Spike Brewing 12.5 Conical Fermenter Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Community > General Chit Chat > Father in law wants me to help him buy his first EVER computer

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-29-2011, 07:29 PM   #1
Soperbrew
Who rated my beer?
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Soperbrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Posts: 2,598
Liked 65 Times on 64 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default Father in law wants me to help him buy his first EVER computer

I'm not looking forward to this, but I've been asked to help the FIL buy a laptop. He's 67 and never used a computer before. I think all he wants it for is email, viewing family picture CDs, and maybe play a DVD movie.

He's been showing me ads for extremely cheap laptop systems in the $250-300 range. I haven't kept up on the technology recently so I'm not sure what level of system he'll need so he won't get something too low end that won't play DVDs without being all choppy.

Any suggestions on relatively inexpensive laptop models that don't have a bunch of bells & whistles he'll never use that would have enough memory/cpu speed to play a standard DVD?

Soperbrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2011, 07:34 PM   #2
TomSD
Da Geek
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
TomSD's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Lemon Grove, CA, CA
Posts: 1,449
Liked 31 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

If he is just a basic user (single app, email, web surfing, music/dvds) then a netbook would probably be plenty for him (those 250 dollar laptops). I would google around for netbooks and read up on some hands on reviews or head to head type articles to see which one would suit his needs best and has the best track record.

__________________

Johnson Controller rewire
| Keezer (FCM7SUWW) build | Love Controller box build | Soda Syrups/Concentrates

God is an imaginary friend for grownups., Walter Crewes (Morgan Freeman), The Big Bounce

Don't be afraid to ask dumb questions they're easier to handle than dumb mistakes!
TomSD is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2011, 07:37 PM   #3
Revvy
Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Revvy's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: "Detroitish" Michigan
Posts: 40,804
Liked 2726 Times on 1634 Posts
Likes Given: 3485

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomSD View Post
If he is just a basic user (single app, email, web surfing, music/dvds) then a netbook would probably be plenty for him (those 250 dollar laptops). I would google around for netbooks and read up on some hands on reviews or head to head type articles to see which one would suit his needs best and has the best track record.
But most netbooks don't have dvd players, that's one of the things eliminated to cut size and cost. I'm looking at netbooks now, because I don't need/want a dvd drive, and just want to surf the web with it.

Soper, if he didn't want a dvd player any of those under 300 net/notebooks would be great. But I think you're going to have to go into the 4-600 range for a machine with a cd/dvd drive.
__________________

Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.

Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman

I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew

Revvy is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2011, 07:41 PM   #4
SenorPepe
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 688
Liked 18 Times on 15 Posts
Likes Given: 20

Default

I have a free Dell Mini 10 I got with a cell phone contract. It's pretty low-end and it does everything I could ask of it and more. That is, except for play DVDs. It doesn't bother me because most everything I own is digital. But for FIL, get a cheap laptop by a reputable manufacturer and you should be golden, in my non-expert opinion.

__________________
SenorPepe is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2011, 07:51 PM   #5
Soperbrew
Who rated my beer?
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Soperbrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Posts: 2,598
Liked 65 Times on 64 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

I'm pretty sure he'll want to use it for DVDs. Also he's 67 so I think he'll need at least a 15" display.

Soperbrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2011, 07:51 PM   #6
TomSD
Da Geek
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
TomSD's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Lemon Grove, CA, CA
Posts: 1,449
Liked 31 Times on 22 Posts
Likes Given: 15

Default

There are a couple but I didn't realize until I looked them up that they are priced up there with cheap laptops. There are some key factors though you need to consider before picking a laptop/netbook...

What features are important (IE: DVD, BlueTooth, wifi, etc)?
What kind of battery life do you expect/need?
How large a screen will he need/want?
How portable/lite does it need to be?
Are they a power user (multiple apps open, video processing, gaming, etc)?
Will they need a large drive for media files and the like?

Those will really narrow down your choices and help you in your search for one that fits all of their needs without ending up with something that doesn't do what they want or ends up being too much for them. Those aren't so much questions to answer here as to use as a basis for your search though I imagine if you list some of your preferences here you'll probably get some good suggestions.

