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Author Topic: Will Your Next Computer Be Your Last?
jrootham
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posted 01 August 2001 09:26 AM      Profile for jrootham     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Nifty article. Both a substantive issue and a trip down memory lane.

A quibble: Viscalc was an Apple II programme. It did not move to the IBM PC because the programmer and the marketer got into a fight about money. Lotus 123 dominated the DOS market and Excel took over the Mac and subsequently Windows.

A commentary on operating system bloat: Back when all computers were built one at a time (mid sixties, but it was true for a while after that) Herb Grosch enunciated Grosch's law. A subsequent restatement by Ted Nelson went like ths:

Formally: The cost of computing varies inversely with the square root of the speed.

Informally: If you want to do something twice as cheap you have to do it four times as fast.

Interpretively: It doesn't matter what the hardware boys give you, the software boys will piss it away.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 01 August 2001 10:26 AM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For a couple of years now I've been telling anybody that'll listen that they should buy used computers instead of new ones. Nobody need a 1ghz CPU to do word processing.

My home computer is a PowerMac 6500. I edit video on it and record music with it. I use it for desktop publishing. All this stuff is relatively processor intensive, right? The 6500 was first released in 1997. I've never upgraded it, nor have I ever really had a need to. It could use some more RAM, I suppose.

Of course, Apple doesn't support much of the hardware on this old computer anymore. The 6500 doesn't have a USB port, and that's a big problem for me. Nobody makes SCSI peripherals anymore, it seems. I hate how Apple screws its customers through planned obsolescence.

I'm currently trying to get a laptop off of eBay. I really want a Powerbook 3400. It was the last Mac laptop that had a floppy drive. It also came out in 1997.

Unfortunately, I've discovered the flaw in my philosophy of buying used computers. My sister bought a used mac, and so did my father. Since they aren't nearly as computer-literate as I am, they've had a hell of a time trying to get the things to work properly. Software/hardware incompatibilities, etc. When someone goes wrong on my dinosaur, I can usually fix it myself. They aren't so lucky. They generally curse the machines out, a lot.

I don't think computer companies really WANT the general public to become TOO computer literate. They'd never be able to sell their extended warranties and customer service plans that way!

[ August 01, 2001: Message edited by: Kneel before MediaBoy ]

Heck, depending on your needs you could easily get by with a 286. I still use my Commodore 64 from time to time.

[ August 01, 2001: Message edited by: Kneel before MediaBoy ]


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 01 August 2001 01:16 PM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi jrootham:

You're very right about Lotus 1-2-3. Stupid mistake on my part. Thanks for catching it. I've asked that a correction be made to the piece. Glad the article brough back memories. I wish I had hung on to all my old machines.

On another topic, I'm looking for a site about a GUI operating system built from the ground up for lower speed PCs. The OS is supposed to support a graphic browser, email and word processing. Anyone have a link?

Thanks,
Wayne MacPhail


From: Hamilton | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 01 August 2001 01:19 PM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi Mediaboy:

Yes, one of the probs with getting an older Mac is the compatibility problem, especially with all the USB stuff coming out now. But, if you just want a stand alone word processor an SE or SE30 still does the job and you can still get ink cartridges for the Stylewriter 1200 which is more than you can say for some of the old dot matrix printers. Hope you find the 3400 you're looking for. I miss having a floppy drive somedays. Just don't buy a 5300, which was the dog of the Apple line.

All the best,
Wayne MacPhail


From: Hamilton | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 01 August 2001 01:22 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I wanna try to turn my Mac Classic into a web server. hehe.
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
judym
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posted 01 August 2001 01:22 PM      Profile for judym   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The correction is in place. And, for those who haven't seen it, Wayne's story is here.
From: earth | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
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posted 01 August 2001 01:26 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What does the XBox mean to all this? I admit 1/2 of my PC use is for gaming, but I dread the "dumbing down" of PC's to become glorified PlayStations. Thoughts?
From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 01 August 2001 01:31 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Games seem to be the only reason any average person would "need" a top-of-the-line computer. The Xbox may indeed throw a wrench into that whole market. It depends on how upgradeable it is (will you need to buy the Xbox 2 in a year's time?) and what you can do with it besides play games. Can you use it as a word processor or to surf the internet?

Has anybody ever seen the Internet Refrigerator made by LG?


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 01 August 2001 01:37 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks for the article Wayne.

