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Offline Cookie

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The geek thread.
« on: April 12, 2020, 04:01:40 AM »
I'm at that point again where I'm considering a new desktop.
The 11 year old iMac is winding down.



I recently set K up with a Lenovo desktop and I like the speed and the UI of Windows isn't as painful as I recall.


So, Mac or Windows and why?


Mac or Windows. Those are the two choices.


Don't care about your Raspberry Pie, Linux or anything else.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 04:33:32 AM by Cookie »
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Online zer0netgain

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2020, 05:23:04 AM »
My OS is based on what I use.  I’m sick of Windows, but all my files are in formats for Windows applications.  I’m not sure how happier I’d be with Mac.
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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2020, 07:30:22 AM »
If you don't have any OS-specific applications that you care about then I guess it comes down to:

A) Cost - the Windows-based computer will probably be less expensive

B) Familiarity - you've been using a Mac for a decade

I use Windows-based computers at work, so that's what I went with for home use WAAAAAAY back in the day (Windows 3.1 then Win 95/etc/etc).
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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2020, 08:21:08 AM »
I use a Mac at home and a PC at work.

I generally prefer the Mac OS. Plus, you have the longevity of the Mac. Dan just made the observation that his daily (over-)use Mac is 12 years old. Not bad   :gerg:

But yeah, the ARE pricey.
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2020, 08:23:27 AM »
All the laptops in the house are Apple. 


My recently built server is running Windows Server 2019 and I've been seriously considering deleting that and installing Linux because even Microsoft's base Server version is flaky.  No mods, fully updated with minor software installs like MS Office 2019 and Garmin Basecamp resulting in a few spontaneous reboots on a fairly regular basis.  Hardware is all on the HCL list, drives were checked on install and all software drivers are MS certified.  The only thing I've been impressed with is their Hyper-V version.  It installed simply and ran Ubuntu via a live disk install with no glitches SO FAR.

ETA: Windows 10 does not support more than two physical processors hence the Server install because four CPUs.

Get the new iMac.
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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2020, 10:35:01 AM »
My OS is based on what I use.  I’m sick of Windows, but all my files are in formats for Windows applications.  I’m not sure how happier I’d be with Mac.

 The grass is always greener. Been a Mac user for over 20 years. Totally immersed in the ecosystem. The way they are heading is making me take a hard look at Windows/Android.

Online doc4216

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2020, 10:40:46 AM »
I started out on windows and then switched to Mac. I have to use windows for work but I continue to use mac as my personal, none work platform. I would give my left arm to be able to solely use my Mac for work and personal but unfortunately, my work is locked down into the windows world.

This is what I know. I have a lot more gliches, frustrations after updates, and issues on my windows platform than I have ever had on my Mac. Show me a windows computer still operating at a useful pace after 11-12 years.
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Offline Bounce

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2020, 10:42:36 AM »
Windows 10 is much-improved but uses a different philosophy than macOS.  Hardware-wise, a similary spec'd WinTel will be the same price as a Intel Mac. The Mac seems to have a longer life cycle than Windows machines and that may be a function of Apple choosing to caste off old code when it hinders optimization. The claimed strength of Windows (backward compatibility) is also it's greatest weakness (tons of legacy code to slow it down). Of late, even M$ has taken to cutting loose some old code for the same reasons.

I find that the Mac ends up costing less as a whole because it includes a lot of utilities and functions in the OS that are "extra cost" 3rd party tools in Windows. Also there seems to be a lot of free (or pay if it's useful) tools for the missing pieces in the Mac.  For "heavy hitting" programs, that can be a wash since most of those companies make versions for both.

If you get into the Apple ecosystem, there are some really powerful functions in the macOS. You can share screens (phone, tv, computer, tablet, etc.), use the phone/tablet as a touchpad, hand-off documents so you can work where you left off on any other machine you have. If you have one Mac on your network and fire up a new one, the OS will see it out on your network, ask if you want this machine set up like the other (letting you choose, app+data, data, apps, etc.), and once you answer a security question, it asks your user name, password, and then asks you to go away while it clones your new system. All pretty hands-free and never failed for me.

