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Old 05-24-2019, 03:03 PM   #16
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You are forgetting one important detail as far as desktops go. It is easy to build your own Windows box, and cheaper.
...
That is what I did in the 1990s and early 2000s.
That is no longer true.
We (company I work for) sell computers to companies and individual users and we do not build computers from components anymore. For the last 10 years or so we are selling mostly boxes from HP, IBM ... And much higher percentage of notebooks than in the past. I remember when a component for notebook (mostly memory or HD) was significantly more expensive than a "desktop" part.

We used to build the majority of computers we sold from components for a long time. Nowadays we might install a custom SSD or more memory or [rarely] a fancy video card. And that is it.

Oh ... the *vast* majority of computers are on Windows. The rest are without OS (and I think private customers try to install pirated or non-OEM version of Windows on it).
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:05 PM   #17
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I think I may have to go Hackint0sh eventually. I did a Hackintosh on an old Asus 10" netbook for a couple of years (Leopard) but the screen was too small for it, I thought, so in the end went back to Windows and sold it.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:39 PM   #18
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That would have been nice, but the companies I worked for always seemed to treat the development department like the stepchild they really didn't want around but had to keep, especially the publications people! Even the programmers had outdated equipment. I remember one of the programmers had an old VGA monitor that was so bad she could barely read the code on it. She finally got so frustrated that she bought a monitor herself and brought it to work to use. In those days, the companies pretty much figuratively chained us to our desks and made us work 60 to 80 hour weeks. This was long before the modern tech giants like Google came along.
Oh, I had the same problem when I worked at Verizon and ended up buying my own monitor to use. Generally, I found that at large corporations, if you worked for the in favor projects, you got the cool new toys and if you didn't, you made do with hand me downs.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:43 PM   #19
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That is no longer true.
We (company I work for) sell computers to companies and individual users and we do not build computers from components anymore. For the last 10 years or so we are selling mostly boxes from HP, IBM ... And much higher percentage of notebooks than in the past. I remember when a component for notebook (mostly memory or HD) was significantly more expensive than a "desktop" part.

We used to build the majority of computers we sold from components for a long time. Nowadays we might install a custom SSD or more memory or [rarely] a fancy video card. And that is it.

Oh ... the *vast* majority of computers are on Windows. The rest are without OS (and I think private customers try to install pirated or non-OEM version of Windows on it).
I was comparing Windows desktop to Mac desktop, not Windows desktop to Windows laptop, or whatever it is you are saying.
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Old 05-24-2019, 05:46 PM   #20
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You are forgetting one important detail as far as desktops go. It is easy to build your own Windows box, and cheaper. If you are buying off the rack then the prices might be similar, but you can certainly build a WinBox cheaper. That is what I did in the 1990s and early 2000s. Okay two details: You can modify a WinBox and repair it yourself, not so easy to do that with Apple computers.
Well, of course you aren't going to build your own Apple desktop. The non-iMac Apple desktops are very high end units. If you were to try to match it, it would also be very, very expensive.

I build my own desktops, some Windows, some Linux, for a number of years as well. I finally got to the point where I just didn't see the fun of it anymore. Since the good old days back in the 90's and early 2000's, it's gotten to the point where the only reason to do so is to make sure you get exactly the parts that you want.
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:44 PM   #21
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I always buy the bottom of the line Mac when it's time to upgrade. I get 5-7 years out of my Macs in the past (though the move to Mojave has killed my Mac mini 2014. So slow… ) After 5-7 years, the bottom end Mac is often multiples of times faster, better, etc. than the Mac I replace. I have no complaints.

I wouldn't worry about Macs going elitist. The top of the line Macs have always been pricey, and those models and features aren't targeted to consumer markets. Those are intended for upscale businesses.