__________________

Johnson Controller rewire
| Keezer (FCM7SUWW) build | Love Controller box build | Soda Syrups/Concentrates

God is an imaginary friend for grownups., Walter Crewes (Morgan Freeman), The Big Bounce

Don't be afraid to ask dumb questions they're easier to handle than dumb mistakes!
TomSD is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2011, 07:54 PM   #7
passedpawn
Waste Allocation Load Lifter - Earth Class
HBT_MODERATOR.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
passedpawn's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: ☼ Clearwater, FL ☼
Posts: 18,471
Liked 3153 Times on 1968 Posts
Likes Given: 2666

Default

Dell has good support. Their Studio series are nice laptops. I can't stand laptops myself, but I've bought these for my kids and they are decent machines.

__________________
What Would Vermeer Paint?
passedpawn is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2011, 07:58 PM   #8
Soperbrew
Who rated my beer?
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Soperbrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Chandler, Arizona
Posts: 2,598
Liked 65 Times on 64 Posts
Likes Given: 11

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomSD View Post
There are a couple but I didn't realize until I looked them up that they are priced up there with cheap laptops. There are some key factors though you need to consider before picking a laptop/netbook...

What features are important (IE: DVD, BlueTooth, wifi, etc)?
What kind of battery life do you expect/need?
How large a screen will he need/want?
How portable/lite does it need to be?
Are they a power user (multiple apps open, video processing, gaming, etc)?
Will they need a large drive for media files and the like?

Those will really narrow down your choices and help you in your search for one that fits all of their needs without ending up with something that doesn't do what they want or ends up being too much for them. Those aren't so much questions to answer here as to use as a basis for your search though I imagine if you list some of your preferences here you'll probably get some good suggestions.
I'd say important features are DVD, Wifi. I doubt he'll need much for HD so anything over like 200Gb would probably be fine.

Battery power & mobility are not very important. He'll probably have it sitting on a desk 95% of the time and only take it somewhere once in awhile. He might use it throughout the house with wifi.

Not a power user at all.
__________________
NHC 2012 pics

NHC 2011 pics

NHC 2010 pics
Soperbrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2011, 08:00 PM   #9
luke2080
Insert Witty Title Here..
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
luke2080's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 452
Liked 17 Times on 16 Posts

Default

Is he really going to use it as a laptop? (Is he going to be moving it around?)

For a laptop, he won't need the processing speed or memory most of us would need. Unless he has a ton of digital pics, most PCs start with 320 GB memory, which I never have come close to using.

This is a decent one for the money. Bad reviews on the keyboard, but I'm also guessing your FIL isn't typing away like mad so that shouldn't be an issue.

The Dell Online Store: Build Your System

__________________
luke2080 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-29-2011, 08:02 PM   #10
the_bird
10th-Level Beer Nerd
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
the_bird's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Adams, MA
Posts: 20,487
Liked 360 Times on 297 Posts
Likes Given: 95

Default

Does he really *need* a laptop? If this is his first computer, it's not like he's likely going to start carrying it around with him wherever he goes. And, obviously it's pretty cheap to get a big flatscreen for a desktop machine.

__________________
Come join Yankee Ingenuity!

"I'm kind of toasted. But I looked at my watch and it's only 6:30 so I can't stop drinking yet." - Yooper's Bob
"Brown eye finally recovered after the abuse it endured in Ptown last weekend, but it took almost a full week." - Paulie
"no, he just doesn't speak 'stupid'. i, however, am fluent...." - motobrewer
"... I'll go both ways." - Melana

That'll do, Pigley. That'll do.
the_bird is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply


Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Restoring Computer speed for the computer illiterate? Sea General Chit Chat 21 11-30-2008 01:58 AM
Father of the year??? wihophead General Chit Chat 2 09-24-2008 07:40 PM
I need computer help! Freezing Computer Kayos General Chit Chat 58 06-06-2008 01:47 PM
New father bragging... OtherWhiteMeat General Chit Chat 19 12-11-2005 11:44 PM
My father is crazy kornkob General Chit Chat 16 10-26-2005 12:00 AM