Talk about an enterprise game-changer and it made it clear why our IT department chose Windows (to justify it's existence).

Offline Jim

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2020, 12:23:37 PM »
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« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 12:00:18 PM by Jim »
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Online PatM

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2020, 05:44:10 PM »
I don't get the what's the better OS discussions.  AFAIK they're pointless, like oil or tire threads.  :shrug:
I've supported Windows, Mac and Linux clients in the past. They all had their issues. They're just tools.

And I don't think iOS or Android are ready for desktop use.

Get whatever works for you. If you have invested in Mac software that can be reused or upgraded at low cost, I'd stay with Mac. Other than that Windows versions of software are generally cheaper.

Personnaly, I have Windows and they do what I need to do without any fuss or muss.

 
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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2020, 07:22:49 PM »
The way they are heading is making me take a hard look at Windows/Android.

Could you elaborate?


I'm in the Windows world (and support Mac clients [I'm reasonably familiar with Mac]) though with the "OS as a Service" method for Win10 I've been casually eyeing other fields (Mac, Linux).

 It used to be that Mac OS updates were few, and far between. You could pretty much count on them being rock solid. Ever since Steve introduced the phone, and then subsequently left the planet with Tim in charge the upgrade cycle has accelerated rapidly, and the software is suffering for it. Bugs galore. Workflow disruptions. Big changes for no apparent reason other than "new & improved". That thing you depended on has been removed, but we have new Emojis! Yeah, OK. That bug that's been in the software for years that interrupts your workflow? Still there in fact here's a few more! Even the hardware is suffering. One port to rule them all. Not. Some of us need more throughput than that can deliver, and don't want a bunch of dongles hanging off our laptops. Keyboards that can survive outside a clean room would be nice too. Soldered in storage, and RAM. No more Magsafe. I could go on....

 I think it's still better than Windows, but that is changing.

 

Offline Jim

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2020, 08:23:18 PM »
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« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 12:00:35 PM by Jim »
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Online M.Brane

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2020, 10:10:58 PM »
 My newest Mac is my 2015 MBP. 2.8 i7 16G RAM 1TB AMD Radeon R9 M370X. Running Mojave. This is by far the best Mac I've ever owned overall. My highly upgraded 2010 Mac Pro is not much faster at most tasks, and is a hell of a lot less portable.

 I've been considering getting a newer Mac to experiment with Catalina, but then all this virus shit happened. Don't really need it for what I do, and Catalina still looks like a beta to me. I'll wait a bit. Been looking at the AMD Ryzen lately. That is a smokin' chip.

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2020, 01:45:35 AM »
As for the longevity of Mac OS vs Win OS hardware. Two things...

1) Folks using old MacOS versions on old Mac hardware... is the OS version still "supported"? Are the apps that reach out to the Internet (browser) or deal with content just pulled in from the Internet (PDF reader, etc.) still being supported and updated (to reduce exploit exposure)? I'm in the field that if it's an internet connected device it _should_ (not saying _needs_) be current. If not, can your hardware be updated to a currently supported level? I'm thinking some of the "Old Mac's continue to run" are using non-current software and some of them are so old that they can not upgrade to latest or at least an "still-supported" version (and should be retired).

As mentioned earlier, Dan's Mac is 12 years old and still functioning perfectly (well, "almost" - the battery could be replaced, but he says that it isn't worth is, since it never leaves the couch area anyway). I don't think that he's ever upgraded his OS and everything he needs still works.

My own laptop isn't as old (2015, running OS X Yosemite) and while it periodically offers the upgrade, I haven't taken them up on it as I am still happy with what I have.