The comments on Tim Cook, however, are right on the money. I've been an Apple fan since the 80s (though I didn't buy a Mac until 2001). I have to admit that under Cook, Apple feels more like "beleaguered" Apple of the early 90s—without Jobs—than it did at the turn of the century when Jobs infused so much energy and innovation into the company.
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Old 05-25-2019, 04:28 AM   #22
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...though the move to Mojave has killed my Mac mini 2014. So slow… ) ...
I started having "issues" with it on my 2012 Mini, so yesterday I bit the bullet and did a clean install of High Sierra. Its a lot happier now.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:20 AM   #23
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I was comparing Windows desktop to Mac desktop, not Windows desktop to Windows laptop, or whatever it is you are saying.
You were talking about building PC from parts. I was trying to tell you that far fewer people do that nowadays.
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Old 05-25-2019, 12:35 PM   #24
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I always buy the bottom of the line Mac when it's time to upgrade. I get 5-7 years out of my Macs in the past (though the move to Mojave has killed my Mac mini 2014. So slow… ) After 5-7 years, the bottom end Mac is often multiples of times faster, better, etc. than the Mac I replace. I have no complaints.
Me too because they are the only ones I can afford. But the issue with that in the recent years is that they are not easy to modify. The latest Mac mini can be modified with a RAM upgrade, but it isn't nearly as easy as my old mini 2012 was. When you can buy the least expensive Macs and easily modify them with RAM upgrades and drive upgrades/replacements, then that it great. But let us face facts, Apple tries to prevent that these days. You can still get Windows desktops that are easy to upgrade and easy to replace parts in. If you buy a Mac these days, that usually means having to pay Apple a king's ransom for an update to 16MP or more of RAM which if it were possible to do the upgrade yourself would cost a fraction of what Apple charges.

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I started having "issues" with it on my 2012 Mini, so yesterday I bit the bullet and did a clean install of High Sierra. Its a lot happier now.
I'm still running my Mac mini late 2012 with High Sierra. It has the 2.5GHz i5, 16GB RAM, a 500MB HDD, and the Intel Graphcs 4000. It certainly is no speed demon, but it can still do a lot of work. However, I use it as a back up and mostly run it with Windows 10 via Bootcamp so I can run apps that are not available for Mac OS X. And yes I know it would be faster with an SSD upgrade, but that is out of my comfort zone now to do myself.

My main computer is my MacBook Pro 15" Retina mid 2014 with 2.2 GHZ i7, 16GB RAM, 256MB SSD, and the Intel Iris Pro. It runs Mojave, and I doubt I'll upgrade the OS this year as I don't want to lose the ability to run older 32-bit apps. I mostly need to have the power to do some heavy duty image/video processing for my astrophotography hobby. I'm not talking about run of the mill post processing with Photoshop like most people do for their smartphone photos and such, this is post processing that requires a lot of horsepower (so to speak). My MBP still gets the job done as old as it is. The mini probably would too, but it would be really slow. I do use the mini with Win 10 though to do some of the post processing with apps that are not available for Mac OS X.

Both of my Macs have 16GB RAM. The difference was that I bought the mini with only 4GB, flipped it over, opened the trap door, swapped out the 4GB with 16GB that cost me only $100 for the upgrade, much less than Apple wanted. The MacBook Pro was not modifiable, at least by me, so I had to pay Apple a ridiculous price to get it put in. I'm retired, on a fairly limited budget, and I no longer have the luxury of shelling out money like there was no tomorrow. I haven't bought a new WinBox desktop in 20 years, so maybe they no longer are easy to modify. But back when I used to buy them they were really easy to modify as far as RAM, HDD, graphics card, and most of the internal parts, unless you bought a Compaq which used proprietary stuff, but even the Compaqs were RAM and HDD upgradeable. The great thing about them was the ability to not only upgrade them easily, but to replace parts that failed, like power supplies, various add-on drives, and other cards you inserted. Again, maybe that is no longer an option with newer desktops, but I bet it is.

ETA: Here is a small sampling of my astrophotos. I'm just a self taught amateur and hobbiest, and I'm working with budget conscious equipment, so it is what it is. But it is fun and keeps me occupied!

Last edited by OtinG; 05-25-2019 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:00 PM   #25
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Re your Mini... same here. Getting the existing drive out and an SSD in... yikes. Too complex for me. Fortunately my macbook was easy as pie. RAM updated, SSD installed, battery replaced. It works better than the Mini (mine is the same model as yours, also with 16GB).