I run Linux on a PII 333 MHz with 64M RAM and really, I can do everything I want quite comfortably. I probably will end up getting more memory and a bigger hard drive (I like that having my 6.4G forces me to purge stuff, though), but that's it for now. I'm not a gamer and I don't do a lot of radial blurs in Photoshop so I don't need processing power. Some programs, like Star Office and Netscape, are real memory hogs and so I just don't use them. My browser is Opera, which is incredibly fast, and I use some of the smaller word processors (AbiWord or KWord) on my system when I need a WYSIWYG word processor. (Otherwise I use LaTeX ) I don't see where I'll be needing more power anytime soon.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 01 August 2001 02:01 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If I can't get a Powerbook 3400, I might try to get a used PC Laptop and run Linux on it. I want to avoid Windows, at all costs.

But I've been told that its really tricky to get Linux to run on a laptop.


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 01 August 2001 02:14 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well I've never had the pleasure, but I think some laptops will be easier than others. If you google linux laptop you'll get a lot of hits. Dell sells laptops with linux installed. I wouldn't spend the money, though. I'd just check out which ones are going to work, and then buy accordingly.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 01 August 2001 02:14 PM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi VeraTim:

I think the Xbox and its ilk will mean that fewer folks will buy high end PCs just to play games on. The desktop machines we know today will be used for "serious" stuff and the PS2s and Xboxes will be for high end games, networked games and DVD/CD playing in the family room. I'm up for spending $600 (or whatever the final sub-$1000 price is) for an Xbox if it lets me play games with amazing graphics (though I won't be buying 'Nuns 'n' Nailguns II' and that sort of crap) And, I'll keep the same ol' Powerbook I've got now for the other stuff.

I don't expect that you'll be able to do much email or surfing on an Xbox (unless it becomes a clunky sort of WebTV dog) since that's not really what the device is for. It'll be marketed as a kickass, kick-back machine.

All the best,
Wayne MacPhail


From: Hamilton | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 01 August 2001 02:20 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
$141 for a Sinclair, eh? I wonder what I could get for my Kaypro!!!

Wayne, ever tried this trick? I still play a few games for my C=64 that are on audio cassette. If you record the game as an mp3 file which you can swap over the internet. You download the mp3 file and dub it onto another audio cassette, ready to be played on your C=64 (or your Sinclair). Talk about merging high-tech and low-tech!


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Wayne MacPhail
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posted 01 August 2001 02:39 PM      Profile for Wayne MacPhail   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Great trick mediaboy. My wife and I still pine for Caverns of Mars.

All the best,
Wayne


From: Hamilton | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 01 August 2001 02:41 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
*chuckle*

I started on an Apple //c. Now, several computers later, I've got a Pentium-200 non-MMX sitting in the corner with 96 megs of RAM and a 4.3 gig hard drive, running FreeBSD and being my webserver.

My main computer is a P3-800 with more RAM than I know what to do with and more hard drive space than I'll ever need.

This computer will probably keep me well until 2004/2005.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 01 August 2001 02:55 PM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'll probably break down and get a G4 pretty soon, because of the DVD-Recordable drive. Anybody know if you can get a relatively cheap DVD-R installed in an older Mac? I think you need the G4 to record DVDs, no?
From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pimji
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posted 01 August 2001 11:24 PM      Profile for Pimji   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does the XP on the new Microsoft products stand for ex pensive?

Imagine if our culture placed a higher value on quality and security of human life and was able to have its population create the artistic wonders that had a higher intellectual value rather than just producing what sells. Money, economics and commerce are the new Gods. I am no artistic puritan by a long shot, however it doesn’t take much to see shlock that sells as opposed to something that really took years of skill time and energy to produce. The computer is kind of like a table saw. We used to cut wood and stone long before electricity and the transistor evolved. The engineering that produces the ultra fast calculations of today’s computers is truly a wonder of the technological age as well, but in the environment that values only making money over encouraging a deeper understanding of human creativity and life we will continue to be relegated to years to come of bloatware, endless versions of Microsoft products, the same formula advertising and Jurassic Park 1,2 ,3 ,4….


From: South of Ottawa | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 02 August 2001 11:36 AM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
True, Hollywood uses "the formula" ad nauseum. But nowadays you don't need to rely on Hollywood for your film fix.

The best Star Wars movies are all shorts, made by fans, and available for download off the internet (if you have the patience to wait for them).
www.theforce.net


It does not take a fantastic amount of hardware to make these films. It does take a fantastic amount of imagination and hard work.

