December 28, 2008
"Walter Bright" <newshound1@digitalmars.com> wrote in message news:gj6mld$294o$1@digitalmars.com...
> John Reimer wrote:
>> Incidentally, I'm still using my Compaq Presario X1000 laptop (Pentium M 1.4 GHz) which is probably close to 6 years old now.  I've updated certain aspects of it and fixed it a couple of times.  Amazingly it keeps running... and performs quite well for my needs.
>
> As my main machine, I use a P4 at 1.6 GHz, 512 Mb ram. I'm not sure how old it is, but when the power supply failed and I went to the nerd store to replace it, the guy said "I haven't seen one of these power supply configurations in years!" He sent me to the local pc recycler, where I got one out of a bin for $10.
>

Now that I don't feel like I'd be laughed out of the discussion in a flurry of posts involving words like "archaic": Mine's a:

- 1.7 GHz Celeron (was a 1.2GHz AMD K6-2 for a long time, but I bought this CPU/MB off someone for about $25, seems to be about the same performance though (makes sense, Celerons are notoriously low on cache, or at least were last I checked)).

- 1 GB RAM (Only reason I upgraded from 512MB was I had a job that needed MS's bloated .NET era SQL Sever client),

- Graphics card that's pixel shader v1 (was a pre-pixel-shader GeForceMX 2 for a long time, only upgraded because I found this one for about $40 and wanted to play around with pixel shaders).

- The motherboard's USB is v1.x

- 21" CRT I got from a CompUSA store-closing for $25. (Funny thing is, this was made years ago and goes higher than HD resolution and has no native resolution, good contrast, no ghosting, no realistic risk of burn-in, and zero frames of "image processing" delay. Silly people and their hundreds/thousands-of-dollars LCD/Plasma/DLP HDTVs ;) ) I can't hang it on the wall, but what do I care? My desk's big enough.

So, yea, about on par with you two. (Although I do have damn near a TB of HD space and still crave more...yea, I'm a packrat.) The only thing about it that I feel is insufficient is the number of PCI ports (it's one of those reduced-size motherboards...in a non-reduced-size case), but I'm still getting by.

I do some occasional video processing/editing, 3D stuff (mainly to learn it), and gaming (but nothing like Gears of War or Halo or anything like that, besides I prefer to game on a living-room console). If I were to get really serious about any of those things, I would probably want a new system, but I don't do enough of them to really justify it.

I would kind of like the convenience of a laptop (mine's dead), but the only reason I'd be interested in the fancier CPUs on that is for the reduced heat/power consumption.

Speaking of laptops, if anyone hears about a company that makes quality laptops with an actual built-in trackball, let me know. I can't stand those awful touchpads or IBM's "nubs", and dragging around a real trackball in addition to power cord, etc, starts taking away from the whole "portability" thing.

One other funny anecdote about "newer/trendier is not always better": I've been recruited by a friend of my mom to replace/supplement her small business's wireless network with a wired one.

And now I'll stop rambling ;)


December 28, 2008
"Andrei Alexandrescu" <SeeWebsiteForEmail@erdani.org> wrote in message news:gj6mds$28iv$1@digitalmars.com...
> Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>> Ah ha, there's that usual "if you go and buy a PC" catch. Which begs the question, why would I? My existing system does everything I need it to do perfectly fine. And since I'm not petty enough to allow anyone to shame me into buying a new system just by calling my *current* system "legacy", that leaves no real reason for me to buy a new one.
>
> I agree that often there is little incentive to upgrade. In particular incentive can be negative when it comes to Vista vs. XP.
>

I'm incredibly jealous of how Vista only highlights the filename (minus suffix) when you go to rename a file. I *really* want that. But yea, that alone isn't enough to balance out the reasons against upgrading.

