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Question: What Computer do you use?
Mac - 121 (42%)
Intel - 97 (33.7%)
AMD - 67 (23.3%)
Other (please tell us) - 3 (1%)
Total Voters: 39

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Author Topic: What Computer do you use?  (Read 19626 times)
giles
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« Reply #80 on: February 08, 2005, 08:00:08 PM »
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The discussion focus on price/performance seems rather old fashioned to me.  When computers were much more expensive and when mainstream applications (word processors, browsers) pushed the hardware limits, then this made sense.

Now, at least at the high end, performance of both Windows PCs and Mac is good.  Hey, it's better than that, it's excellent.  So choosing on other factors (availability, support, familiarity, style, application availability, ...)  ahead of price/performance is quite reasonable.

Of course, if you're looking for the lowest cost option for Internet access and minimal word processing, the rules would change.  Cheap and cheerful is one of the things PCs do really well, and Windows goes along for the ride.  That end of the market is largely irrelevant to shoppers after systems for running Photoshop I imagine.

Cheers,

Giles
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #81 on: February 21, 2005, 01:14:07 AM »
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There is no such thing as spyware or adware for a mac. The mac operating system hasn't had a virus since 2001.
Here we see a true Mac zealot. These statements are false. There are fewer viruses written for Mac than for Windows, but viruses are written for every platform and OS on a regular basis, including Palm OS and some of the proprietary cell phone OS's. You are foolish indeed to run any network-capable computer without regularly updated anti-virus software, regardless of platform. As to the rest of the post, it's primarily opinion without any solid basis in fact. Mac is neither junk nor evil, nor is it as superior to everything else as its more cult-member-like devotees would have you believe. Anything a Mac can do, a Windows machine can do as fast or faster for the same hardware investment. But the Windows box and OS GUI won't look as cool.

Do a search at robgalbraith.com, he used to do head-to-head comparisons between Windows and OSX for things like batch processing and converting RAW images. For a while, the Mac fell significantly behind, although in the last comparison it had almost caught up to the PC.

Speed Comparison
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djgarcia
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« Reply #82 on: February 24, 2005, 07:36:58 PM »
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Oops, forgot in all the tech-steroid excitement, I use a Motion Computing M-1300 tablet PC for processing images on vacation, most recently China .

DJ
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dbell
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« Reply #83 on: March 01, 2005, 01:38:59 PM »
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I use an Apple G4. I'm actually very comfortable with a lot of OSes (I'm a unix system administrator by trade; the day job rears it's ugly head...), it's just that I would rather spend my time in OS X than anything else when it comes to photo work.

Computers are lot like other photographic tools in that there are lots of ways to get the job done. Conversely, flamewars about which tool is best are usually silly  Smiley
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ausoleil
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« Reply #84 on: April 11, 2005, 04:57:43 PM »
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I currently use Windows, mainly because it is all but free for me as an IT guy.  I like Mac's would love to have a Dual G-5, but price/performance ratios are just too low for me to break out the bucks for the Apple.

My druthers would be to use Linux, it has everything a Mac has and has an excellent performance ratio based on the fact that it is on the cheaper Intel/AMD platform.  And, in the right hands, it can do something not easy to do with a Mac:  it can computationally cluster.  That would be incredibly convenient for large files, as the workload could be split onto three or more cheap machines.

At the end of the day, I think it is the hard drive and memory that really makes the difference anyway.  Every since I build a RAID10 FibreChannel network storage array, I am getting read/write speeds measured in nanoseconds.  A 2GB file writes in less than five seconds, plus it has built in disk redundancy, making backups necessary only for offsite storage.  Hope you guys are not only backing up your datas but also keeping an extra copy away from the place where your computer is!