Creative works are out there, if you look for them. They don't have the advertising budgets that Hollywood has.

Clerks. Slacker. The Celebration. Blair Witch (ok, bad example). Small film festivals. Film and video co-ops.

You don't have to rely on Hollywood if you don't want to, just like you don't have to rely on Micro$oft if you don't want to.

The problem is that most people don't know where else to turn because they've had so much big-budget advertising slammed into them.


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Victor Von Mediaboy
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posted 03 August 2001 10:11 AM      Profile for Victor Von Mediaboy   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yay! After losing several eBay auctions, I've finally got myself a Powerbook 3400! Only $350!

Woohoo! One more computer that won't end up in a landfill!

Now, where did I put my copy of MS Word 4.0?


From: A thread has merit only if I post to it. So sayeth VVMB! | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alan Zisman
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posted 31 August 2001 07:07 PM      Profile for Alan Zisman   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In general, I'm in agreement with the main article, and with the various comments. A few minor quibbles:

1) Yes, users could be doing word processing and e-mail in a text-based environment, as Wayne suggests... however, few of us want to take the time to learn, say, the F-key commands for DOS Word Perfect. GUIs like Windows, MacOS, etc were necessary for the big explosion in computer use in the 1990s.

2) JRootham rightly suggests that VisiCalc was initially an Apple II program... but it was quickly ported over to lots of other environments, like the CP/M machines that were the business personal computers of the late 1970s. And very quickly after the IBM PC release in August 1981, it was ported to that platform as well. In fact, recently, Dan Bricklin, creator of Visicalc, has made that 1981 PC version available for free download... Rabble readers wanting a taste for PC minimalism may want to give it a try:

http://www.bricklin.com/history/vcexecutable.htm

When Lotus 1-2-3 was released (IBM PC only) in 1983, it wiped Visicalc off the map, mainly because it supported very large spreadsheets (and required a lot of ram-- one of the first things pushing up against Bill Gates' 640 kb limit), and because it integrated charting-- letting users make visual graphics of their data... good for convincing the boss of the need to spend company money on new computers.

3) Wayne is asking for a link for an OS for lower-powered PCs... he may be thinking of New Deal, a revision of the 1990-era GeoWorks Ensemble (itself an updating of what was originally a Commodore-64 and Apple-II GUI)... New Deal includes a web browser, word processor, graphics programs, etc, and will run on a 286 or better. The company has cut deals with several Canadian provinces (including BC and Quebec), to provide New Deal for free to schools-- though few are actually using it.

http://www.newdealinc.com/

Wayne also states that he misses a floppy drive on his Mac... I missed one enough that I got a USB floppy drive-- about $99 at Future Shop.

4) re. Kneel Before MediaBoy's comment wondering whether an Xbox will be able to do word processing or web surfing, well you probably won't want to word process on the low-res TV screen... but if it's a top-line game platform, if it lets you happily keep word processing and Web surfing on your several year old PC or Mac, then you're saving money compared to upgrading your computer to play this year's games. Also, it's not necessarily tricky to get Linux to run on a laptop-- but you may not have, say, sound card support. Some models are better supported w. Linux drivers than others-- ask around before buying. Dell, however, has dropped its Linux support.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 02 September 2001 11:20 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Dell, however, has dropped its Linux support.


I know I could just go look on Slashdot. But. When? Why???

From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
grrr
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posted 02 September 2001 06:17 PM      Profile for grrr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Dell, recently, stopped selling Linux on workstations and laptops due to lack of demand. They continue to offer Linux on servers.
From: Toronto | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 03 September 2001 01:59 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oooh did DeadRat's stock plummet even further? That's quite a blow to them I guess.

I don't know any likely Linux users at this stage who would want to have Linux preinstalled. It might be nice to have guaranteed linux-compatibility of hardware but that's about it.


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Slick Willy
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posted 03 September 2001 11:30 AM      Profile for Slick Willy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
My main computer is a P3-800 with more RAM than I know what to do with and more
hard drive space than I'll ever need.

Ahhh you're just not trying hard enough.


From: Hog Heaven | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 03 September 2001 02:12 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Slick Willy: I know, famous last words, right?
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 25 July 2003 12:37 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Famous last words, indeed.

Since that thread I jumped to a Thunderbird-1.2 GHz, then to an AthlonXP 2100+, and am taking a breather with a Celeron-1 GHz until I get a P4 CPU sometime in the fall. Hee-hee.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 25 July 2003 12:39 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
DRedging up the past aren't we?
I am reasonably sure my last computer will be my last.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
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posted 25 July 2003 01:50 AM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Will my next computer be my last? Porbably not.

