After over seven years, several upgrades, a few reinstalls, and other fun-- it looks as if Snik, my main computer, has finally bit the big one. The BIOS isn't even coming up. I am on a nicely functional laptop until such point as I can get a new computer, which basically means I have until the end of July before I get *really* twitchy.
So, internet, here's the mission. There are two core options:
#1 I buy a complete computer.
#2 Someone sends me a computer.
#3 would have been "I buy pieces and put a computer together", but after the occasionally interesting trouble I had with that last time, I'm not going that route again. If someone else is willing and interested in building me a new computer, or sending me their old one for $, let's talk, and talk promptly.
Desktop system, preferably a tower, with room for at least 2 full-sized hard drives, one DVD-Rom drive (Though Blu-ray would be nice).
Buncha USB ports. Ethernet port. The stuff I really expect all computers have nowadays.
Windows (8.1 at this point, might as well leap) is good, Ubuntu is possible, Mac is acceptable if probably too pricey for a desktop.
I have a nice video card (GTX 560) that can go in the system if there's an open PCI x16 slot. There probably should be an open PCI x16 slot, as Dual-monitor capability is a must.
4 gig minimum of RAM. 8 is probably better.
Cost: $700 is a maximum. $500-600 is more the goal.
I will take recommendations of "Buy this" and offers of "I'll build it" or "Want this?" for a few days, and I plan to come to a decision by July 20th. If you have opinions, recommends, or an itch to build and send me a computer, let me know!