> [snip]
>>> so supporting 64bit is just supporting the current technology. it's not
>>> about fancy servers or anything like that, just supporting the current
>>> standards. that's a minimun that should be expected from any compiler
>>> implementation nowadays.
>>> b) even though for now there is a compatability mode in most OSes, why
>>> would I want to limit the performance and abilities of my PC to old
>>> technology which is being faded away?
>>>
>>
>> Even in 32-bit "legacy" mode, 64-bit systems are absurdly fast anyway.
>
> Talk about adding insult to injury. This is a rather random statement to make. Really, browsing the Web, writing documents, or writing emails is all you want from a computer? I'd say, until computers are not at least potentially capable of doing most intellectual tasks that people do, we're not in the position to say that computers are fast enough. When seen from that perspective, computers are absurdly slow and scarce in resources. The human brain's capacity bypasses our largest systems by a few orders of magnitude, and if we want to claim doing anything close, we should at least have that capacity. But even way, way before that, any NLP or speech recognition system that does anything interesting needs days, weeks, or months to train on computer clusters, when it all should run in real time. Please understand that from that perspective the claim that computers are plenty fast and memory is plenty large is rather shortsighted.
>

When a reasonably-priced computer comes around that can actually do those sorts of things, I may very well be finally enticed to upgrade. But like you said, as it stands right now, even the high-end stuff can't do it. So it's really a non-issue for now.


December 28, 2008
Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> "Andrei Alexandrescu" <SeeWebsiteForEmail@erdani.org> wrote in message news:gj6mds$28iv$1@digitalmars.com...
>> Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>>> Ah ha, there's that usual "if you go and buy a PC" catch. Which begs the question, why would I? My existing system does everything I need it to do perfectly fine. And since I'm not petty enough to allow anyone to shame me into buying a new system just by calling my *current* system "legacy", that leaves no real reason for me to buy a new one.
>> I agree that often there is little incentive to upgrade. In particular incentive can be negative when it comes to Vista vs. XP.
>>
> 
> I'm incredibly jealous of how Vista only highlights the filename (minus suffix) when you go to rename a file. I *really* want that. But yea, that alone isn't enough to balance out the reasons against upgrading.
> 
>> [snip]
>>>> so supporting 64bit is just supporting the current technology. it's not about fancy servers or anything like that, just supporting the current standards. that's a minimun that should be expected from any compiler implementation nowadays.
>>>> b) even though for now there is a compatability mode in most OSes, why would I want to limit the performance and abilities of my PC to old technology which is being faded away?
>>>>
>>> Even in 32-bit "legacy" mode, 64-bit systems are absurdly fast anyway.
>> Talk about adding insult to injury. This is a rather random statement to make. Really, browsing the Web, writing documents, or writing emails is all you want from a computer? I'd say, until computers are not at least potentially capable of doing most intellectual tasks that people do, we're not in the position to say that computers are fast enough. When seen from that perspective, computers are absurdly slow and scarce in resources. The human brain's capacity bypasses our largest systems by a few orders of magnitude, and if we want to claim doing anything close, we should at least have that capacity. But even way, way before that, any NLP or speech recognition system that does anything interesting needs days, weeks, or months to train on computer clusters, when it all should run in real time. Please understand that from that perspective the claim that computers are plenty fast and memory is plenty large is rather shortsighted.
>>
> 
> When a reasonably-priced computer comes around that can actually do those sorts of things, I may very well be finally enticed to upgrade. But like you said, as it stands right now, even the high-end stuff can't do it. So it's really a non-issue for now. 

I don't understand. This is like a reply to another thread. This anyone would agree with. I agree that for your current computing work and perceived needs you don't feel about upgrading your hardware. I mean, what's really there to disagree. But that has nothing to do with the generalizations aired before a la "64-bit systems are absurdly fast anyway" or that there's no need for 64-bit. To write software that tackles hard problems one really needs the fastest hardware one's budget can buy. I can't understand what you say except in the frame that you indiscriminately assume that everybody else has your wants and needs from a computer (and consequently is a snob for getting a relatively fast one). Really that's a rather... unsophisticated world view to go by. I'm even amazed I need to spell this out.


