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>>> Official Black Friday 2008 DESKTOP Discussion Thread <<<


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#31 boblabontefan  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 1, 2008 - 5:03 am

IMHO, you want to shop for a PC with a PCIex16 slot (for a video card upgrade), a standard case (not slim), and a standard power supply/system board. It should have a 2g+ cpu (dual core), at least 2G of RAM, and 160g+ disk. Get Vista Premium rather than Basic.



Len, thanks for the info. I am curious - why the standard case as opposed to the slim? I have been looking at the slim cases because I like the looks of them but what are the drawbacks? Also on Vista - I was interested in getting the Business or Ultimate editions only because they are normally the first by Microsoft to get upgrades, how do you rate the Premium edition?


Kren and the rest of the Mac users.... you have my attention. I am looking at Mac's right now as well. I am sure you are well aware that switching is a big decision - and I have to keep my family in mind (will my H be compatible with a Mac, he can barely get around the Window's desktop, etc). :)
Do what you love, love what you do, leave the world a better place and don't pick your nose. Frazz

#32 Marcster  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 1, 2008 - 7:10 am

Len, thanks for the info. I am curious - why the standard case as opposed to the slim? I have been looking at the slim cases because I like the looks of them but what are the drawbacks? Also on Vista - I was interested in getting the Business or Ultimate editions only because they are normally the first by Microsoft to get upgrades, how do you rate the Premium edition?


Kren and the rest of the Mac users.... you have my attention. I am looking at Mac's right now as well. I am sure you are well aware that switching is a big decision - and I have to keep my family in mind (will my H be compatible with a Mac, he can barely get around the Window's desktop, etc). :)


Slim case will severely limit your ability to upgrade. They typically have proprietary power supplies (which means if you need to replace it, the manufacturer can charge astronomical prices). A slim case will typically allow for just a few low-height video cards, if any at all.

Also with a slim case, you can forget the possibility of ever being able to add a TV tuner (which for me is one of the most fun things about having a computer -- using it as a DVR). The height of the TV tuner card will be too thick (too wide actually).

Premium edition is all most people ever need... That's what I have x3. Only get Business or Ultimate if you need the ability to encrypt your hard drives. Business loses the ability to be a DVR, but Ultimate has both the encryption and the DVR capability.

Compare Vista editions here:
http://www.microsoft...ns/default.aspx
(Don't bother with Basic -- it's just "basic")

I say capability because unless you add a TV tuner card (and a video source), you won't be able to use it as a DVR. The DVR in Vista Premium or Ultimate allows your computer to do everything that TIVO can do, and more since you can burn DVDs.

If I've peaked your interest, this is the card I have:
http://www.leadtek.c...6&pronameid=351
(I bought it from Newegg).

I'm Gottadeal's Fix-It/D-I-Y guy. ~ Since 8/2/07, the Ban Hammer has fallen on 233 spammers! Hammer.gif


#33 mysticmage  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 1, 2008 - 12:01 pm

I realize this probably isn't helping the original questioner, who just wants to get a serviceable computer at the best price, but we Mac converts can't help ourselves. I don't mean to belabor the point either, but I'm a PC geek from the 80s, built my own computers, loved tinkering in the innards, and absolutely looked down my nose at Mac people all that time. When things go wrong on a Mac, I used to tell them, all you get is a frowny face or the infamous bomb. No way to do anything about it. I liked getting into the system files, writing my own batch files, etc etc (this is well before the days of the Windows registry).

I also have stayed overnight to get the cheapie PC laptops at BF -- my last one was 2006. It's not that anything horrible went wrong with anything I ever owned, but I gotta tell y'all - I am SICK TO DEATH of being the IT department at my house. Sick of struggling to kill viruses, keep software updated, remove spyware, and on and on. Sick of incomprehensible dialog boxes, and unexplained crashes. Sick of bloated software that eats up the hard drive every six months unless you add/remove programs.

You get the idea.

Last Christmas I swallowed hard and spent $1800 on a MacbookPro. It was the first time I'd ever used one for longer than two minutes. I will NEVER go back!!! It's October, and the computer has not crashed. I have never seen any kind of virus warning. Whenever there are software updates, the computer asks once if I want to install them, and then does it in the background and I never hear about it again. The commercials are right: It just works.

