Recently, I had a potential client email me with some questions. I’m reposting my reply here.
I really need pages to load faster.
Having more RAM will help the pages load a little faster; however, the only way to get more “speed” for your pages is to have more bandwidth for your connection. Think of your internet connection as a garden hose. If you are on dial-up, then you have a drinking straw. Adding RAM will only help slightly – you will have to go to cable or DSL to “speed” up your connection and thus make the pages load faster.
If you live in an area where cable and/or DSL service are available, then usually you can switch to them for not much more money than what you are paying for dialup.
1. I have XP Pro now and like it but did not pick it below because now it has an additional cost but maybe I should add it?
XP Pro only has a few advantages, most of which are never used by the average person. It gives you is the ability to install IIS (internet information services), which allows your computer to act as a web server. Unless you are a web developer this serves you no purpose. It allows a higher number of concurrent connections for network shares – this is typically never an issue for home users even if you have 2-3 computers at home. XP Pro gives you more control over file sharing permissions – again this is typically not an issue for home users.
You can save your money and use XP Home edition. Do not order Vista – it is a pain in the rear.
2. I also have Office Small Business Edition which maybe I can transfer to new computer?
If you have the original CD’s for Office, then you can install it on your new computer. Technically, you are supposed to uninstall if from your old computer. If you don’t have the CD’s, then you can’t move Office from one machine to another.
Another alternative is to use OpenOffice.org (www.openoffice.org), which is free and open source.
3. I need to be able to have the option of dial-up. Currently I have a 56k fax/modem….not sure if what I picked in a modem will do the job?
Basically, any dialup modem will be just fine. No matter what you purchase, the modem itself will have little effect on your pages loading faster as just about all “modern” dialup modems follow the v.92 spec. Again, you will have to go to broadband – cable or DSL – to get a “faster” connection.
4. I would like to do whatever I can to help load pages faster…..I do a lot of graphics (charts etc) downloading and its way too slow. I also use Word and Excel fairly often.
Again, the only way to “speed” up your downloading and browsing is to go to broadband – cable or DSL. Adding RAM will help slightly but you need more bandwidth. Dialup sucks. The ISP’s that still provide dialup are not spending any money to update their infrastructure with dialup. They are spending the money on broadband technologies.
If Word and Excel startup a little sluggish, then adding RAM will help that. However, if your computer is several years old, then Windows could be “clogged” with temp files, etc. Cleaning out the OS or reloading it from scratch (formatting your drive and reinstalling) will make it run as fast as it did when it was new.
5. Eventually I would like to have a wireless network which would allow me to have two desktops and laptop on the network. Should I purchase something now with that in mind?
I recommend you just buy a laptop and run that. Most of my customers, including businesses, are now purchasing laptops since the price gap has narrowed considerably. Laptops are as powerful as desktops, more portable, have wifi built-in, are more convenient, can run dual-monitor, etc.
If you are set on a desktop tower, then you can buy a wifi USB device from Wal-Mart, Office Depot, or Best Buy for under $50 and make any computer WiFi enabled. You would need to purchase a WAP (wireless access point) such as a Linksys WRT54G and setup a home network, which is easy enough.
Again, you would be better served with a broadband internet connection, but you can share dialup to through a wireless network. Your internet surfing would be excruciatingly slow though.
6. What do I need to transfer files from old computer to new computer?? Laplink?? (I have never done that before so what would make it easiest would be great.)
Actually, you don’t even need laplink. If you purchase a WAP/router (Linksys WRT54G or equivalent), you can setup a home network and copy the files. You could also just buy a 4GB or 8GB thumb drive, and copy/paste the files. You could actually just do it with an ethernet patch cable.
Laplink will work but it’s not necessary at all.
7. If I need service, would there be any problems if you order it in LA but I live in Indianapolis?
If you have cable/DSL then there wouldn’t be much problem. I have several clients that I support remotely. However, if you have dialup only, then it would be more difficult as I could not remotely access your computer very efficiently. I could still support it, but it would be far more difficult.
If there was a physical issue with the computer, then I would arrange for service through Dell, etc – if you purchased it through me or we setup a support payment/contract. I’m generally much faster and way better than calling Dell or any other tech support service.
8. How would we arrange payment? I have a credit card or?
I could arrange payment via credit card and Google’s Checkout service, which accepts all major credit cards.
You could also send a check or money order, although the check would need to clear prior to ordering, etc. That’s my company policy.
9. I would like the option of AOL and Earthlink installed as it was on this one so I could pick either.
I’m no fan of AOL or Earthlink; however, if that is your choice for dialup then having it pre-installed is fine.