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The Spam Thread!
Long time, no posting! There's just not much going on of note, besides some personal life issues that I am slowly starting to move on from.

But today, I break the silence since Apple had another event today, called Spring Loaded. In short, new iPad Pro, AirTags, and a surprise new iMac redesign.

But the redesign M1 iMac, so far, is a bit disappointing. Sure, it comes in cool colors, has reduced display bezel size, and has the same M1 chip in the Mac Mini and M1 MacBooks, so it will be a decent performer. The downside is the lack of ports. The latest Intel iMac's still have four USB 3 connectors along with at least two Thunderbolt3/USB-C ports, ethernet, audio jacks, and SD card reader standard, even on the dual-core base model. The M1 iMac? The entry level model will only have two Thunderbolt/USB ports and no ethernet. The higher spec units only gain two extra USB-C ports and an ethernet adapter that is attached to the power brick.

So when it comes to ports, Apple really is skimping on ports as of late. It's no problem if all your devices use USB-C, but it will be several more years before we reach that point, and many consumer devices still ship with standard USB-A. And apparently there is no headphone jack on the new iMac either.

So it looks like I will pass on the first gen M1 iMac. I do have funds available to get a modern iMac, but I probably go with the 6-core Intel one. I'm planning on giving my current mid-2011 iMac to a friend of mine to use as a web browsing computer.

Details on the new Intel iMac to come... when it arrives.
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The lack of ports and the increasingly locked-down nature of Macs is a shame considering how their ARM-based M1 processor is running circles around their x86 counterparts.
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Bit of a correction on the new iMacs... they do have a headphone jack, on the lower left side. And while you can browse these iMacs on the Apple store, you can't order them until April 30th, and they won't ship until the second half of May.

And yeah, the new iMac, at least the 24'' redesign, won't have user upgradable storage or RAM. There are rumors (of course) that a 30'' iMac is coming in the fall that will be geared more toward pro-sumer types, similar to the current 27'' line that does have a RAM door. The fall iMac, if it does get unveiled, might not have user upgradability either, but I could be wrong.

Apple, like Nintendo is a catch 22. The OS may be great and far more privacy friendly, but you pretty much have to trade away user upgradability to get that experience.

As for how long Apple will continue to support their Intel range, the latest models won't go vintage or obsolete until 2025 at the earliest, and Macs in the "vintage" state tend to still receive OS updates. Knowing just how many people (especially illustrators) tend to hang on to their Macs until after they are well past Apple's EOL, it would be crazy for them to pull a move similar to the G5 Macs before the Intel transition. Both the PowerMac G5 and iMac G5 were dropped off the support line very quickly, never getting an OS past 10.5.8. If they did the same thing with the Intel-to-M1 transition, they will piss off a large portion of their userbase that still uses the Intel machines for daily work, and will continue to do so for at least a couple more years.
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Well, it appears the new iMac and the USB-C adapter for my drawing tablet will be arriving later today via UPS.

Problem... signature is required, and I normally go into work around the estimated time the package is set to arrive. No options available to change the delivery time or to sign the package online. I can only change the delivery day, which doesn't include weekends and would probably be at the same estimated time each day. :/

Looks like I may have to shave a few hours off my work day just to get this package.
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(04-23-2021, 02:55 PM)cpd2009 Wrote: Well, it appears the new iMac and the USB-C adapter for my drawing tablet will be arriving later today via UPS.

Problem... signature is required, and I normally go into work around the estimated time the package is set to arrive. No options available to change the delivery time or to sign the package online. I can only change the delivery day, which doesn't include weekends and would probably be at the same estimated time each day. :/

Looks like I may have to shave a few hours off my work day just to get this package.

So you're telling me, you ordered an M1 iMac?
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(04-23-2021, 05:06 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:
(04-23-2021, 02:55 PM)cpd2009 Wrote: Well, it appears the new iMac and the USB-C adapter for my drawing tablet will be arriving later today via UPS.

Problem... signature is required, and I normally go into work around the estimated time the package is set to arrive. No options available to change the delivery time or to sign the package online. I can only change the delivery day, which doesn't include weekends and would probably be at the same estimated time each day. :/

Looks like I may have to shave a few hours off my work day just to get this package.

So you're telling me, you ordered an M1 iMac?

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. The Intel iMac I ordered has two Thunderbolt 3/USB3 ports on it along with four standard USB 3, SD card reader, and ethernet jack, Rather than use one of the four standard USB ports, I got a USB-C digital multiport adapter for my drawing tablet. That will let me convert the thunderbolt video output to HDMI (which my tablet uses), along with gaining an extra USB 3.0 port for the tablet's data connection.

And I can't order an M1 iMac anyway. Tongue Orders won't open until April 30th, while you can still order the older 21.5 inch Intel models until that time. I went for the 27'' Intel.
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TVTropes, the site that can ruin your life, supposedly.