Oh, and to answer the query above about how to get the equivilant of Task Manager on a Mac:  Open a Terminal and type "top".  It should tell you every running process, memory usage, etc.  It's all *nix under the hood.  You may need to be a superuser to run it, so if that does not work, check and see if sudo is installed and then run it that way.
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ausoleil
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« Reply #85 on: April 27, 2005, 12:16:15 PM »
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I just priced out a Dell 3.8 GHz 4GB RAM machine with a flat screen monitor and every goody I could add for $3122

Dell Optiplex GX280 - 3.8 MHz P4

A similar Mac, a single processor 1.8 GHz G5, same memory, a flat screen monitor, same HD, pretty much similarly configured is currently $4051.
Apple G5 1.8 MHz

The Apple has a higher level of security, being that it is BSD based UNIX, and comes with Tiger preinstalled.  However, behind the firewalls and routers on our network, that's redundant anyway.  The Apple would be close to my dream machine, except I am hearing murmurs from the Adobe rep that PS CS 3 may actually show up on the Linux platform.  One can hope he is not pandering to us as he knows very well that we have Opteron-based Pro/E Wildfire workstations now.

One thing is certain, however, he says that Adobe now develops for Windows as it's "prime" platform.  Odd to hear him say that, as there has to be more Mac based GD's out in the world than PC.

No matter to me, at the end of the day my photos care not one whit what OS or CPU hardware printed them.
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tived
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« Reply #86 on: June 23, 2005, 08:55:52 PM »
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Hi guys,

whew, that was a long one to get through. Ok, I am on the WinTel team, however I was really condemplating a dual G5 as a serious upgrade as my editing system after buying my first Mac product - yes, the IPOD Photo. ####, that is one se*y little thing. However, what it was I liked was the feel and look of things. I have used Mac's for prepress and graphics design in tandem with PC's and in terms of PS then it is just swapping the keys around Alt option control etc...

however, I went to a couple of mac shops locally to where I live in Western Australia and I really felt sick by the constant mantra - Mac is great! PC sucks! Like could have been using a PC, when these Mac's are so beautiful. This wasn't just one shop it was all of them (all 3) Huh
Anyway, I went looking on the net and this is what I found
http://www.barefeats.com/macvpc.html this is a ProMac site, so I thought that when they can put up benchmarks like this, it has to bare some weight.
I ended up getting a Dual AMD Opteron, which in the end of the day will cost as much or more then a Dual G5.
For the looks of things, well, they mac's looks great but since my feet don't have eyes, then I couldn't care less how the box looks as it will be on the floor out of the way and I was going to get a Mac 23 or 30" Cinema Display WOW, but two 24" Dells will do the job, and nobody is entering my little den anyway, it is my little cubbyhouse!

However, this Mac vs PC will be over soon and we will all be sharing a common platform INTEL!!

Have a fantastic day guys and gals

Henrik

PS: also have a look at this one from FredMiranda's site
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/233604
people running a radical blur on a image and time it in PS
The Dual G5s are doing very well, very impressive!
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #87 on: February 04, 2005, 03:53:01 PM »
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IMHO the battle between Mac and PC is similar to the battle between Canon and Nikon. At the present time both can do a superb job, particularly since Photoshop is virtually identical on both systems. Macs certainly have a longer history as excellent machines for graphics, and they have the advantage of not being hobbled by Microsoft operating systems.

That being said, if you're starting from scratch, try out both and see which feels more comfortable to you. Just like Nikon vs. Canon.

For the record, I have recently moved from Pentaxes (for many years) to Canons. I like the feel, controls, lenses, etc., and Nikons never felt right to me. And I use a PC (Dell XPS with a 2.8G Intel P4, with about 600GB of hard disk space), because I got used to PCs long ago and haven't wanted to go to the trouble of learning a Mac.

Yet I've never seen a print that I could tell was made on a PC or on a Mac, nor have I seen one that cried out that it was taken with a Canon or a Nikon. We're fortunate that we have some good choices.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
cgordon
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« Reply #88 on: February 08, 2005, 03:45:41 PM »
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As for the price/performance advocates any true comparison must be done by comparing machines which are identical in specs. Once you do that the price difference is minimal.
i don't know about that. i just bought a new pc.

p4 3ghz 800mhz fsb / 512k l2 cache
512mb ddr400 ram
160G ide hd
128mb video card
cd burner
windows xp pro

all for $800 cdn - taxes in.

the 1.8ghz single g5 has...

