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My first bleeding edge computer

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by jerrymildred, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    lots of folks had those around here
    but Laser 128’s & XTs were more common in the 80’s

    saw an add for one every time I saw the computer chronicles


    Funny part is that they (and their offshoot Packard Bell) were blamed for a large chunk of the malaise era business failures starting in the mid 80’s->90’s
    (even though both died from their own business practices that initially put them ahead)

    Leading Edge Word Processor hangs DOSBox \ VOGONS
     
    #21 Rmay635703, Nov 28, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
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  2. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    It's called iStat. I saw some of the Mac M1 reviewers using it. You can get it on their website: iStat Menus or from the App store. I think it was $5 or thereabouts. I got the App store version so I could use it on both my computers and share it with my wife. I didn't bother checking the license for the one from the website. However, the one from the App Store is missing a feature or two. When you set it up, it will ask if you want to get that part from their website. The patch was free and easy.

    Prior to that I was using one called System Monitor. It didn't run at all on this M1 machine. The iStat one is a universal binary that runs on M1 and x86.

    I remember it well. The whole system that Intel & IBM set up was brilliant for the time. Computers were like Lego kits. It was the start of the x86 architecture that was so flexible back in the day. But now it seriously slows things down. Intel just released a chip that will keep up with the M1, but it uses a ton more power and costs a whole lot more.

    It looks to me like the M1 is going to be as disruptive to the industry as the iPhone was.
     
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  3. NewHybridOwner

    NewHybridOwner Active Member

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    I had slide rules in school: first a wooden one with a thin printed plastic scale glued on, then an all-plastic one with engraved scales.
     
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  4. NewHybridOwner

    NewHybridOwner Active Member

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    I remember those but never owned one. I went from the Osborne to a PC-AT clone in 1986. The largest affordable hard disk was a 20MB Seagate. I think I still have the quotation for a faster 40MB MicroScience: equivalent of US$1750!!!! --- but that was not actually in USA.

    The only store-bought computers I've had since have been laptops -- most recently used IBM/Lenovo T-series with a few years of warranty left. My desktops have all been DIY jobs with Asus motherboards, some with AMD CPUs, some with Intel.
     
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  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    my father in law's laminate (an EE - Korean war era) rule ... and leather case to boot;
    20201128_131602-1.jpg
    he taught my better ½ to use it - & now she keeps it just for sentimental reasons. i imagine relatives some day - tossing our cherished goodies out, once we shed the mortal coil.
    Ironically when the first (VERY expensive) Casio calculators hit the sceen - late 60's - slide rulers instantly died. Math teachers wouldn't let us use calculators - but he let this one odd ball slide rule user solve solutions with his rule. Had my dad not woked aerospace (Hughes aircraft) i'd never have had the edge during test taking.

    .
     
    #25 hill, Nov 28, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2020
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  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    That's a fancy looking slide rule. The one I ordered is pretty basic and looks very antique, but looks like it's in good shape. The seller would do well to learn how to take better pictures, though. LOL!

    sliderule.jpg
     
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  7. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    My dad's was kind of unusual in construction; it was metal, with kind of a beveled shape if I remember. I suspect it was thin metal around a wooden core. Moving the slide revealed the wood core behind it. I don't remember it having a cursor.

    Haven't seen it in ages, probably before the fire. I don't know the manufacturer. I just paged through ten Google Images pages of slide rules and didn't see anything resembling it.
     
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  8. RRxing

    RRxing Senior Member

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    Slide rules are amazingly accurate. We went to the moon based on their calculations. In 1976, we were the last Navy Nuclear Power School class that was required to use them on exams, although we could use calculators, like the one below, for homework.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. AzusaPrius

    AzusaPrius Senior Member

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  10. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I remember seeing contests way back in the day between slide rule users and calculator users where the slide rule was faster at just about everything.
     
  11. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    M1 fits a particular mold but a 16gb limit and SOC is weak outside its intended purpose .