It's a wonderful little site that picks apart and analyzes media in all forms, but as of late, they are getting rather obnoxious with the ads. TVTropes is independent, so it makes sense to run ads, but it's very hard to focus on a particular trope page while there are several large, annoying ads on the sides and bottom. There are even auto-playing video ads from time to time, which is a extreme pet peeve of mine.

You can use Adblock to stop the ads, but you then get an annoying banner on the lower bottom of the page that keeps count of how many pages you view without ads. I tend to hate these anti-Adblock messages as well, since they try to guilt you into whitelisting, or signing up for a premium subscription. TVTropes isn't so intrusive with this message, but other sites like those belonging to magazines or newspapers display larger anti-Adblock popups, or even block all access until you whitelist or pay up.

So.... I caved and paid the $20 for an ad-free TVTropes experience. So much better now, and in the end, $20 for one year isn't bad.
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(04-25-2021, 04:03 PM)cpd2009 Wrote: TVTropes, the site that can ruin your life, supposedly.

It's a wonderful little site that picks apart and analyzes media in all forms, but as of late, they are getting rather obnoxious with the ads. TVTropes is independent, so it makes sense to run ads, but it's very hard to focus on a particular trope page while there are several large, annoying ads on the sides and bottom. There are even auto-playing video ads from time to time, which is a extreme pet peeve of mine.

You can use Adblock to stop the ads, but you then get an annoying banner on the lower bottom of the page that keeps count of how many pages you view without ads. I tend to hate these anti-Adblock messages as well, since they try to guilt you into whitelisting, or signing up for a premium subscription. TVTropes isn't so intrusive with this message, but other sites like those belonging to magazines or newspapers display larger anti-Adblock popups, or even block all access until you whitelist or pay up.

So.... I caved and paid the $20 for an ad-free TVTropes experience. So much better now, and in the end, $20 for one year isn't bad.
Fair enough if they needed the revenue, but subjecting the user to either obnoxious and sometimes harmful (i.e. malware) ads or guilt you into whitelisting isn't going to do this whole advertising apathy situation any favours.
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It's been yet another long while with nothing going on, other than my new iMac arriving over a week ago and discovering that not all USB-C to HDMI adapters are the same.

First off, the specs. I went for the 27'' 5K model with 6-core Intel Core i7 (10th Gen), 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, and AMD Radeon Pro 5300 with 4GB VRAM. Not top of the line, obviously, but compared to the refurb iMac I was using, it's wonderful with my art programs and basic HD video editing. I will soon order an additional 8GB RAM for a more roomy 16GB RAM size. This 27'' may be the last iMac to have user-upgradable RAM.

However, I also needed a Thunderbolt 3/USB-C adapter for my Huion drawing tablet, and Apple had one that was appealing. It's called the "Multiport Adapter" and it converts a TB3/USB-C port to a dongle consisting of a USB 3, HDMI, and Lightning input. I connected my tablet's video and data connections to the adapter and all would be well right? Not so much. While the tablet input functions fine, the HDMI output would keep randomly dropping out for about a second. When these cuts would happen is entirely at random, and doesn't appear to be caused by anything else I am doing either with other hardware or software. I could draw for nearly 20 minutes or more before the one-second signal drop would happen. Other times, one or two HDMI signal drops would occur in succession and wouldn't occur again for a long length of time.

I have since acquired a Belkin USB-C to HDMI adapter. My tablet's USB connection is now on my USB-3 hub, like it was with the refurb iMac. Tongue Tested the new adapter tonight while making my nightly artwork, and no HDMI signal drops!
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Choices, choices, choices.... even if it's only two.

My internet situation may be changing soon along with my living space. Currently, it's a 30 minute walk to my day job, or a $2 a day bus ride during the winter. I have applied for an income-based apartment closer to the place where I work. This particular apartment is only a 7 minute walk from my workplace, and better yet, the place has two choices for cable internet service.

The two providers are Midco and Vast Broadband. I currently get TV service from Midco at my current space, so in most cases, it would make sense to stay with Midco. I've had no problems with their TV service and their internet service doesn't appear to get many complaints. Taking a quick look at Vast Broadband though, they do appear to offer a 100mbps internet tier for just $35.99 a month. But there's a catch. This is a 1 year promo price for new customers, so after that year is up, the price will go up a bit.

How is Midco pricing? Well, their online store hides the price until you begin the process of ordering Internet service. I will have to see about getting their prices later on, but I do know they offer a 50mbps service that Vast does not have. 50mbps, according to Midco, is good for single device streaming. I forgot what my exact CenturyLink DSL package is, but given how my speed is 7mbps down/750kbps up, I think even 50mbps would be a night and day difference than my current setup.

Making matters more complicated, you can't have TV service from one company and internet from the other. This is due to how the cable companies are wired to the apartment itself. Only one can be wired at a time I believe. I could just get the internet service and rely on antenna TV or even get satellite TV installed, but I don't know if satellite TV is even allowed at the apartment I am looking at. Even if it is, you have to pay both the satellite company and the apartment managers for installation fees.
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