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The Spam Thread!

Based on when I got my IRS refund last year (Feb 22nd), there's a chance I may receive it this week sometime.

In regards to my proposed iMac project, I have come across some concerns regarding maintaining old Macs. I've been watching various YouTube videos on older iMac models, and the biggest issues with the models I am considering are these:

Models before Late 2009 use standard CCFL backlighting, and the inverters on these are known to fail at random times. Opening any iMac pre-2012 is a delicate process and there's a chance you may break a small connector, or end up touching the LCD and getting fingerprints on it.

Another model I was considering was a mid-2011 21.5''. 2011 iMacs use Radeon 6xxx series GPUs. The 27'' 2011 model has a high rate of GPU failure and Apple once had a repair program for that issue. I don't think the GPU failures were as common on the smaller 21.5'' models which used a lower end Radeon 6750M, but I still read stories of GPU failure in those units. I could go for something a bit newer, but any model after 2014 starts becoming too expensive for my budget, and most of the cheaper ones have the slow 5400rpm drives. Trust me... you don't want to run macOS on a 5400rpm drive. It sucks.

Then there's shipping. I have read and seen the horror stories regarding people buying vintage Macs and having them destroyed in shipping. I also don't want to end up in a situation where I get the iMac, and it stops working not long after I receive it.

I'd hate to change plans again, but I already have a working XP install on that Gateway BTX mini tower. I was using it for games and DVD viewing with my old 40'' HDTV, but my newer Samsung Smart TV lacks a VGA input so the tower has been sitting unused for several months. It has a decent Pentium 4 and integrated ATI GPU, and all I need to get it going again is another desk and keyboard/mouse. I also have a spare monitor I could use with it. That Gateway tower is a joy to work on since it's so easy to open and swap parts out. Maybe an older iMac isn't the best solution after all. Sure, it would create a nice AIO solution, but maintenance would be a nightmare.

Being a potential macOS fan is hard thanks to locked down hardware, no matter how old it is.

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Guess it might call for yet another change of plans, then? I would've considered the Hackintosh route if I were you, but I know that's more than enough trouble as it is from what I can attest.

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(02-16-2020, 02:56 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  Guess it might call for yet another change of plans, then? I would've considered the Hackintosh route if I were you, but I know that's more than enough trouble as it is from what I can attest.
A Hackintosh would be a good experiment if it was easier to maintain.

I'll say this though. Despite comitting myself to the previous idea, I'm thinking things through at least. Having the IRS refund delayed certainly helps. Tongue

Here are the pros and cons of the iMac idea, along with two other ideas I am currently on the fence about...

iMac Pros:
-Being able to dual boot Windows XP and macOS.
-Built in display and speakers
-Nice all-in-one setup, reducing the need for additional monitor or speakers, as well as saving on electrical outlet space.
-Having actual Mac hardware makes it easier to build a Hackintosh should I ever decide to try it.

iMac Cons:
-Locked down hardware makes it tough to repair when parts fail.
-Pre-2012 models can be opened with a repair kit, but it's a delicate process.
-macOS locked at El Capitan on early 2009 and earlier models.
-Certain model years have known hardware failures as mentioned earlier.
-iMacs after 2010 don't support XP in Boot Camp.


Gateway BTX tower pros:
-BTX design makes it easy to swap out parts when needed.
-System built with Windows XP in mind.

Gateway BTX cons:
-Contains L-shaped BTX PSU. Due to the case design, a standard ATX PSU won't fit.
-Not an all-in-one PC setup. Requires external monitor and input devices, increasing power usage and reducing outlet space.


Reviving my old Pentium III tower, Jasper
-Pros are largely the same as the Gateway tower.
-Added bonus of possibility of running Windows 98SE or ME. The TUV4X motherboard has Win98 drivers available from ASUS.

Cons of the PIII Tower:
-Needs a bit of work to get running again.
-Needs better PSU to replace cheap no-name one.
-Has same external monitor and input cons as the Gateway.

Both are old computers so they will need maintenance at some point. I would have to think about whether or not I can accept the maintenance tradeoff if I go the iMac route. Perhaps if I continue reading stuff regarding maintaining these earlier iMacs, I may work up the courage to service them if I do get one myself.

