Sam Bauman: Desk computer goes for $95 at ComputerCorps



When Carson City’s nonprofit ComputerCorps announced it was selling laptops for $95, that was only half of the message.

The other half reported that the Corps also was selling desktop computers for $95. The laptops are OK, I tried a couple of them and fooled around with the $95 desktop, which worked out fine. But the laptops are chiefly for one person to carry and use. The desktops are for the whole family of users.

Here’s what comes with the $95 desktop:

Core 2 CPU processor

4 GB of memory

320 GB hard drive

Keyboard and mouse

Wire or wireless ready

LibreOffice Productivity software, Windows 10 software

Anti-virus, Flash card, and Acrobatic Readers with larger hard drives are available.

LCD monitors are available for $40-$70

Faster computers with larger hard drives and more memory are available.

If interested, buyers can shop at the CC retail outlet on Mallory Way, next to the Nevada Appeal offices. Store hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. The retail store all stocks most computer accessories.

A fine movie, prequel to “Apes” series

One of the better films playing in Carson City this week is the sci-fi “War for the Planet of the Apes” at the Fandango Galaxy. The film takes place before the apes control Earth. The costumes and makeup are excellent, and the use of computer-generated images is only used where logical and beyond Hollywood craftsmen-built sets.

“Planet of the Apes” prequel series — which depict the events that led to the primates taking control of Earth — features simian leader Caesar (played via motion capture by Andy Serkis) who is horrified when his family is killed during an attack by humans on his community. Caesar soon plots revenge on the Colonel (Woody Harrelson), the Army leader who led the assault on the ape camp, which threatens to ignite all-out war between the two species. He suicides. Caesar’s family is killed in the raid. Direction by Matt Reeves is smooth efficient and keeps the action moving.

There are many side issues within the film. One is the danger of using stereotypes when thinking of people — we’re all different and original, but we tend to classify people and things by the stereotypes that seem to apply. All apes are not the same, just as humans differ. And the danger of thinking of species worth or lack of worth is something to think about almost daily these days.

The script is good and punchy and the acting, despite cumbersome ape gear, fits the story. This is a film above the usual sci-fi efforts — once one accepts the apes as thinking beings, everything fits well.

Another side aspect is how humans think of apes — was it a foreign culture out to eradicate the human race, or do they just want to live their lives? Plenty of room for debate issues raised in the film.

One complaint about the Galaxy is the theater adds $2 to the ticket when the film is screening in the upgraded theater. Not fair.

Supplements on TV — bad idea

If you watch TV at all, you’ve surely seen the many ads for dietary supplement medications. (Too bad the big pharm people convinced the FCC that ads for unproven drugs are a good idea for Americans. To the best of my knowledge and search, the USA is the only country that allows drugs to be advertised on TV.)

From Consumer Reports January issue, here are some supplements that can interact with prescription drugs:

Calcium, antibiotics, anti-hypertensive Sives, osteoporosis and thyroid drugs. Heart drugs.

CoQ10, anti-hypertensives, blood thinners, cancer drugs.

Fish oil, cancer drugs.

Ginkgo biloba, anti-anxiety drugs, anticonvulsants, diabetes drugs

Ginseng, anti-hypertensive drugs, diabetes drugs, blood thinners

Melatonin, blood thinners, diabetics drugs

St. John’s wort, allergy drugs, anti-anxiety drugs, birth control pills, heart and heartburn drugs, blood thinners

Vitamin D, anti-hypertensives, cholesterol-lowering statins

A smart and inexpensive way to check how supplements can be a bad choice — ask your pharmacist’s option.

And ignore those pesky TV ads that tell you nothing but to buy, buy, buy.

Sam Bauman writes about senior affairs, among other things, for the Nevada Appeal.


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