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Buying a computer system/What to do next re computer purchase?

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Once again, I turn to allexperts.  Here is my problem which perhaps you can help me solve.
I am moving to a senior apt.  They have Comcast cable.  However, while I'm a Luddite, I rely on computer for ROKU, email, personal writing, etc.  I have a go-phone, AT&T, which I use for calling out but not for incoming calls.  Also a windows 7 computer, too big for new place and also virus prone, which is $$$.  Also, my iPad which I love.  At my new place I'm happy to forego cable charges.  Internet charges are on me.  So what to do.  I was almost decided on an apple air pad.  All my docs are on windows, so I don't know.  Then my daughter gave me a DVD, and pointed out the air pad does not handle DVDs.  So I want iPad backup, ability for DVD, daily email, and calendar stuff, plus personal writing, and also don't want to keep putting out money for virus cleanups, and security software.  I'm 76 years old, a big reader, and read world news regularly (librarian and researcher in my last life).   So far my curiosity at what is going on has not diminished, but I also need to simplify my life.  I need help from knowledgeable person.  Allexperts has been a wonderful resource for me in a variety of ways.  Thank you in advance for your thoughts.

Answer
I'm curious about "virus prone" being a cost issue for Windows 7 for you - Microsoft has provided free anti-virus software for Windows since the release of Vista, and it is generally very effective (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/security-essentials-download). You should not have to be paying for any utilities there (nor should "virus cleanups" be a regular part of using a Windows computer). I would, in general, advise some additional freeware utilities to enhance what Security Essentials provides (such as a modified hosts file (http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm)). Essentially, there is no reason Windows should be a liability, although there are plenty of "repair shops" that will gladly (and unfortunately) sell it as such to generate repeat maintenance business. A Windows system just set out and never used will not "magically" materialize viruses/spyware/etc (they tend to either come from infected emails, browsing to unsafe websites, or deliberately downloading unsafe files - if you're primarily browsing sources like Netflix, Apple iTunes, LexisNexis or Worldcat, and so forth it should never be a problem as long as Internet Explorer (or whatever you use) is kept up to date and MSE is available and running in the background).

Having said that, if the system is too large that's understandable, and replacing it with something else would probably make the most sense. If you throughly enjoy the iPad and Apple OS, why not consider an Apple computer? The iMac would likely be the simplest solution, as it's an all-in-one (meaning the computer and monitor are one physical unit), and would provide additional functionality beyond the iPad. It would also integrate very well with the iPad. See here for more: http://www.apple.com/imac/ It would need an external DVD drive provided, but that isn't terribly hard - either purchase Apple's SuperDrive, or buy one from a third-party like Samsung or Asus (which may be cheaper).


Alternately, the iPad can likely provide all of your basic communication and web browsing needs (that is, it should be fine for reading newspapers, ebooks, sending and receiving email, and so on), so you could probably just purchase a modern Blu-ray player (or game console) that will provide integration with Netflix (or whatever other streaming service you like) and DVD playback (among other things, depending on what you specifically choose to purchase). It would be a much less expensive alternative. The only "catch" I can foresee is the "personal writing" consideration, as I would not personally want to compose a large text document on an iPad, but depending on your needs and preferences this may not be an issue for you. The reason I suggest the game console alongside the Blu-ray player is that they tend to offer more functionality and are upgradeable to an extent, for example in the case of the PlayStation 3, Sony has supported it with upgrades from its original release to present and added functionality like 3D Blu-ray support, and plugins for a large variety of streaming services, where a hardware Blu-ray player will generally be "set" with the features it originally comes with. The only consoles I would avoid would be from Nintendo (as they do not play DVDs or Blu-rays and have other limitations), and the Xbox360 (solely because it does not play Blu-ray).

If you have any further questions or need more feedback, feel free to ask.

-bob

Buying a computer system

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Bobbert

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.

Experience

I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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15+ years of experience

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