I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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Decisions decisions... This retrocomputing route sure is a pain to think about.

As for me I updated some things on my 2DS wedge lately, namely the Twilight menu used to load DS/DSi games and homebrew made for said consoles. 'Tis sad that there's not much in the way of homebrew on this thing, even though the New 3DS models do bump up the specs to something more respectable. It ain't like the PSP where you have dozens upon dozens of emulators for just about every vintage console you could think of up to the N64. Not to mention that one prominent hacker got arrested and jailed for child exploitation charges, something the community would be more than obliged to disassociate with for obvious reasons. Coupled with the fact that the OG 3DS browser is next to useless and you've got a system that's successful on a mainstream standpoint but has suffered a drought of apps from the community.

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(02-16-2020, 04:39 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  Decisions decisions... This retrocomputing route sure is a pain to think about.

As for me I updated some things on my 2DS wedge lately, namely the Twilight menu used to load DS/DSi games and homebrew made for said consoles. 'Tis sad that there's not much in the way of homebrew on this thing, even though the New 3DS models do bump up the specs to something more respectable. It ain't like the PSP where you have dozens upon dozens of emulators for just about every vintage console you could think of up to the N64. Not to mention that one prominent hacker got arrested and jailed for child exploitation charges, something the community would be more than obliged to disassociate with for obvious reasons. Coupled with the fact that the OG 3DS browser is next to useless and you've got a system that's successful on a mainstream standpoint but has suffered a drought of apps from the community.
I'm certainly not the only one who gets on the fence regarding retro computing choices. You really do have to factor in many things, including cost of purchase and ongoing maintenance. (forgot to bring that up earlier)

As for the 3DS homebrew scene... I'm actually a bit shocked that it's not as lively as I thought it was. The Wii homebrew scene appears to be a bit more active though, but you'd have to find a used Wii console and a suitable exploit.

I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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You would have assumed that a lot of work would be done on the 3DS given it being just somewhat weaker than the Gamecube and more akin to a PSP or a Dreamcast in terms of capabilities, but the Vita seems to have amassed a bigger modding scene. It helps that the PSP's mind share is somewhat bigger in areas like developing regions back in the 2000s when cellphone repair shops would offer CFW installation services and sideloaded ISOs for a few dollars per game. The DS, not so much from what I gather.

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I got around to checking the price of that used OG 2DS at the flea market. Seller wants $45 for it. It's about half price of the OG 3DS, but yeah, $45 is a bit much since a "New" 2DS exists. Sad

After outlining the pros and cons above and thinking some more, I will stick with the iMac plan going forward, granted if nothing show stopping occurs. It's likely I'll aim for a late 2009 model. It has an identical case design to the 2011 model, LED backlighting, and maintains XP/Vista boot camp compatibility. It can also run up to macOS High Sierra officially. High Sierra is a bit old now, but it's nowhere near as outdated as El Cap. Web browsers will probably continue to get support for HS for the next couple years at the most.

I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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(02-17-2020, 02:31 PM)cpd2009 Wrote:  I got around to checking the price of that used OG 2DS at the flea market. Seller wants $45 for it. It's about half price of the OG 3DS, but yeah, $45 is a bit much since a "New" 2DS exists. Sad

After outlining the pros and cons above and thinking some more, I will stick with the iMac plan going forward, granted if nothing show stopping occurs. It's likely I'll aim for a late 2009 model. It has an identical case design to the 2011 model, LED backlighting, and maintains XP/Vista boot camp compatibility. It can also run up to macOS High Sierra officially. High Sierra is a bit old now, but it's nowhere near as outdated as El Cap. Web browsers will probably continue to get support for HS for the next couple years at the most.
Yeah, $45 is to be expected I think.

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Video 

Presenting the late 90s PC DVD-ROM experience, courtesy of LGR.

Brings back a bit of Windows 98 nostalgia for me, including hardware driver problems. Tongue

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That was back when movie DVDs were too taxing for an average processor of the day to decode on their own without a separate decoder card.

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