PCs for "real" work? (was RE: CDC Remote Calculator, circa 1965)
IanK at vulcan.com
Sat Apr 25 02:25:39 CDT 2009
For me, the decision wasn't about Windows vs. whatever else. It was cheap, crappy commoditized PC hardware.
For years, I'd upgraded my home desktop machine at such time as I wanted some new toy that wasn't supported on the existing hardware, or I felt I needed more performance/resources/heating. :-) That would happen, on average, every two years or so. Over the past year, I tried to upgrade three times, to be foiled by hardware failures each time. The last motherboard would not even boot up an OS. These weren't cheap bargain-table motherboards, either - they were from reputable vendors, midrange in their price ranges. (I don't need insane gamer perf features.) One burned up, one had quirky, fatal flaws (couldn't detect more than one graphics adapter) and one just never got off the dime.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not afraid of hardware. I hack deep into hardware both for a living and as a hobby. But if I'm going to spend time hacking hardware, it should be at least twenty years old - in other words, I should be doing it because it's FUN! Then, when I need to see if Bitsavers (thank you!) or Google can help me dig out some obscure fact or figure, I want my desktop to be a reliable appliance. It should Just Work.
That's how I ended up with Macs.
It's not the OS, although I do like the idea of Unix under the hood rather than a compromised derivation of VMS. It's the hardware. It's the integration. It's the appliance-like nature that, I must admit, I ridiculed for years. But when I want to check my email or Google a part number, my Macs always work.
Of course, not to be a complete conformist :-) I don't have an Intel-(de)based Mac in the house. I'm typing this on a PowerBook G4, and my main desktop is a pair of dual G4 PowerMacs, each running two monitors and sharing mouse and keyboard through Synergy. (One of these days, I'm going to improve their integration so it looks like multimon a la Xinerama.) If they weren't so stinkin' expensive (even with being four years obsolete), I'd have G5s, but the G4s are just fine for email, etc. If I can't do it on my Macs, I probably don't need to do it.
Of course, I'm planning to rebuild my VAX 4000/300, and I plan to put SMTP on it this time. I know VMS will always get me my email.... Cheers -- Ian
From: cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org [cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org] On Behalf Of Jochen Kunz [jkunz at unixag-kl.fh-kl.de]
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 11:50 PM
To: cctalk at classiccmp.org
Subject: Re: CDC Remote Calculator, circa 1965
On Fri, 24 Apr 2009 09:18:46 -0700
"Chuck Guzis" <cclist at sydex.com> wrote:
> A PC isn't a "real" computer?
PeeCees are no "real" computers. PeeCees are a pile of cheap junk. At
least when compared to proper personal computers like e.g. Sun, HP or
DEC workstations or even a Mac. But this gets religious now. ;-)
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