Correct computer to buy, suggestions please

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bep

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I am an avid MAC user, but that does limit me with the programming software. I am currently running Parallels on my MAC and it works for my RS and Uniden scanners for programming. However almost every time Apples does a software upgrade, Parallels charges me around $40 to update the their new version. Additionally I have my home entertainment remotes, that need programming via Windows.

Entertaining the idea of a Windows laptop to do just the items mentioned above. This way I can take it to the den to tweak the remotes, and have it in my office for the scanner programming. Not having been watching the Window machines, I am asking for any suggestions to assist me in making a determination. Items like what Window versions work well and ones that don't. USB/Serial issues and the like.

Thanks much.

Bruce
 

hiegtx

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I am an avid MAC user, but that does limit me with the programming software. I am currently running Parallels on my MAC and it works for my RS and Uniden scanners for programming. However almost every time Apples does a software upgrade, Parallels charges me around $40 to update the their new version. Additionally I have my home entertainment remotes, that need programming via Windows.

Entertaining the idea of a Windows laptop to do just the items mentioned above. This way I can take it to the den to tweak the remotes, and have it in my office for the scanner programming. Not having been watching the Window machines, I am asking for any suggestions to assist me in making a determination. Items like what Window versions work well and ones that don't. USB/Serial issues and the like.

Thanks much.

Bruce
Any pc (desktop or laptop) running a version of Windows from Windows XP to Windows 8 would work. However, XP is no longer supported, and Vista doesn't 'play well' with some of the peripherals (printers and scanners for example). I'd probably look for something running Windows 7. That's what I have on my three pc's (two desktops and one laptop). I'd also look for either a unit with a serial port, though that will likely be rare on the laptops. If no serial port, get a good USB-> Serial adapter or the Uniden USB-1 cable (if you don;t have that already).
 

w2xq

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I would pick up a smaller laptop with Windows 7. Examples: Best Buy, Staples for brick stores; PC Connection, Tiger for online. In any case, $200-400 should do new. I'm not convinced required drivers have caught up with Windows 8. IMHO stay away from Windows XP or older that Microsoft no longer supports. I doubled the memory in my Asus eee-1018pc for $15. HTH.
 

mikepdx

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Correct computer to buy, suggestions please
Are you in the market for new or used?

If basically all you want it for is to program radios
and other devices requiring a windows machine,
you can find adequate used computers on Craigslist, etc.

Seek out broke college students' ads - some real values there.
Giveaway prices just before rent time - LOL
 

garys

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I recently bought a refurb HP laptop from Microcenter to play with SDR. It came with Win7 and enough memory to run any app used to program scanners.
 

jaspence

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Programmong computer

As long as Internet access isn't necessary for the programming, a used XP machine is great and compatible with more radio software than other Windows versions. At a hamfest today, a decent spec used HP desktop with XP was selling for $15.00. I use a Dell D430 laptop that dual boots into XP or Win 7 and a desktop with XP for most of my programming. All of my XP computers have a true comm port for my older radios.
 

ofd8001

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Something to note. . .

If you end up with Windows 8, you'll need to be sure the USB-1 cable has the HXD chipset. If you get Windows 7 or older, then any USB-1 cable works.

Also depending upon which scanners you have and which software you use to program them, Windows 8 might be an issue. I've got several older Unidens such as the 780 and my ARC programming for that doesn't agree with Windows 8.
 

w2xq

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Bump. Win9 will be announced in a presser September 30. I don't know what it will do to the availability of older versions of the OS when Win9 ships 1Q 2015. Win9 brings back the Start button and supposedly addresses the Win8 complaints. The guessing game on needed drivers begins. :)
 

iMONITOR

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For the maximum compatibility, and trouble free operation, I'd recommend you find something with Windows 7. It's still going to be around for a long time!

Windows 8 is a quagmire. Windows 9 will have growing pains, just like every other version of Windows when it was first released.
 

aannala

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I run Windows XP under the free Oracle VirtualBox emulator on Apple Mac OSX and others.

https://www.virtualbox.org/

Never had any problem programming radios or running the console using this kind of system.
 