If you're also sick of Windows but hesitant because of the cost and the unfamiliarity and want to go slowly, buy the Mini, use your old monitor, keyboard and mouse (I use a MSoft mouse), and spend the $600. I have the dual-boot option with Leopard (that's the operating system name), but I have never seen the need to go over to Windows. It's a nice safety net and psychologically, it helps a Windows user, but jeez, why go back? It's awful over there! I know, because I have to use Windows at work every night, where it's back to the crashes, the screen freeze-ups, the updates and the warning notices.

Sorry to go on and on. I realize it's OT. But seriously, the time you spend waiting in line on BF to buy a low-end laptop could be better used enjoying your Mac!


Agreed completely. Mac Mini's cost about 579 if you use an educational discount, and come with a free printer (a good one, and it's your pick of anyone valued up to 100).

Anyway, if you want a PC or need a monitor, you'll most likely be able to pick up a eMachines with a LCD for around $200 if you get there Thanksgiving Morning or even the night before based on how populated the area you are at is.
MysticMage

#34 len_mullen  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 1, 2008 - 4:51 pm

Len, thanks for the info. I am curious - why the standard case as opposed to the slim? I have been looking at the slim cases because I like the looks of them but what are the drawbacks? Also on Vista - I was interested in getting the Business or Ultimate editions only because they are normally the first by Microsoft to get upgrades, how do you rate the Premium edition?

The idea is to purchase a platform upon which you can install applications and upgrades for a long time. The easiest, most beneficial upgrade is a better video card. Video cards go into a slot, so installation is as easy as opening the case, popping an old card out, slipping a new card in and closing the case -- assuming your power supply will support the new card and the card will fit in your case. If you get a standard case, system board, and power supply, you will be in good shape. Smaller cases with proprietary connections will require expensive upgrades -- if you can get them at all.

I generally favor Vista Home Premium because it has all the bells and whistles you would miss with basic, but is much cheaper than business/ultra which has features for corporate users that most will never use. Practically, though, you will not find Business or Ultimate on inexpensive machines, so that leaves Basic and Premium and all Basic means no eye candy.

Kren and the rest of the Mac users.... you have my attention. I am looking at Mac's right now as well. I am sure you are well aware that switching is a big decision - and I have to keep my family in mind (will my H be compatible with a Mac, he can barely get around the Window's desktop, etc). :)

I'm not a mac guy (though I sometimes play one at work), and I don't want this to get all religious, so I'll offer the same advice to you I have been offering to computer buyers for too many decades...

1) figure out what you want to do with the computer
2) make a list of all the apps you wish to use to do those things
3) make a list of all the computers that will do those things
4) apply your budget to the list to identify the ones that you can afford

What's hubby do with the computer? Take him into a mac store and see what he thinks.

Be sure to include the cost of applications, alternative operating systems, emulators, support, and your time (spent learning new programs). If your calculus says mac, go for it. For most of us, Windows makes more sense.

#35 Lanhawk  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 2, 2008 - 6:06 am

If you are sure you want a Mac go to the apple website and hit the education tab. Just select a college and you will receive a education discount, they don't do any checking. Its worth saving a hundred or so, and sometimes they have deals where they will throw in a ipod and I think they have financing too. I have both a Mac and PC and agree with the above statement. Figure out what kind of software you will need - MS Office, etc. What copies you already have and how much it will cost you to make the move. I will say this. My mabook boots and loads 10 times faster than Windows- I don't have to run virus software on it and it seems to me to be faster wireless than my laptop. One draw back is every once in a while a web page will show up a little funky but other than that its all goodl. I have Mac Office and have no problem going from mac to pc with a flash drive of documents and pictures. It is my personal belief that the lifespan on a note book is about 3 years before it becomes absolete whereas a desktop will last a year or two longer. With the Mac you can boot into Windows xp but my thinking is why? Unless you have some thousand dollar software that can only run in Windows , you would just be stuck with an expensive slow moving laptop. Good luck.

#36 mysticmage  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 2, 2008 - 11:02 am

I agree. OS X is extremely simple to use, and the "switch" is completely easy.
MysticMage

#37 Brad  OFFLINE  

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Posted Aug 31, 2008 - 9:16 pm

Posted by stationchief:

Back by popular demand: the 2008 Desktop Comparison Charts! :D Once again, I apologize for them bein' so late. Hope they still help. ;)

http://blackfriday.g...ts/gdcc2008.php

Just a few things about the desktop info:

When you first go to the charts page it defaults to the previous years. I included all the previous year's info so folks can compare previous deals with this year. Make sure you specifically select the '2008 Desktops' to view this year's deals. And remember you can sort and organize the information as you please. Just put your mouse over the parts of the chart for brief instructions.

