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Re: Recommend a....

Postby rappard on Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:47 pm

blackmarket wrote:I think you are asking for the impossible. For video editing, you will want at least 8GB of RAM, an i5 quad-core processor, and a decent GPU.

I got the impression (from VaticanShotglass's original post) that his/her video editing needs were fairly basic. I've done DVD authoring on 4 GB - it's indeed slow, but for something I did once in a blue moon I didn't mind.

Also, considering
VaticanShotglass wrote:Currently the battery is kaput and all the software is no longer supporting it

I would no longer spend any money and/or effort on upgrades. 9 years is a loooong time for a laptop, even for a MacBook.

Tidbit I forgot: I'm not familiar with the US refurbished laptop market but if I recall correctly FM tbone is. Why not shoot him a message?
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby blackmarket on Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:18 pm

rappard wrote:
I'm partial to Lenovo ThinkPads (T- and X-series) since they're built like brick shithouses. Just checked Amazon, and you can get a very decent X220 (i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 12.5" screen, Windows 7) for $250 + shipping. If you're going for a ThinkPad, let me know - I've had 4 over the years, so I have loads of peripherals and cables lying around you can have for free.


Spending that amount of money on a six year old machine sounds like a really bad idea. The OP is better off spending $150 or so on upgrading the current unit. With more RAM and an SSD to swap out data to when that runs out, it could still be usable. My Thinkpad T61 (the "Macbook killer") is now ten years old with probably a couple of years left. If it hasn't died by now the OP's Mac still has a some years left.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby blackmarket on Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:18 pm

rappard wrote:
I'm partial to Lenovo ThinkPads (T- and X-series) since they're built like brick shithouses. Just checked Amazon, and you can get a very decent X220 (i5, 8 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD, 12.5" screen, Windows 7) for $250 + shipping. If you're going for a ThinkPad, let me know - I've had 4 over the years, so I have loads of peripherals and cables lying around you can have for free.


Spending that amount of money on a six year old machine sounds like a really bad idea. The OP is better off spending $150 or so on upgrading the current unit. With more RAM and an SSD to swap out data to when that runs out, it could still be usable. My Thinkpad T61 (the "Macbook killer") is now ten years old with probably a couple of years left. If it hasn't died by now the OP's Mac still has a some years left.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby tbone on Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:52 pm

I still solely get my laptops from the Dell Outlet. A few months back I got a pretty solid machine for like $500. 15" touch screen, 16gb RAM, 512gb SSD, Core i5. You could scale back those things and probably get closer to 3 hundo.

Do not expect any new laptop to last 9 years. Also they don't usually have DVD drives any more, but you can get an external slim usb guy for next to nothing. Them Shits is old tech by now, so, cheap.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby tbone on Wed Sep 20, 2017 6:53 pm

Also do not spend $150 on a 9 yr old laptop for the love of crap.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby blackmarket on Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:18 pm

tbone wrote:I still solely get my laptops from the Dell Outlet. A few months back I got a pretty solid machine for like $500. 15" touch screen, 16gb RAM, 512gb SSD, Core i5. You could scale back those things and probably get closer to 3 hundo.


Unlikely. A Dell with 8GB/256 SSD/i5 (dual-core, pathetic for video encoding) is about $500 right now. With those specs and prices, the OP is better off spending only a little now and saving to buy something better over the next year or two.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby tbone on Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:58 pm

Dell.com/outlet. Not dell.com.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby blackmarket on Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:48 pm

tbone wrote:Dell.com/outlet. Not dell.com.


$300-$400 gets you an i3 dual core and a 5400RPM HDD. Paaaaass.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby VaticanShotglass on Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:26 am

Will be deciphering all this computer talk and mulling it over. I just want to say thanks for the discussion so far. Also thanks for the patience. I'm no pro user and I was spoiled by my nice old Mac that rarely made me think about anything but using it.

Just a few points to clarify:

-media editing will be super, super light. My iPad mini 2 from several years ago does most of what I need for this. I just thought using a mouse would be a nice change of pace. Basic editing, no real heavy work. Even then, it is a secondary use.

-My wife's ~4 year old 4 gig ram, 500 gig hard drive Acer running Windows 7 pretty much does what I need but the keyboard is horrible. I got her an external DVD drive back when, and it works fine. She killed the battery by leaving it plugged in for a year non-stop (I think).

-I'm ok with picking up some accessories a few jobs down the line (external drives, etc.). I mostly want to regain the freedom to work on the go again, get more work, and move from there. But I'm not sure where I'm going to be living in a month or so, hence the non-ideal price point and time frame.

