build quality of Macs & PCs.
classiccmp.org at stellar.eclipse.co.uk
Mon Aug 13 05:59:54 CDT 2007
On 12 Aug 2007, at 17:16, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> On 12 Aug 2007 at 13:10, Stroller wrote:
>> When I got that workstation home I was *so* pleased with it. I wiped
>> the dust off it with a damp cloth and stood back and admired it, then
>> started taking it apart. (That old monkey curiosity, eh?) I was so
>> impressed with how solid & well-made it was - each piece of FAR
>> better quality than the commodity PC hardware I was familiar with
>> (despite having paid £115 for one of the first 56k PCI modems).
> At one time, there *were* high-quality PCs being produced for the
> commercial use market. Even some of the old Deskpros were pretty
> well constucted. I still use a 600MHz P3 as my mail server.
Indeed. I have used these for the same purpose the last 4 or 5 years.
I was using a 400mhz but upgraded to a 700mhz one which a customer
was throwing out; between them they have given me my highest Linux
uptimes. The low-profile PIII Compaqs are _lovely_ - thought has
obviously been put into their design; slotting drives in & out is
very quick and easy and it is convenient to access the PCI card slots
through the removable risers.
> There may still be
> such animals--but I haven't bought a new PC in years.
I work on PCs for a living. I don't think I've come across any as
nice as the Deskpros, but I guess that doesn't mean there aren't any
in production. I've come across some which are nearly as good - I
find the build quality of Dell desktops to be surprisingly adequate
and a customer bought a Fujitsu perhaps 6 months ago which had a
worthy design involving a hinged power supply. Having the drives on
quickly removable rails is common on PCs aimed at the corporate market.
The reason I didn't mention this in my previous post was that I
hadn't seen those PCs when I got my SGI 6 or 7 years ago. Beige boxes
built by the local PC shop - and using the nastiest components - seem
to be much less common now than they were a decade ago and most of
the PCs I see are branded and come from a factory which must produce
hundreds or thousands of PCs each day. Many still use the cheapest
and nastiest components - Packard Hell & eMachines spring to mind -
but others (like Dell & the Fujitsu I mentioned; I think the most
recent HP / Compaq I've seen was a model of perhaps 4 years ago, a
Pentium 4) do start to approach the build-quality of days of yore;
they seem to be manufactured with the corporate market in mind.
> But let's face it--today's consumer PCs by and large are designed for
> a year or two of operating life. They're essentially disposable
> items. People upgrade even when they don't have to--and sometimes
> the upgrade path is forced by software bloat (but I'm not going to
> climb onto that horse right now).
Indeed, this is true, although corporate shops don't seem so
affected by this. They do still seem to budget for better quality PCs.
> If Apple wants to over-engineer their consumer products, then good
> for them. I predict that the trend won't last, however.
Zane Healy has addressed this very well indeed, and I don't think I
can add to his comments.
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