    Who would have thought fully integrated would ever be pitched as something for serious users?

    Disruptive to the toy market Inteland Qualcomm have let stagnate, my guess is AMD kicks itself everyday they divested their mobile market, one could only imagine what would have happened if they kept it and continued to innovate the low end.
     
  12. mikefocke

    mikefocke Prius v Three 2012, Avalon 2011

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    My slide-rule was aluminum IIRC.

    Computers and I go back to '67 and 4 to 32k mainframes that would fill a bedroom. Debugged with an o'scope.

    First home computer was an Atari . Then built my own IBM personal computers for many years from boards and chips. Even taught a monthly class attended by hundreds on the latest chip technology and what were good and bad boards and then helped those folks buy the parts and put them together. Why pay the price of a car when you can build it for half price.

    In the last decade, I just go in and buy by price. The machines are too complex to play the overclocking games and such of years ago. The only advance in the last years that has benefited my use are the Solid State Disks. Boot in maybe 20 seconds. (I recall doing a load of an Alfa release of Windows NT onto an 286 that took over a day because it came on maybe 30 diskettes.)

    Spent 37 years in the guts of operating systems. Wrote some, maintained some, even spec'ed one. Those were the days my friends, we though they'd never end.
     
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  13. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I'm not sure what mold you think the M1 fits. For me, it fits the mold of "do anything the old system did with less energy and noise, more speed, and less money." After a few days using this 8GB M1 MBP to replace my i7 16GB MBP, I've had no problems doing the same kind of photo editing, video editing, audio production, web development, and graphics design work as what I did on the old MBP with the screaming fan. And it does it faster, which is to be expected with a 5-year newer machine. I was a little leery of going with 8GB but, after reading about how the system handles RAM so much better than x86, I took a chance. So far, so good. I wouldn't be surprised if, by the end of 2021, the only use for x86 chips will be just to run Windows and to drain batteries. What really amazes me is that these entry level computers are as fast or faster than the top of the line laptops.

    I guess the only downside is that you can't add more memory. But then again, the memory is handled more efficiently and the memory is a fraction of an inch away from the CPUs rather than several inches, which makes access way faster. I've mostly been using Adobe Audition so far to produce radio programs. The app still isn't rewritten for M1, so it's being translated by Rosetta 2 and it's still way way quicker at rendering mixdowns than it was on the i7 and the new computer doesn't get warm.
     
  14. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    My CFO's 8-year-old ASUS has a touch screen that went Tango-Uniform - so she's in the market for a replacement.
    That one was about a $500 'puter and I served as her first-tier tech support - although infrequently.
    We use a proper $200 Chromebook for bills and banking.

    I'm probably going to put her in an $899.99 M1 powered MacBook Air.
    $933.07 after TTL and with the military discount from the mothership. :D
    I had briefly considered a 2020 CPO model with the "old" chipset (730-ish from the same site and with the same discount) BUT nobody wants to open a beautifully wrapped CHRISTmas present with "Refurbished" stamped on the box - so I will pony up the extra bucks.

    Not quite as 'bleeding-edge' as the OPs, but it does have pretty good specs for a <$1000 box and if past is profile then my beloved CFO will probably still be using it 8 years from now.
    Maybe "briused-edge."
    As a bonus - both she and the other ladies in my life are on iPhones and pads so there won't be the usual rock wall garden claustrophobia issues associated with all things macple, and most of the heavy lifting that she does with 'puters involves photos - most of which she TAKES with her iphone - so I'm pretty sure that it will serve admirably in this role.
    I just have to make sure that I can throw her SLR photos over the brick wall into the garden - but I'm pretty sure that this will not prove to be an issue - even for something with a backlit apple on the lid.

    My only pause is that this is a sealed box.
    I'm not worried about boltering through the paltry 256GB SSD, since my CFO only used half of that in 8 years on the old box and we know how to use a portable HDD - but there IS no upgrading this puppy.
    If it breaks then you have to pay to have it repaired or round-file it - just like the 8-year-old, $500 computer that it is replacing.