I realize busting the budget may be necessary, but I want to aim pretty low. I need this to continue mobile working and maybe get a fancy nice time computer in a year or so.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby VaticanShotglass on Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:42 am

blackmarket wrote:I think you are asking for the impossible. For video editing, you will want at least 8GB of RAM, an i5 quad-core processor, and a decent GPU. I doubt you will find that for $300 or less. I would first consider upgrading the HDD to an SSD. That is pretty easy. Consider upping the RAM. You can go (unofficially) to 6GB. You can then update to El Capitan, which has better memory management than previous iterations. While you have the machine open, clean to dust out and check the thermal paste on the processor. These could help in reducing heat. Any $300 notebook you find will probably not be much better than what you have. These upgrades might hold you over for a year or so.


Since I do love my old computer, in theory, where would you recommend getting a replacement battery. Friends with similar macs had issues with their replacement batteries (the things sucked). Similarly, I've heard of problems getting ram upgrades to work properly. I tried upgrading years back and things sure got zippy, but that thing would crash horribly very often. I've read of similar difficulties of getting the proper ram upgrades to work reliably (this was without trying for the unofficial 6GB). I've had the machine stripped down, cleaned, etc.

But this is really for a nostalgia project down the road. The old thing is tired.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby VaticanShotglass on Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:00 am

blackmarket wrote:
tbone wrote:Dell.com/outlet. Not dell.com.


$300-$400 gets you an i3 dual core and a 5400RPM HDD. Paaaaass.



Thanks for the leads and advice, tbone. Blackmarket, you'll have to break that down for me a smidge. If we forget video editing altogether, what does that change? Can I watch Netflix just fine? Can I scoot around on the internet fairly well?

I mostly need a little more than a Chromebook. I need a more robust OS and more hard drive storage for continuity with all my old files and music.

I honestly don't understand processors or hard drive speeds (at least not since 1997).
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby blackmarket on Thu Sep 21, 2017 8:53 am

VaticanShotglass wrote:
blackmarket wrote:
tbone wrote:Dell.com/outlet. Not dell.com.


$300-$400 gets you an i3 dual core and a 5400RPM HDD. Paaaaass.



Thanks for the leads and advice, tbone. Blackmarket, you'll have to break that down for me a smidge. If we forget video editing altogether, what does that change? Can I watch Netflix just fine? Can I scoot around on the internet fairly well?

I mostly need a little more than a Chromebook. I need a more robust OS and more hard drive storage for continuity with all my old files and music.

I honestly don't understand processors or hard drive speeds (at least not since 1997).


A 5400RPM 2.5" drive is what you have in the old Macbook. That's 1997 technology, still being used and sold as new 20 years later. Newer HDDs might be a >little< faster than they were in 2008, but an SSD...oh...I have no doubt you will be blown away. Somewhere around a x7 increase in speed over SATA II bus (40MB/s vs 280MB/s) with almost no latency. The i3 will be faster that the core duo you have now. The processor is not is not the bottleneck. Your hard disk drive is. Sure, you can browse the internet using that "new" system, as you can browse the internet using what you have now. I recommend you hold off. If your Macbook has lasted this long, it is likely to go on for a couple of more years with care and upgrades. OS optimization is heading toward solid state technology. I doubt we will see many HDDs sold in new computers three years from now. In a year or two you might feel left in the dust when everything fully shifts over. That HDD will seem very slow compared to what is going on around you. Can you raise another $300 or $400 two years from now? If you can get into the $500-$700 price range, you will find something that, specs-wise, will last for a very long time. With mid-tier systems, we have hit a bit of a plateau. A quad-core processor, 8GB or RAM and an SSD of any size will feel relevant for a very long time. I can't speak to the hardware quality of newer Windows systems. We are seeing Windows machine made out of an actual metal casing, so it seems to me that hardware and heat dissipation is improving, not sliding backward. Our most recent is an iMac (2015), so I can't be certain. We have notebooks from 2007 and 2009 still going strong. I don't know when the supposed slide happened. A lot of people don't take care of their equipment, so YMMV with those anecdotal stories. Overall, processors and OSes are becoming more efficient and cases are improving, so it doesn't seem as though Windows machines are of lower quality than they were in 2007 if you buy right.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby tbone on Thu Sep 21, 2017 2:32 pm

FWIW, I should have added that you have to put in a fair amount of work to get the best deal on dell.com/outlet. Not arguing the above at all, just stating this for future reference (and in case it's more help here).

