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I have a windows 7 machine that's working we'll with all the software I need for business. My old XP machine I have for backup is beginning to really struggle.

I can get another new windows 7 machine for under $400. Do you think it's a good idea to get one now and set it up as a backup with all the software I currently use?

I like all the programs I currently have and don't anticipate making any big changes.

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I have a windows 7 machine that's working we'll with all the software I need for business. My old XP machine I have for backup is beginning to really struggle.

I can get another new windows 7 machine for under $400. Do you think it's a good idea to get one now and set it up as a backup with all the software I currently use?

I like all the programs I currently have and don't anticipate making any big changes.

Why not backup to Carbonite or other similar services for around $60 a year? I can see having a second machine ready to go, but then I can also see saving the dollars if you do not really need to spend them.

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Contemplating the availability of windows 7 machine in the future. That's kinda the reason I might move on one now. I'm not too worried about program or data backup. I just want the ability to move forward seamlessly in the event of a hardware failure, physical damage, loss --- stuff like that.

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It's not a bad idea, but if you're all backed up, it's easy enough to get a machine when you need it, copy the goods, and go back to work.

But, I'd never try to talk you out of getting new machinery; it's comforting to have multiple machines.

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I just went through the process and got a new/refurbished laptop from Dell with their business line called: Latitude.

I've had Latitudes for years dating back to when I was with AT&T Labs. They are (for me) a rock solid laptop.

The new unit is now my main inspection/business unit and I've moved the other laptop over to my Ham Radio work.

The laptop I was using for my Ham Radio will soon be scrubbed and I'll be handing it down to my neices' kids.

The new units all have Windows 7 and it works well for me as I migrated from XP-Pro that I really liked and was stable.

W-7 might (repeat 'might') be as long term stable as XP-Pro at least for what I use the O/S for. I'm avoiding W-8 like the plague.

With the two Dell Latitudes in my office/Ham Shack and the one my wife has we're currently at three in the household.

After reading and re-reading posts from KM about Apple and their products I just couldn't bring myself to make that jump. I do have an iPhone and iPad and enjoy both very much, but figured I would be wrapping my mind around too many things to get things done that I can rather easily do now.

I'm sure it is all about learning and understanding the Apple OS, but I just wasn't willing to step on that ice.

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Avoiding windows 8 was part of my game plan.

My old XP machine is a Dell Vostro. My current windows 7 machine is an HP. I don't like the HP keyboard too much but everything else is ok. The squared off HP keys cause me to mis-type too frequently.

I like the Dell keyboards better with their tapered key edges. They are more forgiving on fumbling fingers like mine.

Dell will be my next buy.

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I'm sure it is all about learning and understanding the Apple OS, but I just wasn't willing to step on that ice.

I agree. I understand what I already have and it works fine for the current needs. Besides, I don't have time to go through a learning curve.

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John:

My advice would be to get the back up system. My reports are backed up using Carbonite as well as on the cloud with the software company. My laptop and my desktop both have the software I need to process my reports. As an additional backup, my wife's desktop is a mirror of mine. For me, I would rather go get the new computer after I got the report done, rather than rush to get the computer and rush to finish the report, but that's just me.

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I'm sure it is all about learning and understanding the Apple OS, but I just wasn't willing to step on that ice.

This isn't a pitch for iOS as better than MS, 'cuz I really don't care what machinery one uses. But, it's not at all complicated or hard to learn. It takes about 15 minutes to figure out the differences. Process for process, it's actually much simpler than MS in all sorts of ways.

I know one thing; everyone that switches really digs it. I don't know anyone that's gone back to MS after enjoying the integration of a real operating system.

OTOH, the new round of MS based touch screens are really cool. I dearly wish Apple would come out with a touch screen laptop.

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I don't get the fascination with touch screens. Sure they're intuitive enough for my 2YO to operate, but I find them clumsy to operate with my big paws.

My wife has a 7" Galaxy tablet and by the 5 minute mark I'm so frustrated with it I am literally ready to toss it out the window. By the seven minute mark I either shut it off or hand it to my boy to avoid acting on the previous impulse. It's completely useless.

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If one is doing data input with lots of pull down menus, a touch screen with a stylus is about as good as it gets.

