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The Spam Thread!

Spending the last two or so days exploring desktop PC options. Haven't looked at laptops just yet.

I know All-in-one desktops aren't best for future proofing (especially for GPUs), but as my computing needs have changed a lot since I built Pearl, I have been giving those a look. I know my mom's ailing HP AIO has upgradeable RAM and HDD, and the back is easy to remove. I could go for an AIO as long as the RAM and HDD are user accessible. It also has to have a decent CPU as well, such as a Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen.

I have also been looking at... wait for it... Low End iMacs. I remember saying at one point if I ever wanted to get a Mac, it would be a low end model such as anything from 2009 through 2012. The older iMacs do have a bit more upgradability than the newer stuff, and there is a neat YouTube video showing how to upgrade a drive inside an early 2009 iMac. With the right tools and lots of patience, it's something that I can pull off. And there is another video showing an '09 iMac still doing basic tasks rather well, though without an OS patcher, you are capped at El Capitan. I even considered getting a second-hand Mac Mini to try and make up for my idiotic decision to sell my own mid-2011 model.

I will also look at laptops too. A laptop would be better than both a desktop or iMac if the performance can be similar to that of Pearl while also being upgradable to a degree. A built in DVD drive isn't necessary as I can just plug in an external one if needed.

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I present possibly the worst AIO computer available today.... this odd Packard Bell branded thing.

https://www.shophq.com/Product/486-500

According to the specs, this AIO only has 32GB storage, and will only have approx 1.5GB space left after all the bloatware and OS updates. Could that be a typo though? Maybe they meant 15GB? Either way, with a 1.1ghz Celeron, this AIO is probably only good for really basic office apps and web browsing. Maybe you could get Bejeweled 2 to run?

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(12-20-2019, 09:37 AM)cpd2009 Wrote:  I present possibly the worst AIO computer available today.... this odd Packard Bell branded thing.

https://www.shophq.com/Product/486-500

According to the specs, this AIO only has 32GB storage, and will only have approx 1.5GB space left after all the bloatware and OS updates. Could that be a typo though? Maybe they meant 15GB? Either way, with a 1.1ghz Celeron, this AIO is probably only good for really basic office apps and web browsing. Maybe you could get Bejeweled 2 to run?
For $335, or the $480 full retail price, you'd be better off assembling a half-decent desktop with an entry-level Athlon 3000G or something of that ilk from Intel, or have someone do the dirty work for you. At least that'll last you a few more years down the line than a crappy Celeron dual-core.

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Indeed. I have been picking parts at PCPartsPicker today, and was able to get together a preliminary list for a Ryzen 3 2200G build. For the parts I need, it totals around $489.81 or so. It's a bit more spendy since I added an SK Hynix Gold 1TB SSD and also would need a new Win10 license.

The other parts I selected besides the CPU are an ASUS Prime A320M-K motherboard, Rosewill FBM-01 case (just like Pearl), Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB RAM kit, and an LG WH14NS40 BluRay drive. I already have a spare Corsair PSU back at home I can use and as of right now, I probably would stick with the 2200G's built in graphics.

Put it bluntly, for around $100 more, I could build a better rig that would be faster than Pearl and also leave that crappy Packard Bell AIO in the dust.

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I think I'm getting a bit spoiled by my old laptop. Greta is able to pull off web browsing and some light multimedia tasks with relative ease. She only falters with video encoding. Avidemux doesn't have an NVENC option when run on the laptop, even if I do run the program with the GeForce 610m. (not 710m like I thought.) Webkinz is also a bit slow but that's because Ganz doesn't want to move away from Flash. Their standalone app depends on Flash, and it has no hardware acceleration enabled. It also won't run on the Nvidia GPU even if I try and force it with the right click menu.

As for recording analog video, it's okay. I find that recording to WMV is the best option along with running the capture utility on the GeForce 610m. WMV is a strange choice, but MPEG-2 recording results in more frame drops than WMV.

It's also nice to be able to take my computer wherever I go. Smile

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> Webkinz is also a bit slow but that's because Ganz doesn't want to move away from Flash.

Not that they can't at least do a quick-and-dirty conversion to HTML5, eh? Besides, with Flash being completely retired this coming year, and most browsers cutting support for it entirely, it would be incredibly pathetic of them to still cling on to it outside of historical contexts.

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(12-22-2019, 05:33 AM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  > Webkinz is also a bit slow but that's because Ganz doesn't want to move away from Flash.

Not that they can't at least do a quick-and-dirty conversion to HTML5, eh? Besides, with Flash being completely retired this coming year, and most browsers cutting support for it entirely, it would be incredibly pathetic of them to still cling on to it outside of historical contexts.
Since the desktop app remains dependent on Flash, I'd imagine that they are just using a Chromium base running in full screen. Perhaps they are planning on converting to HTML5 or WebGL at some point? Maybe they don't want to bother converting already existing assets to more modern standards? It would be insane to stick with Flash even in a standalone desktop app. It would be a major security risk after Adobe drops support in 2020.

Oh yeah... I came across a weird Windows Explorer issue with Ogg Vorbis audio files. I have been sorting through my music files, some of them in the Ogg format. I kept getting Explorer freezes when I tried to rename or move Ogg files. I did some searching, and came across a short YouTube video suggesting that the app "Web Media Extensions" be uninstalled. That extension enables Windows apps to play open source formats like Ogg or Theora video. So I removed it, and now Ogg files play nice with Explorer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6wMvTldfQo

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I'm with my family for the Christmas holiday, and I took a good look at the specs of my mom's old HP AIO. It's an Pavilion 20-b013w with an AMD E1-1200 dual core APU, 4GB RAM, and 500gb 7200rpm Western Digital HDD.

As you might now, this thing is rather slow. My mom is going to go ahead and let me have the old AIO once I my old tower set up for her. HP does provide a video on how to pop the back off to access the hard drive and RAM slots. According to the official spec sheet linked below, this AIO can take a maximum of 16GB RAM. https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c03514405

With the rather slow E1-1200 APU, would throwing an SSD and maxing out the RAM make this thing more or less usable for moderate tasks like heavy web browsing and basic photo editing? According to UserBenchmark, the E1-1200 isn't too far off from Greta's Intel B960. https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/In...038vsm2118. I'm tempted to give it a try and see if this HP AIO could be a LowEndPC. Tongue

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Change of plans.

I was talking with my mom about her computer needs, and we've decided that it be okay if I just keep the tower. Smile That way I wouldn't have to stress about buying myself a new tower or being stuck with a laptop, even if a laptop is really nice.

Instead, I will focus on getting that SSD and RAM upgrade for the AIO. Since the CPU is similar in performance to Greta's B960 based on that benchmark, performance should improve to a point where apps and websites are more responsive.

Her computer needs are so light though and she's getting on in years too. She is such a light computer user that I had second thoughts about giving her the tower, hence our little chat about it. She's perfectly fine with it and there's no hard feelings.

In other news... using the Vidbox with Greta is rather neat. I did some more test recording using my mom's satellite box and I found out that MPEG2 recording is extremely stable. There is hardly any frame rate drops like I originally thought. The files are rather large, so recording time is limited compared to Pearl.

It kind of surprises me something like a lowly Pentium B960 would be able to record video rather well. If Greta had working NVENC support, it would be even better.

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I see, though we should keep the upgrade path in mind as that'll eventually reach the point of being unusable. Tongue

If you do however intend to upgrade down the line, even a sub-200 dollar boost like what I did should do the trick, i.e. an ASUS PRIME A320M-K and a 2200G. Plus you get to keep the RAM and whatnot.

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