Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > General Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jan 3, 2006, 8:38 AM   #11
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

E.T wrote:
Quote:
1 GB is minimum I would recommend. (and 512 absolute minimum)
So there's very big pile of few years old pig in poke brand/packet PCs which are worth of "burned half of wooden penny" without serious upgrading.
(XP, antivirus+firewall, and "includes kitchen sink" useless crap collections of brand PCs easily hog 200MB as appetizer)
LOL

Feel free to send one or two of them my way. I'll try to find a burned half a wooden penny.

My wife is running on a 300mhz PII Mobile based laptop. She likes to browse the internet while sitting in her recliner, and also uses Open Office (word processing, spreadsheet).

I'm running SimplyMEPIS 3.4.2 Release Candidate 1 on it right now. I actually got SimplyMEPIS 3.3.1 to install and run in 64mb of RAM on it, including loading Firefox, Open Office, and GIMP at the same time. ;-) I don't know if newer versions of MEPIS will run in 64mb or not (more RAM is recommended as a minimim), as I splurged and upgraded it to 256mb not long after installing the OS.

She's got another laptop that she still uses from time to time, too. It doesn't even have a PII in it. It's a 133mhz Pentium with 64mb of RAM. It's running Windows '98, and I consider it faster than my Dell (3ghz P4, HT, 800mhz FSB, 1GB RAM) for booting and performing most common functions (internet browsing, office documents). It loads and runs an older version of MS Office just fine in 64MB of RAM, even though it's also running both AVG Antivirus and Zone Alarm (firewall).

But, I'd have to admit that my fastest PC is a 386-33 with 4MB of RAM running Windows 3.1. It runs circles around my other machines for OS boot time, application load tme, etc (and that includes Microsoft Office, too -- only an old version of it). I like Ami Pro (also installed on it) better though. ;-)

This PC still gets used on a regular basis (it's right beside my Dell), since I've got a development environment on it that doesn't get along with newer Operating Systems.

IOW, operating systems and software are becoming more and more bloated, which presents a problem, since some software is now going to require newer Windows versions with more RAM (for example, newer Adobe products won't run on Windows '98 ).
So, this does tend to limit the usefulness of older machines with some software. I'm also seeing a tendency for some software to be compiled with switches for newer processors (probably to try and speed up the already bloated code), again limiting the userfullness of older machines.

Personally, I'm trying to find a Linux distribution I'd be happy with. My wife likes Mepis (she prefers it to Windows). But, I'm having problems finding one that does everything I want it to.

My short list includes STX 1.0 RC3 (very, very fast). It's not quite ready for prime time yet. But, the developer did include some functionality I needed in this latest release candidate (he agreed to put in NDISWRAPPER which lets me use Windows drivers for Wireless Cards, and he also included a compiler so that it would be easy to add software not in the repositories).

I'm also waiting for SimplyMEPIS 3.4.2 to go final (it's getting close now, and a new release candidate should be out any day).

I'm running under Kanotix 2005-04 (final) on my PC as I type this response (I've got it setup dual boot for Windows XP Pro and Kanotix). I've even managed to get some of the Windows based imaging related software to run fine on it under Wine (after installing MS TrueType fonts that the applications were looking for).

For example, the FastStone Image browser for MS Windows runs fine under it (and it even supports RAW files from most cameras when browsing). I'm also testing the Linux version of Bibble Pro on it (Eric Hyman has versions of Bibble for Mac, Windows and Linux platforms). Of course, I've got Krita and GIMP, too.

IOW, I have no intention of spending money to upgrade from Windows XP Pro to Vista, not to mention I'm not found of some of the restrictions I'm hearing about with Vista (more stuff to keep the RIAA happy). Actually, I wouldn't upgrade to Vista if they gave it to me.

If that means I can't run some of the apps I'm using now, fine. I'll find replacements.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2006, 9:03 AM   #12
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

tedbelow wrote:
Quote:
My daughter has asked me to advise her on a general computer set up (she has none) to get started not only with the usual computer stuff but also for digital photo (mostly snapshot) shairing with the family????

Ted Below

Ted:

You may want to consider a refurbished PC, too. Dell has a factory outlet with refurbished models, and they include the same warranty options you get on a new PC. They tend to run specials pretty often (stackable coupons, etc.). So, you can often find a PC for a fraction of what it sold for originally.

I got my latest Dell that way (loaded 3.0GHZ P4 with 1MB L2 Cache, HT, 800mhz FSB, SATA Drive, 1GB RAM, XP Pro, MS Office and more) for under $500 delivered, and that was over a year ago. You couldn't buy the parts and software to build your own for that price.

