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New Desktop Configuration

By bscotti ·

I have a client that needs a new workstation to run his business. As a result he needs:
1. Internet access
2. Office Professional Suite
3. AV System
4. Digital Photo Sftw for taking/downloading/store pictures
5. Easy means of backing up his entire system.
6. Communication between Cell Phone/PC
7. Downloading of Catalogs onto his PC/Laptop for customers in field to view.

Can anyone give me a good spec on how to have his PC built (both hardware/software specs) to accommodate his needs and get about 3-4yrs growth from this configuration.

Also because of the amount of viruses this client has been getting, are their any further recommendations that you might suggest to help keep his PC in good working order and free from viruses. Perhaps a good Firewall.

Thanks in advance.

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In all seriousness...

by DC_GUY In reply to New Desktop Configuration

...he really should consider a Macintosh. Especially if he's not very computer-savvy and doesn't want to be.

Mac OS-X rules for photos, voice, AV, and all his other multi-media needs. Artists in all media, including graphic and photo, are Mac's most loyal fans.

The full MS Office suite is available for OS-X. Importing and exporting between the OS-X and Windows environments is transparent.

He can use IE, Netscape, Mozilla, or whatever he's used to on Windows, and there are also Mac-specific browsers that are fully IE-compatible.

Up- and down-loading, including catalogs, streaming video, backups, etc., are a piece of cake on OS-X. We use a removable hard disk for backup. Or he can also go with CD-RW backup depending on what percentage of his files are volatile.

Viruses are not a big headache on Macs for two reasons.

1. Apple builds a new OS for every new generation of hardware. They're not still trying to upgrade an OS that was designed 20 years ago for an 8080 system with a monochrome text-only monitor. As a result each Mac OS is developed under state-of-the-art software project management principles including QA. There are no undiscovered defects like the ones in Windows that have been sitting on your computer waiting to jump at you for six years, left over from Windows 98. Without these built-in wormholes, it's difficult for hackers to find a way into a Mac.

2. There aren't a lot of Macs out there so the hackers don't get much fun out of targeting them.

I guess if I keep talking people into buying Macs that will change. Maybe I should shut up and keep the secret. ^_^

Anyway, people who are unreasonably paranoid about worms and viruses (if that's possible!) tend to love Macs. In two years my wife's anti-virus software has never intercepted a virus on her PowerBook with a 24-7 internet connection. For a while a couple of months ago I was getting hit about once a day on my PC.

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What about support?

by bscotti In reply to In all seriousness...

Since I am not familiar with Apple, how is their support.

Any recommendation on which models to look at?


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Support is excellent

by DC_GUY In reply to What about support?

You never get put on hold for half an hour. You can buy the "Apple Care" three-year package for a flat fee and it entitles you to unlimited calls for both hardware and software.

It's unlikely you'll need on-site repair, people give Macs to three-year-olds and they can't break them. If you do, there are plenty of Apple geeks out there, they just don't have a high profile because they don't make a living at it. Any town with a population over 50,000 has somebody that's qualifed to work on Macs. Most of your local artists, print shops, and ad agencies use them.

As for which model to choose, I'm more familiar with the consumer product line. Right now you can get a really good deal on an e-Mac with a lot of software pre-loaded. Your friend might need something further up the line though, if he's going to be doing power graphics, video, etc.

Check which is a division of Apple, or which is not. Tell them what your friend wants to do and they'll tell you which line of computers he should be looking into. There might even be a live AppleStore near you.

Don't be scared by the prices that your local big box electronics store charges for Macs; they don't seem very interested in actually selling them. You can get some of those machines for 50% less.

With a higher-end machine you may not get as much bundled software as the family models. You may end up paying more than for a PC architecture machine loaded with virus-friendly, user-hostile Grungeware. But you get what you pay for.

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by strandman In reply to New Desktop Configuration

Having worked in most areas of film, video, and post
production for over 25 yrs. There are many practical
reasons to SWITCH to Macintosh computers and
software as your primary system. Why waste so much
time and money applying bandaids to an OS that
requires almost daily repair? If you are resonably
computer savvy, one has to really WORK AT crashing
the new OS X Macs. I have never contracted a virus in
20 years. Macs often repair themselves when they find
a corruption or problem. (I have never heard of a radio
or T.V. show on how to revive a crashed or dead Mac;
there are MANY reasons as to why this is.) When I use
cameras as a professional, I want to spend the time
shooting; to the point where I forget about how to
operate the camera; like riding a bike. When in the
creative 'groove' on one of my 6 macs, I don't have to
have a loop tape running in my head that at any given
moment, my computer WILLcrash and either, break my
train of thought, erase hours.weeks.or months of work.
Of course Macs have their crashes, their moments; but
unless you enjoy constant anxiety, worry, and prefer to
constantly repair your computer vs. creating your vision
with your mind in an almost theta state; consider
upgrading to happiness and peace of mind by
changing your basic Paradigm; switch to being a
Designer and say goodby to tech. support and dead

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by dwdino In reply to SWITCH...

All these horror stories and I have yet to experience a single one.

It has already been proven that any (I repeat any) OS can be and has been cracked. Granted the biggest target is the "800 pound gorilla".

I would suggest you work from the top down. Find the software most beneficial to your customer which the customer is most comfortable using. Then provide the necessary hardware and OS to support it.

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