Andrei
December 28, 2008
Hello Nick,

> "Walter Bright" <newshound1@digitalmars.com> wrote in message
> news:gj6mld$294o$1@digitalmars.com...
> 
>> John Reimer wrote:
>> 
>>> Incidentally, I'm still using my Compaq Presario X1000 laptop
>>> (Pentium M 1.4 GHz) which is probably close to 6 years old now.
>>> I've updated certain aspects of it and fixed it a couple of times.
>>> Amazingly it keeps running... and performs quite well for my needs.
>>> 
>> As my main machine, I use a P4 at 1.6 GHz, 512 Mb ram. I'm not sure
>> how old it is, but when the power supply failed and I went to the
>> nerd store to replace it, the guy said "I haven't seen one of these
>> power supply configurations in years!" He sent me to the local pc
>> recycler, where I got one out of a bin for $10.
>> 
> Now that I don't feel like I'd be laughed out of the discussion in a
> flurry of posts involving words like "archaic": Mine's a:
> 


Ha! :)

I should confess something here.  Two or three years ago, I actually purchased components and built two AMD Athlon 64 systems for myself (sequentially... not both at once).  The last one was a dual core.  But I gave them away to family and settled on just using my old laptop.  

Both systems had fairly powerful graphics cards in them too.  They were good systems and were great for playing the latest flight simulators... but I decided I wanted to spend less time on games. :).   Right now the dual core system is put to very good use by my younger brother and sisters for video editing... one can never get too much power or memory for that task.  Also, nowadays, video-editing among non-professionals is quite common... so I think there may just be a whole lot more justification for buying into some of these powerful systems than you might realize.


> - 1.7 GHz Celeron (was a 1.2GHz AMD K6-2 for a long time, but I bought
> this CPU/MB off someone for about $25, seems to be about the same
> performance though (makes sense, Celerons are notoriously low on
> cache, or at least were last I checked)).
> 


I've never heard of a 1.2 GHz K6-2.  Was that overclocked or something?  I think most of those maxed out at 500 MHz.  I've used k6-3's and k6-2+'s before.  Excellent CPU's for the time.



> - 1 GB RAM (Only reason I upgraded from 512MB was I had a job that
> needed MS's bloated .NET era SQL Sever client),
> 



I also have 1 GB.  This is actually a little limited for a system that needs to use a VM like VirutalBox, VMWare or Parallels.  I've made use of these tools for porting both win32 and linux software at the same time.  I now use coLinux, and while that works much better, I still could use more memory. Also since I use VM's, I'm actually missing the hardware support for them that is now available in modern CPU's.



> - Graphics card that's pixel shader v1 (was a pre-pixel-shader
> GeForceMX 2 for a long time, only upgraded because I found this one
> for about $40 and wanted to play around with pixel shaders).
> 


I'm looking forward to the time I can purchase another laptop.  I wouldn't mind getting a graphics chipset that supports some of these features so that I can experiment.  But admittedly, Graphics technology is among the fastest moving targets yet.  For now, I can do just fine with my laptop and its ATI Radeon 9000 64 MB chipset.



> - The motherboard's USB is v1.x
>


I can't stand USB v1.x  ... it's way to slow for hard drive operation.  The bandwidth just isn't sufficient anymore.


> - 21" CRT I got from a CompUSA store-closing for $25. (Funny thing is,
> this was made years ago and goes higher than HD resolution and has no
> native resolution, good contrast, no ghosting, no realistic risk of
> burn-in, and zero frames of "image processing" delay. Silly people and
> their hundreds/thousands-of-dollars LCD/Plasma/DLP HDTVs ;) ) I can't
> hang it on the wall, but what do I care? My desk's big enough.
> 



LCD's are among the greatest advancement of today's technologies.   CRT's are horrible throwback to the day of triodes, pentodes, and lightbulbs... and other high-voltage Edison-derivatives.  I've considered them so for probably over 10 years.  I was itching for the day that I could stop staring at an electron beam sprayed directly into my eyes.  I've never lamented the CRT's fall from grace.