A few models are BF/store exclusive (Like the Walmart PCs), so little is known about 'em just yet. I'll post the official specs soon as we get 'em.

Keep in mind the specs on Circuit City's $449.98 HP desktop are different than the real 'official' specs of that model. They may make an announcement regarding that error (either the model number is wrong or the brief specs they give are wrong) or they'll just fix it before it goes to the mass printing press. I"ll post the real specs of that model later.



#38 kren  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 3, 2008 - 6:16 pm

My hubby is a complete Luddite. Hates computers with a passion (talk about opposites!). He's the type to write in Word, surf the internet and check his e-mail -- that's it. Maybe open a video on YouTube once or twice a day. He is scared to death of my Mac and is resisting change like ... some people I could mention, but won't :) Anyway, I am saving up to change our entire household (three computers) over to Mac. I will let you know how it goes. But I envision smooth sailing. Once he gets used to maybe three things that he does automatically on Windows that are different on Macs (like how to close a program), he will only notice how little he notices his computer! It's seamless. I agree, though. If you have programs in Windows that you would need to buy in Mac, you need to factor that in -- or find alternates. I use shareware Mac word-processing programs because I don't want to buy Office again. I save them as Word documents, and nobody's the wiser. The one thing that I'm bummed about is Photoshop -- I just can't afford the buy, and my copy on the PC is so old I get no upgrade.

#39 lot-narth  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 3, 2008 - 7:14 pm

Do Apple store's have discounts on black friday for computers? My Dad asked me this earlier today

#40 theblackdragon  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 4, 2008 - 4:54 am

As I am in the computer field, I thought that maybe I would try and help this fellow out.:smart: And get a little rant in at the same time!:evil:

Apple:
Pros:
very well designed (basically what all Windows PC clones want to be when they grow up) , much more stable, easy to use, good tech support.

Cons: expensive computer (I know about the mini Mac being $599, but it really isn't as fast as most PC's at a similar price), expensive accessories, less software available (Microsoft tried to blackball Apple a few years ago, and now even though Microsoft is designing software just for Apple now, there are still company's that can't because their contract still says that they can not :confused:).

PC Clones (Dell, IBM, HP, Compaq, etc.):


Pros: Cheep (some starting at less than $199), inexpensive accessories, more software available

Cons: Having system crashes (both XP & Vista do, just Vista does it a little more), costly upgrades, malware (viruses, trojans, spyware, etc.), various system conflicts (to numerous to name them all.



When buying any type of computer you must weigh in all the things that YOU need in a computer. You may not need the fastest most powerful computer on the market. I have seen people shell out $4000 on a computer that they plan on using to surf the web and play music from Windows Media Player. If that is all your going to do, just get a cheap Dell and be done with it.

If your going to use your computer for office work like; typing a document or creating a spreadsheet, most low-mid range computers can do this without too many problems.

If your going to watch movies (DVD, Blu-Ray, Internet, etc.), play intense graphic video games, you should most likely get something a little more pricey. (Note: be careful of Vista for gaming computers. Vista is a memory hog and even if you have more than the average amount of RAM, you will increase your lag time with it. You will need 2-3x's the normal amount of RAM to run programs that you could run with XP, if you are running Vista.)

Also in regards to Vista: Vista is a good operation system. And for people with kids & teenagers it is one of the best. The parental controls on Vista put XP to shame.

OK I'm done

#41 BabyBear24kGold  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 6, 2008 - 3:51 am

there are good deals out there i just bought the new hp media center pc 9340f model and it had a quad pro Intel Core 2 Quad Q6700 • 6GB of DDR2 memory • 750GB hard drive• Burns DVDs and CDs • Built-in 802.11abgn wireless • Built-in TV tuner NVIDIA GeForce 9500GS graphics with 512MB dedicated memory i did not get a moniter but it sells for 1009.00 and i got it at office depot for 780.00 and it is the best i know it is a bit high but it will last and if you think about it by the time you upgrade yours with 6 gig memory it is about 400.00 for memory alone so i think it was a great deal

