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Guest symbioticdesign

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Guest symbioticdesign


I'm usually a graphic designer, but I love to play with tech.  Lately, I've been concentrating on phones too much.  My old PCs were just always working, like troopers, until the past year and a half or so, and then its been one thing after another.

I have 4 laptop issues... 

  1. A Sony Vaio has a lid that won't open much (broken hinges, apparently) that I was using with an external monitor, but recently lost the USB functionality.  It is a shame, this one was my favorite.
  2. A Toshiba Satellite with 6 USB 2.0 ports has been a champ, but gets way too noisy and I can't use it at night or I would wake the house.  The grinding of the fan creates headaches and distracts me from my work.  I take way too many breaks trying to deal with it and don't get enough done.  Still awaiting the new fan to show up from Amazon.
  3. The Gateway I bought never did work right.  It has an i5 processor and picked it up used, but it just crashes without warning intermittently.  It just dies.  I hear a -tick- when I think the SSD shuts down (at the same time that), the screen goes black and I realize the power is off (and my heart sinks).  I've scanned memory, it doesn't appear to be the issue.
  4. There is also a tiny netbook I dropped and cracked the screen up, now I have to use the spare HDTV as a monitor, but it is too slow with only a 1 GHz Atom processor.  It just isn't capable of the graphics I need to do.

I have 4 old Desktops, but I cannot get any of these to update to Windows 10 like I had gotten all of the laptops to update to 10. 

  1. My son's tower runs Windows 7, but it can't make it to 10 (it doesn't support LAHF/SAHF or PrefetchW).
  2. My old dual core tower is a bit older than his, so it's bound to not make it, either.  It's still running XP, so I don't take it online.
  3. I have just dug my mother's Compaq Presario out of her desk.  I was extremely surprised to see how it supported firewire and had enough USB ports to actually use it for stuff, including charging cellphones. The drawbacks are that it was running a bone stock version of Windows XP, has some sort of proprietary HDD mounting system (Do Compaqs use HDD rails for mounting drives?), and now I find out that the AMD Sempron processor won't run many web browsers (they require the SSE2 instruction set).  Plus, I want to run an anti-virus solution, but I am picky (avoiding Russian and Ukranian solutions, so no Kaspernitsky or AVG, and of course it needs to run on XP).  It has 1.25 GB (minus shared video memory), and I plan on maxing it out to 2 GB by ordering a 1 GB stick of PC2700 and eventually adding a small dedicated video card.  I did get it to upgrade to Windows 7 on an extra hard drive, but it doesn't have enough RAM once its maxed-out for graphics, so this is just a PC to use to stay online for email/web when I need a backup.
  4. I just started cannibalizing the small eMachines tower I have, it is really old, crashes intermittently to a blue screen, so maybe I shouldn't've even included it here as soon it won't have enough parts to be considered a PC anymore.

I have been playing IT guy for my self employment for so long now that I haven't gotten much else done.

I plan on installing Linux on anything that can't support Windows 10, and still have to fix these new issues with the laptops (awaiting parts or parts money for each project, now).  Still struggling, always something.  

I would love to get back to my graphic design, logos and finish creating my websites, but instead I have to struggle just to get PCs working again, constantly.  I suppose that will never end, though.  Somehow I have to get enough money together to buy a new, really good laptop (or build another tower with new components on the cheap).

I can use some of these machines with Linux, and it looks like I will have to because of security concerns, but since I need Photoshop, Premier, Illustrator, and other hefty Windows/Macintosh only creativity applications, that's really not a great alternative for me.  The Linux machines will actually wind-up as email/web and gaming machines when they have to run Linux.

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Welcome to MSFN! It seems as though you've got quite a bit of things going on here. If you need any help on something specific, be sure to post about it in the appropriate forum!

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