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Component Macs (was upmarket macs)

MR_ED_of_Course <OhNoSPAM@pacbell.net> wrote in message news:<BBE47A10.28558%OhNoSPAM@pacbell.net>...
> >> It was
> >> very much an open computer at a time when the trend was to produced closed
> >> computers.  Of course the original Mac was a major change in direction for
> >> Apple, but that was to serve a large market segment.
> > 
> > by modular I meant component-wise modularity, even more than what
> > Wintel has to offer.
> > 
> > The G5 is basically a monolithic beast. Good luck upgrading the DVD
> > drive, adding two more optical drives, or pulling out the DVD and
> > using it in another Mac.
> 
> The DVD drive bay is easy enough to access in the G5.  No problem whatsoever
> to replace the drive with a 8x DVD+-R/RW (at least when they drop in price:)

I've pulled plenty of optical drives out of G3's and G4's, and while
it wasn't terribly difficult it wasn't a piece of cake, either. Apple
tends to customize the mountings in idiosyncratic ways, making
switchouts... interesting. With the thermal isolation zones, IMO Apple
should just break the tower design into its component parts to allow
for greater customization and spec out.

> The existing DVD drive in the G5 can be put in any ATA/IDE Mac with a CD/DVD
> drive bay.

Not G4 iMacs. I've done that too.

> I have a Dual G4 1.42GHz and one reason why I did not upgrade to the G5 is
> because I like having 4 internal hard drives and two internal DVD burners.
> If the G5 was a little taller it could support 2 DVD burners and 4 hard
> drives and I would've upgraded.

making the case bigger is the wrong direction IMO. Make the case
smaller, allow expansion on the outside.

> > Optical drives should daisy chain off external Firewire (or  another
> > external bus).
> 
> Great...they do.  What's the problem?

you go on later to list the problems. The towers aren' really designed
for this form of expansion (unlike how external SCSI was a pretty good
bus back in the day).

>  Are you suggesting that there shouldn't be internal DVD drives?

yes, someday.

> Here are the reasons why I have two internal DVD burners instead of external via FireWire:
> 
> 1) I also have two 52x CD burners, a Formac TV Tuner/Video Digitizer, and
> often a mini-DV camcorder.  Often much of this is in use at the same time.
> The last thing I want is more traffic on my FireWire.

that's why I mentioned "another external bus" above. Firewire is going
on 10 years old, I'm sure Apple can whip up a better external bus
standard.  UWB would be cool...

> 2) FireWire is an added expense...enclosures and cables...it ads up.

taking out IDE is a removed expense. Not that it will cancel, but
doing this will enable Apple to better unify its portable line with
the desktops too.

> 3) More power cables to be used with FireWire devices.

? firewire provides power.

> 4) I can easily transport my Mac with the two DVD burners already inside.

stacking components can be interlocking.

> 5) Reliability - ATA/IDE is pretty damn reliable.  I'm not complaining about
> FireWire, but I'd rather have the more important stuff going on via ATA/IDE

"another external bus". I'm thinking optical or something.

> FireWire, USB, etc.. All good things, and as you can see I use them
> extensively, but internal bays are also good things.

you can have internal bays too. Just add a module to the stack. The G5
is essentially a bunch of fixed modules already. I just say break 'em
up.

> > Upgrading an iMac's (or PBG4's) video card could be as trivial as
> > slotting in an Atari VCS cartridge. With a 2-way AGP port design the
> > RAMDACs and DVI-out could be on the machine's backplane, not the video
> > card.
> 
> I like the concept here, but only if there's not cost or sacrifice.  I don't
> see a need or desire for the vast majority of iMac owners to upgrade their
> video cards.  Still if it could be done with no cost or sacrifice, it would
> benefit a small minority

My idea here is great on paper -- like the CPU upgrade cards in the
2nd generation PowerMacs. Easy upgrades kill future sales. Good for
the user, bad for sales. I think better modularization of the video hw
on the consumer and portable product quadrants (3/5s of Apple's
offerings) would be a good thing.

> > A PowerMac G6 could and should look more like this:
> > 
> > http://www.sharp.co.jp/corporate/news/photo.gif
> 
> Designing one device based on a device that is totally different is a bad
> idea.  Not to mention that while you may like that device, I think it
> totally sucks compared to my home entertainment system.  That stereo system
> looks great because it is made only for one set of specific uses.

I wasn't referring to the sound-related crap, just the stackable
nature of the components.

> I don't need a MD or a mini-CD player.  I do want a turntable.  I also want
> to connect my 7.1 speakers.  Where do I plug in my Tivo, Replay, DSS, VCR
> and DVD player?  Does it do component video switching, because I have a
> HDTV.

add a module to the component stack.

