTS versions provide five years of support, you can expect there to be several LTS releases during that five year period, so you are expected to move on to one of them during the five year support for the version you are using.

In other words, the support doesn't run out if you update occasionally (which is an automated process, tick the box and press the go button).
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,530
467
Inside the wire, Llanelli
Ubuntu is definitely worth a look and the 'live' CD system means provided there’s enough memory you can try it out without actually installing to your existing computers hard drive.
For older equipment and in particular Hewlett Packard gear where graphics drivers are sometimes a PITA then 'Puppy' Linux comes to the rescue. Not as slick looking as Ubuntu or Mint but just as capable.
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
65
south wales
I went over to Ubuntu just after it first became available and have never regretted it in the slightest, I got the hang of it straight off as it's really not that different from Microsoft os's for the end user, everything works the same except for having to get used to small details as with anything new. I've never had a single problem with it, there are huge resources readily available online anyway, and I've never had to install a driver - everything has always worked straight out of the box. I get constant trouble-free updates, there's a huge range of software available and all this is free!!!

The latest incarnations of Ubuntu are super smooth, not at all resource hungry and totally free of any bloatware; I regularly send all sorts of documents to others using Microsoft and have never once had a compatibility
issue. And if you really feel the need, you can pay a reasonable fee to Canonical for technical support as a belt and braces thing for a business.
As a good Welsh lad you'll know about 'potch', for the English a 'potch' is a bit of a mess, so something is a potch/potchy, your like potching or are a potcher and sorry to say I find Ubuntu a bit of a potch lol. Its no big deal for me because I'm fine with computers and will have a potch shortly with Ubuntu again but to be honest a few months ago I did a clean install of W7 Pro on a new 500GB SSD, it found everything, scanner, printer etc and just worked; the only thing I had to do was set up disk sharing to our main smart TV and this is what people want, simple and working.

For me also its the software I use, Office 2013, Photoshop, Corel Draw etc, its windows based.
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
270
70
SE Wales
Gaming on Linuz is naff too ?
I have to admit that I don't do gaming or any graphics so can't make a judgement on those aspects, which are probably very important for other users. My comments are purely on a "speak as you find" basis. :)
 

Old Bones

Settler
Oct 14, 2009
740
63
East Anglia
Linux can be a real PITA at times, I'd say stick with Windows if thats what your used to
My brother is fairly senior in the IT dept of an insurance group (which has just been taken over by an even larger group, so he's waiting to see what happens!), and so has all the latest kit, etc. He's tried Linux, etc, and although he likes a challenge, even he couldn't be bothered with it much in the end. If Windows (and its going to be Windows 8 these days) works for you, keep it simple. If you want to enter the brave world of Linux, etc, you can always dual boot your shiny new laptop later!

I agree that £300 is going to be tight for a 15.6in screen with a 1TB harddrive, with a powerful processor. I dont really do the computers where I work, since I'm really TV's, but since the laptop I'm using has seen better days, I've had a quick chat with the guys on that section. Their advice is not to worry too much about the exact spped of the chip, but as others of mentioned, get the biggest HDD and most RAM for your money. If your not too bothered about AMD chips, then this might be worth a look:

http://www.johnlewis.com/lenovo-g50-45-laptop-amd-a8-8gb-ram-1tb-15-6-black/p1759617

Although you can go second hand, its worth looking at what we call Branch Mark Down's. In the above store they will have a red ticket (normally saying 'reduced to clear', which generally means they've come back from a customer for various reasons, or 'ex display', which speaks for itself). Since people return laptops for all sorts of reasons (I hated the keyboard on mine), you might get a good deal, since they've all got full two year warrenties. Summer Clearance is coming up too.

Remember that laptops get renewed on a three month cycle - there are four 'new models' a year, so there is a bit of churn. That means that an end of line machine might not be that old.

As for software, the basic MS Office (I think) still comes with machines, I often use Open Office on my older one. On the other hand, if your office is using Excel as standard, your going to need to get something which works with it fine. I'm sure someone can steer you to a cheapish version!

As for where you buy it from, thats up to you. I have to admit that buying computers online has not always worked for me. Its really worth touching the machine, just to try out the keyboard, etc. If its awkward in the store, its not going to get any better at home. And get an external HDD to back up everything ASAP. They are really cheap now (500gb for £35), although you can also use the Cloud.
 
Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
"...On the other hand, if your office is using Excel as standard, your going to need to get something which works with it fine. I'm sure someone can steer you to a cheapish version!..."
For work I am sent quite large, multi-sheet excel documents, lots of formatting and formulae, these are mostly kit lists with separate sheets for contractor hours etc.

I don't own a copy of Excel or Office.

I open the excel files emailed to me in Google's 'cloud' office. I make changes, add sheets if needed and then email those documents back to various developers, architects, electricians etc.

They will be using versions of Excel running on PCs or Macs and no one has reported a problem with the files I'm returning to them.

So if you want to save some money, don't spend lots on a copy of Office.

Google Drive is free (well, you don't have to part with any cash that is)

:)
 
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Swallow

Native
May 27, 2011
1,543
2
London
Libre Office is available free for all platforms. Office compatible (though they don't like each other's pivot tables much).

Firefox hello requires no software on your machine or an account to sign into.

Why a laptop though?

Angst of this parish built 4 desktops for around £400.00. With, I understand, the flashiest one trashing anything new.

