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The Spam Thread!
Yesterday, the BD-R drive arrived, but I was on a day trip so I didn't get around to using it until today.

The Pioneer BD-R drive works great, but with M-Disc media being limited to 4x speed, burning discs can take up to an hour or longer depending on how much data you are burning to the disc. Finder also verifies the files after the burn is completed, which takes a while.

I have also settled on an LG WH16NS40 BD-R drive for the Dell rig. Only $57.99 on Amazon...

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I won't mind spending an hour with the burn if it's for an occasional archival backup. Given the amount of data I've gathered over the years (PSDs, video game mod project files, etc.) I might consider doing a bunch of BD-R archives some time.

And since we're talking about optical media, it's a shame that CD-R King, a chain of discount electronics stores in the Philippines, is slowly going by the way of the dodo these days. The COVID pandemic may have contributed to it further, but it goes way back as this article pointed out the poor receipts system, competition from Asian/Japanese-style discount stores and e-commerce have eaten through CDRK's market share. Not to mention that their bread and butter i.e. blank optical media has gone the way of the dodo here in favour of kids listening instead to Spotify or any of them cloud-based services, negating the need for storing them songs to a disc. And the fact that some of their wares are ShoddyKnockoffProducts didn't help matters either.

https://www.esquiremag.ph/money/industry...01111-lfrm

If not for the company's relative obscurity this would've made for a Company Man documentary.
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I have browsed CDRking on various occasions over the past decade or so, but never bought anything from them. I tended to look at eBay for the odd tech gadgets since I prefer to use PayPal for such purchases. As for Company Man, I enjoy his videos because of the extensive research he does into the companies featured.

In computer news, I am tweaking my LowEndMac setup a bit. My main art iMac, the 2008 model, will soon become the secondary studio computer while my 2011 iMac, Lilly, will become the main art computer along with being the VHS transfer device. This will allow me to use my 2009 MacBook for audio recording purposes. My 2020 MacBook Pro will once again be the TV recording device since I don't do much TV recordings outside of holidays.

The reasons are rather simple. Other than VHS transfers, Lilly has just been sitting idle most of the time. There is also a very annoying bug with Vivaldi running on the 2008 iMac. Vivaldi is still supported on ElCap and runs very well for such an old machine.... except when it doesn't want to. There is this very odd bug that only occurs with the 2008 iMac. Every now and then, the whole Vivaldi UI will freeze up entirely, requiring a force quit, sometimes happening three or four times in a row before the browser works properly. This never happens with other Chromium-based browsers on the same iMac, and the bug doesn't occur on the 2011 iMac or even the 2009 MacBook. Lilly also has full 8GB RAM and a quad-core i5. It's quite dated now, but it's still leagues above the 2008 model. Lilly also has High Sierra, which still has a lot more software support. That last point may be important since I switched over to Affinity Designer for my work, and I don't know how much longer current versions will support ElCap.

The LG BluRay drive also arrived for the Dell rig, and it was a bit of a process to get installed. The Dell case is easy to work with, but it took a while to remove the metal plate in the secondary drive bay. I was able to burn a data BD-R successfully with Windows Explorer. There is an odd quirk... the drive shows up as an SDHC device (complete with icon) despite Windows properly reporting it as a BluRay Disc recorder.

As for playing BluRay movies, it's a whole different can of worms compared to the simplicity of playing a DVD. You can play BD movies using VLC, but it requires installing a couple different dll files for working around BD encryption as well as searching for access keys in case a particular disc doesn't work. I may end up just buying PowerDVD or WinDVD for simplicity's sake, but here is a Reddit thread discussing VLC BD playback: https://old.reddit.com/r/VLC/comments/ee...h_blurays/

In short, Hollywood got it's way with BD playback on computers, making it very hard for users to play their own movies using free software. A standalone BD player for the TV is looking more appealing...
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(03-07-2021, 05:02 AM)cpd2009 Wrote: I have browsed CDRking on various occasions over the past decade or so, but never bought anything from them. I tended to look at eBay for the odd tech gadgets since I prefer to use PayPal for such purchases. As for Company Man, I enjoy his videos because of the extensive research he does into the companies featured.