> Now one could, or actually many have argued that what is missing from the
> Mac line is a headless iMac/Cube.  This makes sense to me...especially given
> the introduction of the 20" iMac.  However I can totally understand (having
> worked with Apple's distribution) that keeping product lines tight makes for
> better financials. 

yup. I call it crippling the low end to move the high end. But Apple
must remember the low end doesn't just compete with the high end, but
with Wintel offerings too.

> The problem now with a G5 Cube is that there really isn't much of a
> difference between what a G5 Cube would be and what a PowerMac G5 is.

except $1000. The G4 cube failed because its video wasn't user
expandable (even though a GeForce 3 card works fine in it ) and it was
over-priced (people thought they were getting ripped off paying so
much for such a small package -- and they were).

 >I guess you could kill a couple of PCI slots (but you just gotta
leave one).

PCI sucks. AGP sucks less, but that's where my video card slot comes
into play.

> You reduce the hard drive bay from 2 to 1.

I say 0. Stackable drive modules. Add 1 or 2.

>  And you could remove the Optical
> drive bay or reduce it to the size of the portable SuperDrive.

yup. half-height stackable.

>  Even if you
> did kill all the PCI slots, hell even all the internal drive bays, you're
> still looking at a considerably sized machine, and then the need for 2
> external drives (hard and optical).

attachable. I'm guessing doable in 6 inches.

> I guess I'm the type of person, (as is every one I know with a PowerMac),
> who does consider the PowerMac as a bunch of components itself within a
> case. 

It's not at all a closed system, but it's not as open as Wintel. eg.
the latest graphics cards are incompatible with G4 PowerMacs now.

The 10.3 installation instructions explicitly say you have to have an
apple-supplied video card to install (my older Mac PCI Radeon from ATI
worked fine though).

> > and an G6 iMac could share every module except the mainboard part.
> > 
> > In Fact, I think Apple needs to get rid of the arbitrary iMac / G5
> > pro/consumer differentiation altogether and just ship prosumer
> > machines, letting people just configure the machines to their needs.
> 
> But what would that machine be?  I could never see my sister and myself
> buying the same computer and configuring it to our needs, just like I don't
> see us buying the same receiver and configuring a stereo system around it.

There wouldn't necessarily be any commonality, other than the
unification of the platform. Down the line she could upgrade any
component without hassle or confusion. I can tell you the G4 iMac is a
real bitch to crack.

> My sister is fine with an iMac.  One hard drive, a FireWire port for her
> iPod, USB for her printer/mouse/keyboard, and a CD drive.

At the $1299, $1799, and $2199 pricepoints Apple can do better. The
iMac would be a package providing just what it does now, plus more for
those who care.

> For me, I need way more stuff and the Mac I buy must be able to accommodate
> it all.  Support for my stuff would be overkill for her, and her system is
> too limiting for my needs.

I don't this platform unification is a big deal, technically.

> > Right now the iMac/G5 is underkill & overkill for my needs (the PBG4
> > is about right).
> 
> Well this isn't fair since the G5 just came out and isn't available yet for
> a variety of reasons for incorporation into an iMac.

I'm not talking CPU's, but expansion and size. The iMac is too
crippled and the G5 is too f'in industrial (and costly -- it's
pricepoint is too stratospheric to target as a platform). I'd buy a
2.0Ghz (or dual 1.0Ghz) G5 Cube with user expandable 8x AGP the
instant Jobs announced it.

As it is, I run my PBG4 clamshell closed connected to an ADC all the
time anyway, and have got a 400Mhz G4 cube sitting on a shelf running
headless as an iTunes and file server (it also serves my P4 now --
cool).

I've always argued here that Apple needs to unify its platform -- not
diverge the low end from the high end so much, so that developers have
a bigger base to target.
0
imouttahere (3635)
11/22/2003 4:31:20 PM
comp.sys.mac.advocacy 34242 articles. 0 followers. Post Follow

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Get latest Cars, bikes, auto vehicle launches and News on The Motor & Components Show from Auto Expo 2016. Get exclusive updates for car, bike ...

There's more to Lent than fasting: a look at the 3 components of Lenten observance
If you only paid attention to the mainstream media, you would be forgiven for thinking that Lent is all about fasting in response to Jesus' temptation ...

North Korea may have tested components of H-bomb
U.S. officials now believe that North Korea may have tested components of a hydrogen bomb at an underground facility on January 6. CNN's Barbara ...

Iran exports heavy water, a nuclear reactor component, to US
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency says the country has exported heavy water, a key component for one kind of nuclear ...

Resources last updated: 3/8/2016 5:36:56 PM