- They sometimes have flash sales with a significant % markdown for a few days at a time, either on specific products or "all laptops" or whatever. I've always just looked for what I wanted and then kept checking back until it's on sale for like an extra 35% off or whatever. If you need something *today* then this is less practical.

- There are a lot of different product lines and the web site can sometimes be cumbersome to navigate and find which ones are which. So just looking for one small subset of specs/features will yield vastly different prices due to the fact that you may be comparing some gaming machine to something designed for an office worker.

- The stock moves in and out quickly and prices vary a ton day by day depending. I've seen huge swings in price for essentially the exact same laptop in 24 hours based upon a combination of this and the first point (flash sales).

You really have to be anal about waiting out a great deal to nab things as cheaply as I do, but I'm kind of a dork this way.

If all of that sounds like a huge hassle, the easy route is to go to thewirecutter.com and follow their recommendations. You probably won't go wrong there either.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby VaticanShotglass on Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:51 pm

Thanks, folks. Bleg. This stuff is not my idea of fun.

Yeah, in a few years I'll have more money and plan to do my best from there. I just happen to be in a bind right now.

As for my dear, beloved, current computer...

As it is, no my MacBook is not zipping around the Internet very well. I still have the last Snow Leopard version. Firefox does not support it, Dropbox is ending support, the iTunes is too old to communicate with my iPad & iPhone (though also too new, because they used to work fine), and so on. You mentioned a new OS would it even run on my machine? $$$? Also, what about my worries regarding new RAM and Battery?

I must sound dense. Sorry.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby blackmarket on Fri Sep 22, 2017 11:23 am

VaticanShotglass wrote:Thanks, folks. Bleg. This stuff is not my idea of fun.

Yeah, in a few years I'll have more money and plan to do my best from there. I just happen to be in a bind right now.

As for my dear, beloved, current computer...

As it is, no my MacBook is not zipping around the Internet very well. I still have the last Snow Leopard version. Firefox does not support it, Dropbox is ending support, the iTunes is too old to communicate with my iPad & iPhone (though also too new, because they used to work fine), and so on. You mentioned a new OS would it even run on my machine? $$$? Also, what about my worries regarding new RAM and Battery?

I must sound dense. Sorry.


I don't know anything about Mac batteries. I would never buy an Apple notebook for this simple reason. My belief is that a user should be able to pop a battery, any battery, out of a device and replace it without any hassle whatsoever. I am sure tutorials exist. All my notebooks are old. I never replace the batteries in them when they die...I just deal.

If you decide to upgrade the HDD to SSD (and only if you decide to upgrade), install El Capitan. It is the latest OS Apple will allow that machine to use. With the release of Sierra, Apple made obsolete everything older than 2009. They will not allow the newest OS to be installed on these older machines. El Capitan is great. I run it on my 2015 iMac and it is rock solid. El Capitan is heavily optimized for SSDs, so do not upgrade the OS unless you are willing to upgrade the drive. I don't think Apple has an installer available to the public right now. If you check for updates, does it give you any OS upgrade option? I have an installer, but it's 6GB in size. Too big to place anywhere for you. Piratebay is a reliable source for clean installers. Choose a torrent that has been around for awhile and has good commenting. Piratebay is heavily policed by the community, so it's a safe place to get stuff. Torrenting from there is not exactly legal, but who cares? Technically, you have right to install the OS on that machine by license. 10.11.6 is what you want.

EDIT: Oh, never mind. It's still in the app store.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT206886

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/os-x-el ... 5434?mt=12
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby VaticanShotglass on Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:10 pm

Thanks. Will do my homework.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby jbar on Sat Sep 23, 2017 2:21 pm

Any place I can get help with a basic macroeconomics course. These bars and graphs make no sense.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby VaticanShotglass on Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:25 pm

jbar wrote:Any place I can get help with a basic macroeconomics course. These bars and graphs make no sense.


Sorry, economics always baffled me. Check to see if there a series on the Yale Courses YouTube channel.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby Janeway on Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:14 pm

set of good quality headphones. kerble me if you can cause i'm pretty sure there was just a thread about this recently but i forgot to write it down.
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Re: Recommend a....

Postby rappard on Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:25 pm

Janeway wrote:set of good quality headphones. kerble me if you can cause i'm pretty sure there was just a thread about this recently but i forgot to write it down.

In-ear? On-ear? Over-ear?

Closed back or open back?

Budget?
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