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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I am in charge of sorting out my (French) farther in law computer situation. He has an old Vista computer riddled with........god knows what. It needs changing. But I need to rescue all the files and photos etc and transfer them onto a new system and preferably into a 'cloud'.

I hate Windows computers.......I hate them more than.....Ryanair. They are shît. But that is my opinion.

Anyway, so what do you reckon for a non techy person. Windows, Mac or a Chromebook ?

Budget is not a problem.....but they prefer a 'large monitor'.
 

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I have used Mac for over 30 years and only because they are essential for my work. It depends on what they need it for. A Mac is not really any use for business purposes because the software although Microsoft is light years behind. I have given up on MacBook Pros. Too expensive and they do not last years, they used to. I have gone back to an IMac, my 21" screen suits me (15" I had in the Pros) and they do go bigger. For travelling, I bought an IPad Pro with a 9" screen. The problem with that is, it is too heavy to use for a long while without using the external keyboard.

Known a lot of people who have bought the laptop Mac ( thing they are cool) and not been able to get on with them having been spoon fed by Microsoft. I have had I think 4 MacBooks in 8 years all are not working, beware of graphic cards a common fault. Make sure if there is a problem you are aware of it before it is too late. I found out 6 months too late and missed the replacements. The other thing that gets my gander up is, the ploy by Apple to get you to buy a new item, the upgrading of systems and your version is too old to get it.

My husband has a Dell since 2010 still going strong. Cost around £600 against my Mac at the time £2300 with special bits I need. Apart from not being able to use Indesign on it, it does everything needed -for him. For me I end up shouting at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have used Mac for over 30 years and only because they are essential for my work. It depends on what they need it for. A Mac is not really any use for business purposes because the software although Microsoft is light years behind. I have given up on MacBook Pros. Too expensive and they do not last years, they used to. I have gone back to an IMac, my 21" screen suits me (15" I had in the Pros) and they do go bigger. For travelling, I bought an IPad Pro with a 9" screen. The problem with that is, it is too heavy to use for a long while without using the external keyboard.

Known a lot of people who have bought the laptop Mac ( thing they are cool) and not been able to get on with them having been spoon fed by Microsoft. I have had I think 4 MacBooks in 8 years all are not working, beware of graphic cards a common fault. Make sure if there is a problem you are aware of it before it is too late. I found out 6 months too late and missed the replacements. The other thing that gets my gander up is, the ploy by Apple to get you to buy a new item, the upgrading of systems and your version is too old to get it.

My husband has a Dell since 2010 still going strong. Cost around £600 against my Mac at the time £2300 with special bits I need. Apart from not being able to use Indesign on it, it does everything needed -for him. For me I end up shouting at it.

They only need the computer for web browsing, office (any kind of office suite) and photos. Not photo manipulation BTW.

I have an Imac (4 years old) and it has not even blinked never mind crashed or broken. I have used every Microsoft OS since 3.0 to Win 7 and every computer has broken in one way or the other.

My little girl has a chromebook and it is superb. It only cost 300 euros and does everything my mac does (well sort of).....accept it does not have a large screen.

Do I get them a chromebook and a larger monitor to plug into it or just a mac ?

But then there is the question, what 'cloud' system do you invest in. Apple works for me. Google could to I guess.

Decision, decisions.
 

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They only need the computer for web browsing, office (any kind of office suite) and photos. Not photo manipulation BTW.

I have an Imac (4 years old) and it has not even blinked never mind crashed or broken. I have used every Microsoft OS since 3.0 to Win 7 and every computer has broken in one way or the other.

My little girl has a chromebook and it is superb. It only cost 300 euros and does everything my mac does (well sort of).....accept it does not have a large screen.

Do I get them a chromebook and a larger monitor to plug into it or just a mac ?

But then there is the question, what 'cloud' system do you invest in. Apple works for me. Google could to I guess.

Decision, decisions.
It depends how willing they are to use a new, strange system. I used Apple Cloud and pay what I call a very reasonable monthly charge. Before I got my new IMac I dug out my old one, unused for years, one of the lime green ones. It fired up perfectly but of course I could not update the system. It did well until the new one came.

If I had a choice I would switch from Apple because of the cost and six months after you buy one a new one is out. My old Apple setter upper after 20 years switched to Microsoft, because he said of the idiots who now buy Macs!
 

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I switched over to Mac at home about 8 years ago from Windows after getting sick of all the maintenance required on the Windows machines I had at the time. I am still forced to use Windows daily at work. At home I use Mac heavily for photos and video, hobby software dev and maintaining the websites on our family businesses. My wife who is less technical has a Surface Book that is running Windows 10 and she loves that.

One thing is for sure is that Windows has come a long way in recent years. In fact I don't mind the Windows 10 environment on my wife's Surface Book, it is almost bearable :p and it certainly does not require all the maintenance the old Vista and XP systems used to need.

Whilst personally I will always prefer Mac, my suggestion is that since the old guy is used to Windows then stick with something close to what he knows. Whilst there are a lot of crap Windows laptops out there there are also a lot of good quality ones that are reasonably priced.