In computer news, I am tweaking my LowEndMac setup a bit. My main art iMac, the 2008 model, will soon become the secondary studio computer while my 2011 iMac, Lilly, will become the main art computer along with being the VHS transfer device. This will allow me to use my 2009 MacBook for audio recording purposes. My 2020 MacBook Pro will once again be the TV recording device since I don't do much TV recordings outside of holidays.

The reasons are rather simple. Other than VHS transfers, Lilly has just been sitting idle most of the time. There is also a very annoying bug with Vivaldi running on the 2008 iMac. Vivaldi is still supported on ElCap and runs very well for such an old machine.... except when it doesn't want to. There is this very odd bug that only occurs with the 2008 iMac. Every now and then, the whole Vivaldi UI will freeze up entirely, requiring a force quit, sometimes happening three or four times in a row before the browser works properly. This never happens with other Chromium-based browsers on the same iMac, and the bug doesn't occur on the 2011 iMac or even the 2009 MacBook. Lilly also has full 8GB RAM and a quad-core i5. It's quite dated now, but it's still leagues above the 2008 model. Lilly also has High Sierra, which still has a lot more software support. That last point may be important since I switched over to Affinity Designer for my work, and I don't know how much longer current versions will support ElCap.

The LG BluRay drive also arrived for the Dell rig, and it was a bit of a process to get installed. The Dell case is easy to work with, but it took a while to remove the metal plate in the secondary drive bay. I was able to burn a data BD-R successfully with Windows Explorer. There is an odd quirk... the drive shows up as an SDHC device (complete with icon) despite Windows properly reporting it as a BluRay Disc recorder.

As for playing BluRay movies, it's a whole different can of worms compared to the simplicity of playing a DVD. You can play BD movies using VLC, but it requires installing a couple different dll files for working around BD encryption as well as searching for access keys in case a particular disc doesn't work. I may end up just buying PowerDVD or WinDVD for simplicity's sake, but here is a Reddit thread discussing VLC BD playback: https://old.reddit.com/r/VLC/comments/ee...h_blurays/

In short, Hollywood got it's way with BD playback on computers, making it very hard for users to play their own movies using free software. A standalone BD player for the TV is looking more appealing...
Big Corporate's always been like that, going bonkers even on cases that aren't intent on piracy or infringement in general.
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Well, another $1,400 is headed my way. Our President just signed the latest economic stimulus bill.

Seeing that I already have most of my personal expenses covered with my job, I have no idea what I plan on doing with this besides putting a portion in savings.

Lilly has been doing really well as my drawing computer, and Vivaldi actually works properly. But I am tempted to acquire a 27'' model of the same vintage because I got spoiled with the 24'' iMac I was previously using. And due to my apartment size, I don't have much space for many more old iMacs, as compact as they are. I'm also inclined to give what could be the very last base model current-gen iMac a try, but that would take up nearly all of the stimulus money, and it wouldn't be a wise purchase anyway since at some point down the road, I do intend on saving up for an iMac or some other Apple desktop with their new ARM chips. I want to wait a couple more years before I do so since there are a few bugs with the first gen M1 models. (though that supposed SSD wear issue may be affecting more than just Apple products, more on that later)

Perhaps I should focus on something else that I have been wanting to fix up. I still have old Jasper in my closet. Jasper is my old Pentium III tower I bought off a friend a decade ago, and used as my daily driver for a year or two. It runs well with Windows XP, but the tower needs quite a bit of work to get running again. I need a new reliable PSU, a new clock battery, and a new rear fan. I would also need to source a new IDE hard disk along with a new old stock copy of Windows 98SE or maybe even Windows ME. Jasper's ASUS TUV4X motherboard supports Windows 98SE, which would be a much more capable system for running my old retro game library. I also saw LGR's video on Windows ME, and he did speculate one of the main reasons why WinME got such a horrible reception is hardware manufacturers started cheapening out on the components, leading to buggy drivers and eventually WinME"s instability.