AA6IO

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I also recommend Windows 7. I have used XP, 7, and 8.1 on different machines. Windows 7 seems to be the best bet for most of radio/SDR needs.

Steve AA6IO
 

dellwas

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Actually no it won't, at least on new systems. End of life mainstream support for Windows 7 is January 13, 2015.

Windows lifecycle fact sheet - Windows Help

Also, there won't be a Windows 9, for some odd reason the next version will be Windows 10.

Windows 10: 12 things you need to know | PCWorld

For the maximum compatibility, and trouble free operation, I'd recommend you find something with Windows 7. It's still going to be around for a long time!

Windows 8 is a quagmire. Windows 9 will have growing pains, just like every other version of Windows when it was first released.
 

iMONITOR

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Actually no it won't, at least on new systems. End of life mainstream support for Windows 7 is January 13, 2015.

Windows lifecycle fact sheet - Windows Help

Also, there won't be a Windows 9, for some odd reason the next version will be Windows 10.

Windows 10: 12 things you need to know | PCWorld

Support for Windows 7 to end 01/13/15! LOL! In there dreams! Do you honestly think all of the U.S. is going to run out and buy Windows 10 when it first comes out? Most likely it won't even be out by then! :roll:

They pulled the same crap with Windows XP, but ended up supporting it for several years after they claimed it would end. In fact, if you're willing to pay a maintenance fee, MS will still support XP for a longer time.

There is no way in Hell, corporate American is going to switch that fast, even if they wanted to!

As for Windows 9, vs Windows 10, it's the same thing, Just another Microsoft quagmire!
 

joeuser

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Support for Windows 7 to end 01/13/15! LOL! In there dreams! Do you honestly think all of the U.S. is going to run out and buy Windows 10 when it first comes out? Most likely it won't even be out by then! :roll:

They pulled the same crap with Windows XP, but ended up supporting it for several years after they claimed it would end. In fact, if you're willing to pay a maintenance fee, MS will still support XP for a longer time.

There is no way in Hell, corporate American is going to switch that fast, even if they wanted to!

As for Windows 9, vs Windows 10, it's the same thing, Just another Microsoft quagmire!
^THIS^

I'm sticking with XP for general use (non INTERNET) & 7 for everything else.
 

dellwas

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Simply stating the facts. Sure there will be lots of Windows 7 boxes, but the OFFICIAL support will end. PERIOD. There are still Win98 boxes but they are not OFFICIALLY supported. Ditto with NT, Vista, etc. EXTENDED support is only good for 2 years after two new releases even with a Maintenance Contract. I'm a former I.T. specialist with the NS Gov't (retired) and that's been the way it's always been for the 17 years I spent in gov't, at least for us, and our licensing agreement.

Pesonally, I couldn't care less what all of America, or Corporate America does, I'm Canadian...

Is MS a quagmire, absoultly. I stopped using it 5 years ago in favor of Linux and haven't looked back.

Support for Windows 7 to end 01/13/15! LOL! In there dreams! Do you honestly think all of the U.S. is going to run out and buy Windows 10 when it first comes out? Most likely it won't even be out by then! :roll:

They pulled the same crap with Windows XP, but ended up supporting it for several years after they claimed it would end. In fact, if you're willing to pay a maintenance fee, MS will still support XP for a longer time.

There is no way in Hell, corporate American is going to switch that fast, even if they wanted to!

As for Windows 9, vs Windows 10, it's the same thing, Just another Microsoft quagmire!
 
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kg4icg

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I find it funny that people think Win 8 can't run anything. I have been using it since beta, and I have no problems programming any radios with it or for that fact with Win 10. Unless you have actually used said OS, don't go repeating what others have said .
 

dellwas

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Not sure if you are referring to me or not, but I have used 8 and don't like it and found it clutzy, in any case I don't recall saying it wouldn't program radios and assume you meant someone else. That was in my former job, before I retired. I've been running Linux at home for 5 years and prefer it. Win10 does look interesting, but think I'll stay with Linux. :)

I find it funny that people think Win 8 can't run anything. I have been using it since beta, and I have no problems programming any radios with it or for that fact with Win 10. Unless you have actually used said OS, don't go repeating what others have said .
 
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