Hope this helps.
 

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And now for a responsible contrary opinion (or whatever it was called back in the days when they had to give equal time to "differing points of view")....

Have heard good things about Chromebooks, but never tried one. I don't like Apple products, simply because once they have you in their clutches it gets ever more difficult (and expensive) to change, or even to keep up.

I use Ubuntu Linux and love it. If they are only using a computer to websurf and for basic stuff, it's ideal (and if you want, they can have Chrome as their browser). Besides, even if they want to get into more exotic stuff, there are usually programs available for free - Gimp for graphics, GnuCash for managing money, etc.

I have to have a Windows disk/partition available, simply because a couple of crucial programs I depend on simply won't run on Wine (which allows you to run many, if not most, Windows programs on Linux) - but from what you've said there is a good chance your f-i-l wouldn't have any real need for even Wine.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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It has almost always been popular to knock Microsoft BUT commerce and government use Windows. As a project manager I rolled out thousands of them. Over the years their reliability improved so that most of the faults reported to the help desks were the result of user error not the OS.
Rather than use "clouds" I back up to a hard drive, like most of my tecchie friends. Hard drives are getting ever larger and cheaper. In fact you can but a 16 TB hard drive for 500 dollars if you want and have lots and lots of data.
Chromebooks are designed to use the cloud to store even the most basic stuff and require frequent, if not continuous, access to the internet. They suit some but not anyone who is security minded.
For somebody who just needs access to the internet I'd buy a Windows laptop with a graphics card, and a good quality screen. Simple to maintain, little to connect and portable. Add a mouse if touchpad is difficult to get along with.
 

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Did your smartphone anthrax infect your father's computer, Soleil?

Save all files on an external hard drive or cloud.
Note all serial numbers for software he's bought which could still be useful.

Since he's used to Windows, upgrade him to Windows 7 SP1 if you can find it anywhere - it's very good as Windows goes.
Virus scan all the files before putting them on the new config.
Vista has always been recognised as a pain in the backside. Windows ended support for Vista as of April 2017. Win 7 gets support 'till January 2020.

If he's got an "old Vista computer" that means something from around 2007
with motherboard, processor, graphics, sound, hard drive, memory and USB connexion all 2007 slow.
If it's all too slow for him with Win 7 then upgrade components or buy him a whole new computer;
they'll certainly have Win 10 pre-installed which might not disturb him as much as it did me.

I tried Win 8 and Win 10 but reverted to Win 7 simply because all those new-fangled, user-friendly things annoy me
just like the neighbour's dog so happy to see me first thing in the morning that she nearly knocks me off my feet.
I've got a double boot with Linux Mint but everyone else in the house hates me when Ubuntu pops up on reboot because they just need to surf, now.
Handy when Windows crashes BSOD to retrieve urgent files and continue business as usual though...

My other machine upstairs was custom assembled in 2004 but the only original parts are the mobo and the case.
Power, cooling, processor, graphics and RAM have all been upgraded to the max.
I still dream of buying a M5A97 motherboard and serious GPU for my FX 6300 processor to play Skyrim and the Witcher 2
but OH tells me my gaming days are over.
My youngest grinds away at Dofus, Minecraft and League of Legends on it when he comes home at weekends, ...sigh.
 

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Get a Mac.
Seriously.
I've been using computers since 1970 (IBM 360 mainframe), through MS-DOS, Windows 286, Windows 3.0 and 3.1, then Macs.
After 20+ years of using Macs I wouldn't want to use anything else.
They are well built, the operating system is the best around (IMO) and any software you need is available.

As a freelance photojournalist I can tell you that when a photographer buys his/her own laptop it's inevitably a Mac. When the decision is a corporate one it's often as not a Windows machine and the photographers have many problems with them.

I would suggest an iMac desktop for your FIL. They are easy to set up and easy to use.

Go to apple.fr and have a look.

In particular I'd suggest

either the 21.5 inch monitor model:

Personnalisez votre iMac 21,5 pouces avec écran Retina 4K.
Processeur Intel Core i7 quadricœur de 7e génération à 3,6 GHz (Turbo Boost jusqu’à 4,2 GHz)
16 Go de mémoire DDR4 à 2 400 MHz
Fusion Drive de 1 To
Radeon Pro 555 avec 2 Go de mémoire vidéo
Magic Mouse 2
Magic Keyboard - Français
2179€

or the 27 inch monitor model:

Personnalisez votre iMac 27 pouces avec écran Retina 5K.
Processeur Intel Core i7 quadricœur de 7e génération à 4,2 GHz (Turbo Boost jusqu’à 4,5 GHz)
16 Go de mémoire DDR4 à 2 400 MHz
Fusion Drive de 1 To
Radeon Pro 575 avec 4 Go de mémoire vidéo
Magic Mouse 2
Magic Keyboard - Français
2839€

Go for the 16Gb of RAM and the Fusion drive, both excellent upgrades. You can save 300+€ on either model by going for the lesser "Intel Core i5" processor that your FIL probably doesn't need. The 27 inch monitor (in 5K) is particularly awesome.