Enjoyed looking at your astro gallery, nice work. I'm past going out at night these days, getting v frail in recent months, and fearful of wandering ferals. The first and last astro I tried was just done with a Pentax APS camera and 15mm and 43mm lenses. But that was a few years back, now.
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Old 05-25-2019, 05:21 PM   #26
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...I build my own desktops, some Windows, some Linux, for a number of years as well. I finally got to the point where I just didn't see the fun of it anymore. Since the good old days back in the 90's and early 2000's, it's gotten to the point where the only reason to do so is to make sure you get exactly the parts that you want.
This was me. I used to spec out and buy top end components for my PC. Until the last one where almost all the components failed. I jokingly said to my colleagues that if one more thing blows up on my computer, I'm going Mac.

I've been Mac ever since. Sigh.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:00 AM   #27
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Enjoyed looking at your astro gallery, nice work. I'm past going out at night these days, getting v frail in recent months, and fearful of wandering ferals. The first and last astro I tried was just done with a Pentax APS camera and 15mm and 43mm lenses. But that was a few years back, now.
Thanks. I barely get around these days with my arthritis being so bad and some other "old fart" issues that plague us as we get older. So I mostly just shoot from my front yard in the suburbs. Occasionally I take a short trip out to darker skies, but only once or twice a year now, at most. I live in the southern part of the Dallas / Fort Worth metro area with 7.2 million other people and a huge amount of light pollution, but I still manage to get a few good shots. I have to drive out west about 100 miles though to get good Milky Way shots because I need dark skies for those. But the older I get and the less I can get around, the less I want to pack up all the heavy gear and drive 200 miles round trip.
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Old 05-26-2019, 11:13 AM   #28
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This was me. I used to spec out and buy top end components for my PC. Until the last one where almost all the components failed. I jokingly said to my colleagues that if one more thing blows up on my computer, I'm going Mac.

I've been Mac ever since. Sigh.
I haven't built a Windows PC in at least 15 years, but the last one I bought lasted about 7 or 8 years. But that was because I kept replacing components as they failed. The 3.5" drive went first, yep we still used them back then. Then the CD-ROM drive went, so I put in a Blu-Ray to replace it. The power supply went out. And other little things went out on occasion. A few items like the graphics card were upgraded even though the first one still worked fine. Some of the motherboards would allow for faster processor upgrades, but I never upgraded a processor or motherboard, but it was an option. And yes this sounds expensive looking at the replacements and even upgrades, but since it lasted at least 7 years until the MB croaked, that is a lot of use and was still way less expensive than buying 2 or 3 off the shelf PCs during that time period which would have worn out just as fast. But the point is, it was possible to build my own and repair my own rather than shell out a fortune to computer companies. But in that era, the 1990s and early 2000s, when Macs were still running an antiquated OS that predated OS X, and Macs still used proprietary RISC processors that sucked, it was a no brainer to go with Windows. I was happy when Apple finally came out with OS X after years of OS upgrade failures, but I waited until they went with Intel processors before switching back.
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Old 05-26-2019, 03:09 PM   #29
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Thanks. I barely get around these days with my arthritis being so bad and some other "old fart" issues that plague us as we get older. So I mostly just shoot from my front yard in the suburbs. Occasionally I take a short trip out to darker skies, but only once or twice a year now, at most. I live in the southern part of the Dallas / Fort Worth metro area with 7.2 million other people and a huge amount of light pollution, but I still manage to get a few good shots. I have to drive out west about 100 miles though to get good Milky Way shots because I need dark skies for those. But the older I get and the less I can get around, the less I want to pack up all the heavy gear and drive 200 miles round trip.
Tell me about it . I sold my 10” Meade LX200 because the thing was just too heavy to be worth the trouble of setting up. These days I have a nice lightweight 4” refractor.
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Old 05-27-2019, 10:21 AM   #30
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Tell me about it . I sold my 10” Meade LX200 because the thing was just too heavy to be worth the trouble of setting up. These days I have a nice lightweight 4” refractor.
Just looking at images of the 10” Meade LX200 type/size of telescopes makes my back hurt! Definitely not light weight. I have a small tracking mount, the Skywatcher Star Adventurer, along with a Celestron 93493 Heavy Duty CPC 1100 Tripod that weighs about 50 pounds. I use Sony ILC digital cameras and camera lenses, the biggest of which is the Canon 400mm f/5.6L. So much lighter to set up, but still more than I feel like dealing with most nights. My setup is light compared to what most would use, but it works within limitations. But it is sufficient enough to enjoy the hobby, albeit in a rather limited way.
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