> So, yea, about on par with you two. (Although I do have damn near a TB
> of HD space and still crave more...yea, I'm a packrat.) The only thing
> about it that I feel is insufficient is the number of PCI ports (it's
> one of those reduced-size motherboards...in a non-reduced-size case),
> but I'm still getting by.
> 
> I do some occasional video processing/editing, 3D stuff (mainly to
> learn it), and gaming (but nothing like Gears of War or Halo or
> anything like that, besides I prefer to game on a living-room
> console). If I were to get really serious about any of those things, I
> would probably want a new system, but I don't do enough of them to
> really justify it.
> 
> I would kind of like the convenience of a laptop (mine's dead), but
> the only reason I'd be interested in the fancier CPUs on that is for
> the reduced heat/power consumption.
> 
> Speaking of laptops, if anyone hears about a company that makes
> quality laptops with an actual built-in trackball, let me know. I
> can't stand those awful touchpads or IBM's "nubs", and dragging around
> a real trackball in addition to power cord, etc, starts taking away
> from the whole "portability" thing.
> 


I haven't seen or heard of trackballs in a laptop for a long time. :)

I know what your saying about the touchpads... I'm actually surprised they stuck.  I don't consider them to be the best invention to be adopted for laptops.  They do the job, but I think we should have stuck with "nubs". "nubs" were hard to get familiar with,  but once you did... they were extremely practical and space efficient... or so I felt anwyay.


> One other funny anecdote about "newer/trendier is not always better":
> I've been recruited by a friend of my mom to replace/supplement her
> small business's wireless network with a wired one.
> 
> And now I'll stop rambling ;)
> 


Wired is not necessarily backwards. :)  Despite the tangly lines, it's just easier to keep secure.

-JJR


December 28, 2008
Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> - Graphics card that's pixel shader v1 (was a pre-pixel-shader GeForceMX 2 for a long time, only upgraded because I found this one for about $40 and wanted to play around with pixel shaders).

I don't have a graphics card because of heat/fan/noise.

> - The motherboard's USB is v1.x

So's mine, and that really sucks. I'm going to get a card with 2.0 on it. USB is a home run, kudos to the designers of it.

> - 21" CRT I got from a CompUSA store-closing for $25. (Funny thing is, this was made years ago and goes higher than HD resolution and has no native resolution, good contrast, no ghosting, no realistic risk of burn-in, and zero frames of "image processing" delay. Silly people and their hundreds/thousands-of-dollars LCD/Plasma/DLP HDTVs ;) ) I can't hang it on the wall, but what do I care? My desk's big enough.

I'm not with you there. I hated that gigantic leaden monster on my desk, and was happy to upgrade it to a sleek lcd.

> 
> So, yea, about on par with you two. (Although I do have damn near a TB of HD space and still crave more...yea, I'm a packrat.) The only thing about it that I feel is insufficient is the number of PCI ports (it's one of those reduced-size motherboards...in a non-reduced-size case), but I'm still getting by.
> 
> I do some occasional video processing/editing, 3D stuff (mainly to learn it), and gaming (but nothing like Gears of War or Halo or anything like that, besides I prefer to game on a living-room console). If I were to get really serious about any of those things, I would probably want a new system, but I don't do enough of them to really justify it.

I tried video editing, it's a no-go on my system. Not even close.

> I would kind of like the convenience of a laptop (mine's dead), but the only reason I'd be interested in the fancier CPUs on that is for the reduced heat/power consumption.
> 
> Speaking of laptops, if anyone hears about a company that makes quality laptops with an actual built-in trackball, let me know. I can't stand those awful touchpads or IBM's "nubs", and dragging around a real trackball in addition to power cord, etc, starts taking away from the whole "portability" thing.

I bought an eee pc, as in a laptop I'm interested in portability, not desktop replacement.

