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Lilly is back! :)
#1

Here is my mid-2011 iMac, purchased refurbished from MacOfAllTrades. I named it "Lilly", the same name of my now-gone 2011 Mac mini, and also because this was the Mac I would have purchased in 2011 if David hadn't pressured me into getting the slower Mini instead. I digress...

Below are photos of the final setup. This iMac previously had High Sierra installed, but I decided to downgrade to Mountain Lion. ML works better with 4GB RAM, I can still use the older version of iMovie that has more features, and overall, this OS is nowhere near as demanding as High Sierra is.

[Image: Lilly-Final-01.jpg]

I placed Lilly where Rusty's monitor used to be at. Rusty will soon be hooked up to my HDTV solely for games.

[Image: Lilly-Final-02.jpg]

From left to right past the calendar icon... Arctic Fox browser, Preview, iTunes, VLC, iMovie '11, QuickTime, HandBrake, and Avidemux 2.6.9. I found Handbrake to have a much better interface than Avidemux just for converting the raw QuickTime recordings to smaller files. I keep Avidemux around for the commercial compilations and making the upscaled YouTube uploads. I know I said I was going to use iMovie '11 for that, but it caps at 30fps. I plan on making YTP again though, and iMovie '11 works well enough for that.

[Image: Lilly-Final-03.jpg]

[Image: Lilly-Final-04.jpg]

[Image: Lilly-Final-05.jpg]

The recording setup. The HDMI dongle connects to one of the back USB ports, and the Composite-to-HDMI converter goes into the dongle. Final picture shows QuickTime recording from the HDMI dongle. It's stretched out, but I resize it to proper 4:3 with Handbrake.

I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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#2

Some additional specs and a desktop screenshot showing Arctic Fox in action.

[Image: Lilly-Specs-01.jpg]

[Image: Lilly-Specs-02.jpg]

I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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#3

Are the RAM slots modular though? And I hope it should be something you can rely on when it comes to video capture too.

[Image: cyp2pb-6.png]
[Image: bpawh5-6.png]
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#4

(11-01-2020, 01:05 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  Are the RAM slots modular though? And I hope it should be something you can rely on when it comes to video capture too.

Yes. The mid-2011 was the last 21' iMac to have an accessible RAM slot. The panel is below the Apple logo along the bottom of the housing. There are four RAM slots, and currently, 2 x 2GB sticks are inside. MacTracker indicates it can take up to 32GB RAM, but that's overkill.

In 2012, the iMac got super thin, and the 21' model no longer has the user accessible RAM. The 27'' still has upgradable RAM, with the panel being on the back below the AC power socket.

I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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#5

(11-01-2020, 02:40 PM)cpd2009 Wrote:  
(11-01-2020, 01:05 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  Are the RAM slots modular though? And I hope it should be something you can rely on when it comes to video capture too.

Yes. The mid-2011 was the last 21' iMac to have an accessible RAM slot. The panel is below the Apple logo along the bottom of the housing. There are four RAM slots, and currently, 2 x 2GB sticks are inside. MacTracker indicates it can take up to 32GB RAM, but that's overkill.

In 2012, the iMac got super thin, and the 21' model no longer has the user accessible RAM. The 27'' still has upgradable RAM, with the panel being on the back below the AC power socket.

And it all went downhill from there. Knowing Apple's recent actions with the iPhone 12 I don't doubt that the ARM-based, er, Apple Silicon Macs would be locked down to hell and back, not allowing any sort of aftermarket modification. Sure is a stark difference from how Woz handled things back in the day, eh?

[Image: cyp2pb-6.png]
[Image: bpawh5-6.png]
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#6

(11-01-2020, 04:31 PM)huckleberrypie Wrote:  And it all went downhill from there. Knowing Apple's recent actions with the iPhone 12 I don't doubt that the ARM-based, er, Apple Silicon Macs would be locked down to hell and back, not allowing any sort of aftermarket modification. Sure is a stark difference from how Woz handled things back in the day, eh?

Sad, but true. I am excited for the Apple ARM transition as it may finally help with heat issues on the MacBooks, but at the same time, user upgradable RAM on the desktop Macs (except the Mac Pro, perhaps) will probably go away completely. I ended up going with 16GB RAM on my 2020 MBP just in case I end up using it for more than simple web browsing later on.

It's tough to be a Mac user. MacOS has none of the forced advertising Windows 10 does, yet you still need to use Apple hardware for optimal experiences. Hackintoshing works for a lot of people but it requires more maintenance in case an OS update breaks your custom kext files. And once Apple ditches Intel completely, will they even be able to get ARM MacOS to run on something like a Raspberry Pi?

Anyway... I will post samples of video recordings here soon. They will be unlisted YT videos, so I need to record stuff that doesn't have anything to trip copyright bots.

I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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#7

Welp...

I may have to move back to High Sierra for the simple fact older Mac releases of Avidemux suck.

I can only run up to version 2.6.15, and every one I've tried all the way back to 2.6.9 completely messes up the audio of the recorded movie files. HandBrake handles them perfectly fine, and I checked the final renderings from both programs to make sure. I even played back the unedited recordings to check for audio sync issues and all is well on that front.

The 2020 MBP runs the latest version 2.7.6 and it has no trouble with .MOV files. 2.7.6 indexes every imported file while the older versions do not.

So that means an 8GB RAM upgrade is in order, but it should be inexpensive. All I need is another set of 2x2GB sticks. And to be honest, I don't have much experience with the new iMovie. The older version with more features is only 32bit, and was the last of the bundled Apple apps to go 64bit.

I love foxes, especially the one in my avatar.
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#8

Here are some capture samples made with Lilly. Quick notes: iMovie only exports 720p content at 30fps. I believe iMovie can do 60fps but only if the source is 1080p or above. Also regarding the second clip with the PBS footage. This is a sign on for the Nebraska PBS stations but the channel was having audio problems. The static you hear is just the old Hifi audio track on the source VHS. Also note the normally 4:3 footage is stretched out. In final processing with Avidemux, I add a 4:3 flag to the MP4 file so it shows up in the proper ratio on playback. I loaded the raw unprocessed MP4 files into iMovie here.

First clip is a random promo from a Hispanic educational TV channel I recorded cartoons from in the mid 2000s despite not speaking Spanish. Tongue Second clip is the Nebraska PBS clip. Third is some live footage from the local ABC station featuring election coverage. Very early coverage, I might add so the results will not be accurate.


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