computer dummy

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by tom beard, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. tom beard

    tom beard TPF Noob!

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    I have a D-90 and an old laptop (Acer Aspire 1360). I now have Nikon Transfer and View NX on this old computer and it's SLOW. I want to add Capture NX-2 but don't have enough memory. I would like to keep all the photographic components including image storage separate from the laptop. One friend said all I need is a memory card, another says an external hard drive. Can anyone direct me to a site that will explain what these devices are, and how I can decide what I need to do the job. Being an amature and not wanting to go into business, I would like to keep the cost down on the computer side as I would prefer to put the major bucks into glass. I generally order all my equipment from B&H if that helps. Any advice will be gratefully appreciated.

    Thanks as always, Tom Beard
     
  2. AliasPros

    AliasPros TPF Noob!

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    Hmmm... sounds like that laptop is a bit underpowered for photo editing however if all your worried about is space and not performance, I would recomend getting an external hard drive. All that is, is literally a laptop hard drive encased in a plastic case that connects to your laptop via a USB 2.0 cable, most are bus powered meaning that they run off the power of your lappy no need for external wall power. Once plugged in, it will mount and your computer will suddenly show that you have an addition hard drive. You would then simply off load your pics to that drive. I personally use a seagate 1TB free agent go, and a WD 2tb MyBook studio wall powered drive... Gigs fly when you shoot with DSLRs such as ours because unlike a point and shoot we normally shoot in bursts atleast I know I do so GIGs are a big deal. I also back all of my work up not only on external Hard drives but also burn dual layer DVDs... can't risk loseing anything you know? I wouldnt back up on memory cards it just doesnt seem practical. You can get external hard drives anywere from 320 gigs to 1tb that are bus powered and prices range from like 70 bucks to 150 or so... Also if you wanna work on a more powerfull system just plug your drive into another computer and edit away... Hope I shed some lite on this for you!
     
  3. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    The Acer 1360 has an out of the box 1.8 gHz processor, 512MB of RAM and a maximum 60GB hard drive.

    Given this information, both of your friends are correct.

    The good news, your processor (the 1.8gHz part) will work for what you want to do. This is the important part because you cannot reasonably upgrade that.

    The bad news, your RAM (memory) is too low and your hard drive is too small for what you want to to... Back to the good news, both are upgradable, and fairly unexpensive to do so.

    For the hard drive, you will want to get one as big as you can afford. I would recommend at least 100GB...which you can buy for about $40. With current technology, the "best bang for your buck" will be a 1TB drive for about $80. Its 10x's the storage of a 100GM for only 2x's the price. Anything above that (for the time being) is a waste of money, you can get 2 1TB drives for less than a 2TB drive. I buy most of my computer parts from either www.tigerdirect.com or www.pricewatch.com

    RAM is slightly more confusing. The Aspire 1360 has 2 slots (places inside your computer) that you can put memory into, 1 of them is currently empty, the other has a 512 MB card in it. Capture NX 4 Requires 768 MB, and recommends 1GB. This gives you a few options depending on how much you want to spend. You can buy a 256MB card to add for about $20. This will bring you up to the minimum requirements. To get to the recommended level, you will need to buy a 512MB card, about $25. You can make yourself really happy and buy a 1GB card and have plenty of processing power for $50.... or you can max you computer out by buying 2 1GB cards for $100 and removing your old 512MB. Personally, I'd recommend buying the 1GB card and being done with it.

    You can probably do the installation of the RAM yourself, you can google "Installing RAM in Acer Aspire" and you will find plenty of tutorials showing you how. It isn't complicated, you plug it in, turn on your computer, and you are done. If you do plan on doing it yourself, you MUST buy the correct type of RAM as there are different kinds out there for different computers, you need "200-pin SODIMM, DDR PC2700" memory for that computer.

    Now that all of that was dumped in your lap..... The extra bad news. I'm guessing you bought your computer in 2006 or shortly there after. The life expectancy of a laptop is about 5 years.... you are doing a Riverdance on that line. Anything after 5 years is working on borrowed time. If I were you, if it is in your budget, I would strongly encourage you to look into buying a new laptop. You can buy one that will do what you need it to for under $400, and you can buy a pretty nice one for $600. You will still want to also buy the external hard drive to store your photos, but you can rest fairly assured that you won't run into any major computer problems in the near future. You can always keep the old computer in the bathroom for some quality Internet browsing until it dies for good.
     
  4. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you want to store your photos externally, external hard drive is much better than memory card (flash card).

    Of course, if you are serious about the photos, I will suggest store multiple copies of the photos in at least 2 different devices/media.

    Flash memory card is not made for archiving.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Newegg has a Western Digital 2TB external HDD already in an enclosure for $149 with $5 shipping.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136471
     
  6. creisinger

    creisinger TPF Noob!

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    Same HDD at Amazon for $146.78 with free shipping: [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Western-Digital-Elements-External-WDBAAU0020HBK-NESN/dp/B002QEBMCI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1275487066&sr=8-1"]Amazon.com: Western Digital Elements USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive WDBAAU0010HBK-NESN: Electronics[/ame]

    Judging from the reviews that drive isn't too bad!

    However, think about what's going to happen if a 2TB HDD fails on you. That's a lot of pictures you might lose!
     
  7. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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