> One other funny anecdote about "newer/trendier is not always better": I've been recruited by a friend of my mom to replace/supplement her small business's wireless network with a wired one.

When my house was built, I wired up every room with 2 cat5's and 2 RG6 coaxes (had to do it myself, as the electrician had no idea how to install it). I had no use for it at the time (10 years ago) but these days it's fantastic to have. I keep finding more and more uses for it, and just ordered another hub for all the new stuff. I plan on rewiring my distribution panel to make it look more professional rather than a plate of spaghetti <g>.
December 28, 2008
Hello Walter,

> Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> 
>> - Graphics card that's pixel shader v1 (was a pre-pixel-shader
>> GeForceMX 2 for a long time, only upgraded because I found this one
>> for about $40 and wanted to play around with pixel shaders).
>> 
> I don't have a graphics card because of heat/fan/noise.
> 



I assume you must have an integrated chipset.



>> - The motherboard's USB is v1.x
>> 
> So's mine, and that really sucks. I'm going to get a card with 2.0 on
> it. USB is a home run, kudos to the designers of it.
> 


yep. :)



> I tried video editing, it's a no-go on my system. Not even close.
> 



Yep, you need lots of ram and lots of power for video editing.  64-bit is already supported by some of the leading video editing packages (maybe most, not sure).



> I bought an eee pc, as in a laptop I'm interested in portability, not
> desktop replacement.
> 


Heh, I did the same.  Unfortunately, I jumped on the bandwagon too early and got the one with the smaller screen and the 3 cell battery.   I can use it... but I am really disappointed that I don't have the larger screen version and longer battery life.

Also the competition for eee pc provided several better alternatives.  MSI had one really good product which my brother bought.   Alas, I can't justify another purchase, so I try to make do with my eee pc when I go on trips.

-JJR


December 28, 2008
John Reimer wrote:
> Wired is not necessarily backwards. :)  Despite the tangly lines, it's just easier to keep secure.

There are more reasons to like wireds. Plug the wire in, and it works, you're up on the LAN. With wireless, there's usually 3-5 minutes of fiddling to get connected. And if it won't connect, you have no idea why, so you go cold boot the machine, cold boot the wireless access point, hold the antenna up, etc. Phui.

Don't tell me this is fixed, either. I just got a brand new eee pc. Plug in the wire, boom, perfection. Use the built in wireless, and fiddle, faddle, cold boot, faddle, fiddle, cold boot, fiddle, faddle, ah, now it's working. This is in the *AS SHIPPED* configuration, not something I downloaded or installed.
December 28, 2008
John Reimer wrote:
> Also the competition for eee pc provided several better alternatives.  MSI had one really good product which my brother bought.   Alas, I can't justify another purchase, so I try to make do with my eee pc when I go on trips.

I have the dinky screen, but it's fine. I also love it's ability to operate as a video skype-phone. Skype on the eee is a killer app, in my opinion.
December 28, 2008
Hello Walter,

> John Reimer wrote:
> 
>> Wired is not necessarily backwards. :)  Despite the tangly lines,
>> it's just easier to keep secure.
>> 
> There are more reasons to like wireds. Plug the wire in, and it works,
> you're up on the LAN. With wireless, there's usually 3-5 minutes of
> fiddling to get connected. And if it won't connect, you have no idea
> why, so you go cold boot the machine, cold boot the wireless access
> point, hold the antenna up, etc. Phui.
> 
> Don't tell me this is fixed, either. I just got a brand new eee pc.
> Plug in the wire, boom, perfection. Use the built in wireless, and
> fiddle, faddle, cold boot, faddle, fiddle, cold boot, fiddle, faddle,
> ah, now it's working. This is in the *AS SHIPPED* configuration, not
> something I downloaded or installed.
> 


Yeah... there are more complexities with wireless, for sure.  That said, I haven't had that much trouble with wireless (not even on my eee pc).  It sometimes does require a fairly detailed knowledge of configuration, however, compared to wired.  When that's been the case, I have struggled with it.