See my posts in this thread for details:

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...amp;forum_id=2

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2006, 9:37 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,093
Default

Many of the answers to the OP seem to assume that the poster is looking to work on the images. That isn't at all clear to me from the OP. If the question is just how much computer is needed to get on the internet to share some snapshots over SnapFish (or whatever), the answer is, "not much." Any computer you could buy now would be more than adequate. The cheap Dell that seels new for under $500 will more than meet those needs.

I may have misunderstood the question, but I know that it is easy for people who do heavy lifting with their set-up to think that everyone needs a serious computer (or dSLR, or ...). But some folks are just dabblers, and will find all their needs well met with a basic system. If you can still find a system that doesn't include a CD burner, you might want to avoid that. Other than that caveat, just about anything will do. The "gotcha" on a refurb system is that it should still be current. If you can't buy it new, stay away from it. Given how cheap new entry-level computers are, you may want to stay away from any refurb system. Yes, you can get more computer for the same amount of money. But if you buy the Dell entry-system du jour, you'll also get a few weeks of phone support that can be worthwhile when you can't figure out what cable should go where. And you won't have any hassle if something isn't right with it in the first few months. After that, you will probably be fine for the next few years (computers fail early or not for a long time generally).


tclune is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2006, 9:40 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 851
Default

ET: No, my DVD blanks are good. I purchased them in the USA. I have used TDK, Verbatum, Memorex and others, but the end result is still the same. The DVD's fail quickly over time. I also have Pioneer and Sony burners, so I know the drives are good too.

If you do a search you will find that more and more people are switching from using DVD's to hard disks for archiving their photos, precisely because of the DVD failure rate.

If you want to trust your photos to a DVD you burn yourself, then that is up to you. Personally, I don't want to lose my photos. So I keep two sets on different HD's.

Declan
amazingthailand is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2006, 10:03 AM   #15
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

tclune wrote:
Quote:
The "gotcha" on a refurb system is that it should still be current. If you can't buy it new, stay away from it. Given how cheap new entry-level computers are, you may want to stay away from any refurb system. Yes, you can get more computer for the same amount of money. But if you buy the Dell entry-system du jour, you'll also get a few weeks of phone support that can be worthwhile when you can't figure out what cable should go where. And you won't have any hassle if something isn't right with it in the first few months. After that, you will probably be fine for the next few years (computers fail early or not for a long time generally).
Dell Factory Outlet offers the same warranty options on refurbished systems that they offer on brand new systems.

Also, I suspect that part of the reason I got my last Dell at such a bargain price (less for the entire system than the parts alone would have cost me to build one, not to mention the cost of XP Pro and MS Office) was because it was replaced with a newer model.

I bought it over a year ago for under $500 delivered, and it's still current enough for my needs (3.0ghz P4 with Hyperthreading, 1MB L2 Cache, 1GB RAM, 800mhz FSB, SATA controller in Motherboard, etc.).

BTW, it was indistinquishable from a brand new PC (including new shrink wrapped manuals, keyboard, mouse, etc.).


JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2006, 11:02 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Steve40's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 187
Default

BillDrew wrote:
Quote:
Steve40 wrote:
Quote:
I run any photo program I want, on a AMD 600 Thunderbird chip. 256 megs of ram, and a 20 gig drive with a small 4 on the side. It all sets on a AMD server board. With a 64 megNvidiavideo card. I don't have a burner, but there two other machines on the network that have one. It's not always about speed, but rock solid stability.
With a network, that could be workable - but not otherwise. Likely you have offloaded the firewall and virus software to another machine (memory hogs) and you have someof their disk space available.
I run a virus program, I do not run a firewall thats on the hub. But running firewalls is redundant, that's like throwing corn to chickens. Any first grade hacker can demolish the best, in 30 seconds or less. I live with one, believe me.

I don't usuallyshare my drive with the network, only if I want to burn a disk. So I do not use more than the 24 gigs I have.

One major difference I don't load my system down with stupid games, and such. I strictly process photos, and construct web-pages. My resources run 85 - 90 % constantly. Face it this is not a box system, and it is constructed to eat your averageone gig machine. :-)
Steve40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2006, 11:53 AM   #17
E.T
Senior Member
 
E.T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 921
Default

amazingthailand wrote:
Quote:
ET: No, my DVD blanks are good. I purchased them in the USA. I have used TDK, Verbatum, Memorex and others, but the end result is still the same. The DVD's fail quickly over time.
Then it propably comes to storing them.
Are those exposed to high temperature/humidity or direct sunlight?
Best storage conditions would be dry, room temperature (~ 20 C) and sheltered from sunlight.

Sure I could try is there difference between CD-Rs and DVD blanks in how well they tolerate high temperature... while long time exposure would be hard to arrange (except freezing for 4 months) I could expose those to 90 C for half hour twice in a week when I'm in sauna. Also increased air humidity treatment would be made automatically along temperature test.


