PC Specification Guideline - translation software
Thread poster: Lisa Melvin

Lisa Melvin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 12, 2005

I am starting an MA in Translation in Sept 2005 in London and I am planning to buy a new computer from Dell (on-line deals). In order to be cost effective, I am going to buy a PC with sufficient memory/size of hardrive etc in order to be able to accommodate translation software that I will need once I am qualified (or even during the course.

Do you have any approximate guidelines that could help me? Dell have packages for small businesses - would they be suitable?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 15:16
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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For MAHT, all you need is entry-level Aug 12, 2005

Lisa C Melvin wrote:
I am starting an MA in Translation in Sept 2005 in London and I am planning to buy a new computer from Dell (on-line deals). In order to be cost effective, I am going to buy a PC with sufficient memory/size of hardrive etc in order to be able to accommodate translation software that I will need once I am qualified (or even during the course.


A brand new entry-level desktop PC should be just fine. Processor at least 2.0 GHz, primary memory at least 512 MB, secondary memory at least 80 GB... but this you'll find in any computer these days.


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Hynek Palatin  Identity Verified
Czech Republic
Local time: 15:16
English to Czech
+ ...
Standard configuration Aug 12, 2005

Do you mean a desktop PC? You don't need anything special, today's computers are powerful enough (except really low-cost configurations). 1 GB of RAM, fast hard disc (7200 rpm; capacity doesn't really matter, unless you are planning to fill it up with tons of photos and movies), DVD burner. No special requirements for video card, unless you want to play games or use two monitors (you would need dual output for that). What is important is a good monitor - a 17" LCD will be a good start. A keyboard that will suit you - but you might buy it extra later. Oh, and the computer should be quiet.

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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:16
German to English
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PC Specification Guideline - translation software Aug 12, 2005

I would recommend that you buy a cheap, possibly 2nd-hand laptop to use during your studies. That will make it convenient for example for you to work in your University library or to get help with the installation of particular applications from fellow students and staff. Get a low-noise laptop so that you won't disturb others in the library etc. The cheapest Elitegroup laptops have very low prices and with the VIA processor, no fan. They're not fast, but they're quite adequate, since productivity isn't going to be your first concern.

The RAM is likely to be your limiting factor. Until earlier this year, I was managing quite well with 256 MB, but I use Linux and OmegaT; other applications may require a lot more. However, the main thing is they actually work and enable you to become familiar with the concepts, rather than that they work fast.

Worry about getting a PC for business use once you actually set up in business. Who knows - perhaps you'll get a salaried position after completing your studies, which is certainly eminently preferable to setting up in business without any experience (I'm assuming from your profile that you don't have any).

HTH,
Marc


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Lisa Melvin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks. You've kept it nice and simple. Aug 12, 2005

Samuel Murray wrote:

Lisa C Melvin wrote:
I am starting an MA in Translation in Sept 2005 in London and I am planning to buy a new computer from Dell (on-line deals). In order to be cost effective, I am going to buy a PC with sufficient memory/size of hardrive etc in order to be able to accommodate translation software that I will need once I am qualified (or even during the course.


A brand new entry-level desktop PC should be just fine. Processor at least 2.0 GHz, primary memory at least 512 MB, secondary memory at least 80 GB... but this you'll find in any computer these days.



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Lisa Melvin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for the specifications. Aug 12, 2005

Hynek Palatin wrote:

Do you mean a desktop PC? You don't need anything special, today's computers are powerful enough (except really low-cost configurations). 1 GB of RAM, fast hard disc (7200 rpm; capacity doesn't really matter, unless you are planning to fill it up with tons of photos and movies), DVD burner. No special requirements for video card, unless you want to play games or use two monitors (you would need dual output for that). What is important is a good monitor - a 17" LCD will be a good start. A keyboard that will suit you - but you might buy it extra later. Oh, and the computer should be quiet.


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xxxtlmurray
Local time: 09:16
English
2 GHz might be overkill, extra expense Aug 14, 2005

Some have said "at least 2 GHz". I disagree.

I do consulting in very large corporate evironments, and I observe few people who utlize any significant portion of the power they have. In other words, the processors of their 2 GHz machines are sitting at nearly idle 90 per cent of the time. Most daily processes consist of typing at the keyboard, browsing the Web, working with e-mail, and, occasionally, some minor graphics processing.

You need a beefy processor if you're going to be running games, doing video processing, solid modeling, 3D rendering, and that kind of thing. But otherwise, and especially in a laptop, the heavy-duty processors don't do much more than consume battery life and generate heat, all at a greater expense.

You will find that your apps open quicker and paging through large documents with lots of big graphics may be faster, for example, but once you're in, the fast processors are no longer doing you any good, as the system is sitting there waiting for keystrokes.

I own only a 1 GHz Macintosh PowerBook G4 with 1 GB of RAM. I do lots of graphics and some video, but mostly it's the mundane. At the end of the day I crank out more work than four of the other staff, yet my machine suits me just fine, mostly because I'm a keyboard user (I avoid the mouse) and because I just know the apps and the operating system a lot better.


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Pablo Roufogalis
Colombia
Local time: 09:16
English to Spanish
Two monitors! Aug 16, 2005

Get a inexpensive PC with 512 MB of RAM and the smallest HD, say 40 GB.

But DO get two monitors! You'll be more productive with them than with any other feature.

A custom-built PC with a good motherboard running W2000 would be my choice but maybe that won't suit you.

Check with Dell if you can order a two-monitor AGP card instead of a regular one, even if you don't plan on getting the second monitor immediately.

You could get a 16:9 single monitor instead, but they are very expensive.


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Lisa Melvin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Two monitors? Aug 17, 2005

Pablo Roufogalis wrote:

Get a inexpensive PC with 512 MB of RAM and the smallest HD, say 40 GB.

But DO get two monitors! You'll be more productive with them than with any other feature.

A custom-built PC with a good motherboard running W2000 would be my choice but maybe that won't suit you.

Check with Dell if you can order a two-monitor AGP card instead of a regular one, even if you don't plan on getting the second monitor immediately.

You could get a 16:9 single monitor instead, but they are very expensive.


Dear Pablo

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I am afraid I don't understand why I would need two monitors. Perhaps you could explain.

Regards

Lisa


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Pablo Roufogalis
Colombia
Local time: 09:16
English to Spanish
Trados Windows Aug 18, 2005

Lisa C Melvin wrote:

Dear Pablo

Thanks for taking the time to respond. I am afraid I don't understand why I would need two monitors. Perhaps you could explain.

Regards

Lisa


Hello Lisa.

You would use the second one for the Trados windows. A large main document window, maybe at 150%, and large WB and Concordance windows that show many hits do help a lot the speed, quality and ease of your work.

Don't try it if you are not willing to go through with it. It's addictive!


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 09:16
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Two monitors can be useful (or a waste) Aug 18, 2005

I am afraid I don't understand why I would need two monitors. Perhaps you could explain.


Two monitors, and even two computers can improve your productivity in many situations, included when you need to compare documents, translate image files, use large electronic materials, search through databases etc.

Almost every time you need to take the time to switch from one application to another, you could save time by using a double monitor configuration (or 2 pc lan). However, in order to really take advantage of it, you should have the right assignments and, above all, a sense for the whole thing. Else, it could be just a waste of time and money, just as any other electronic equipment.

Hope it helps,

Luca


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Lisa Melvin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:16
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Aug 18, 2005

I think I will wait until I start the MA in Translation and get a better idea of what you are talking about.

Regards

Lisa


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