Thursday, 6 September 2012

New computer

The oldest of our computers seemed to have been struggling a little.   There didn't seem to be any specific problems, but it's nearly a decade old, it runs on XP.......So I had been wondering whether the time had come to think about a new computer.   

We had the discussion as to whether a laptop was appropriate, but decided this wasn't necessary (although desktops apparently don't usually have Bluetooth), and for somewhat similar reasons, didn't see any need to move forward to a tablet.  I looked around Officeworks and saw that we could obtain a computer that would be perfectly adequate.     But then, a special was advertised at Aldi.   For not all that much more than the cost of a basic model from Officeworks, an impressively configured computer (fast processor, 4 GB RAM, large hard drive .... ) was going on sale for significantly less than a similarly configured computer from Officeworks (or even Computers & Parts Land, which I think is regarded as right down there on price - and with a similar level of service).  The only thing it appeared not have was a solid state drive - but from what I've since learned, I don't think we need this.

Aldi, do I hear you say?   What support can they provide if you need it?   As it happens, that's where I bought my netbook some time back.    And I had occasion to call the support line at that time.  Needless to say, my query arose because I had overlooked something fairly basic, but I was sufficiently satisfied with the reaction (by the Australian distributor, not Aldi)  to my query that I was prepared to trust them again.  So the purchase was made.

The box!
The biggest challenge after getting home with the box was configuring it - downloading and installing software, setting up email accounts, transferring bookmarks across, patching it into the home network (including disabling Windows 7's unhelpful "HomeGroup") and the like.  I even located the printer driver CD - and then found out that I didn't need it, because Windows  goes looking on the internet for these as soon as you connect the printer!

We were provided with some helpful advice about transferring information from the old computer to the new, but in the end decided to be selective.    

However, various issues arose when setting up the various email accounts on the new computer.   We've accumulated a number of email accounts.  They've been set up at different times and for different reasons - and have different passwords!    Yes, our passwords were all carefully recorded in hard copy.  In fact, hard copy back-ups existed, too.  But there are different passwords for different functions (the main optus billing account vs the individual optus email accounts.......  it gets a bit confusing..... ). And, once or twice the passwords had been changed - but in at least one instance, this wasn't recorded on the back-up copy!    I won't go into any more detail, but the afternoon I spent sorting out all these issues was, shall we say, a little frustrating!

Nevertheless, I think we've got to where we need to be, and it seems to have been worthwhile.


  1. Impressive! We recently bought a laptop for aged parents to read our blog, from a specialised reputed computer store in High St Malvern, and an individual build new desktop for me. Pricey but excellent service.
    There is a conflict between the latest IE and my latest pdf software (Nuance), and I managed to muck up my new OS while trying a fix by the method suggested by the pdf help desk (uninstall IE: big mistake- crashed all browsers)- the shop had to clean reinstall both IE and Mozilla; no charge for my mucking about but I lost my bookmarks. Now aged p.,while we were away, has got a pink(!) screen; the shop thinks it will require a replacement laptop.
    Good luck with Aldi, but I like to see the whites of the service person's eyes, and am even happier if I hear them speak Australian that I can understand.

  2. It would be note-worthy to keep the computer manual safely tucked somewhere it cannot be misplaced. I remember when we had to reformat our old desktop and had just found out that we couldn’t find the manual. It took us hours to configure the machine. So always be mindful of safely keeping the manuals.

    Benita Bolland