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French software?


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We are in the throws of replacing our laptop, dying on it's feet. Is it possible to get a laptop in France with English software? Also is it possible to change the operating system, XP Home, to a new laptop? If so I could possibly  get an empty one, with a 'qwerty' keyboard and do the load myself. Plenty of practice 'cause I have just done it on this thing  [:-))] !!
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Hi John,

I’m sure I’ve seen it mentioned before that you can buy UK keyboard / English software versions of PCs from Dell for delivery to France.  I had a quick look on the Dell UK website and cannot see any specific mention of this – maybe you just need to go through the configure and buy process and enter your French address at the end?  There’s a telephone contact number on the website.

You’re going to get the biggest choice from somewhere like PC World / Comet / Currys etc – are you planning a visit to the UK soon or do you have friends visiting?  You could decide from their websites and ask someone to bring it over for you?

It looks like you need to have Microsoft Windows of some sort on any PC you buy from the big companies – the Dell site allows you to upgrade to XP Pro etc but you don’t seem to be able to remove the operating system, maybe because they offer a software bundle which would require Windows for it to work?

I’d suggest you buy an “international” brand rather than a UK retailer’s exclusive as it may be easier to get it repaired in France if ever necessary.  I believe Dell offer an international warranty.

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Thank you for your reply Ecossais. I think that the biggest problem with Dell is that they tend to 'tie' you into their kit by using Dell only hardware. The kit I am interested in is an IBM laptop and if I can get the hardware and can drop our XP OS from the present one into it then that would be the ideal. Why the hell should we have to but another OS when the one we have is not very old. It's only 3 years old and never raced nor rallied, sorry that's an expression from an earlier existance!!?

I had a look at the Dell site and some of their kit looks quite good, but I still like the look of the Lenovo 3000 C100 (IBM kit). Well I did work for IBM for 18 years...

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It's the C100 I am really interested in, but they look close... It was recomended by a good, IT smartass, mate of mine. All I have t do now is to find one with a usable, not azerty, keyboard  that talks a language that I can understand without a dictionary and I'm laughing? I hope? Oh yes and at a price that I can still keep the house, dog and wife in the style they have become used to since living here...

I live in hope  [8-)]?

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Speaking from my own experience, there are certain things to bear in mind with either buying in France or buying a UK system for use in France.

You do soon get used to French keyboards, language etc - or I did.

Even with a multi-national company like HP or Dell you tend to be tied to UK for service if you buy a UK-spec item (and HP service in particular has gone from very good to absolutely appalling having farmed most of it out to India). So even if bought in France you could have after-sales difficulties with a UK keyboard, Windows etc.

And French after-sales is nothing to write home about either, unless you go to a small local shop who are unlikely to give you UK specs or be able to deal with any major issues.

I have been warned against Dell because they tend to be rather individual so only Dell can fix it if it goes wrong, and the after-sales service can be poor (both are only hearsay from somebody who I think knows his stuff, rather than based on personal experience).

Buying in UK gives more choice and arguably better value and better after-sales service, as long as you can get the thing back to UK if it goes wrong.

You are unlikely to be able to easily buy a computer without OS, and in any case I understand that many now come with only pre-loaded software or discs that cannot be used on another machine in order to protect against piracy. If saving money is important, then maybe worth looking at somebody like www.morgancomputers.co.uk which will deliver to France, and although not the absolute latest specifications they can offer very big discounts.

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I purchased a new IBM desktop in the UK shortly before moving out to France. Just within the warranty the PSU failed and I contacted IBM France for service/warranty. They tried the "send it in to us ...". they had no problem with the UK purchase and the IBM France company doing the warranty repair. I argued and they then sent me the parts direct. Of course they sent the wrong parts so I argued a bit more and they sent an engineer out the next day (with loads of parts) - all under warranty on a PC purchased in a different country.

That was before Lenovo took over so I don't know if things have changed.

Ian
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Another thought. Last year when I was looking for a 2nd desktop I contacted several UK IBM dealers (as I like IBM PCs). None could sell a PC without operating system. All would ship to France, though delivery costs were excessive and made the total cost too much.

I did call Dell but did not want a monitor (I was after a desktop). Seems you can (or could) "cut a deal" with Dell. If they are not doing so well, they are "flexible". I was "cutting a deal" on a PC without monitor and without a few other odds-and-ends they tend to throw in like it or not. Eventually decided I would wait. I tend to be a bit anti-Dell. I found they used to be good (in the days when a 386 was a "mega blaster" but have gone downhill since) - my experience anyway.

Ian
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[quote user="PossumGirl"]I was told by our local PC shop that any computer can be ordered with a QWERTY keyboard and English operating system.  It might take a few days longer, but that is it.

PG
[/quote]

Hi PG,

Where is your 'local' shop please? You are not far from me are you????

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[quote user="Jonzjob"]

... Why the hell should we have to but another OS when the one we have is not very old. It's only 3 years old and never raced nor rallied,....

[/quote]

John
The theory is that when you buy a PC you have to buy an operating system, which can be upgraded etc, but when you sell it on again, in theory you are supposed to pass the operating system licence on, because it's effectively useless without one.  Of course none of this covers scrapping the old one or other scenario's, but just thought I would try to explain.

Bill Gates needs to scrape up some revenue from wherever he can :-)

 

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If you've still got the licenced copy of your original Windows XP CD, why not buy a laptop in France then format the hard drive and do a fresh OS install using your UK version.  As has been said before, using the AZERTY keyboard is not problem after a while.  If you have a problem, you can take it back to your local retailer rather than messing around with returning things to the UK.

 

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Thank you PG, I have your e-mail and now know where he is. It may well be worth a trip over to see him rather than try to explain over the phone..

Hi SD the biggest problems we would have with an 'azerty' keyboard is that our desktop machine would still have the 'qwerty' version and the fact that I'm tooo bruddy old to change now. Plus if I were to be able to get an IBM laptop the warranty is as valid here as the U.K. and I think that I can get one through IBM France direct. All I need is the yesterdayz promised e-mail with the details. Not here yet though?

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When I first started repairing the hardware on confusers for Nextdoor Confusion (Nixdorf Comp) they had all of 2K of toroidal core storage and no disks of any kind. After a couple of years I joined IBM and programmes were loaded by putting a stack of punch cards into a reader, this was the JCL (job control listing). Then things got really hairy and the core storage on the big machines got to the grand size of a meg!! and there was possibly a 30 meg disk, impressed huh? From 'Nextdoor' to here took about 30 odd years all of which were on a 'qwerty' keyboard and all on mainframe kit. It's a dream compaired with the cornered rat called a PC. It is actually cleaver enough to give you some information as to what was happening and kept error logs too. Plus YOU COULD NOT HACK IN AND PUT VIRUSES ON IT from outside!

So as you can see SD, I've been playing with them for a very long time now and I get scared at the thought that I can now put a gig of storage on my keyring!!

Now, PCs are wonderful machines, until they aren't!

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