"Mom's computer" project

Hello to everyone!

I didn’t want to put this thread into any specific area since this is related to many categories, mainly social. :wink:

Here’s a brief overview: my mother is about to retire soon and she has some orthopedic problems. Because of this she is forced to be at home for almost 90 % of her time. And what she does? She is becoming a chain smoker with no will to do anything. All she thinks are her health problems. Father works almost 30 miles away and I am in my third year of UNI also 30 miles away from home. She is mainly alone. But to break up this loneliness I was thinking about a computer for her. And why? So she can get and search for informations about her problems and question also elsewhere than in hospitals.

Since I’m traveling with my computer the internet connection at home stays unoccupied because there is no computer at home. It’s 1 Mbit ADSL, fast enough for someone who would just browse the internet and download some ordinary stuff.
So I was thinking about getting a low-budget computer. I was thinking about $100-150 price range.

So what do I need to run properly the following applications:

  • XP Home with language interface
  • Firefox (+ flash player, tabbed browsing)
  • ffdshow or other video/audio codecs mainly for music and encoded videos
  • remote control (with minimal settings)
  • kaspersky AV
  • AVG antispyware
  • spybot
  • some P2P (torrent, emule) in case she would learn how to use it and how to avoid frauds and viruses
  • windows messenger
  • acrobat reader
  • raxco perfect disk

Let’s say that all of the applications (except for raxco and remote control) are running at the same time (anti-spyware and AV in background just shielding not scanning, of course), what do I need?
I was thinking about some athlon XP 1800, 512 MB RAM, 80 GB disk, integrated sound, low-budget old graphic card (like radeon 9000 or something)… would that be enough to survive at least few years (let’s say 2 or more)?

I really don’t think it’s do-able for $150 if you want a new comp, but if you look a little bit on eBay you might be able find some cheap used mobo and cpu combo, then t might be possible.

Or maybe get something like this, for $350, it’s pretty good. http://newspaperads.mercurynews.com/ROP/ads.aspx?advid=32664&adid=4065766&subid=14880757&type=/

Anything with an 80GB HD & up … with a 1Ghz processor & 512MB ram & WinXP home should be more than adequate :stuck_out_tongue:

If she’s not playing games, then it’s more than overkill …

And my internet here in Oz is 512Kb/s … which is the only unlimited plan I can lay my hands on for a reasonable price (aka $60au / $50us-ish). (Next plan up 1.5Mbps is $110 for unlimited) … and it never stops downloading :stuck_out_tongue:

I was thinking about getting second-hand hardware, that’s for sure. Because that’s cheaper