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Public Discussions

GreenCine Tech Talk
Hardware, Software, Tech.
The nuts and bolts of movie making, home theater, and DVD.

GCMUG (GreenCine Mac Users' Group)
Topic by: hamano
Posted: November 22, 2003 - 12:43 AM PST
Last Reply: February 6, 2007 - 5:12 PM PST

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author topic: GCMUG (GreenCine Mac Users' Group)
post #41  on February 5, 2004 - 1:46 PM PST  
> On February 5, 2004 - 12:35 PM PST dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> craig if you're still a student the edu price for panther is $69 - get a copy - having the main install disc around for hard drive repair is helpful.
> ---------------------------------

I'm on it chief! Hell, with what I'm paying for graduate school, you'd think they'd throw stuff like that in there for free! (Actually, someone here at GreenCine may have a copy, er, but I don't condone copying, no sirreee! I'll buy it, really, Apple, promise.)

post #42  on February 6, 2004 - 9:55 AM PST  
you'd think.

how many mac users are there around here, let's see if we can get a talk going about something that will become more relevant as the year wears on.

apple is probably the least profitable respected company in the history of business. incredibly influential for its size, with a zealous customer base and probably the only damn tech sector organization that bragged about just "making a profit" during the boom years.

their long-time CFO, fred anderson, is retiring from daily operations and taking a position on the board of directors.

this is a good time to talk about the two faces of the company, and how things have changed since steve jobs came back - the imac, the ibook, the G4, the adoption of UNIX, the ipod, the xserve, the switch to IBM, and a few other things:

the rainbo apple. the company that popularized point-and-click and "human interface" design; that was quick to divest from south africa; and that dreamed of computers that would make the user smarter according to the user's own idea of smarts, not the technocrats'.

the monochrome apple. the company that lives comfortably in the flow of media corporations and brands, sometimes indistinguishable from nike or coke, and that extensively cross-sells in its OS and applications in order to stay (barely) in the black.

apple's user base has never been smaller, as a percentage of all personal computers, since the company got famous in the late 70s. at the same time, their prospects have never been better: dominant in digital music, powerful in visual media, with a widely-praised, high-powered OS and an incomparable line of fast hardware to come. since i first took a look at X i wondered when there would be a mac that had the oomph to back up that promise - in 10.0, you could max out a single G4 just moving a window around on the screen - the G5 duals are just the first stage of delivering the goods.

the question is: how much are you willing to pay for it, until the hardware sales take off? apple is engaging in a program of soaking its user base for cash with annual paid and almost mandatory updates of the OS and other important software - people gripe about it being predatory, then cheer loudly when apple announces profits small enough that they could be a statistical error.
post #43  on February 6, 2004 - 11:59 PM PST  
Honestly, for me it just comes down to getting a lot of cute style and basic practical usability for cheap, the same reason I shop at Target and IKEA rather than Wal-mart. The Mac is a beautiful lifestyle object that is also a useful machine. I usually buy the lower-end models that pack the most bang (in terms of what I do... non-professional image processing, e-mail, web browsing, word processing, tax computation, etc.) for the buck, I have a Quadra 660AV, a 333Mhz iMac, a second generation white iBook with a 12" screen, and a 800Mhz eMac, bought refurbed from Small Dog.

These machines have a slick stylish design without being TOO COY/CUTE/FREAKY like the Cube or the 20th Anniv. Mac. SONY's VAIO line has some personality, but in that department the Mac rules supreme. Also, perversely, there's some pleasure to be had "belonging to an exclusive small group with good taste"... yeah, personality. That's what I value in Apple.
post #44  on February 11, 2004 - 5:55 AM PST  
iChat AV 2.1 Public Beta... now works with AOL Instant Messenger for video conferencing....

Article about Safari Bookmarklets.
post #45  on February 11, 2004 - 8:28 AM PST  
hmm. that's close to what i did. actually that got me thinking about how to solve the remaining problem with the gcsearch favelet not picking up the selection on pages with embedded frames. i think i fixed it.
post #46  on February 11, 2004 - 9:08 AM PST  
FWIW i'm pretty sure, of all the countries in the world, japan has the biggest percentage of mac users. probably for the reasons you stated.

i think what's been driving the mac down for a few years is, most people believe power is achieved in the united states by obsession with specialization and efficiency. (i happen to think we owe it to an unparalleled string of creative crooks.) regardless, some people behave as senseless gamblers: watch the numbers, tweak the numbers, get them perfect, and you'll win. others look for the next necessary tool and buy it at the lowest price possible, not really concerned with how much more time it will take to use, until later.

commiserating about virus problems and system instability is a happy pastime in the windows world. it's hilarious. everybody has a story about reinstalling windows. how many hours of maintenance have they put in? how much are those worth, have they spent the money they saved by buying a cheap computer? no idea. so many people still have this idea that computers are like a frontier technology. it makes them feel cool to have to fix it, they're part of the geek world.

every windows machine should come with a sticker on the outside:

"studies find that, due to badly written or malicious software, most windows users experience data loss and/or extensive equipment downtime."