 :shrug:


Oh, and Dan's previous laptop? The only reason he had to replace that one (at about 10+ years old) was because he spilled an entire mug of tea on the keyboard  :facepalm:
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Offline sleazy rider

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2020, 04:26:40 AM »
Using a new to me MBP 2010 A1278 now.  On purchase, it had a 120GB SSD drive and 2GB of memory.  I had a mid-2010 uni-body with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB hybrid drive that got pulled when *I* dumped some coffee on the keyboard.  Tried replacing the logic board to no avail.  All the old hardware was compatible with the new MBP, so it went in immediately.  Chose to do the hack to install Catalina and never looked back.  Three months in and still no hiccups.  It’s got Office, Chrome browser, Family Tree Maker and a few other apps installed.  It’s used quite a bit every day since SIP went into effect.


The wife got the same type laptop when she killed her third Windows laptop in two years.  She adapted quick.


MagSafe has made my life a whole lot less irritated cuz the wife is hard on power ports.  lol
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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2020, 07:25:46 AM »
I'm a Winder's guy too because of work so that's what I use for personal stuff beyond Android Tablet/phone.   I do have an older (~10yr) ASUS laptop that I only pull out when the grandkids are here.  I'm considering converting that over to ChromeOS and making it a Chromebook since they use those at school anyway.

Offline Bounce

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2020, 09:45:06 AM »
M.Brane - thanks. 

Ah yes, MagSafe. After replacing several power jacks on Win laptops (not only the easy to replace pigtail design but also the motherboard soldered design - ugh) the MagSafe connector is the power connector I feel all laptops should have. As for the small and delicate USB-C connector - I've already replaced one of those connectors. I love the multi-function capabilities / throughput but feel it's too delicate / wish it were more robust - physically.


PatM - the blinker fluid discussion is over there >>>

;-)


As for the longevity of Mac OS vs Win OS hardware. Two things...

1) Folks using old MacOS versions on old Mac hardware... is the OS version still "supported"? Are the apps that reach out to the Internet (browser) or deal with content just pulled in from the Internet (PDF reader, etc.) still being supported and updated (to reduce exploit exposure)? I'm in the field that if it's an internet connected device it _should_ (not saying _needs_) be current. If not, can your hardware be updated to a currently supported level? I'm thinking some of the "Old Mac's continue to run" are using non-current software and some of them are so old that they can not upgrade to latest or at least an "still-supported" version (and should be retired).

2) I am seeing old/slow hardware on the Win OS side that, with a solid state hard drive, with a Win10 version which is currently supported, still in operation. I use CPUBenchmark.net to look up CPU "speed" numbers and I'm seeing slow systems in use (sub 3000 CPU mark range - a client just brought in a system with a 701 rating - wow - that's slow). A question to the client - how's the speed of your system?  Some say it's OK and other say it's slow but it's acceptable / I don't want to buy a new system yet. With Win 10's upgrade steps (feature upgrades roughly 2x per year) I'm thinking the Win 10 OS world will start to mimic the OS X world. A piece of hardware will get used a longer duration and we'll move away from "new OS new laptop/desktop" mentality. I can see Win 10 running laptops/desktops having the question 1, above, start to apply to them in a few years.

I've not had a problem personally with old hardware support. If I'm not in the mood to upgrade hardware, then I stick with the last OS that supports it and don't upgrade software.

IMPE (personal experience) exact same software is the same cost on both WinTel and macOS. Outside of that, I find the OS includes support that requires extras be bought in Windows (PDF support is rolled into the macOS but Adobe Acrobat (creator?) can be pretty expensive ($250 when we bought it for someone at work).

As for age: I gave my iMac 27" 2010 to my sister-in-law when I got the 2013 (IIRC) Macbook Pro (wanted the portability when I was still working). I sold it to a forum member and he made some upgrades and it's now his daily driver. I'm currently running a Mac Mini 2019 and using Catalina without issue. So the only reason for me to have upgraded any of that was "lust".

Offline Jim

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2020, 02:28:14 PM »
.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 12:01:01 PM by Jim »
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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2020, 02:44:15 PM »
Mac! Oh wait, perhaps, or no, Windows! Or, maybe Mac!
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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2020, 03:02:27 PM »
A plan is just a list of things that doesn't happen.

Offline Bounce

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2020, 11:04:45 AM »
Do you want GIMP's UI? Because that how you get GIMP's UI!

Offline sleazy rider

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2020, 12:03:53 PM »
Neither.


