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The Spam Thread!

(04-27-2020, 02:19 PM)cpd2009 Wrote:  We all remember Ashens videos of horrible iPhone knockoffs in the early 2010s. Well, I just randomly found another guy on YouTube who is reviewing such early iPhonies... in 2020. It's a currently ongoing series, and this is the first part.

IIRC they mostly run on a MediaTek feature phone platform like the MT6235. Some even use a Marvell PXA along with a presumably-pirated Windows Mobile 6.x distribution skinned to half-heartedly look like iOS. This eventually evolved into Android-powered iPhonies running off a MediaTek SOC.

Which reminds me... How come most of them counterfeit phones run off a crappy MT6580 anyway? Maybe some re-seller or the counterfeiters themselves have a surplus of those chips costing little more than a dollar per piece as part of a wholesale package. And since they're meant to be deviously passed off as the real deal it probably didn't matter for them to sell such a garbage phone.

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While I was looking for my lost Windows Vista Business disc, I found another one I was looking for. That TV card Daffodil has included a disc for CyberLink Power Producer 3, probably to make up for the crap software the drivers came with. Once installed, you get two programs, Power Producer and Power Director Express. The latter is the more advanced tool, letting you capture or import video and arrange it to your liking. I'm currently testing it to see how it compares to that Honestech software I have been using. There appears to be more encoder options for one. The Honestech software just encodes to MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 depending on the few presets it has, such as DVD or Video CD. PowerDirector Express has low, medium, best quality, or DVD. And you can further fine tune it with high speed, highest quality, etc.

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I think I had a honestech TV tuner back then. Dad was intrigued by the idea of a TV tuner on a PC so we had that installed on my first personal rig back in 2008. He also had a similar one installed on a computer in his office at the rescue department he works in.

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(04-28-2020, 03:32 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  I think I had a honestech TV tuner back then. Dad was intrigued by the idea of a TV tuner on a PC so we had that installed on my first personal rig back in 2008. He also had a similar one installed on a computer in his office at the rescue department he works in.
My particular TV card is a generic OEM model I found on eBay in 2004. I think it was only around $30 to $40 USD. Very inexpensive at the time as Hauppauge WinTV cards could cost far more IIRC. The Honestech software I used came from a spare EasyCap driver disc I still have. The software didn't need any activation code and will work with whatever capture device you have on the PC, not just the EasyCap it was bundled with. The copy of Power Producer that came with my TV card is the same way. The software has it's own activation key that doesn't require internet. That reminds me...

When I was toying around with a USB ATSC digital tuner a few years back, the software needed an MPEG-2 codec. Windows 7 came with one, but since Windows 8, MS hasn't bothered to include an MPEG-2 codec and they would rather you get their bare bones DVD player software off the Windows Store. Figuring that the Power Producer disc came with an MPEG-2 codec, I decided to give that a try. I installed it via compatibility mode, and while the software itself has issues with Windows 10, it did give me the needed MPEG-2 codec for watching and recording ATSC TV signals.

Honestech is still around, making USB capture devices these days, sometimes under the Vidbox brand. My first encounter with Honestech was in 2012, when I ordered Greta off the Home Shopping Network. They touted a bundled DVD-ROM of random "productivity" software with games, utilities and the like. One of the software programs was Honestech Easy Movie Maker 3.0. It's like a very watered down Windows Movie Maker that's also rather buggy to boot.

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The iMac has arrived, and in excellent condition as MacOfAllTrades stated. It really does look like new. It was well packaged too, and didn't get rough treatment. To be fair though, it was delivered via UPS instead of the post office. The postal service has been rather rough with my packages as of late, but my most recent ones have been packaged well enough to prevent damage.

Quick notes before I start working on pics.. There are still many apps that work with El Capitan, such as Chrome, FireAlpaca, SeaMonkey, etc. I plan on sticking to El Capitan for now, and will patch to High Sierra when many of these apps start dropping El Capitan support. Oddly enough, Microsoft Edge requires Sierra or higher even though it's based on Chromium.

A quick look at the Mac App Store shows all of my previously purchased apps. I even found an unused $25 iTunes Gift Card I got for Christmas a long time ago. I never got around to using it, and when I wanted to, I sold off my previous Mac Mini. The card has no expiration date so I assume it's still good.

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(04-29-2020, 02:28 AM)cpd2009 Wrote:  The iMac has arrived, and in excellent condition as MacOfAllTrades stated. It really does look like new. It was well packaged too, and didn't get rough treatment. To be fair though, it was delivered via UPS instead of the post office. The postal service has been rather rough with my packages as of late, but my most recent ones have been packaged well enough to prevent damage.

Quick notes before I start working on pics.. There are still many apps that work with El Capitan, such as Chrome, FireAlpaca, SeaMonkey, etc. I plan on sticking to El Capitan for now, and will patch to High Sierra when many of these apps start dropping El Capitan support. Oddly enough, Microsoft Edge requires Sierra or higher even though it's based on Chromium.