I admit that I've got a mild case of tech fetish. I am running a 1.4 Ghz AMD Athlon with 256 Mb of RAM and a 40 gig hard drive. I do a little bit of gmaing when I can, but have not ever had trouble running anything on this computer. I upgraded to this about 3 years ago, before that I had a 400Mhz with Win 98 and i think 128 Mb of ram and a 10 gig hard drive. That served my needs quite well for the first 3 years I had it, but it became too tiresome to use, expecially in my heavier gaming days.

I still have the 400Mhz kicking around, which I am thinking of making into a webserver (need to learn more about that) and running Linux on it.

My next computer which will arrive in a few weeks is pretty much the same specs as the one I have now, except its is a laptop. That one will probably last for at least another four years, probably until I am finshed university.

After that, who knows what will be out that I won't be able to resist buying. Although in my own defense I am not always on the bleeding edge.


From: Arkham Asylum | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
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posted 25 July 2003 02:50 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Shoot, you're in Alberta, or I'd offer to visit and get you set up with the webserver thing.
From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 25 July 2003 10:19 AM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Having had a slow PentiumI (180-200MGz) for years and years (I used to own Macs, but too damned expensive, too fast an obsolescence rate and not enough software...loved the OS though), I've just ordered a laptop. I need the mobility, speed and disk space. Of course, I do not need a Celeron 2.2GHz processor or a 40GB hard drive, nor is it imperative that I have 512MG of RAM (expandable to 1024MB). But that's what the damned thing has. It's good to go for wireless, has a 15" screen (not the best for graphic design and layout, but what the hell) and weighs less than 3 kilos.

I've never had a machine that really meets my needs, and now I'm going to have one that surpasses my needs so excessively it's embarassing. But it will be nice to have a tool that really makes life easier.


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
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posted 25 July 2003 10:43 AM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I used to own Macs, but too damned expensive

...and you say DNA is your Elvis, *tsk*, *tsk*


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 25 July 2003 11:46 AM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, he's my Elvis. I've also accepted him as my personal savior. So there.
From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Tbecky
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posted 25 July 2003 11:58 AM      Profile for Tbecky     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't know how long my current computer will last me, but I sure am impressed that this thread has been going for TWO YEARS.

Wow.


[ 25 July 2003: Message edited by: Tbecky ]


From: Fire Exit | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
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posted 25 July 2003 12:59 PM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Yes, he's my Elvis. I've also accepted him as my personal savior. So there.

..and a fine choice of personal saviour he is, too, being a real historical figure and all...

I was just pointing out that by eschewing the Mac, I believe you are in violation of several Commandments. I believe it constitutes a venial sin in Adamsism.

Slagging the Beatles, on the other hand, is a mortal sin .

[ 25 July 2003: Message edited by: Sisyphus ]


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 25 July 2003 01:47 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sisyphus:
I was just pointing out that by eschewing the Mac, I believe you are in violation of several Commandments. I believe it constitutes a venial sin in Adamsism.
I know, I know...but I loved owning a Mac, I really did. I didn't want to let down the side, but they just made it too hard for me to keep buying one!

*sniff sniff*


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
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posted 25 July 2003 02:14 PM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Don't feel so bad about overpower, Rebecca. Your Celeron DOES lack an L2 cache

Are Macs really that bad when it comes to the obsolec... obsoles... rate of going obsolete? I thought that PCs were far worse in that respect. Although I hear rumors that the ceiling to how fast a silicon-based processor can go has been reached. Does this mean an end (or at least a short delay) to the exponential growth rate of PC processor speed?


From: Arkham Asylum | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Rebecca West
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posted 25 July 2003 03:52 PM      Profile for Rebecca West     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does too have and L2 cache. So there. Nyah.

Actually, your point about obsolescence (sp?) is probably correct. It's just that by the time you finish paying for your Mac, it's no longer up to snuff, and you have to buy a whole new one. Whereas PCs are very upgradeable - buy a new motherboard and a faster CPU, or just totally build yourself a new one - for a couple hundred bucks.

[ 25 July 2003: Message edited by: Rebecca West ]


From: London , Ontario - homogeneous maximus | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 25 July 2003 04:19 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Are Macs really that bad when it comes to the obsolec... obsoles... rate of going obsolete? I thought that PCs were far worse in that respect. Although I hear rumors that the ceiling to how fast a silicon-based processor can go has been reached. Does this mean an end (or at least a short delay) to the exponential growth rate of PC processor speed?

