Coffeehouse Thread

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A question that seems to have no clear answer

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  • User profile image
    Skeptical

    First some background (hope you don't mind to give you a little perspective):

    Maybe I am a dinosaur in today's IT world (I have written my first programming using punch cards), and totally lost interest in the structures of OS's. I am simply a simple user, especially in the small business I am trying to run. All we do is some writing (called "word processing" nowadays) and calculations (spreadsheets) fro making our planning, invoices, receipts and reports. We do basic bookkeeping with an easy to use package. And, of course, we stay in touch with our clients through e-mail, facebook and our website.

    Well, our office is up for renewal, probably 2 desktops and 1 or 2 laptops, ideally to be implemented in a small network to be able to share files. So, now the actual question: what is wise: Should I stick to PC's with WIN7, step up to WIN8 or choose for a Mac? We are basically using no more than: Word, Excel. Outlook, PhotoShop and Simply Accounting.

    So far, no one has been able to give me straightforward advise without the tech talk. Anyone?

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    Simply Accounting needs a PC from what I can see on the Sage site. So you can't move to a mac unless you want to get into the mess of choosing a new accountancy package and migration, or configuring virtual machines, getting a windows license for those virtual machines and putting your accountancy software in there.

    As for the Win7 versus Win8, I'll be honest, I don't think it matters. Do you want your start menu in the bottom left hand corner behind a button, or in your face when you login. Either OS will support networking (via homegroups is simplest). Facebook just needs a browser, your email won't change, etc.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Word, Excel, Outlook are better on Windows than on OSX. There is no version of Simply Accounting for the Mac. Photoshop is more or less the same.

    Windows 7 or Windows 8 are your only options here, unless you want to create OSX frankenbuild with Parallels and additional Windows licenses (suggestion: no).

    I am wondering who you asked and what kind of answers you got, as there are really no options to Windows here...

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    , Skeptical wrote

     So far, no one has been able to give me straightforward advise without the tech talk. Anyone?

    "It depends", is the clearest possible advice available

     

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    Win7 instead, because there is no need to learn Win8 from office perspective. Also Win7 comes with awesome system image backup. Win8 also has it, but, if you are not familiar with Windows7, the additional extra 4 more choices will confuse you, and none of them actual do true image backup, unless you go deeper to find the seemly hidden Win7 Image backup.

     

     You also get the same problem on other apps on Win8 because there are several duplicated apps on Win8, which is confusing and downright annoying. And it will try to open photo on slower version when it is incapable to see the next photo in the same folder. No need to bother with those things until they fix this replication mess in the future.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    Skeptical

    @blowdart:Thanks, that makes sense, and as said: I am rusted into old habits. I still use XP for the simple interface, my brain apparently does not work well with icons or buttons if they do not have text in it. I know it sounds dumb, but I am still mixing up the Outlook and Explorer icons on the old fashioned desktop screen, because they are both yellow.
    I even set my photo directory to "details", because all these thumbnails confuse me.

    @PaoloM: Thanks as well, very clear and to the point as well.

     

  • User profile image
    Skeptical

    @vesuvius:what is clear about that?

     

  • User profile image
    Skeptical

    @PaoloM: Just wanted to add that where I live (far, far north) there are not many savvy consultants. We have just 3 shops up here: Source and Staples and the kids working there have no clue what I am talking about, they use their computers for leisure. The third one is a distributor for Apple.

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    Windows 7 or Windows 8 would be fine for you usage.

    I'd try out a Windows 8 machine in a store before you make your final decision. The interface is completely new, but does open up a lot of cool possibilities with future software.

  • User profile image
    Skeptical

    @spivonious:Unfortunately, not so much to try in the shops up here. BTW, can't think of any future software that may be helpful to my business, other than a word processor, spreadsheet, e-mailing, bookkeeping, browsing and photo editing for our website. That's all you need to run my kind of business efficiently, all the rest is distraction. Good for leisure time, not for the office.

  • User profile image
    Skeptical

    So, sticking to PC's seems to be the smart choice. Any brands to be recommended?