As for that reported issue with M1 Macs with reportedly excessive SSD swap usage, some people are suggesting it may have more to do with software bugs since not every M1 Mac user is reporting the same amount of SSD wear in short amount of time. Others have said it may depend on how much they push their M1 Macs and whether or not their apps are made for M1 or run through Rosetta...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuOBsXOaP38
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IIRC the SSD is either soldered on or integrated into the main Apple M1 package, so Apple has pretty much made their devices a ticking time bomb on purpose. Tongue
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(03-13-2021, 09:56 AM)huckleberrypie Wrote: IIRC the SSD is either soldered on or integrated into the main Apple M1 package, so Apple has pretty much made their devices a ticking time bomb on purpose. Tongue

The excessive M1 SSD swapping appears to be a software bug since not all M1 owners are reporting those high TBW writes, and it also depends on what you use your M1 Mac for. If it's just browsing the web or making simple art, SSD swapping shouldn't be that high. There are also hints that the excessive swapping could be a software bug either in Big Sur or a specific app. Others are even suggesting that the SMART reporting is off, displaying inaccurate TBW percentages. I think tech blogs and "journalists" are blowing this way out of proportion and we should get more definitive answers or software/firmware updates in the coming weeks. The cat is out of the bag, and Apple needs to fix this.

If there were no excessive SSD wear at all, then the SSD inside the M1 should last several years before it starts wearing out. But that could also put a dent in future Low End Mac users, since when the SSD finally dies 10 or 15 years down the line, the logic board will need to be chucked. Apple should have at least stuck with their proprietary-yet-removable storage from the first gen Retina Macbooks, or at least develop a solution where the SSD is replaceable without having to toss the entire board. Replaceable parts might come someday if the right-to-repair movement is able to enact the laws necessary to facilitate easier device repairs.
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I have decided to pass on a 27'' iMac, simply because Lilly, the mid-2011 21.5'' model has been amazing. Yes, smaller screen, but it's not that much different than the 2008 iMac. 24'' models had 1920x1200 resolution, and Lilly is bog standard 1080p.

If David hadn't pressured me into getting that year's Mac Mini, I would have went for an iMac either the same or similar to Lilly, and I would have loved it. The Mini had a slow 5,400rpm HDD, while the iMacs of the time had 7,200rpm disks, including entry level models. There were SSD options, but they were insanely expensive at the time, because Apple and also because SSDs weren't mainstream just yet.

Instead, I will go with refurbishing old Jasper. I might even get him a new case since his current one has seen better days. I think the PSU will be the hardest part to choose. Modern PSUs don't have many molex connectors, or none at all. I'd have to settle with several SATA-to-Molex adapters. I would stick with a good brand like Corsair, but what would be a good wattage? The Asus TUV4X board currently has a 1ghz Pentium III, and the graphics card is an Asus Radeon 9600XT AGP 4x. The GPUs have always been rather glitchy, but having learned a lot about PSUs over the years, I imagine the board wasn't getting enough power to run that Radeon card. I always had to limit the AGP bus to 2x speed to prevent glitches or crashes.

Once Jasper has been restored, the 2008 iMac will be used for strictly vintage Apple and PowerPC software via Rosetta. I restored it to Mac OS Leopard, and already found a very cheap sealed copy of iLife '09 on eBay. (it's a genuine copy) I could use it to make YTP videos with iMovie, but I might see if I can score a vintage copy of Final Cut Pro. Tongue
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Where has the time flown?

I haven't been on the forums as of late due to personal life issues taking precedence. My mom passed away about two weeks ago now, and I'm only now preparing to try and get back into things. It's going to be a bit of a struggle since losing a parent is never easy. But I know my mom is now in a better place, free of pain and suffering and keeping a watchful eye over me. Smile

I will press on with the retro PC build. but I've hit some roadblocks. More info in the associated thread....
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(03-30-2021, 11:16 AM)cpd2009 Wrote: Where has the time flown?

I haven't been on the forums as of late due to personal life issues taking precedence. My mom passed away about two weeks ago now, and I'm only now preparing to try and get back into things. It's going to be a bit of a struggle since losing a parent is never easy. But I know my mom is now in a better place, free of pain and suffering and keeping a watchful eye over me. Smile

I will press on with the retro PC build. but I've hit some roadblocks. More info in the associated thread....
I'm so sorry for the loss, mate. But I am more than glad that she's in a far better place now. Prayers and sympathies for you and your family.

As for your retro PC, I am looking forward for whatever it is you plan on doing with that thing.
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