600 fsb / 512k l2 cache
256mb ddr400 ram
80G sata hd
64mb video card

for $1899 + tax.

granted these components aren't exactly the same. but they're close. at $1400 difference...until i make much much much more money than i presently do, it's really a no brainer for me. the difference is enough to buy me the canon 70-200mm f/4 L lens i've been eyeing!
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llama
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« Reply #89 on: February 09, 2005, 12:00:45 PM »
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I second Liz's recommendation of Linux!

My home server runs on Fedora Core 3 linux, an off-shoot of RedHat. That lowly PIII700 with 512MB RAM is over-clocked to 848MHz yet acts as a music server, file server to my Windows machines, Unreal Tournament 2004 game server, Apache Webserver, picture repository, and nightly back-up system -- it never crashes and updates its software weekly.

If it weren't for my gaming interest and Windows PDA, I'd use Linux exclusively and figure out The Gimp, Linux's answer to Photoshop.

N
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kdr0014
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« Reply #90 on: February 21, 2005, 12:07:02 AM »
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I use a powerbook G4, and the advantage to using a mac besides the secuirity issues is that it is more stable. I have both a windows computer running XP pro, and two powerbooks that run OS 10.3.8. There is no such thing as spyware or adware for a mac. The mac operating system hasn't had a virus since 2001. There are also operations that are simplified on the mac, so many operations that going into it would take pages to cover. Working in photoshop is a great deal easier with expose to manage all open windows. Just take a mac for a spin, and you will see that windows is outdated, buggy, and inharently flawed. An apple machine comes with more software out of the box than any windows computer. Programs like imovie and idvd are great for creating short movies with you images. Another plus is that most of the apple laptops come with superdrives that burn to dvds. Something else to think about when buying a computer for photography, because dvds are great for archiving images from your digital camera. Apple machine's also have the convenience of the genius bar at apple stores. If you do have problems, just take your machine in, and they will help you fix it. Most of the time it's free of charge. Remember that you get what you pay for. Sure,  windows computers might be able to do the job, but you'll get all the problems windows is prone to; hackers, spyware, popups, and viruses. Also, don't let the processor speeds fool you, the processors in the macs are much more efficient, and have to do less cycles to process the same amount of information. It takes some adjusting to get used to the mac, because you'll say " why didn't windows do it this way?"
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pcg
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« Reply #91 on: March 18, 2005, 04:21:44 PM »
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Mac for all creative work. Windows machine for all drudgery, or for all maddening programs that will only work in Win. 70% Mac, 30% Win.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #92 on: April 22, 2005, 10:16:02 AM »
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Building your own PC is always going to save you some bucks in the high end but I don't consider that option when comparing prices since a majority of people don't have the know-withall to build their own. The only time the price of a self-built system could be fairly compared with the likes of Dell and Mac would be if it's for yourself and you have the ability to do so. Furthermore, people who can build systems themselves aren't the type that would be asking which platform is better/cheaper as they would already know what the need and how much it'll cost.

The most relavent comparison is with pre-built systems and when it comes to pre-built systems in the high-end there is no price benefit to buying PCs. In fact I'd argue there is a big price benefit to the Mac. Not only is it actually a few hundred cheaper than a comparble PC but it also has numerous productivity and security features built into the OS not found on the PC which add a certain value to it as well.

This argument will probably change once Intels multi-core (not dual-core) chips come out within the next month since these chips will be aimed initially at the consumer desktop. AMD will be releasing dual-core chips too but those are aimed at the very high-end with prices over $1K per CPU. I'm hoping Apple will be releasing a CELL chip to compete with the next hardware update but I'm not going to hold my breath.
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Steve Kerman
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« Reply #93 on: May 18, 2005, 02:01:53 AM »
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I've been running various PCs with Windows 2000 for several years now.  I can't even remember the last time I had a system crash.  I find Win 2k to be very stable.

