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Which computer to buy????

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Colin M. Gordon

Thread Starter
Freshman Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2002
I am a newly registered appraiser that needs help figuring out a computer to buy. I have been to Dell, Gateway, and Apple, trying to find one, except that I'm not sure how much memory I need, which extras (i.e. picture package) I should have, and which operating system is best for appraising. I need something that is affordable and user-friendly. Any suggestions would be appreciated! :)
 

George W Dodd

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Virginia
I would suggest a min system with the following:

1 Gig Processor
60GB Hard Drive
256MB Ram
The best monitor you can afford!
56K mod
CDR (CD righter)
Windows XP Pro

Also, will you have high speed internet access? then you want to include a network card.
 

Ben Vukicevich SRA

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
New Jersey
Colin,

It depends on what appraisal software you intend to use. Clickforms is very basic and doesn't require a powerful machine. I still use a Pentium I 233MMX with 10Gigs at the office with Windows XP-hey, it works and I'm too lazy to transfer all my software to a new machine. Windows 98 was OK until the Comcast cable modem guy screwed it all up and I bought XP to overwrite the registry problems he created. So an older machine with Win98 will be OK, once again depending on what appraisal software you decide on. You may want to choose your appraisal software first and look at the minimum system requirements for it.

So what I am saying is, if you don't have much money to start out and are trying to allocate the dollars, an el cheapo, used system may be able to get you going.

The cable modem is nice if you're going to email lots of reports. The CD writer/burner is nice to archive old appraisals and burn music CD's to listen to while driving to appointments.

Memory?? I have 64MB on the home computer with Win 98 that I use at night and 256MB with XP at the office. The photo program is inside whatever appraisal software you decide on. I have a Sony Mavica and I use Irfanview to open the photo disk and view thumbnails of the photos. It's free on the internet at cnet.com.

Although, if you have the money to spend now, George's recomendations are very good. Always buy the best system that you can afford to eliminate the downtime caused by upgrading in the future---which is why I haven't upgraded mine--the downtime involved.

If you go to an Apple, then I think Clickforms is the only appraisal software specifically written for it.

Ben
 

Mountain Man

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
I'm not sure how much memory I need
The most you can afford! You will appreciate have a lot when your comp base, saved files, JPEG's, etc. start building up...... and have 3 window open while trying to e-mail that rush PDF report.
 

Atlanta CG

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Georgia
I believe we have an oxymoron (sp?) here. Friendly - easy. Cheap - easy. For appraising - no so easy. Go with Dell - the best on the market for quality, reliability & support. This is one area where you simply cannot cheat $. Need the fastest, need a network card for DSL, need lots or RAM, then you'll never have a problem. I assume you are a one man shop - time is $ and spending it on a computer results in a very quick return on your investment, not to mention your psyche.
go h...
 
B

Bemis Pownall

Guest
get the most of everything, memory, storage, speed etc.
get PC not mac
windows 98 is stable with most vendors software although XP is ok.
you can save abundle from the Dell refurbished website, full warranty etc etc.
I picked up a P4 2,000 20 gig last fall for $400. You have to look everyday at the site as the inventory changes hourly.

good luck

http://www.dell.com/us/en/dfh/default.htm
 

Jeff Horton

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Alabama
I will second the Dell and add Gateway to that list. I have a very old Gateway that is basically a new computer now. Everything in it has been upgraded over the years. But their Tech support was very good.

A little over a year ago I bought Dell laptop. While I generally dont need much Tech support when I have called they were helpful. If your not a computer geek stick with the name brands because of the tech help. If you need it's worth the extra.

Memory... as much as possible. 256k is good.
HD ... at least 20 Gig
Processor ... as fast as you can afford. New ones are faster than you will probably need but more is better.
 

xmrdfghap

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Personally, I like generic computers. Easy to fix, upgrade, etc.......brand names tend to use proprietary hardware that makes it expensive to fix (compare repair costs on a laptop to one from a local builder)

Most local computer shops can build you according to specs you provide for less than you can get a brand name.

If you don't know what you need, follow the guides in the above posts.
 

graindart

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Montana
I might be way off on this, but I believe the original poster said that he was just recently "registered". I'm not positive what that means in Colorado, but I'm guessing that it means that he's just starting in the appraisal training process?

If so, I'd suggest that he NOT buy a new, big, go fast computer system until he finds a licensed or certified appraiser to train him. If he'd like something to start on until finding that mentor, I'd suggest a cheap used IBM compatible (are they still called IBM comp?) computer with a cd-rom drive and a couple gigabyte hard drive, with Windows 98 already installed. These can be had with monitor, keyboard, and mouse, for under $100, usually listed in your local newspaper's classified ads. You can go to some of the appraisal software company websites and either download a 30 day trial or order a free demo cd to play around with the software.

Upon finding your mentor, he/she's already going to have a computer, operating system, and appraisal software package that he uses on a daily basis. Get the same type computer (or compatible), operating system, and appraisal software. Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if he/she has an older system with all of the stuff already installed that he/she would be willing to give/lend you.

If the poster is actually already licensed/certified or has entirely too much money, please disregard my whole message as inane ramblings.
 

Dee Dee

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Colorado
Colin,

Since you are just getting started as a registered appraiser, I'll agree with graindart in saying you need to get a mentor first if you don't already have one. Make them aware that you are ready to buy a system as soon as you know what they would prefer you to be using.

More likely than not you'll be lugging around a laptop for the next year or so. The mobility of being able to type at home but still be able to correct you reviewed work in your mentor's office will save you quite a bit of time and headache.

Dee Dee
 
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