Also, it's about interface design; if it's designed for small hands or laid out poorly, they're no fun.

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I much prefer my mac over the PC I have. The problem is I use HomeGuage and they don't make a mac version, but there is hope! I contacted them a few weeks ago and thy expect to have an IPad version this summers.

Macs not working with HomeGauge and not accepting memory cards is a big negative for me. If that was not the case then I might make the jump.

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One thing about Carbonite is that if your back up is windows, you can't restore to a mac and vice versa, but you can still go on the site and grab individual files and download them to your mac or pc.

Google drive is also convenient. You can retrieve your stuff no matter what you're on: phone, tablet, mac, pc, etc.

I transfer stuff all the time between my mac and my android devices via google drive.

Chris, Oregon

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Google Drive is way cool. Way. It's a great place to store stuff.

I used Carbonite for a few years, but it's gone bush league so I dumped it. It's really for the grandmother that's backing up her photos and stuff.

Syncplicity or Sugarsync are full tilt cloud synchronizing programs that are amazing. The only problem is if one uses relational database software. RDB software is constantly backing up, and you can find your DB looking for other files that aren't backed up to the same degree as the source file. It can really screw things up.

Eric, why do you think Mac doesn't accept memory cards? I use all manner of cards on all my Mac's, including my iPad. Is there something going on where a Mac spit out your memory card?

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I have a windows 7 machine that's working we'll with all the software I need for business. My old XP machine I have for backup is beginning to really struggle.

I can get another new windows 7 machine for under $400. Do you think it's a good idea to get one now and set it up as a backup with all the software I currently use?

I like all the programs I currently have and don't anticipate making any big changes.

No, John, I would wait till next year and get a better deal on a better notebook or laptop.

Any computer geek worth his salt can keep you running Windows 7 on any machine for another half a decade or so, until they stop supporting it entirely like they will do with XP in 2014, no more XP updates.

I had Windows 3.1 on 12 floppy discs. Then I had XP Pro on a disc thru 3 or 4 desktops. Now I'm running Vista on 2 machines, not even needing the OS on a disc anymore. In a couple of years we will be plugging keyboards into our cellphones, virtual hard drives.

PS you already know this but maybe forgot. XP maybe just needs to be refreshed, defrag the hard drive, delete a bunch of stuff, run spyware anti virus and updates, etc. Take it in and get it setup with Win 7 maybe?

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I have a windows 7 machine that's working we'll with all the software I need for business. My old XP machine I have for backup is beginning to really struggle.

I can get another new windows 7 machine for under $400. Do you think it's a good idea to get one now and set it up as a backup with all the software I currently use?

I like all the programs I currently have and don't anticipate making any big changes.

No, John, I would wait till next year and get a better deal on a better notebook or laptop.

Any computer geek worth his salt can keep you running Windows 7 on any machine for another half a decade or so, until they stop supporting it entirely like they will do with XP in 2014, no more XP updates.

I had Windows 3.1 on 12 floppy discs. Then I had XP Pro on a disc thru 3 or 4 desktops. Now I'm running Vista on 2 machines, not even needing the OS on a disc anymore. In a couple of years we will be plugging keyboards into our cellphones, virtual hard drives.

PS you already know this but maybe forgot. XP maybe just needs to be refreshed, defrag the hard drive, delete a bunch of stuff, run spyware anti virus and updates, etc. Take it in and get it setup with Win 7 maybe?

I'm familiar with all the maintenance procedures and I keep up on them. But I think the drive is about to fail. Either that or some kind of memory jam or failure. I can boot up but after I take two steps it locks up and forces me into a hard shut down. It's an old enough machine I doubt the motherboard can support enough memory be efficient in todays cyber metropolis. Especially with an upgraded OS like W7. It's really time to move on.

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With decent computers costing less than a moisture detection device, it's kinda silly to not get a new machine.

OTOH, you could always put a nickel on top of the arm of the hard drive to hold it in the groove. (not funny to anyone <60 years old)

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If I get 5 years out of a PC, I'm lucky. Like John D says, it's usually either the hard drive or insufficient memory capability for today's software.

Even my Vista now occasionally pegs at 100% with the memory gigs already at the machine's maximum. Nothing taps a memory like Adobe software.

I've a 2 TB external drive that I use to store backups.

Marc

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