In my experience, a computer is as good as it is put together. In other words. A mishmash of parts put together to form a pc if done wrong is a horrible pc. Even if you got the best quality parts. If they don’t play nice with each other it’s just shit and misery.
A mate of me keeps telling me to get a pc. Even though he never even tried a mac, he seems fixated on the idea that PC’s are infinitely better because they’re “upgradeable” and are “not limited”. In his words:
Its an extremely limited and expensive pc!
Perhaps. There is not much to upgrade to the hardware. Where-as a PC you supposedly can upgrade all you want.
But then my point of view. By the time you *need* to upgrade something in your PC. All you can really do is expand the ram and perhaps add a new video card. If you want a new CPU, you’re often stuck on some outdated socket. Which is not desirable, if at all still available. So you need a new mainboard as wel. But then you probably run into a slot issue with your ram, so you need new ram, too. Making it a much more expensive upgrade. Not to mention lots of issues with your Windows license in terms of validating and re-activating. So really, is a PC a better upgradable computer? I think it’s not.
By the time your mac *really* needs upgrading it will probably either be 3 to 4 years old. And you will buy a new one. Migrate your software and done. Easy peasy. Whereas for a PC you need to check if your new parts are compatible, put it together, hope it works. It probably will. Then mess with more drivers and updates than you can shake a stick at. In that process it’s very likely that you run into issues with conflicting or crappy drivers for days before it works a 100%. Not to mention trying to keep windows alive during that mess.
And that’s just my experience with upgrading PC’s over the past 10 or so years. Every time i wanted something new i had to buy a new PC, except when it was just the videocard or harddisk. I’m sure with Windows 7 it got a lot easier. I use Windows 7 and can tell it made big advances in hardware management. Still, it remains windows… And comparing my windows ease of use on a mac compared to a PC. The mac side of the story is much prettier.
So, seriously, how upgradable and unlimited is a PC? And do you need it? Really?
With the addition of the Mac Mini Server i bought earlier this week i now have a spare Mac Mini to toy around with.
A 1.5Ghz Core Solo with 2GB Ram.
Given that my Lacie portable broke just before christmas. Or rather, the controller board of Lacie broke (Like so many other Lacie drives) i did some swapping around with disks here and there and suddenly had a 250GB 7200RPM disk spare.
Earlier today i built that thing in into the Mac Mini. But damn was that fucker noisy! I quickly removed it and after some more swapping of disks it now has a 120GB disk at 5400RPM. Which is dead silent. Yay! Originally there was a 60GB disk in there.
Anyway, i wanted to try out the media center idea i’ve been having for weeks now. So i installed Snow Leopard on that machine, installed Plex and got hopelessly lost in the labyrinth of poorly designed settings. After toying with that for a few hours i didn’t even get to play movies properly. The DTS Sound was broken (which is a bug in Plex for the last 6 or so versions) and embedded subtitles do not work. 2 very much required features. That and the total lack of user-friendliness made me decide to look for something else.
Boxee seems very nice, and it is. Apart from its lack of home screen customization, broken DTS downmixing , missing embedded subtitles and poor streaming capabilities i liked the interface a lot! However, since i don’t want to synchronize the mac with my server but just want boxee to look in my movies folder and stream them on demand. It kinda failed. Mounting shares is easy enough, which strangely goes via SMB and not AFP. But then accessing it in a decent matter is a whole different adventure. Every time i would have to go back to the home screen which has the latest online stuff from other users. Something i want to turn off since i’m not at all interested in it. And then find the share under ‘local’. Which lists a ton of other folders and paths you cannot remove. But are not at all familiar too. Another way is to use the browse feature which kinda lets you wander the harddisk and attached devices (including network disks) but that’s confusing too. So if your data is not local, it’s difficult to find. Add broken DTS downmixing and no support for embedded subtitles and you pretty much have a failed software package.
Another thing that didn’t work out well, despite several sites reviewing the Mini saying it was “totally doable”, is that HD content, say anything 1080i and similar, will not always play smoothly. 720p no problems there, streaming it over a 11g Wifi connection. But 1080i often went with a stutter. I’m not sure if it’s because of the wifi, or because of the CPU. But when i copied a file over it wasn’t much better. Just less frequent. So i guess the CPU is on the edge of being capable playing a 1080i movie that is h.264 encoded with AC3 5.1 sound.
If it’s true and exists – will i need one? Probably not. Will i buy one? I probably would.
I would want a decent eBook reader to finally replace actual books. And the offering of books should be sufficient ofcourse. Like, every proper book of the past 20 years with more to come. Unlike the video store which still is not worldwide and still isn’t compelling to me IF it were available to me.
Hell, if the software offering is good and the iPhone OS, if that’s what’s it going to run, gets fixed in many ways to work more like OS X i might even consider dropping my MacBook from the line of macs i have.
iPhone OS, which should be rebranded into Mobile OS. Larger keyboard, maybe a numpad on it in horizontal view. Wifi synching and not just to Mobile me, but to my LAN with iTunes or iSync. File browsing capability to some extend. To more easily browse files you make on the device. Like a home folder with a Documents, Images, Downloads folder to start with. iWork should fully work on the device.
Camera on the front. Wifi 11n Networking. 480×720 resolution on a display that’s 4 times the size as the iPhone. 2x as wide and high screen as the iPhone. Touchscreen. USB connectivity like the iPhone has. Bluetooth which allows headsets, mice and keyboards. One USB 2 port for a USB drive. One built-in speaker like the MacBook Air has.
I won’t care for…
3G, the market here is fucked up for it anyway, poor coverage for everyone, high prices for everyone. It’s not worthy yet.
And probably some other things i can’t think of right now…
I bought a Samsung 250GB 7200RPM harddisk last week to replace the existing 200GB 5400RPM disk in my macbook pro.
The laptop fell a couple of times and the disk was obviously affected by it. Slow performance. Sudden freezes. Replacing the disk solved all this. yay!
However a 7200RPM disk turned out a silly move as it’s noisy as hell. It’s like the fans are on at all times. Which is bearable. But, and this is the worst, the spinning of the disk resonates through my desk. Making a much louder hum throughout any room/space near that desk. Which is very annoying. Especially when you want to leave the computer on for a night.
Sooooo i’ll be purchasing a 5400RPM disk soon i guess
I bought a new video card yesterday, not really knowing what kind of card it was except that it was cheap (I intended it to use in my server). I saw some specs on the box that it was better than the existing EAX1650 i have in my game PC. So i decided to put the new card in there and use the “old” 1650 for my server.
Windows disagreed and went all nuts over it. I had to reactivate because my hardware configuration differed too much from the “saved profile”. Ofcourse since activation may only be done 5 times or so i had to call Microsoft and convince them, as a paying customer, that i wasn’t stealing their software and was just swapping out the videocard. Damn untrusting morons! I paid almost 150 euros for this hunk of junk OS. Isn’t that enough?
However, i understand that this is just a prevention from using their software on multiple computers. But it’s flawed at best. And very annoying on top of that. Not because i have to re-activate, but WHY i have to re-activate. There should be no activation at all.
Now let me play with my new Radeon HD3450! YARR!