Quote:
If you do a search you will find that more and more people are switching from using DVD's to hard disks for archiving their photos
And like that would be better option.
HDs are very fine tuned, extremely small tolerance mechanical devices so they'll break sooner or later.
Hazards include shocks, heat, condensing humidity and such... they kinda combine weak points of electronics and mechanical devices.

So with them multiple HDs in RAID would be only sensible option... either "mirroring"/level 1 RAID (which wastes half of total capacity) or "parity RAID"/level 5 RAID. (which wastes capacity of one drive and requires at least three drives)
And remember that even RAID wouldn't be so realiable if drives are tightly packed on top of each other and they don't have fan cooling them.

And even then you would have to have data also in other storage device as precaution against viruses unless storage PC is purely dedicated to that job and lacks any data connections to outside world... and of course overvoltage caused by lightning can fry whole PC through power network. (regardless of is PC turned on or off)


If anyone here keeps HDs so reliable archiving method this will take away that delusion.
http://www.storagereview.com/map/lm.cgi/survey_login
log in data here:
Code:
http://www.bugmenot.com/view.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.storagereview.com%2F
(Copy&paste address)


JimC wrote:
Quote:
Feel free to send one or two of them my way.* I'll try to find a burned half a wooden penny.
Sorry, I don't collect peoples old PCs.

Quote:
She's got another laptop that she still uses from time to time, too.* It doesn't even have a PII in it.* It's a 133mhz Pentium with 64mb of RAM.** It's running Windows '98,...*It loads and runs an older version of MS Office just fine in 64MB of RAM, even though it's also running both AVG Antivirus and Zone Alarm (firewall).
Currently AVG Free takes ~18MB, Zone "Graphic bloat" Alarm must take about same, now some for OS (98 is resource hog compared to 95) and swapping should start after opening one more program.

Problem isn't hardware, but users installing newer than PC, overbloated crap. And even worse, those which set up themselves to start automatically with OS.
So as rule I'll consider El Cheapo pig in poke, packet PCs quite unwise choise until I see some capability to rational thinking in this specie.

Quote:
But, I'd have to admit that my fastest PC is a 386-33 with 4MB of RAM running Windows 3.1.
Why not DOS? Is there something which works faster in Win 3.1?

Quote:
I have no intention of spending money to upgrade from Windows XP Pro to Vista, not to mention I'm not found of some of the restrictions I'm hearing about with Vista (more stuff to keep the RIAA happy).
Yeah, it looks like to be having big chunk of Corporationistic Fascists TM's (anti-)Trust(worthy) Computing.
Although Orwellian Computing is more describing.

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. ... corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed." — U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864 (letter to Col. William F. Elkins) Ref: "The Lincoln Encyclopedia", Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)

Also memory requirements are propably really badly bloated.
E.T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2006, 12:06 PM   #18
Administrator
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378
Default

E.T wrote:
Quote:
Quote:
But, I'd have to admit that my fastest PC is a 386-33 with 4MB of RAM running Windows 3.1.
Why not DOS? Is there something which works faster in Win 3.1?
It is booting to DOS (Windows 3.x runs on top of DOS). ;-)

I need to type Win at a DOS prompt to load Windows (although I could put this in the Autoexec.bat if desired).

But, Windows loads so darn fast on this old PC, it's stunning compared to new machines (probably fully loaded in under 2 seconds from the time you type Win).

Ditto for the old Windows Applications (including MS Office). I'm amazed at how bloated new operating systems and software have become.

JimC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2006, 1:05 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
Steve40's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Asheville NC
Posts: 187
Default

Technology is a strange thing, about the time they could get something to really work right. It is abandoned for something new, and buggy.

But of course it is all about sales, and money. If something hangs around to long, everybody has one, and it leaves no customer base. And if you work all the bugs out it never stops working for a long-long time, so there is no replacement market.

Then a lot of people would have no jobs, and no money to buy products in the first place. Again it's all about money, and not giving you a solid product.

Back in the time my grandchildren would call the old days, things were made to last, and they usually did. You did not have to worry about warranties, you would usually get tired of it, and through it away before it broke. Not so today, you buy something, and hold your breath for the first thirty days. If it does not quit or break, it will probably last a year or two - "with luck".

So to upgrade is actually inviting more trouble, and is more of a downgrade. :-)

Kinda like the old saying: "if it aint broke, don't fix it".
Steve40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jan 3, 2006, 1:24 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,093
Default

Steve40 wrote:
Quote:
Kinda like the old saying: "if it aint broke, don't fix it".
Ah, but in the world of computers, it's ALWAYS broke. Maybe we should update the saying to something like, "If it's still broke, don't upgrade to it." That would inspire an epoch-making revolt!


tclune is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:55 PM.