#42 kren  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 6, 2008 - 5:33 pm

black dragon -- i agree completely with your points. the lack of software on macs can be a deal-breaker if you *need* something. but i have yet to find something written for the PC that isn't emulated near to perfection for mac. (and, er, it runs better on the mac than the native PC app <g>) I also agree that the accessories aren't as cheap. But, by and large, you don't *have* to use Apple peripherals. I bought a Mighty Mouse and returned it as soon as I realized I could use the Microsoft mouse I already owned. That's the beauty of Macs -- they work with the non-Apple stuff! Just try the reverse... The stability is key for me. I have too much to do and too little time to waste on puttering around with balky computers. I used to not mind, but now I get really angry! The other day I had to get a photo from a flash drive onto my husband's computer -- omg, the time I wasted, because for some reason the drive kept crashing the computer! It worked perfectly in every other computer I've ever used it in. Grrr. lot-narth -- new macs almost NEVER go on sale. Here are the exceptions: just before a model or OS upgrade, you might get a tiny discount. Or a rebate (I got a $100 one just before the MacbookPros updated). Or a free peripheral thrown in, like a printer. The other way to get some $$ off is to buy refurbished from Apple at pretty good discounts, and definitely to use the educational -- or CORPORATE -- discount. Check the Apple site; many large companies are listed and you can get a discount if you work for that company. I also got the corporate discount because of where I work -- it's identical to the educational discount. So I got a whopping $200 off on a $2000 computer (that is including tax). I would be very surprised to see Macs on sale on BF. :( Again, it does depend on what your needs are -- and you need to make sure that if you need to tie in to some other system (like a university's network, e.g., or telecommuting), your Mac will be compatible. All that said, I'm so lovin' working on my computer these days. And it's been a long time since I enjoyed it like this!

#43 Sigyn  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 15, 2008 - 6:43 pm

I think this year I want to try and get a desktop. I already know BB is out of the question, I was there 2 years ago and camped out and got nothing... :( BB must be a popular store around here lol I just am looking for a better computer then my Presario 5000 from 2001 lol I hope I can find something nice but not to expensive. :tongue1:

#44 len_mullen  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 16, 2008 - 12:10 am

Sign, this week Staples has a $300 computer that is a great deal. If you have an old computer to recycle, you get a $30 reward as well.

I don't think you will do better on BF...

Compaq Presario (desktop)
- AMD Athlon X2 Dual Core Processor 4800
- 3GB RAM
- 320 GB Hard Drive
- 128mb graphics card
- Supermulti DVD drive with LightScribe
- Windows Vista Home Premium

#45 Sigyn  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 16, 2008 - 12:26 pm

wow :) that does seem like a awesome deal. I just don't have the extra cash right now. I was going to save up *guess I should start now* LOL maybe there will be really god deals coming every week till BF :D

#46 theblackdragon  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 16, 2008 - 5:15 pm

If you can get around looking at name brand PC's, here is a nice little find. I am not endorsing it (because I never heard of the company before) but all the internal parts seem to be in order.

Here are some specks:

ZT Affinity 7207Xi-35 Desktop PC

Intel® Processor type: Core 2 Quad 2.40GHz :gdthums:
4GB RAM :D
500GB Hard drive speed 7200 RPM :)
DVD Burner :yup:
Ethernet, Built-in wireless :)
Windows Vista Home Premium :gdbees:

Price:
$599.99

http://www.circuitci...roductDetail.do

Not too shabby, but again, I don't know about the company.

#47 theblackdragon  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 16, 2008 - 5:17 pm

black dragon


BlackDragon if you please.

No spaces;)

#48 len_mullen  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 18, 2008 - 3:53 am

wow :) that does seem like a awesome deal. I just don't have the extra cash right now. I was going to save up *guess I should start now* LOL maybe there will be really god deals coming every week till BF :D

If you have a Discover Card, get your 'cash back' in Staples gift cards to get an additional 20% off (you redeem $20 to get a $25 card). So you pay $240 OTD then get $30 in rewards for a final price of $210. Add a $40 8600gt and a $40 PS for a great <$300 gaming PC. On BF add a big lcd and the perennial $20 altec lansing 2.1 speakers. You'll be very happy for a long time.

#49 cantwaittillbf  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 22, 2008 - 3:59 pm

im hoping to camp out in front of best buy this year ! this is my frist year im going to gooooo "allOUT" !!! and camp with a tent:D
black friday 2012:D

#50 MonoPestoso  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 26, 2008 - 8:17 am

Does anyone think there will be any deals on those Asus mini PC's. They had one at Costco and it would be the perfect internet laptop.

#51 len_mullen  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 26, 2008 - 9:04 am

At one point, I speculated this would be the featured BF item, but I'm not so sure anymore. I don't see many on the shelves and the buzz has quieted a bit. Until yesterday, every display unit I saw was broken. The one I saw yesterday was misconfigured. After configuring the unit, I was extremely disappointed in performance. If they're free...