Working on Knoppix install, boss.   ;D


Drives are low level formatting in the server to ensure no issues.  One yesterday, one today. 2TB drives take some time to deep clean. 
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Offline Bounce

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2020, 12:02:45 AM »
Drives are low level formatting in the server to ensure no issues.  One yesterday, one today. 2TB drives take some time to deep clean.

Try incorporating a 14Tb drive into an array. On a fast RAID, plan on 3 days.

Offline Jim

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2020, 12:54:33 AM »
.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 12:01:12 PM by Jim »
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Offline Jim

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2020, 01:09:13 AM »
.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2020, 12:01:21 PM by Jim »
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Offline Bounce

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2020, 08:47:14 AM »
Thanks for the link. I've been running WD Reds in my NAS for as long as they've been available. I've had 1tb, 3tb 6tb and now 14tb Reds in the Synology and never a problem.

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2020, 09:54:26 AM »
Off-topic:  having issues with the LSI 2008-IR raid system declaring a certified drive as wrong type on boot.  I’m unable to use these drives at all. No RAID, no initialization, nothing.  Seagate SAS ST2000NM Constellation Enterprise 2TB drives.  They’re on the SuperMicro certified drive list.  All other drives pulled from system and these are the only two drives installed.  They show up in the RAID management console just fine.  WTF?
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Offline chornbe

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2020, 10:37:54 AM »
This is all great text, and the bolded point is one that is very, very easily overlooked. An equally-spec'd machine will be around the same cost. It's so easy to get lost in spec sheets, feature comparisons, etc. It takes some care to ensure you're actually comparing fairly.

A $300 all in one is usually using a 3-4-5 generation old CPU with basic chipset and plenty of corners being cut. They may also be using chips that failed for top-end rollout. For instance, a lot of early Core i3 chips are actually i5 chips that failed speed tests or that have 2 dead cores. i3 chips can be fine for reading email, but begin to bog down pretty quickly on a lot of task switching or background tasks.

Hardware-wise, a similary spec'd WinTel will be the same price as a Intel Mac. The Mac seems to have a longer life cycle than Windows machines and that may be a function of Apple choosing to caste off old code when it hinders optimization. The claimed strength of Windows (backward compatibility) is also it's greatest weakness (tons of legacy code to slow it down). Of late, even M$ has taken to cutting loose some old code for the same reasons.

I find that the Mac ends up costing less as a whole because it includes a lot of utilities and functions in the OS that are "extra cost" 3rd party tools in Windows. Also there seems to be a lot of free (or pay if it's useful) tools for the missing pieces in the Mac.  For "heavy hitting" programs, that can be a wash since most of those companies make versions for both.

If you get into the Apple ecosystem, there are some really powerful functions in the macOS. You can share screens (phone, tv, computer, tablet, etc.), use the phone/tablet as a touchpad, hand-off documents so you can work where you left off on any other machine you have. If you have one Mac on your network and fire up a new one, the OS will see it out on your network, ask if you want this machine set up like the other (letting you choose, app+data, data, apps, etc.), and once you answer a security question, it asks your user name, password, and then asks you to go away while it clones your new system. All pretty hands-free and never failed for me.

Talk about an enterprise game-changer and it made it clear why our IT department chose Windows (to justify it's existence).

Yes, it's easy to get a well-enough-performing Windows machine for less initial out of pocket than a Mac. Impossible to argue that. But IMO the savings stop there.

For 15 years, among other duties, I was a Windows admin, and I won't willingly go back to that life. Windows 10 - and the Windows 10-X rebuild is supposed to be so much better, but at this point, I couldn't care less - for home, I'm a Mac guy, and so far, for work, I'm still a Mac guy.

That's not religious zeal; I just can't and won't go back to giving up so much time to keep Windows machines clean and running optimally, especially when that's the result of having to install stuff that should just be built in, or has to put a big shield around the OS.