(still in shock that this good stuff will also be the fastest stuff in the short term)
post #47  on February 11, 2004 - 10:44 AM PST  
well, i think the biggest difference is the market share it possesses in the business community. thats where it all begins and ends. until apple gets real growth there, they'll never see major growth in the personal consumer market. a lot people get PCs because that is what they are use to using at work. it would just make their life difficult to do otherwise.

most businesses went pc because they were cheaper. plus there were some advantages PCs had in how accounts and security was set up, and the built in utilities were better. now that prices are comparable, what reason do they have to change? it would cost too much in equipment and staff training. you might try to argue reliability of the OS, but MS has gotten much better with 2000 and XP. After we converted our place to 2000 I havent had a single user to call and report a blue screen or memory dump. OS freezes in general are very rare.

i personally have to support everything that walks through the door so i deal with both mac and pc, and i have a few around here that i deal with on a regular basis. i found OS9 and previous versions to be rather annoying in things i couldnt do in relation to networking and troubleshooting, but OSX is much better. 10.3 is even better. i'd even consider getting one for myself. i have very few complaints at this point, but there is a lot of catch up to do in the market.
post #48  on February 11, 2004 - 11:58 AM PST  
apple pretty much stopped working on OS 9 in 2000. even then the changes between 9 and 8.5, released in 1998, were more for compatibility with X going forward than to meet new networking demands. when 8.5 was released, it accompanied the first imac - which was four things - consumer box, small business box, mac network box, internet portal - not really meant to be a full player in a windows network.

the internet boom caught apple off-guard because i think they didn't expect microsoft to totally wipe the floor with the other server OS's. a justifiable position, if a little arrogant. they were betting that backoffice would be one of a handful of ways that IT people would choose to bring corporate america online. things didn't happen that way, and apple's 1990s planners lost their bet.

credit to many people that apple survived losing that size of a bet. netscape pretty much died under similar pressure. probably the difference is what made the difference in the first place, people want apple to be there.

though you could also say that steve jobs won his bet - apple switched from its internal next-gen OS to UNIX because steve willed it so - steve figured the network thing much earlier than apple's management - like, in the 80s - and brought with him a slew of web tools, a beautiful network app development system, and a mature UNIX GUI that took remarkably little work to mac-ify, including an excellent OS 9 emulator. (and that turns out to have been worth the effort, because now OS X is a highly excellent emulation machine.)

barring another boom cycle, mac UNIX will never catch up, maybe even never get to double-digits. once the US of A standardized on windows, that meant offshore subsidiaries would do the same, for years to come, maybe decades. like bill gates says, it's all about controlling the standards.

however there is room for growth and even for a little gained ground in the business world.

* the xserve is a great little file server and, in the near term, it will be incomparably effective for clusters or server farms - nobody will be able to do it better or cheaper - even with windows file sharing.

* the coming pro machines look like they'll shred wintel app performance, and if rumors are to be believed, this will be true even for running windows apps themselves, in emulation.

* future powerbooks will be unreal, the things they can do. UNIX, linux, mac, and windows, in your lap, with good performance, and good looking, too.

i don't have any predictions on this stuff, it just looks like a good position.
post #49  on February 11, 2004 - 12:03 PM PST  
well hopefuly they'll get better with the compatability. one thing i really dislike is the classic environment. i have yet to see it work real well for some of the apps i have to use. printing is especially aweful through it.
post #50  on February 11, 2004 - 12:19 PM PST  
huh, never tried to print with it. i waited to switch over until everything i needed was native.
post #51  on February 11, 2004 - 12:37 PM PST  
well good for you. im sick of people who keep holding on to those old apps.
post #52  on February 11, 2004 - 1:22 PM PST  
Dippy, did you become a Mac user by choice/decision, or did you fall into it working in a company or school that was Mac-centric? I suppose in S.F. there are more Mac friendly companies than they have here. Even the Mac lab at my kid's school has given way to the Dell lab. Blech.