-JJR


December 28, 2008
"John Reimer" <terminal.node@gmail.com> wrote in message news:28b70f8c105848cb368cfc3632e0@news.digitalmars.com...
> Hello Nick,
>
>> "Walter Bright" <newshound1@digitalmars.com> wrote in message news:gj6mld$294o$1@digitalmars.com...
>>
>>> John Reimer wrote:
>>>
>>>> Incidentally, I'm still using my Compaq Presario X1000 laptop (Pentium M 1.4 GHz) which is probably close to 6 years old now. I've updated certain aspects of it and fixed it a couple of times. Amazingly it keeps running... and performs quite well for my needs.
>>>>
>>> As my main machine, I use a P4 at 1.6 GHz, 512 Mb ram. I'm not sure how old it is, but when the power supply failed and I went to the nerd store to replace it, the guy said "I haven't seen one of these power supply configurations in years!" He sent me to the local pc recycler, where I got one out of a bin for $10.
>>>
>> Now that I don't feel like I'd be laughed out of the discussion in a flurry of posts involving words like "archaic": Mine's a:
>>
>
>
> Ha! :)
>
> I should confess something here.  Two or three years ago, I actually
> purchased components and built two AMD Athlon 64 systems for myself
> (sequentially... not both at once).  The last one was a dual core.  But I
> gave them away to family and settled on just using my old laptop.
> Both systems had fairly powerful graphics cards in them too.  They were
> good systems and were great for playing the latest flight simulators...
> but I decided I wanted to spend less time on games. :).   Right now the
> dual core system is put to very good use by my younger brother and sisters
> for video editing... one can never get too much power or memory for that
> task.  Also, nowadays, video-editing among non-professionals is quite
> common... so I think there may just be a whole lot more justification for
> buying into some of these powerful systems than you might realize.
>

Oh yea, absolutely. Like I said, if I were one of the people out there that did a lot of video editing, I would want an upgrade, but I just don't really do that much of it. But video editing is one of the reasons I switched from my old AMD cpu to the 1.7 GHz Celeron: Premiere Pro requires...I think it's SSE2 it needs...but whatever it was, my older AMD CPU just didn't have it. (I do have a few beefs with Premiere, but I've just never liked any of the consumer-level editing apps...In fact I rarely like consumer-level apps at all. They're like the Fisher Price of software, except adults use them.)

>
>> - 1.7 GHz Celeron (was a 1.2GHz AMD K6-2 for a long time, but I bought this CPU/MB off someone for about $25, seems to be about the same performance though (makes sense, Celerons are notoriously low on cache, or at least were last I checked)).
>>
>
>
> I've never heard of a 1.2 GHz K6-2.  Was that overclocked or something?  I think most of those maxed out at 500 MHz.  I've used k6-3's and k6-2+'s before.  Excellent CPU's for the time.
>

You're right, it wasn't a K6-2, I'm not sure why I was thinking that (I don't think I've ever even owned a K6-2). It was an Athlon Thunderbird.

>> - The motherboard's USB is v1.x
>>
>
>
> I can't stand USB v1.x  ... it's way to slow for hard drive operation. The bandwidth just isn't sufficient anymore.
>

The only external HD I've been using is my portable media player, and I haven't had too much of a problem just setting up a batch copy and doing something else in the meantime. I do have a $20 USB 2.0 add-in card though. I don't remember if I actually have it plugged in at the moment though, this motherboard's pretty limited on expansion ports.

>> One other funny anecdote about "newer/trendier is not always better": I've been recruited by a friend of my mom to replace/supplement her small business's wireless network with a wired one.
>>
>> And now I'll stop rambling ;)
>>
>
>
> Wired is not necessarily backwards. :)

Exactly my point ;)  Average Joe Consumer sees all of this "Wireless! Wireless! Wireless!" hoopla and thinks it's "just simply better". Meanwhile, people like us are well aware that wireless is worse than wired in pretty much every area besides the convenience of not having a cord.


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