    I'll roll the dice. ;)
    After all...her $1,124.00 phone is still in one piece. :unsure:

    Pro Tip:

    Sometimes the mother ship will "up" the 3% cash back if you use their house brand credit card to 6% in December.
    Pay attention to shipping dates!
    Also you have to pick between interest-free installments and applicable discounts (dot.gov, education, military, etc) since they're not stackable. I'm not planning on paying over time for this purchase, and I know how to math a little - so this isn't a head-scratcher for ME.
     
    #34 ETC(SS), Nov 30, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2020
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  15. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    From what I've read and seen, the Air is every bit as good as the Pro other other than slightly less battery life and the possibility of a little throttling if you push it hard for more than a few minutes. Something most users don't do.

    Most likely. I don't usually keep them till they die. My first Mac was a refurbished late 2009 27" iMac. The GPU went belly up in early 2015 and they were no longer available. (I pushed it pretty hard editing photos and videos.) I took out the GPU and sent it to a guy in California who reballed it for me for not much money. After putting it back together and running it for a while to make sure that all was well, I sold it and bought an i7 15" MackBook Pro that was twice as fast as the iMac. Now this new computer is twice as fast as the 15" MBP. So I guess doubling the performance is my trigger. BTW, I have a buyer for the 15" but haven't completed the transaction yet. That brings the cost of this $1,700 machine down close to the MacBook Air after throwing away the old junker.

    It's a wonderful world having the iPhones and Macs playing so well together. If I'm at the computer and get a text, I rarely need to pick up the phone. Only if it's from an Android user. It's also very handy being able to copy something from one device and paste it into the other one. As for the SLR, there are lots of card readers that will plug into your USB port. I have a dock that has a card reader, three USB ports, an HDMI port, and a pass-through for charging the computer.
    IMG_2693.jpg

    Yup, I find that a little scary, too. It gives the best possibility of reliability and extra performance, but for DIYers like us, it's uncomfortable. Maybe I need to get more serious about programming these new machines like I used to with other stuff so I feel like I have some mastery of the thing. LOL!
     
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  16. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I think I have all the pieces now for my work-at-home setup. Just got the laptop stand and Magic Trackpad 2 today. Last week I got the 1TB NVMe SSD and external Thunderbolt enclosure. Already had the keyboard. The 27" 4K monitor makes this almost like the office except at home I have the added 13" screen and this little stinker is twice as fast as my 2017 iMac at the office.
    laptop stand copy.jpeg
     
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  17. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    CFO was absolutely delighted with her base Mac M1!!

    Seems to be VERY fast for a sub-$1000(**) 'puter and I was pleasantly surprised to find that my $5 USB-c hub worked flawlessly and she was up and running with no muss and no fuss.
    The keyboard and trackpad impressed her and since she has already been assimilated (iphone and ipad) everything else just....worked.

    Her M1 isn't quite as "bleeding edge" as Jerry's, but it doesn't have to be.
    If I can successfully install LibreOffifce, and the interwebs say that I CAN (Apache's product is being discontinued) then this will be a completely functional replacement for her aging Asus running Windows 8.1.

    We've had no unusual chip (RISC vs Intel) issues.....and YES.
    I KNOW that the Apples insist that the chip isn't....ah...."riscy"....but.....if it looks like a duck.....;)

    If anybody reading this is on the fence, especially those who can play inside the walled garden, I'm thinking so far that this is about as good as computers get for >$1,000.
    The OP's Macbook Pro is also an outstanding value, but anybody who NEEDS one of those isn't likely to need anecdotal advice from a know-it-all phone dude in a car forum about computers.... ;)

    (**)
    I actually paid $100 more for this box than I should have, owing to my own stupidity.
    Normally I go to the mothership (apple.com) and order there, since they have a 10% dot.gov and dot.edu discount.
    3% more if you have one of their goofy titanium cards.
    Unfortunately......I didn't count on this being the friggin Cabbage Patch toy of 2020, and I waited, literally, 12 hours too late to pull the trigger and wound up having to snap one up from Amazon for a little over a thou after TTL.

