Pondering Printers

Published Date
01 - Dec - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Dec - 2005
Pondering Printers
Can you suggest one? The printer should have a card reader and networking capabilities.
K Mugilan

First ascertain the role of the printer. Do you need a high-volume printer or a casual printing solution? Laser printers will keep running costs down, but they're devoid of features such as card readers and LCD screens. You will, however, find network capabilities on laser printers.

A mono laser printer will cost you anywhere between Rs 10,000 and 15,000 depending on the features it offers. Look for the Canon LBP-2900 or Lexmark E230. A colour laser will set you back by at least Rs 40K; we suggest the Samsung CLP-500.

Card readers allow you to print photographs without the need for a PC; however, they are available only on photo printers, which in my opinion won't suit high-volume printing needs. If you do want one, we'd suggest the Lexmark P915 or the Epson R310.

The Cheapest Possible PC?
Q. I need a PC just to run tutorial software for an exam, and I want to assemble the cheapest possible PC for this purpose. Configuration, please...
Sidharth Sen

You might want to consider a Celeron 2.53 GHz processor, a Foxconn 865M01-G-6LS motherboard, 256 MB of DDR RAM, an 80 GB hard disk, a 15-inch monitor, a Sony CD-ROM drive, a Logitech keyboard and mouse combo and an ATX cabinet. This configuration will cost you around Rs 19,000 while giving you decent performance.

If you need the cheapest deal, I'd suggest the Mercury PVCLE266M-L, which has a VIA C3 Samuel 2 CPU onboard. It supports DDR RAM and has on-board graphics, sound and even LAN. I would like to remind you, though, that you'll get very low performance from this system-so buy this only if you want to spend not a penny more than necessary. This motherboard-CPU bundle, along with the other components I've mentioned, will cost you about Rs 15,000.

Have Money, Will Upgrade
Q. I have a Celeron 1.7 GHz CPU with 128 MB of DDR RAM. I want to upgrade. Should I go for a DVD player and 256 MB of RAM, or for 2.1 or higher speakers with 256 MB of RAM? I have to choose from one among these two options.

Your PC just doesn't have enough memory. You should first go for the 256 MB memory upgrade-a single 256 MB DDR memory module will cost you about Rs 1,450. As for the option between a DVD drive and a 2.1 speaker set is concerned, it depends entirely on what you want! A good 2.1 speaker set from Creative or Artis would cost Rs 2,000, and a DVD drive would cost Rs 1,700.

MP3 Player: Flash Or HDD?
Q. I want to buy a MP3 player with a minimum capacity of 1 to 2 GB from a reputed brand. My budget is a modest Rs 10,000. Also, please give me some general information on MP3 players.
Shantanu Mishra

There are two types of MP3 players available-Flash-based and hard drive-based. Flash-based players are compact and have a maximum capacity of around 5 GB. Hard drive-based MP3 players offer larger capacities, but are generally more expensive and won't fit your budget.

The iRiver iFP-799 is a 1 GB Flash MP3 player that retails for around Rs. 11,000. Samsung's YP-C1 will set you back by Rs 7,900 for 1 GB.

Apple has officially phased out the iPod mini, but these are still available in the market. If you're lucky enough, you might get one for a good price.

Too Much Typing
Q. I've been experiencing a lot of pain in my wrists, and I think it's because of the eight hours of typing I do daily. I'm using a Logitech membrane keyboard; I want to know what keyboard suits my work best. Do mechanical keyboards have an advantage over membrane keyboards as far as ergonomics is concerned?
Toney Jacob

You should first mend your sitting position. Your arm-starting from your fingers to the elbow-should rest on a flat table so that the wrists are not strained. Have a look at the Towards Comfort article in this issue for more on ergonomics.

As far as ergonomics is concerned, mechanical keyboards cannot be said to have any advantage over membrane keyboards.

Try out the ergonomic keyboards from Microsoft-they might just ease the wrist pain.

In Quest Of The Latest Games
Q. I want to buy gaming titles such as UT 2004, Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay, Swat 4, and more. Planet M stocks quite a few titles, but not all. Where in Mumbai-apart from Planet M-can I find new gaming titles?

You can purchase gaming titles from the Crossword stores, which are spread across the suburbs. You could also try online stores such as fabmall.com, rediff.com, and indiatimes.com.

Here are the names and contact information of the big game distributors in India.

Indian Game Distributors
Name Phone Websites 
Milestone Interactive 022-28203319 www.milestoneinteractive.com 
Sujata Softech 022-22846574 www.sujatasoftech.com 
Worldwide CD-ROMs 022-56973894 www.wwcdrom.com 
Gayatri Impex 022-56973895 www.gamemasti.com 
E-Xpress 022-28870017 www.e-xpressindia.com 

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