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I am not really very computer literate

My PC at home (a Compaq Presario) currently is partitioned into a 7.35 GB main drive and a 2 GB backup. Both are practically full. Our needs have changed in the last few months, as Fergal has discovered games and I have discovered, cough, archived videos. We've had it for just over five years.

Is there hope? Can I add much extra memory to it without having to resort to buying a new machine? If I do get a new computer, is it worth while considering getting one that I can just plug into the existing peripherals (printer, monitor/microphone, speakers)?

Your advice is welcome.


May. 7th, 2006 11:22 am (UTC)
No problem with clanwilliam's suggestions.

It seems to me that a machine with a 10Gb hard disk is pretty old (>five years you say!)and you will probably be best off buying a new one. Consider that I recently bought 2x250Gb hard disks and am thinking of doing the same thing again because they are full :-)

It would be possible to swap the old hard disk for a bigger one. That would involve the least cost but you would need a fair amount of expertise in copying over all the software. You may of course buy a hard disk which is too new to work in your old machine.

May. 7th, 2006 11:31 am (UTC)
Yes, I'm increasingly convinced of all of that. Thanks.
May. 7th, 2006 11:32 am (UTC)
I'd give pretty much the same advice.

An good quality, entry level, no-brand machine with 40Gb HD, 256M RAM and a 2.6Ghz Celeron processor should cost less than €400 inc VAT (not including the monitor). A slightly more realistic spec would cost closer to €600 inc VAT.
May. 7th, 2006 11:46 am (UTC)
Does anyone still make 40Gb hard drives (other than iPod sized ones)?

Last time I was in Toys'R'Us(!) they were selling laptops -- not very light and probably with a crap battery life, but it's still a PC with a flat panel display and a UPS -- for £400 that met that spec.

If you're doing video you want the biggest drive you can get. The good news is, the introduction of Seagate's new 750Gb drive is probably going to push down the price of 300Gb drives over the next few months. I've been seeing prices of about &#euro; 0.9/Gb in the shops. So you might want to get a basic entry-level PC-plus-monitor package, and spend a little extra on a better video card (for gaming) and a second h-u-g-e hard disk (for storing movies).
May. 7th, 2006 02:16 pm (UTC)
Seagate still make a 3.5" 40Gb Ultra-ATA drive. The price I was quoting was based on the low-end systems from Transtec, a reliable and reasonably priced system supplier that we use extensively at work. As it is, they're charging around €0.43/Gb on 250Gb Hitachi ATA drives in assembled systems, so your thumbnail retail estimate of €0.9/Gb is probably an overestimate, even allowing for high street gouging.

But yes, I concur with your advice - the incremental cost of more disk space is so low that there's really no reason not to buy as much as you can comfortably afford.

It makes me want to weep when I remember that I paid £380 for a 420*Mb* IDE HD back in 1994.
May. 8th, 2006 03:21 am (UTC)
Last time I bought computer parts (a month or two ago) I did see 40GB drives, although it's about the smallest drive you can get, and there's little point since you can get twice as big a drive for a pittance more.

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