Dell desktops start at under £200.00. Don't know how good they are but if you are not gaming or something, how much power do you need?

I also heard that Ubuntu phone OS will behave as a full desktop OS whenever docked (whatever that means).

If you have an old laptop I would seriously consider putting Ubuntu on it and see how you get on. Libre Office is built into that for starters. You can also get Virtual Box for free and have a windows virtual machine if necessary.
 

jmagee

Forager
Aug 20, 2014
122
6
Cumbria
I've been looking recently and come across Argos clearance on eBay. For £250 you'll get an Acer with an i5 processor 500gb hard drive and 6gb ram which can be upgraded to 16gb.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,553
639
Lancashire
Got nowhere handy to put a desktop and the cost of monitors on top seem to make them cost more than a laptop I think.
 

jmagee

Forager
Aug 20, 2014
122
6
Cumbria
Oddly my post suggesting Argos eBay outlet seems to have disappeared.

Worth a look although they are refurbished shouldn't really be any problems and have a 12mth warranty.

Ps I am a real person. Haven't posted much as I'm more a want to be bushcrafter
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
12
Scotland
Libre Office is available free for all platforms. Office compatible (though they don't like each other's pivot tables much).

Firefox hello requires no software on your machine or an account to sign into.

Why a laptop though?

Angst of this parish built 4 desktops for around £400.00. With, I understand, the flashiest one trashing anything new.

Dell desktops start at under £200.00. Don't know how good they are but if you are not gaming or something, how much power do you need?

I also heard that Ubuntu phone OS will behave as a full desktop OS whenever docked (whatever that means).

If you have an old laptop I would seriously consider putting Ubuntu on it and see how you get on. Libre Office is built into that for starters. You can also get Virtual Box for free and have a windows virtual machine if necessary.
I'm another advocate of LibreOffice, especially when MS now trying to skin you annually with their Office 365 package.
As said compatable both ways, has an XL type bit called Calc.
Must say if anything I find Libre more user friendly.
It may be a bit vanilla of me but I bought my present laptop for under £300 as I needed it in a hurry. That said it has a pretty good quad core processor, 1TB HDD and all the processing power I need. More importantly the battery life is awesome with about an 8 hour life.

Sent via smoke-signal from a woodland in Scotland.
 
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Ciaopaddy

Member
Sep 27, 2005
37
0
47
Co.Galway
Libreoffice or even Kingsoft Office. I'm not a fan of the cloud as all that is is storing your data on someone else's drive and has huge privacy implications. Microsoft are going down the tie you into a subscription road. I despise them and I used to work for them. I run Linux Mint myself, truly superb, and linux can generally be installed alongside windows if you need to keep it for some reason. Dell are now selling cheap laptops with Linux pre-installed too as are several other vendors.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,553
639
Lancashire
Yes, ubuntu and they seem cheaper too. Must be the £70 or so for Windows. I wonder why ms aren't more into the free OS and rely on making money from their ecosystem. I'm thinking the old software model is getting tired but I know nothing. I'm just a fan of android just wish it was on a proper computer and not just phones, tablets and I'm guessing on chromebooks too in some way.

Linux is just a bit unknown to me. If there was some kind way to try it out withoutv getting a computer with it. Sort of a demonstration app on android to stimulate it. Or some simulation on Windows. I've used ms office alternatives in the past. Whilst they were compatible with office they just weren't quite there compared to office.

I'd be tempted by ubuntu and libre office if I could take a look and seriously try out what it can do. I've never been fan of major office changes neither but do learn their tricks eventually. However the current excel and even word just seems to make some things hard to get to compared to pre-2003 version IMHO.
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
12
Scotland
Yes, ubuntu and they seem cheaper too. Must be the £70 or so for Windows. I wonder why ms aren't more into the free OS and rely on making money from their ecosystem. I'm thinking the old software model is getting tired but I know nothing. I'm just a fan of android just wish it was on a proper computer and not just phones, tablets and I'm guessing on chromebooks too in some way.

Linux is just a bit unknown to me. If there was some kind way to try it out withoutv getting a computer with it. Sort of a demonstration app on android to stimulate it. Or some simulation on Windows. I've used ms office alternatives in the past. Whilst they were compatible with office they just weren't quite there compared to office.

I'd be tempted by ubuntu and libre office if I could take a look and seriously try out what it can do. I've never been fan of major office changes neither but do learn their tricks eventually. However the current excel and even word just seems to make some things hard to get to compared to pre-2003 version IMHO.
Libre Office is a free download; you can donate if you wish. LINK
 

XRV John

Nomad
Jan 23, 2015
256
26
Scunthorpe
Linux is just a bit unknown to me. If there was some kind way to try it out withoutv getting a computer with it. Sort of a demonstration app on android to stimulate it.
It's called a Live CD (but they are DVDs). Pop it in, reboot from it and you get to see if it recognises all your hardware and you can try out the software. If you like what you see there is an install to hard disk option
 

unruly

Member
Jan 8, 2014
47
0
Suthriganaweorc
I've been exclusively using Linux for the last 10 years. I started out with Ubuntu and now use Arch.
I wouldn't got for Ubuntu if I was starting to use Linux now; probably Linux Mint. It's based on Ubuntu but with some of the crud stripped out but apparently still very user friendly.
I also use LibreOffice for business use and have never had any difficulties with it.

How about this?