Life with-o a computer? Poor "have nots"

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Even in our little community the impact of computer use is separating the "haves" from the "have nots". It seems surreal to me.

    The video stores have closed (big chain not Mom/Pop) so I
    guess you are expected to use Netflix or ?? net site. husband and I don't care but families with kids and no Net are up the creek. To say nothing about elderly

    The banks want you to scan your checks :redface: using your cell phone. WTH! Alot of people don't own cells.

    In business very few suppliers are mailing bills or
    price sheets. They come via e-mail. Today I had to download and print 45 pgs
    of new prices from one company. My ink cartridge costs have doubled.

    We're among the oldsters who are literate but I think it is downright scarey that
    the "have nots" are getting eliminated from the loop.

    End of vent. DDD
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    That's one of my big fears about transitional housing. Ok, I have to try to shelter the dogs; I can't drink at any time while living in one; etc....but I'm expected (and feel the need myself) to continue looking for a job- I can't even imagine how to look for a job these days without a computer. LOL! I used to spend tons of money renting a computer, printing hardcopies of resumes, sending them to 20,000 places, and these days, that would mean my resume would get there a week after everyone else who just emailed it in the day the ad hit online. I will really have to plan effectively to make sure I set up a gmail account for email, put important things on a cd, etc.

    It's one thing to adjust to some of this but internet withdrawal...I don't know...
  3. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    K, I don't know if the same thing is available in your neck of the woods, but in my city all of the public libraries have computer facilities with internet connectivity. If you get a USB key (I think they're fairly inexpensive now), you can store all of your critical documents on it, and then use it as a portable external drive for all of your documents etc. With a gmail account, you have access to all of your e-mail wherever you have internet access. Might be something to look into in the area to which you're relocating.
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I was going to suggest the same thing as Trinity. The library is an excellent resource for Internet use as well as VHS and DVD rentals-for free! Also any local ups store or office supply store have on site scanners and faces for a small fee.
  5. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    DDD - save those price sheets as PDF's, and print the pages as needed and as they apply to you.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Also...if someone has fairly good credit or has cell phone service with one of the major companies, they now have netbooks instead of notebook computers that are tiny and can be used in a pinch. I dont know how successfully I would do with that small of a computer when I cant even function on a laptop but I guess it would be better than nothing!
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    What's the cheapest small thing to get if you only need windows, internet, and MS Office that permits a resume and letter writing- I don't need excel?
  8. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Radio Shack has either an Acer or an Emachine 10 inch netbook right now running windows and its on sale right now.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Uhhhh...I went to RS website and find myself so illiterate when it comes to this stuff. What is the difference between a netbook and a laptop?
  10. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    I never realized how much I depended on the computer until my seven year old desktop died on me again! I do all my banking on the computer and pay all of my bills but one online. At least I could still get on at work so I wasn't completely cut off. Now I have a brand new laptop but I still haven't figured out how to do everything on it that I did on the desktop. And I don't know the difference in a laptop or a netbook or a notebook either! When I was shopping for this one, we did see some that were very reasonably pricedthough but I'm not sure exactly what all they can do.

    Do you know anyone who repairs computers? They may have a used one they'd sell you for very little money. My son-in-law builds and repairs computers on the side and he has at least a dozen of them sitting around in their garage. In fact, he's repaired my desktop before with parts he took out of some of his "spare" computers! If you know someone who does this, either as a business or a hobby, it doesn't hurt to ask!
  11. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I bought difficult child a emachine for Christmas and he loves it. Its basic but works well. Has all kinds of USB plugs, windows, some office suite programs, etc. It does all he could want it to do, except extremely graphic gaming. Although even then he plays a online rpg game and it runs just fine. Truthfully it seems to work better than my acer laptop.
    His emachine netbook was $249 (Canadian dollars) and that was 2 Christmas's ago. So probably cheaper now. I saw one here at Staples on for $189 about a month ago.
    Walmart tends to keep stocked in the small netbooks. My difficult child says you quickly get used to the compact size for day to day computing. YOu can also use a usb connected mouse to make it easier for that function if you want. I know someone whose computer died and they had low funds and went with netbook. They picked up a old monitor and keyboard and mouse for under $30. They connected the netbook to the monitor and then connected the keyboard and mouse to the netbook, thus giving them the feeling of using a desktop computer to avoid the size of the netbook. Personally, I enjoy playing with difficult child's netbook.
    Back to walmart, they also have a layaway policy. So if you see a great deal on a netbook, you can put down 10% and have up to 60 days to pick it up.
    The difference from a laptop to a netbook is first obvious ... a netbook is tiny. It will usually have a smaller hard drive and ram than normal laptops. The ram isnt' an issue since with a smaller hard drive one doesn't usually load really intense software. My difficult child's has a dvd drive but not a dvd burner.
    He notices nothing really different. He watches and downloads movies. Downloads tons of music. Uses email and plays games online. He loaded OpenOffice which is a free product downloaded from the net similar to microsoft office. He chose the programs he wanted. He picked their version of microsoft word. You can also get their version of excell etc if you wanted. The programs take up much less room than microsoft office suite.
    He has a lot saved on his computer and has no problem at all with the size of his hard drive.
  12. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Do you know if it's compatible with word docs?