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    Building your own PC's is the MOST affordable route, but not for everyone. I'd use NewEgg to look for components if this is your choice.

    I guess you order PCs online to be shipped. Dell is a common choice...

  • User profile image
    Skeptical

    @JohnAskew: Thanks! So far, we just have purchased some peripherals here, brought the rest with us when we moved here. So, I have never used Dell. I am bit concerned about service, especially regarding the time to solve an issue. Anyway, will for sure have a look at it. NewEgg too, as I used to build my own, although that is a long time ago.

     

  • User profile image
    cbae

    , JohnAskew wrote

    Building your own PC's is the MOST affordable route, but not for everyone. I'd use NewEgg to look for components if this is your choice.

    I guess you order PCs online to be shipped. Dell is a common choice...

    @Skeptical:

    I'm starting to feel like a CL-pimp, but you can get some great deals on Craigslist on pre-owned Dell computers, which allow transferring of service warranties if that's a concern.

  • User profile image
    vesuvius

    , Skeptical wrote

    @JohnAskew: Thanks! So far, we just have purchased some peripherals here, brought the rest with us when we moved here. So, I have never used Dell. I am bit concerned about service, especially regarding the time to solve an issue. Anyway, will for sure have a look at it. NewEgg too, as I used to build my own, although that is a long time ago.

     

    It depends if you want to save money and build a machine yourself or if you want to purchase a machine with an extended 3 year warranty with next day repair or replace.

    It depends on how competent your staff are with IT as they will need to retrain to use Windows 8

    It depends on whether your business intends to collaborate with other businesses, sending them spreadsheets and word documents, whether you opt for a mac or a pc

    it depends on the budget you have available, a few hundred, or tens of thousands of dollars

    Is that getting clearer?

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    "probably 2 desktops and 1 or 2 laptops"

    "Word, Excel. Outlook, PhotoShop and Simply Accounting"

    Am I correct in assuming that you have no IT department? While building your own PCs is fun, and gives a better value, you'll probably be too busy running your business to deal with fixing issues and dealing with Newegg for replacement parts. Pay the extra money to get the support from Dell/HP/Asus/Lenovo/whichever OEM you choose. Time to solve the issue will be almost identical. You're paying for someone else to deal with it. Budget $500-$750 for each PC and $1000-$1500 for each laptop.

    For those apps, you'll get the best experience on Windows. Personally, I'd get Windows 8 so you're running the latest version. Yes, the new start screen takes some getting used to, but if you opt for machines with touchscreens, many of the complaints about clunky mouse interactions disappear.

    Photoshop likes memory and CPU, so I'd look at machines with at least 4GB of RAM and an i5 or i7 CPU. The other apps have minimal hardware requirements. Spend more on the hardware now, and they'll last you a lot longer.

  • User profile image
    JohnAskew

    , spivonious wrote

    "probably 2 desktops and 1 or 2 laptops"

    "Word, Excel. Outlook, PhotoShop and Simply Accounting"

    Am I correct in assuming that you have no IT department? While building your own PCs is fun, and gives a better value, you'll probably be too busy running your business to deal with fixing issues and dealing with Newegg for replacement parts. Pay the extra money to get the support from Dell/HP/Asus/Lenovo/whichever OEM you choose. Time to solve the issue will be almost identical. You're paying for someone else to deal with it. Budget $500-$750 for each PC and $1000-$1500 for each laptop.

    For those apps, you'll get the best experience on Windows. Personally, I'd get Windows 8 so you're running the latest version. Yes, the new start screen takes some getting used to, but if you opt for machines with touchscreens, many of the complaints about clunky mouse interactions disappear.

    Photoshop likes memory and CPU, so I'd look at machines with at least 4GB of RAM and an i5 or i7 CPU. The other apps have minimal hardware requirements. Spend more on the hardware now, and they'll last you a lot longer.

    Let's imagine Nome Alaska. How long for Dell to service the hardware? I'd rather choose my own better components and build a far superior machine to Dell's for a fraction of the cost. Hardware failures are rare, imho, re: mission critical 24/7 or just simple use...

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