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Topic: Rebuild.. My Computer (Read 1568 times) previous topic - next topic
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Rebuild.. My Computer

Back in April, I purchased a Dell Inspiron E1705; a nifty desktop replacement that's kind of ugly, but it came at a good price and had some of the goodies I liked (Core Duo, so on and so forth). Being a Dell, it came preinstalled with all this horrible software and no Windows CD.

I worked around the stuff as much as I could, but there continue to be nagging issues with my computer. I opted out of MS Office, and while OpenOffice is generally suitable, I definately prefer Microsoft's product (I just didn't want to pay the full price). Now, I'm a graduate student. I can get MS Office and the latest XP for essentially free. So, I'm thinking of backing up my important stuff (photos, music) and reloading my CPU with the best.

For a short while, I considered Linux. I like the clean lines and stability, but ultimately, I'm going to opt for familiarity. Another key issue is compatability with certain crucial software that is definately not Linux compatable. Another key issue is MS Office (I want to use it). I don't like the idea of using workarounds to operate this software.

I consider myself an intermediate computer user. Compared to people on this (and other tech minded forums), I'm probably a complete novice. The thread on essential software inspired me to make this posting. I figured I'd post my current essentials and solicit you guys for some hints/suggestions/alternatives:

Office Suite: MS Office
Browser: Firefox
Email: Thunderbird
Image Manipulation: Photoshop
Bibliography: Endnote
Photo Manager: Picasa
Audio Player: Foobar
Video Player: Media Player Classic
Antiviral: PC-Cillin

+ A whole bunch of Windows-platformed science programs.

A few issues I'd like to resolve are:

1. One issue I've been having with my current configuration (using Media Player Connectivity extension in Firefox to use Media Player Classic/Foobar as a workaround for Windows Media Player/Realplayer, so on) is that a lot of streaming web media doesn't work on my computer. In a few cases, I can't even get it to work when loading from IEtab. In one particularly pernicious situation, I can't get NPR to play at all, even using IE. Ideally, I wouldn't even need IETab, not for anything.

2. I like Media Center in concept. My computer even came with the USB remote. I'd like to use it. I just hate the bulky, inefficient and generally craptastic Windows Media Player. Is there an alternative to MediaCenter, using one of the superior audioplayers? Can I still use the remote and USB connector?

3. I've come to like the Mac OS. I've heard about the mods that make Windows function more like it (like Windowblinds et cetera). Any particular suggestions?

Anyhow, thanks in advance.

Rebuild.. My Computer

Reply #1
1) I use VLC for streaming videos, it usually works, (though I do NOT watch streaming video very often)
2) Sorry
3) yes windowsblinds do have many special themes and mods that will make windows look more like mac os, but what you do must consider is that windows blinds WILL take a lot of CPU power and memory from your system, it's also a pretty expensive option.
I just like listening to music

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