Macs probably will last on a desktop a year or two longer than a typical PC, but the cost per year is probably higher. And while you can go out and get a really inexpensive (cheap) PC, the same is not true of a Mac. However, for systems of equal quality, the price difference isn't that great.

I wouldn't worry about processor speed. The challenge to faster speeds has always been heat and they are solving that one so far.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sisyphus
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posted 25 July 2003 04:27 PM      Profile for Sisyphus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
.
quote:
I wouldn't worry about processor speed. The challenge to faster speeds has always been heat and they are solving that one so far.

I've always thought that the insurmountable challenge to processor speed was Microsoft's software .


From: Never Never Land | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 25 July 2003 10:01 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Uncertainty Principle may impose some kind of upper limit to the narrowness of the pathways engraved into the silicon dies used for CPUs (more accurately, I should say the masks that are used to etch the silicon) for two reasons:

1. The masks can't be narrower than the wavelength of light used to etch the pathway or you get diffraction effects.

2. The pathways themselves can't be so narrow that you get significant quantum tunnelling of electrons between pathways, which would create short circuits and random errors.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3336

posted 26 July 2003 12:04 AM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I don't know any likely Linux users at this stage who would want to have Linux preinstalled. It might be nice to have guaranteed linux-compatibility of hardware but that's about it.

Dead on. I bought my last computer with a blank hard drive. You can sure save a lot of money when you don't pay for a pre-installed os. But you have to hunt for a supplier who will sell you one.

[ 26 July 2003: Message edited by: Cougyr ]


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
rosweed
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4296

posted 27 July 2003 05:25 PM      Profile for rosweed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This will definitely NOT be my last computer. I paid about $700US for this from Tiger Direct.com:
AMD Athlon 1667MHz 800 MHz
Disk 55.9 GB
RAM installed 512 MB
Full Version Windows XP 5.1.2600 Service Pack 1
OPTORITE CD-RW CW4802 CD-RW 8472 KB/s (48X)
External Clock Speed 133 MHz

This is an off brand (Vision) manufacturer which means the additiona of any kind of new hardware is easy. They also sell re-manufactured items at very good prices and their warranties and customer service are terrific. I'd highly recommend them.

Shawn Rosvold
www.medhatcom.com


From: Brooklyn NY | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Snuckles
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2764

posted 27 July 2003 07:27 PM      Profile for Snuckles   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'm thinking of buying a new computer soon, probably a laptop. As my overclocked AMD Thunderbird just doesn't cut it anymore when it comes to playing Medal of Honour My framerates on Omaha Beach are pathetic.

There is a place in the US that sells desktop replacement notebook computers, with 3.0GHz P4 CPU's, fancy video cards, etc. So something like that would beat the pants off my current desktop machine.

But I will still hold onto my desktop machine and run it as a server. I have an old Pentium 75, with 2 hard drives, running OpenBSD. I run Samba, NFS, and SSH on that and it runs perfectly.


From: Hell | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
batz
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3824

posted 27 July 2003 11:58 PM      Profile for batz     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I've had lots of computers, but I don't have one at home at all anymore. I am posting this from an abacus. Yes, my skillz are that elite.

I don't intend to buy another computer, ever. I'll lease a laptop, or get my various employers to supply me with a laptop, but it just seems like bad feng-shui to have one in my house anymore. It should be invisible, I don't want
an office in my house.

My days of running a 15 Unix machine (incl sun and sgi) network in my appartment are over for good.


From: elsewhere | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 28 July 2003 02:15 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
My next computer:


From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 28 July 2003 07:08 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Now Rasmus, there are under-18's on this board who might see that!

I laughed all the way through that article. I can see where it might be a bit of an ethical dilemma to have that freaky looking thing following teenagers around to gauge their reactions.

And the robot's nickname - ROTFL! (Those who know me will understand... )


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 29 July 2003 12:20 AM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Jesus H. Christ. That thing could make anyone get nightmares.

Aside to Michelle - You know, that is a strange nickname for a robot.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 29 July 2003 12:29 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I loved the professor's comments - that kids LIKE that kind of thing, freaky looking robots like that.

Yeah, Doc, I thought it was a particularly suitable nickname for some creepy-assed thing that follows you around and plays mind games with you, trying to get a reaction. But I'm not bitter!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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