    Amazon has a more generous return policy (30 days?)
    Apple has a 14-day no questions asked return policy.

    If you're in the market?

    Get one.
     
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  18. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Spot on, @ETC(SS). So glad she likes it.

    On the LibreOffice thing: My wife always used to use OpenOffice. I switched her to Libre a couple years ago since Open wasn't being very actively supported. When she upgraded to Big Sur, something broke in LibreOffice. So I said, "Let's give OpenOffice another shot." Summagun! It worked great. Since that time, I've guessing that LibreOffice has fixed whatever got knocked loose withe change to Big Sur.

    On mine, I have Office365 through work, and that's now been optimized for the M1 even though the Rosetta translations was working fine. Adobe Audition is where I spend much of my working time and even though it's running through the translator, it's still smooth as butter and quicker than on my 24 GB i5 at the office even though this thing has just 8 GB of RAM. It's amazing how it does so much with so little.

    The graphics work is mostly the Affinity suite, which is M1 optimized and On1 photo editor which is not. Both run fast and smoothly. I have had to replace one app that monitored hardware for me because I'm a geek and like to see how hard the CPU is running, how much RAM I'm using, and stuff like that. Also, I had to do some research to get Google Drive to work on the desktop. Dropbox just worked.

    I totally agree on the keyboard and trackpad. I could work all day using them if not for the ergonomics of hunching over a laptop as opposed to having the keyboard/trackpad lower and the monitor at eye level. Thankfully, the full sized Mac keyboard is really similar in feel to the new MBP keyboard, so no loss there. And the Magic Trackpad 2 is a wonder. Bigger than the M1's trackpad with roughly the same feel. (In settings, there are three firmness choices for the click, btw.)

    The biggest difference I've noticed compared to my i7 15" MBP is that I have not heard the fan on this yet, no matter how hard I push it. The fans on the i7 sounded like a hair dryer just from browsing a couple web pages.

    If this is their entry level system, the next edition is really going to rattle some cages at Intel and AMD. WOW. This thing continues to impress me. It gives the i7 a Dutch rub and then flushes its head in the toilet in the boys' locker room. The i9 can pretty much hold its own but will need a whole lot more amperage to do so. And the i9 is not entry level.

    Hooda think that you could get a $1000 computer that can, in some ways, keep up with a $30,000 Mac Pro?!
     
  19. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I think I have it all set up the way I want it now. Amazingly fast, smooth, and convenient. The external Thunderbolt drive is spectacular. I copied a folder containing about 2GB from the internal drive to the TB drive in less than 2 seconds. Having the two screens for audio work while following a written script is nice, too.

    No issues with any of the software I use. But it did take three tries to find a hub that works the way I want. This is even more productive than the 27" 5K iMac at work.

    Even with just 8MB of RAM, it doesn't care how many apps I'm running or how many browser tabs are open. It's still over twice as fast as my office iMac. If this is the entry level, I can't wait to see what the big dogs will do when they get turned loose later this year.

    M1 dual mon.jpg

    Black Magic speed test Read/Write to external Thunderbolt drive. Writes over 1 GB/s!!
    SpeedDisk-OWC-PNY Thunderbolt-1GB.png


    Edit to add a shot of what's going on with memory. It says it's almost full, but it has very little pressure, doesn't slow down, and the I've yet to hear a peep from the fan. My i7 MBP sounded like a hair dryer if I pushed it even a little bit.
    Screen Shot 2021-01-21 at 7.01.48 PM.png
     
    #39 jerrymildred, Jan 21, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2021
  20. TMR-JWAP

    TMR-JWAP Senior Member

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    Sounds just like my first 286..............:sick:
     
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