A New Year, A New Computer!

HP Pavilion a6600z Desktop PC With 2009 starting to sink in it was time to improve my productivity and that starts with the personal computer here at home. These days just about anything and everything can be designed, ordered or performed via the computer. You do everything from writing your blog, building websites, do your taxes, watch movies, stream music to your stereo or even order a pizza using your PC. And as always, speed in computing is of the essence. Right now Hewlett Packard is running a great special of $289 for a newly built computer (HP Pavilion a6600z AMD Dual Core 2.3GHz Desktop PC), with free shipping, and The Monetizer just couldn't resist it.

Here's the rundown of the HP's tech specs:

Operating system: Genuine Windows Vista Home Basic with Service Pack 1 (32-bit)
Processor: AMD Sempron(TM) LE1300 (2.3GHz)
Memory: 2GB DDR2-800MHz dual channel SDRAM (2x1024)
Graphics card: Integrated NVIDIA GeForce 6150 SE [VGA]
Hard drive: 250GB 7200 rpm SATA 3Gb/s hard drive
Networking: Ethernet Modem
DVD/CD drive: LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive
Front Ports: 15-in-1 memory card reader, 2 USB, audio
Sound Card: Integrated 5.1 channel sound with front audio ports
Software: Microsoft(R) Works 9.0
Security software:No additional security software
Speakers: No speakers
Keyboard & Mouse: HP keyboard & HP optical mouse

I'm highly anticipating the HP's arrival in a week or so, since the new machine will have Windows Vista as its Operating System. I've heard good and bad, but have personally never used Vista, since XP works just fine for me and upgrading was a bit costly. Now I'll get to learn the new OS, and add that to my resume. I'm also slightly interested in seeing how fast it is compared to the Dell I have currently which has just 1 gigabyte memory and a slower processor.

As for the extras, I chose the 15 in 1 card reader which will be built into the front of the computer. It's got 2 USB ports on front, and I'm assuming a few on back. Software's another story. Since there was no included Virus protection, I purchased Kaspersky Internet Security 2009 from Amazon.com. I did thorough research on Internet security suites (anti-virus + anti-spyware + firewall) and discovered Kaspersky ranked 2nd to Norton on Amazon. It's also a top choice among online PC review sites. After reading reviews, the package seems to provide a great deal of security and doesn't tie up alot of your computer's resources (memory). Kaspersky was only $34.99 while others run as much as $50-60. It even includes a very cool "Virtual Keyobard" feature which allows you to enter personal data into that to encrypt it and prevent those cyber thiefs from getting it.

Another consideration is finding some software for photo editing and word processing. I recommend to anyone who wants to save some money and not get sucked into buying a $300 version of MS Office, to download OpenOffice.org. It includes spreadsheet (Excel compatible), word processing (Word compatible) and several other nifty office-style programs, for Free. Another bonus is that it allows you to create PDF's which can be helpful to those who design e-books. As for digital photos, I will install Google Picasa which is a very nice free photo editing, printing and online uploading tool full of cool features. Why spend big bucks for these sorts of programs when they are available for free and work very well? As for printing I'll use the all-in-one Canon Pixma MX310 printer which is very nice for under $100.

Overall, I'm looking forward to the new HP's arrival. It has a build date of January 7, 2009, and should be here shortly after that. With 2009 just underway, I look forward to this new "toy" because I believe it can make 2009 an even better, more enjoyable, moneymaking experience! I'll provide an update on my experiences once the machine is officially up and running.

(If you're interested in the deal, I found the HP a6600z at dealspl.us via the link below. You'll need to enter a coupon code at the final stage of the order to slash about $30 off the total).

HP Pavilion a6600z CTO Desktop PC

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