If there's an Apple store near you take him in and show him what's available.
 

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A Mac is not really any use for business purposes because the software although Microsoft is light years behind.
Ha! Macs come with very functional,compatible, and free, software equal to Microsoft Office's Word, Excel and Powerpoint programs. If you INSIST on MS Office there's a 2016 version available for Macs.

Businesses around the world use Macs. They're cheaper in the long run (in the corporate world you should have one support person for every 10 Windows machines but only one support person for every 40 Macs).

They're also much, much nicer to look at...
 

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I like to go the cheap route, buy a used machine from the guys moving up about 4-5 yrs old, reformat the HD, run a clean install of windows 7, easy to download drivers, and all the software you use. Or use Ubuntu like Bev.

Bought a very nice condition Dell w/intel i5 chip off ebay.fr for 150€ with an azerty keybd (for the FR experience) and it works great.

Like someone else said, backup to a separate HD (use a couple). They're cheap - you never know when that cloud might blow away.

But Apple makes great computers and they'll love you to spend 2.5k€ for one of their machines. They could really use the money :)
 

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Ha! Macs come with very functional,compatible, and free, software equal to Microsoft Office's Word, Excel and Powerpoint programs. If you INSIST on MS Office there's a 2016 version available for Macs.

Businesses around the world use Macs. They're cheaper in the long run (in the corporate world you should have one support person for every 10 Windows machines but only one support person for every 40 Macs).

They're also much, much nicer to look at...
I now use on online accounting system for my businesses because trying to run all the ledgers, balance sheets, profit and loss and client/suppliers accounts on my Mac was a nightmare. If you have a handful of accounts fine. Sorry must disagree, the Mac version of Office is way behind that of Windows. Never, ever, been into a large non media business and seen Macs being used. Not so sure on how they are cheaper in the long run. I have gone through 4 MacBook Pros in the time my husband has had one Dell. Also, they become out of date by not allowing older machines to update to the latest IOS. I have one which will be 4 years old in December and it cannot update to IOS 10.

Tried a neighbours Chrome this morning and it was impressive.
 

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I don't like Apple products, simply because once they have you in their clutches it gets ever more difficult (and expensive) to change, or even to keep up.
Bev
Really? Certainly not the case with Macs. MacOS is based on BSD (originally) so anyone that can work their way around a Linux system would have no issues with MacOS and they are so much easier to use. The old advertising statement "they just work" is true and they are designed in such a way that non-technical people ARE able to use them with minimal training and support. You are not locked into to any "walled garden"with them. It may not be the case with the iOS devices, but then the only alternative for mobile devices in Android, which leaves a lot to be desired with regards to user experience (based on my opinion as a heavy user and software developer for both environments).

My background is in the tech industry, I have been writing software for Unix/Linux environments for over 35 years, and more recently Windows, Mac, iOS and Android, and comfortably switch between Windows, MacOS and Linux. At the risk of starting a battle of the OS's, what I do know is that a Linux platform should be the last thing you propose to a non-technical person that just wants something for their emails and browse the internet. They are not intuitive, they look like they are hobbled together and there is no way a non-tech person could even manage simple things, especially if their previous experience is with Windows.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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I have gone through 4 MacBook Pros in the time my husband has had one Dell. Also, they become out of date by not allowing older machines to update to the latest IOS. I have one which will be 4 years old in December and it cannot update to IOS 10.
I think you are mixing platforms here. My MacBook Pro is 5 years old and is still upgradeable and I will be able to update to the latest MacOS next week when it is released. It is also still very performant and capable to support my needs as a software and web developer. I am also aware of people running Macs over 10 years old without issue. The same could not be said of a lot of Windows machines.

iOS, is another matter. Yes the new version released this week does not support phones more than 4 years old. This is primarily due to the move to full 64 bit and the need for newer hardware. This is the norm in the mobile phone world for the same reason you cannot run the latest Android version on a a 4 year old Android phone. Technology and user demands in this market evolve rapidly and there should be no requirement to support older technology. The reality is, you do not have to upgrade the OS. If you 6 year old iPhone still works, that is all that matters and there should be no reason to upgrade the OS or apps. You should not expect that it does the same as a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks all for their input.

I am a iMac person so I would obviously advise a Mac. Isualt...I think you have been desperately unlucky with your laptops.

I am quite happy with the office suite given 'free' with the mac. I like ibooks author too which is free.

Mac is great for photos......which is my thing.

And, you don't need AV.....and all OS upgrades are free.

I know of a well known computer company where the top execs insist on having macs. All the plebs have to make do with windows computers. My OH constantly swears at her thikpad. I would not be surprised if the same in Microsoft ;)

I believe windows actually runs better on a mac.

BUT, a chromebook (300-400 euros) linked up to a nice large monitor (150 euros) will work at 3/4 of the cost of a mac. And again, you don't need AV.
 
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