#52 dirtmcgirt79  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 28, 2008 - 8:07 am

Kren.. You and are think alike in many ways.. I am a mac user from way back (1999) in college, when Mac OS 8 and 9 were standard. OS X has changed things completely for Apple when it comes to user friendliness. A PC user can jump on Mac and within minutes be working just like they were in Windows.. I must spend several hours a week working on PCs in my house. Something is infected, has lost connection, crashed.. etc. It gets old. I work on software all day long so I don't want to have to come home and sit in front of my home computer troubleshooting. My ibook g4 just died on me last month and it's killing me to not have a mac in the house right now.. And why did it die??? Ohh well, I accidentally spilled a cup of water into it... That thing has ran like a train since I bought it back in 2003. I don't remember a single crash with that thing. Good thing is that since Apple released the new macbooks the old ones have come down a little bit.. Best buy has one for like $850.. which is VERY good.. I stood in line with my sister in law at Staples last year for $300 laptops.. I had mine for about 2 weeks before I sold it. It just never got any use in our house with the ibook around..Vista in no way compares to Leopard. I'll have a new imac and macbook as soon as I can convince my wife to let me.:(

#53 kren  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 28, 2008 - 3:16 pm

dirtmcgirt79, i suggest flowers. and a massage at the nearest spa. it works wonders!

#54 mysticmage  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 28, 2008 - 5:40 pm

The Apple world is truly amazing. I purchased my MacBook about two months ago, and I've been nothing but amazed by this little machine. As all Apple products are, the thing is beautiful. Best of all, if you plan your timing right, you can go to Apple's refurb store and pick up an iMac for $699 or a MacBook for $799, with a one year warranty (extendable to 3), and a free $100 printer with it. They are amazing things, once you make the switch, you will never turn back. I was on the same boat as most of you "Oh, a PC can do what I need to do", etc, but take my word for it, a Mac just makes it 3x as enjoyable.
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#55 dirtmcgirt79  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 29, 2008 - 5:02 am

dirtmcgirt79, i suggest flowers. and a massage at the nearest spa. it works wonders!


Haha.. yeah she loves the spa days! I might have to try that one day soon..

#56 amdskip  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 29, 2008 - 1:08 pm

Lots of MAC fanboys in here. I am obviously not one of them. Too expensive for what you get and I don't need to spend money on something that dumbs a computer down to protect me. Give me firefox and let me fly. Ok enough of that. Yes you should be able to easily find a computer, heck even a dell core 2 deal by then. I highly suggest getting a normal size tower for a couple of reasons. One is for expansion even though you may never do so. The other main reason is heat. The smaller the space, the hotter everything runs and heat kills electronics. This is the same reason I shake my head at people who buy a laptop and let it sit on their desk because it makes no sense at all.

#57 mysticmage  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 30, 2008 - 1:37 pm

Lots of MAC fanboys in here. I am obviously not one of them. Too expensive for what you get and I don't need to spend money on something that dumbs a computer down to protect me. Give me firefox and let me fly.

Ok enough of that. Yes you should be able to easily find a computer, heck even a dell core 2 deal by then. I highly suggest getting a normal size tower for a couple of reasons. One is for expansion even though you may never do so. The other main reason is heat. The smaller the space, the hotter everything runs and heat kills electronics. This is the same reason I shake my head at people who buy a laptop and let it sit on their desk because it makes no sense at all.


Assuming Seven isn't all it's lived up to be, it is going to be an increasing trend :P
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#58 kren  OFFLINE  

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Posted Oct 31, 2008 - 11:16 am

It doesn't dumb the computer down. It's running Unix, which is a darn sight smarter than DOS ever was (and yes, all the much-vaunted upgrades of windows are still just shells over DOS.) Unless you're using the command line and hacking the registry and writing PERL, I can't see any reason to not make the interface as seamless and beautiful as possible.

#59 auntkaren  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 14, 2008 - 11:44 am

Are you going to putting together the spreadsheets that compare all of the desktops and laptops like there has been in the past??? PLEASEEE

#60 stationchief  OFFLINE  

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Posted Nov 16, 2008 - 1:37 pm

Are you going to putting together the spreadsheets that compare all of the desktops and laptops like there has been in the past???

PLEASEEE


You forgot to say "PRETTY please ... WITH SUGAR ON TOP!"

Well ... since you asked soo nicely ...

;)

I pulled another disappearance from the internet these last few months, but I managed to pull off the charts barely in time (again like last year). The GD bosses have been swamped with new ads galore but they have the comparison charts stuff and they'll get it up any day now. Patience. ;)




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