There's a reason why Windows is toying with installing a *nix kernel, and supposedly will be fully moved over to a *nix kernel after the 10X rollout is complete. :shrug: We'll see. Microsoft is moving away from desktop as a primary focus and is putting a LOT of eggs in the Azure basket. Going with a Linux based solution this late in the game feels abandoney and giving-uppey to me. :shrug: <- redux

I have a new Macbook Pro 16" for work, my 2013 15" MacBook Pro - which was used and working fine when I got it - was rolled over to Liz's desk as her new desktop replacement, and her 2011 iMac has gone to the kids for online schooling, and "it all just works". I just updated the iMac to Catalina, and all it required was a file system update in place. Let that run overnight and whammo, all done, no hitches, no roll backs, nothing. 2011. Not bad.

Meanwhile, I hear a lot of four letter words and frustrated tone when she has to use her brand new work-supplied Windows 10 32 gig, i7, SSD driven notebook for mostly-Office-based tasks.

Again, this isn't zeal; it's experience.
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Offline chornbe

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2020, 10:41:34 AM »
Off-topic:  having issues with the LSI 2008-IR raid system declaring a certified drive as wrong type on boot.  I’m unable to use these drives at all. No RAID, no initialization, nothing.  Seagate SAS ST2000NM Constellation Enterprise 2TB drives.  They’re on the SuperMicro certified drive list.  All other drives pulled from system and these are the only two drives installed.  They show up in the RAID management console just fine.  WTF?

Ouch. That sucks. I have no advice on a resolution.

sidebar: I'm a Western Digital fan. I lost faith in Seagate a long time ago, and never really got it back; when I have a say in it, I go WD whenever I can.
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Offline Bounce

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Re: Mac or Windows
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2020, 10:17:10 AM »
sidebar: I'm a Western Digital fan. I lost faith in Seagate a long time ago, and never really got it back; when I have a say in it, I go WD whenever I can.

Ditto. I used to recommend Seagate but they lost their way many years ago and we started seeing much-shortened MTBF numbers. My last experience was helping my kids figure out why their home security camera NVR quit working.  Cracked it open and, sure enough, a Seagate drive that was only about 95 days old. In went an old-well-used WD that I had at home from another non-NAS upgrade. Bingo bango. All done.

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Re: The geek thread.
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2020, 10:29:09 PM »
 Only spinning HDDs here now are for backups. Enterprise quality. Daily use, and storage in all machines are SSDs.

 Will likely never buy another spinning HDD.

Offline Bounce

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Re: The geek thread.
« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2020, 08:57:53 AM »
I can't afford SSDs that large.

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Re: The geek thread.
« Reply #32 on: April 18, 2020, 09:27:00 AM »
$100 per TB is not bad to me. I remember $400 for 18GB 50-pin SCSI.

Offline Bounce

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Re: The geek thread.
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2020, 09:14:53 AM »
Well... I didn't pay the $1500 for the first (convection cooled, 20Mb) HDD. I did get the first after-market one that was "only" $500 for 10Mb.

I sure as hell wouldn't pay that now.

Offline chornbe

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Re: The geek thread.
« Reply #34 on: April 19, 2020, 12:44:11 PM »
Yeah, I look back at some of the stuff I built early on for small businesses... whoofah, crazy big bucks. These days, you can walk into any store and get 1000x more computing power and storage for a fraction of the cost. Crazy world.
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Re: The geek thread.
« Reply #35 on: April 19, 2020, 01:08:34 PM »
My first job was programming HP "mini" computers using FORTRAN. That late '70s "mini" required it's own air-conditioned room and racks of tapes. The laptop I'm typing on has so much more power. It took me a couple of months to teach it how to draw bar graphs.
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Offline Bounce

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Re: The geek thread.
« Reply #36 on: April 20, 2020, 08:49:07 AM »
I could tell you stories of "personal projects" on the PDP11 and Vax 11/780 that included hooking up my Apple ][+ to it so it thought the Apple was a VT100 and using the Apple to "decompress" the data discs of "The Bible" on 5.25" floppy disks into plain text files. Then creating string manipulation and search routines in FORTRAN.

Ah... swing shift for a proto-programmer doing "operator" work and lots of free time on swing shift.