A quick look at the Mac App Store shows all of my previously purchased apps. I even found an unused $25 iTunes Gift Card I got for Christmas a long time ago. I never got around to using it, and when I wanted to, I sold off my previous Mac Mini. The card has no expiration date so I assume it's still good.
Glad it came to your place intact. I've read of a horror story by Linus when they attempted to ship the Minecraft creeper PC to PewDiePie, with said PC coming to Pewd's place looking trashed due to the postal service's rough handling of items. As if the local Phlpost here has been accused of rough-handling items and corruption.  Undecided

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Here it is...

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A nice surprise is the hard disk. The MacOfAllTrades listing indicated that the computer should come with the stock 320GB hard drive, but mine instead has a 1TB Hitachi Desktstar drive. It's a 7200RPM drive. I ran DriveDX and it shows the overall health as average, with no serious indicators appearing. Sometime in the future, I will try to get an SSD installed.

I also plan on ordering a RAM upgrade. This particular iMac can support 6GB RAM, which will help performance for sure. At 4GB, performance is rather good, but Chrome can sometimes lag a bit, and multitasking is also a bit sluggish from time to time.

BTW, the startup disk name is mine. It was named "10.11" out of the box.

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Glad you got the iMac up and running! Wonder if you could run any Geekbench tests on that thing tho.

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(04-30-2020, 10:27 AM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  Glad you got the iMac up and running! Wonder if you could run any Geekbench tests on that thing tho.
Didn't think about that. I will do so later tonight. Smile

System performance is above my expectations, but it depends on the app. The basic built in apps (Calendar, QuickTime, iTunes, etc) run good without too many hiccups or beachballs. Google Chrome still runs well. Many websites load quickly, especially ones that use those modern interfaces like the new Facebook design or Instagram. I do have uBlock origin, so that helps in the performance department. No ads to slow stuff down. I also have SeaMonkey, and that tends to be a bit more slow than Chrome. Once I get the RAM upgrade, even that should be a bit more responsive. As for YouTube, 480p video plays fine with little CPU load. I'd imagine 30fps 720p would also work just as well, but the old C2D isn't quite up to speed for 60fps HD.

General app performance is also rather good. It's not as fast as a modern Windows PC or Mac with an SSD, but it's perfectly usable for stuff that doesn't really need a faster CPU or graphics like web browsing or basic audio recording. One app I was wanting to use is GarageBand, specifically for transferring over my expansive audio cassette collection (which consists of radio station airchecks dating back 15+ years). It loads up relatively quickly for an older C2D iMac, and everything I tested so far is responsive as it should be. To be fair, the version of GarageBand I have is not the latest, obviously. You need a newer macOS to use the latest release, but the App Store downloaded the last compatible version. Same went for other Apple apps like iMovie which I have yet to test.

I'd say that this C2D iMac would perform far better in some aspects than a stock, 2019 off-the-shelf iMac from a Best Buy, simply because Apple chose to use a 5400rpm mechanical disk instead of an SSD in the newer base models. I got beachballs when testing iMovie and Safari as I was trying out the 2019 base model at a Best Buy. That alone would give potential Windows-to-Mac converts a bad first impression. I mean, for a $1,000 base iMac you should get at least a 128GB SSD standard. The base model MacBooks and Minis also have SSDs as standard storage. Maybe later this year when they refresh that line, they will get rid of the 5400rpm dinosaur drives? I'm lucky mine came with a 7200rpm drive.

One idea was to get some kind of Mac as a simple daily use computer while reserving my Dell Inspiron for video editing and gaming. This iMac could work as a light internet/office computer for at least the next year or two, perhaps longer when I eventually patch to High Sierra. While my C2D iMac would probably be able to handle simple iMovie projects fine enough, it's certainly not fit for DaVinci Resolve or even Final Cut. Funnily enough I could install the last compatible version of Final Cut if I wanted to burn $300 for it, but nah. My ancient copy of Adobe Premiere 2.0 on Windows will do just fine. Wink

Tomorrow, I plan on doing a fun project. I will install both XP and Vista on the iMac, my original retro PC plan before I got that Dell XP tower. It will have to be a manual install. The Boot Camp version packaged with El Capitan only supports Windows 7 or 8 discs. I do have original copies of the 2008 iMac setup discs in the mail, and those discs should contain the drivers needed for XP and Vista. I could even roll back to Leopard if I wanted to.

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Seeing the Core 2 Duo being reported on the System Profiler reminded me of those days when I dual-booted OS X and Windows on the C2D rig my dad bought off my aunt some ten years ago. I initially relied on those distros that came with various kexts and hacks to get the system to boot, but those eventually gave way to the more vanilla-based approach with little to no modifications to the underlying system.

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