    This might not be a bad idea for me to look into- I still have my montior and keyboard, etc, at home but was going to sell them if I got a laptop (they are all the same to me LOL).

    I had planned on looking for the phone number of the guy who has repaired my computer in the past- I think he might rebuild them as well.

    Obviously, I'm in no position to be paying $400-500 or more on any electronics right now but need a computer and the library only allows 2 hours a day- not enough for my needs. The places that charge, charge too much, in my humble opinion.
  13. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Really, if it's just the power supply that's burnt out, that's a very simple fix for someone who knows what they're doing and that would be much cheaper than buying a whole new computer. The local guy that fixed mine the last time charged me $45 and that was including the part that he replaced. I'd check on that before you buy a new one.
  14. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    I think OpenOffice is compatible with Microsoft Office files. The applications were developed as part of an "open source" project (i.e. no one owns the code, lots of developers contributed to making them), and they are intended to be freely available alternatives to the large commercial office software suites.

    husband is trapped in meetings today, but he's pretty good with this stuff. Once he's free to have his ear bent, I will ask him a few questions about compatibility, ease of use, etc. for the OpenOffice products.
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    OpenOffice is compatible. I had to use it on my computer before I got this one which had Office on it.

    With notebooks and netbooks you can still get an external hard drive for keeping your important files and I just recently saw two different versions of plug in keyboards to make netbooks easier to use. Both were rubberized and spill-proof but one was the full keyboard but the other was just the number pad and insert/delete/ arrow keys that arent normally on the net/notebooks over on that side and we are used to being there on the desktop keyboard.
  16. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Here's what I have found out- the cheapest I can get a power supply here is $40 and that's with me installing it but I think I can do it. However, I don't think I can take a desktop easy child with me but should be able to take a laptop of some sort. I can sell pieces of my easy child (monitor, etc) but would want to take my hard drive out. Since I would be taking my hard drive out of the tower, I wouldn't be able to sell it for much and sure don't want to go spend $40 on it when I can only use it about 3 more weeks. I have learned that I can get a refurbished laptop for less than $300 (range 150-300) and spend $20 on something that allows me to hook up my hard drive from my easy child to access data on the laptop from my current easy child. I think that's the way to go but I am not spending any money yet until I see what has sold over the next couple of days.

    DDD- I apologoze for hi-jacking your thread.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You can get a new laptop for about that at RS! Honestly...if you need to use Billy's employee discount, just let me know and we can work something out. Let me have him call the RS nearest you and see what they have in the back for his "aunt".
  18. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    RS here has a tiny netbook for 250 or something like that. They have "notebooks" for 350-400 at the lowest. They explained to me that the difference is being able to use CD's and software or something- being able to connect to something else maybe. This is a substantial difference because I need to be able to plop a CD in and send my resume and so forth. If I can get a refurbished laptop for 200, it's better than a netbook for 200, the way I see it. But if he can get me a discount on a notebook/laptop like that, please let me know!!
  19. babybear

    babybear New Member

    Does your area have a workforce center or something similar? I am able to use the computers and printers there for free. Check with the unemployment office in your area. they should be able to help. I did my resume on their computers because they have ms office and was able to save a copy to a usb drive to use from home.