I'm going to be moving to Colorado in a week and my family already lives there and they are going to pick me up here in Cali but my Stepdad does not have a computer right now, and asked me if I had one.
The thing is that I do but they aren't exactly the fastest machines in the world, my top spare unit only has an AMD Duron 850mhz cpu but when I got thinking about it, isn't that all he really needs? Literally all he uses his pc for is email, internet, and typing documents.
He'll do just fine with that - I'd go with a low end Core 2 Duo if I was putting together a new machine to give it a little more snappiness, but if you already have that, there's no point in upgrading it just for basic internet.
Too much hard drive access? Are you using it on a system with almost no RAM? I'm using it right now, and the only hard drive access I see is the occasional blip of windows background tasks every 5 or 6 seconds.
That Duron will work just fine. I gave my father a old IBM R30 laptop i had with 384mb sdram, a PIII 1Ghz Mobile, a Ati Rage 8mb, and hes delighted.
Surfing, Office tasks (Open Office) a bit of MSN. He uses Firefox 3 and the machine is on Windows XP.
Just playing Java games seems like pulling teeth. Starcraft plays really nice. Still good for some lan action with my brothers .