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Old 03-11-2011, 07:07 PM   #1
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Default Need the IT Guru's -- *new office*

Well, a friend of mine who runs a small contracting company has finally decided to put a deposit down on a new office space.

He has come to me asking for help; building a few computers for the office, as well as setting up an intranet- so to speak.

The main goal here is cost efficiency, so bear with me.


**Two-three computers, for light office work, I am a little out of date with hardware, so I just need a suggestion for a -real- cost effective CPu, that will handle light CAD work. Possibly a Mobo suggestion, if you know of a great pair.

**The next major focus is having a network; as a means to keep cost low, I suggested, he simply purchases the same package as you'd get in your home. In our area, Verizon offers a Modem/Router that handles, I believe 4 land lines and broadcasts wireless.

For some reason He believed he needed a server, and I told him unless he were hosting his website locally, I didn't see the need in dropping another 600$

Am I pretty accurate in my findings?

Furthermore, he has a desire for the future to access his office files remotely from his home. What would be the best way of going about this?


Thanks for Any Assistance
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Need the IT Guru's -- *new office*

Hi Iontheable,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iontheable
**Two-three computers, for light office work, I am a little out of date with hardware, so I just need a suggestion for a -real- cost effective CPu, that will handle light CAD work. Possibly a Mobo suggestion, if you know of a great pair.
What's the budget? How "light" of CAD work? Which program? A list of program specifications would help. Google Sketchup has the following requirements:
Quote:
Recommended hardware
  • 2+ GHz processor.
  • 2+ GB RAM.
  • 500 MB of available hard-disk space.
  • 3D class Video Card with 512+ MB of memory or higher. Please ensure that the video card driver supports OpenGL version 1.5 or higher and up to date.
So to get a ballpark on something like that, let's look at Dell. I found some OptiPlex 380s that might do nicely for under $400 apiece (just the pc w/ mouse&keyboard). Of course, those are with Windows 7 Home - you may wish to go w/ Windows 7 Pro - it all depends on how the PC will be used, and what sort of applications will be run. What is the nature of his business? Contract what?

A required software list would be really helpful in making these decisions.

You don't have to go with Dell - I personally prefer ASUS or Lenovo. HP/Compaq is another option. I imagine they'll all be around the same price range though. Of course, if that's too expensive, you can always roll the dice on eBay or craigslist, etc. Buyer beware! I bought several laptops for a business I owned at one point from eBay. 3 of 5 of them are still functional (four years later) - so second-hand isn't all bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iontheable
**The next major focus is having a network; as a means to keep cost low, I suggested, he simply purchases the same package as you'd get in your home. In our area, Verizon offers a Modem/Router that handles, I believe 4 land lines and broadcasts wireless.
I don't see why a $40 Linksys 4-port Wireless router wouldn't do the job. As long as he doesn't intend to do much more than send and receive emails and have general Internet access, then home cable Internet service should be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iontheable
For some reason He believed he needed a server, and I told him unless he were hosting his website locally, I didn't see the need in dropping another 600$
Did you ask him why he thought he would need a server? Again, knowing the nature of the business would be helpful in answering this. Contract labor? Contract carpentry? Then no.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iontheable
Furthermore, he has a desire for the future to access his office files remotely from his home. What would be the best way of going about this?
Setting up a VPN would be one way to go: VPN Setup - How to Set Up a VPN
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Old 03-12-2011, 03:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Need the IT Guru's -- *new office*

Thanks for your replies dean, I did some further investigation last night, and configured some builds that were based around an Intel E3400 cpu. I like the option of building the boxes myself, mine tend to last longer than HP's or the like. Although, its hard to beat some of their prices these days.. I can keep the cost, per box, at the lower end of ~500$- including a nice monitor and the works(keyboard, mouse, shipping etc)

As far as the software goes, I am pretty sure he does not know what he'll be interested in using, he is an HVAC contractor making his way into the digital world for the *first* time, so-to-speak. I am sure I will be researching software at some point in the near future.

And, I am assuming he wanted a server because he figured he needed one, to connect remotely. A VPN will be a perfect solution. My only question about the VPN setup: does that allow you to access the "network" or individual computers? Or both?


Thanks again for your time.
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