Regarding the statement a ways back that AutoCad and games are the only things you can't get on a Mac, here are some more major applications to add to your list:

Altera's Quartus
Altera's MaxPlus II
ModelSim
Veribest VHDL Simulator
Synplicity Synplify
Mentor Graphics' Leonardo Spectrum
CadSoft EAGLE

These are all critical applications for the work I do.
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Dinarius
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« Reply #94 on: February 05, 2005, 02:57:47 AM »
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Fujitsu-Siemens/Intel Pentium 4/ 2.5Ghz/ 512Mb RAM/ laptop with added external HD and 19" Lacie monitor for photo editing.

I used to use MACs. Great machines. Only problem is that I use lots of other PC-only, non-photo software, and I don't wish to use virtual PC in order to avail of it.

As for stability/security........I run XP Pro SP2. It has never, and I mean never, crashed in two years of use. I protect it using Grisoft's AVG anti-virus program, one of the best freebies on the web. Simple.

In addition, I keep it clean as a whistle by regularly running Disk Cleanup and Disk Defrag. Computers are like cars: service them regularly and they will never breakdown.

Just one other point......when people talk Mac versus PC, they always talk about stability and security, something which is less relevant now than it used to be (all Windows operating systems prior to XP Pro were crap. I know, I've used them all! But, XP Pro has changed that.), but no one ever talks about the MAC mouse versus the PC mouse. In my opinion, if you accept that most of the PC's past failings have been sorted, as I do, then it wins hands down on the mouse issue. Anyone else agree?

OK........waiting to be flamed! ;-)

D.
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gdublanko
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« Reply #95 on: February 08, 2005, 08:04:16 AM »
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I switched to a dual processor G5 last year after years with PC's. I still use a PC at work and will do for the foreseeable future due to techical engineering programs that only work on the PC. So every day, I switch between Windows XP and OSX. It's a breeze and after a couple of weeks your brain goes on autopilot and you do not even have to think about which system you're using. Is the G5 worth the extra cost? You bet. The build quality is far beyond any PC I've used and the performance will keep me from having to upgrade for years.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #96 on: February 09, 2005, 12:03:34 PM »
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except the freaking mouse
Don't have to use the lame one-button mouse. Plug in a two (or more) button mouse and it works just as it does in windows.

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limited software options unless running PC emulator
That would be a very valid point a few years ago but not so much anymore. The gap in software is quickly diminishing. The only two areas of use the PC has a significant software advantage is with AutoCAD and Games. As it relates to photographers (as this thread should maintain focus on), the Mac has software out there that lets it do anything the PC can do.

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huge variability in quality: consumer control equals consumer responsibility for what they buy, whichi inevitably ends in the classic "Windows sucks" story
True, but even well maintained systems can be flakey and any windows system need to be re-installed every year or so otherwise the system stability suffers (thanks in part to DLL hel) and it becomes more quirky over time.

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maximizes choice for altenative operating systems - Linux, FreeBSD, etc. Your discontentment with Microsoft shouldn't lead you away from the PC platform, just another OS.

*nix based OSs are far from user-friendly. They improve with each release but the UI still has that beta software feel. Abolutly not recomended for anyone who isn't technically inclined. Not an option for Photographers who shoot RAW.


In addition to PC:
- thanks to 1) the huge market share of MS and 2) the incompetent coding of MS the Windows platform constantly has to be maintained with security updates and fixes.
- spyware/maleware/hijackers/trojans/viruses/etc. (All possable on Mac but very very very rare.)


The two platforms are obviously different. They should not be looked at as two directly competing computers but as two different types of computers for two different useability needs. The IBM PC is a custom machine that allows for infinite flexability at the cost of additional maintenance. Like a toaster or a TV, the Mac is an appliance. It is designed to turn on and work without much user configuration and knowledge.
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Gabe
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« Reply #97 on: February 15, 2005, 10:56:00 AM »
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The point still remains that no matter what the hardware, OS, or applications used, limiting software installations to the minimum necessary to accomplish the task at hand is best practice.

