WTB? cheapest wireless internet comp

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by evoluzione, Oct 23, 2004.

  1. evoluzione macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #1
    ok, bear with me, here's the deal, i said i'd set up a computer with broadband for a friend (well, friend of my girlfriend's mother). Now, she just moved into a new house, and doesn't have a phone jack anywhere near the computer. there is a cable jack a little closer, but not in the same area. Now, I suggested getting roadrunner, and a wireless network. she was previously using aol dialup at a cost of $29/month! i bought a d-link wireless router and a wireless pci card, went to install them, only to realise that her (crappy old) pc wasn't really up to the minimum specs required. she has a 266mhz pII gateway.

    i tried installing the software etc, but it looks like it ain't happening (i know jack about pc's, but i have managed to get them to get on the internet before, they just infuriate the hell outta me, but then we all know this, we're on a mac forum :) )

    I figure i'd research and try to figure out if i could slot a faster cpu in the pc and be done with it. however, i'm thinking, it would save her money in the long run if she just went and bought an old mac. she has very little money, and i feel bad charging her for my time which is wasted on a pc when i could sort a mac out in seconds.

    what do you all think?? should i try and upgrade the cpu (everything else should be ok in terms of ram, hd space etc)? should i just try and get her to buy a new pc for about $400? should i try and build one for half that? or, should I just convince her to get an old iMac G3 for a couple hundred...

    all she wants to do is surf the internet, and write some emails. bear in mind that it should be capable of getting on a wireless network (802.11b is fine, doesn't need to be g)

    i'd like to keep the d-link stuff i just bought as i don't want to deal with returns and restocking fees etc (bought them from best buy for $100 total), however, i'd be happy with keeping the router and returning the pci card if it came to that (of course if it works out cheaper to return both, then sure)...


    thanks
     
  2. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040

    dornoforpyros

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    #2
    go down to the doller store and buy the longest phone cord you can. Honesty it sounds like all she really needs to do is check e-mail and surf the web. Anything else your suggesting(new CPU, wireless) is over kill.
     
  3. dotnina macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    #3
    You might want to try picking up something second-hand. I'd check Craigslist or the classifieds to see if there's something cheap there.

    Personally, I think something like an old candy-colored iMac would be perfect. It should be well under $400 as well.
     
  4. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #4
    I'd get her a windows box, not an iMac. She already knows how to use windows, and I'm sure that she'd be more comfortable with a PC. Go to the local mom and pop store, and pick up a cheap PC for appx. $400. It'll work, and be able to get on the internet, and what not... and she won't have to learn a new OS.
     
  5. evoluzione thread starter macrumors 68010

    evoluzione

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    down the road, that's where i'll always be
    #5
    thanks guys...i was thinking an old iMac actually...i wanted to get her over to mac and away from pc as she'll have a much better time with a mac (obviously) and she has no money to spend on continually fixing a pc with virii etc, and i can't/won't do that. she is also into photography etc, so ilife would be good for her.

    oh, and yeah i know a long phone cable would do the trick, but it's a brand new house, built by her (sick) husband and it would look rather bad running a cable the distance it would need to run, and she'd miss calls etc etc.

    she's realised that she would be better off spending a little more, to save in the long run. i may be able to even get her a g4ti :)
     
  6. jackieonasses macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    #6
    Just do what my dad did. Have someone you know, or hire someone, to make a new jack in the wall next to the computer. If her husband built the house i figure he could at least make a new RJ-11 jack.
     
  7. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502

    jtgotsjets

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    #7
    g3 imac is probably not the way you want to go. they're cheap now, but you can easily spend the price of the computer over again trying to get them on a wireless network. the price of the original airport cards has greatly inflated due to a continued demand and diminished supply.
     
  8. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #8
    What about an eMac? Or are they going to get an update soon?

    I'd have to agree with Capt Underpants on this, though. She's probably more comfortable with a PC at this point. Unless she herself has expressed an interest in switching over, in which case an eMac is probably your best bet. How much do used ones go for on eBay nowadays?
     
  9. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #9
    I've recently helped FOUR friends in the same exact position getting iMac G3s. All of them are VERY happy with their iMacs. Put new hard drives in the 233mhz and the 333mhz for two of them, loaded up 768 mbs in the 500mhz and it was very cheap. Small initial cash out lay plus incidentals kept their prices very low -- hovering around 300 bucks. Macs are SO much easier to use and the virus thing is beyond reasoning. These machines are workhorses. I also noticed yesterday at a meeting at a VERY famous film director's digs that he used old iMac G3s for his networking in his office. He's a very very RICH film director, too, who knows how to spend his money well. These things are workhorses.
     
  10. jrv3034 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    #10
    So, who was it? C'mon! Hints? Anyone in my avatar? :D
     
  11. California macrumors 68040

    California

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2004
    #11
    It's too geeky to tell. Not one of your avatars but has won an Oscar.
     

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