In the mid-80's I was working with mainly a dedicated Japanese wordprocessor, a Toshiba RUPO. When I finally decided I had to learn PC and check out this e-mail/Internet business, I gravitated toward Mac probably for the same reason people think the VW Beetle looks cute. The spouse had a PC running DOS and a dot-matrix printer for law school, but it was a gray box, no personality. The Quadra 660AV could talk, and respond to a couple of voice commands! I got myself a copy of Macs for Dummies, read it, made Mrs. hamano read it, and the rest is history.

So I made a clear conscious decision to go Mac, even though I didn't see the SuperBowl ad in 1984.
post #53  on February 11, 2004 - 2:06 PM PST  
i've been using various dumb computers since i was 9? 1978? i didn't like programming though, didn't like electronics, all kinds of things about text-based computers i didn't like.

before i knew it it was 1995 and things were really starting to heat up with the WWW. i had been moonlighting for theater and dance nonprofits, which all had macs, while working at a bank, where we used windows 3.1. 3.1 was a sorry excuse for a GUI. i was bored with everything relating to the job, so i decided to ask the bank to send me to school for desktop publishing, thinking that it would be a change of pace to do presentations and nicer print materials, and i could moonlight more usefully.

i went to media alliance for the training, and the first time i sat down at one of their system 7.5 machines, it was a lightning bolt. the interface virtually begged me to stop thinking about the bits and pieces of the computer and get busy with something fun. no kidding i sat there for like 15 minutes playing with labels and disclosure triangles in the finder.

so then i bought a power mac, used, and enough memory to run photoshop, which at that point was quite expensive, almost half as much as the price of the computer itself. got a lot of use out of it, started some real good activity with messages sent and materials created from there.

(when i got rid of that computer two years ago, i booted it up first to see what was on the hard drive. the files were ridiculously over-organized. really funny.)

i guess the thing was i'd been working the computers' way for more than 15 years and i was sick of it. i never wanted to type in commands again, ever, and there it was, the computer that always had a way to click things done.
post #54  on February 11, 2004 - 3:38 PM PST  
(IBM takes the lead)
post #55  on February 11, 2004 - 5:48 PM PST  
you're reminding me i should boot up my g3 and put osx on it.
post #56  on February 20, 2004 - 10:53 AM PST  
Here's a great page about animated GIFs, what they are, how to make them, etc. with useful links to various tutorials and also to software to help you make animated GIFs. Lots of links to Mac software and tutorials.

Espresso Graphics GIF animation faq

Also some info at The Animated GIF Artists Guild.
post #57  on June 10, 2004 - 2:09 PM PDT  
> On June 10, 2004 - 8:40 AM PDT dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> >> azureus really is great.
> [hamano]
> > Wha? You got it to work?
> yeah i just installed it and it ran. i've been updating it steadily. maybe you don't have enough memory to run a big java app. PM me if you have 512MB or more, maybe there's a different issue.
> [carpenoctem]
> > Rather than the program i'd say your problem lies in your os...
> you realize you're saying UNIX is unstable.
> ---------------------------------

My profiler says I'm running OS X 10.3.3 on a 800 Mhz G4 CPU with 768 MB of RAM.... I think I'm having the problem being discussed here...
post #58  on July 1, 2004 - 6:19 AM PDT  
I put Panther on my box sometime ago and it has been working great. I don't use it very much, my isster does. She just recently noticed that there seem to be a lot of problems playing videos. She was downloading a bunch of things from Super Nova. She talked to som Mac friends of hers, and they said this is a common problem. Any suggestions? It seems to mostly bestuff that would play fine on a PC, like mpegs and stuff copied from DVDs.
post #59  on July 1, 2004 - 6:20 AM PDT  
Oh yeah, I did upgrade Quicktime and Media Player. Installed DiVx, and some other popular decoder.
post #60  on July 1, 2004 - 7:46 AM PDT  
MPlayer is the one you mean by Media Player, right? Or do you mean Microsoft Media Player? If you mean THAT Media Player, you should get MPlayer right away! Do you know if she's running any other programs while watching movies?

MPlayer drops frames when the processor can't keep up with the data stream, so it looks like it's stuttering. Quicktime seems to play the films better, but you have to use Divx Doctor to convert the .avi files to .mov files first. It's a bit of a bother doing the conversion, but depending on the film it may be worth it. Did you download Divx Doctor?

I use MPlayer OS X pretty much all the time now, because I got too lazy to convert every file. If you didn't know, MPlayer is a Mac version of an UNIX movie player. It plays a whole lot of different types of media files.
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