While I tend to agree with this for the most part, I find that the more OSX and its development community matures, the less critical this practice becomes.. for the most part. (Windows is a whole different kettle of fish though, and I agree with Jonathan 100% where that platform is concerned. Install what you need. Nothing else.)

In OSX, however, the vast majority of developers are adopting the use of application packages, which means that you're not getting involved with installers splattering billions of files all over the hard drive in folders you've never heard of. The app package is basically a specialised folder that already contains all that crap. To the user, an application is its icon and nothing more.

Want to install the app? Drag its icon somewhere. Want it gone? Put its icon in the trash and empty it.

From time to time, one of these apps might make a folder for itself in your Application Support folder, but without the actual application running these items will never be accessed by the system, and so are completely benign..

Of course, none of this changes the fact that certain combinations of applications running at the same time can occasionally conflict with one another. This is true of any OS though, and so people should be observant of what software they allow to load at startup, etc.

But as far as OSX goes, IMO you could safely load up your hard drive with as many packaged apps as you like - whether necessary or not - and likely never run into any trouble at all..

Best practise though? Probably not.
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Installing buggy applications can cause problems on any platform.
I'd say best practice is to simply avoid buggy apps.


Getting back OT re: computers I use?
I own:

2 self-built Windows machines -- one an XP2400+, the other an XP3200+. Both have Abit mobos, 2GB DDR 3200, Radeon 9700 Pro vid cards (128 MB). SATA HDDs (RAID 0+1 on the 3200+) Running XP Pro

3 Macs -- one 2x800Mhz G4 (overclocked to 2x867 :laugh: WOOHOO!), one 1.25Ghz G4 PowerBook, one 2x2Ghz G5. The G4s each have 1.5GB of RAM, the G5 sits at 2.5GB. All run OSX.3.8..

If given a choice, I always choose to do any image related tasks on the Macs. My Windows machines are perfectly competent, functional and fast when it comes to this sort of thing, but in terms of overall productivity, there simply isn't a better OS currently available for working with photography than OSX (do I need an IMO here?). Exposé practically does this on its own, and it's only one tiny (revolutionary) feature of the OS! It just keeps getting better, too -- Tiger promises to bring colour management to non-colour managed apps, for example.

As far as relative performance, the PowerBook is about on par with my 2400+ in PhotoShop, and that's saying something because it's got a painfully slow drive and less RAM (both system and video).. The dual 800 is actually faster in some operations, but it's only used as a server anymore these days.

The G5 smokes everything. I've never used such a fast, beautiful, stable computer in my life before.

Come to think of it, given a choice, I choose to do nearly everything in OSX.. No viruses, adware, spyware, crapware, whoputthisherethereandeveryware bothering me has been very nice in the last few years. I'm becoming a real fan of system-wide spell check as well. If I install an OS update, Apple doesn't change preferences on me or decide that I really do want a bunch of their apps to load at startup even though I had found every last hidden 'off' switch for those apps in the past..  

Lately, my Windows boxxen get used for essentially one thing: gaming. You don't want to have just a Mac if you're at all into games. If you're serious about games and can't have both platforms, there's no question about it: Windows it is
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Concorde-SST
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« Reply #98 on: March 23, 2005, 04:27:26 PM »
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Apple Dual 2 GHZ with 6 Gigs of RAM -
OS X latest version - its a cream dream machine -

never used Windows... :-)


Andreas.
Concorde-SST
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #99 on: April 22, 2005, 10:06:43 AM »
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As I wrote my contribution I knew in the back of my mind that custom-building is comparatively cheaper than either Dell or Mac; however, I was responding on the basis of canned solutions which constitute the overwhelmingly large share of the market compared with the (growing) numbers who custom-build their computers.

Of course one pays a premium for buying from established manufacturers, in return for which one gets (or is supposed to get) the comfort of guarantees and tech support, whose only counterpart in the self-build community is patience and expertise - two commodities that many of us find in short supply!
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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