Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Re: 2017 iMac freezes up

Multicore Benchmark on my laptop: ~3000

This is really good for a refurbished laptop that I paid $89 for.

Multicore Benchmark on my old iMac: ~5000

The latest $150 Amazon tablet also benchmarks at this. It is an amazing world we live in.

I still use this machine to analyze chess games and openings. Because the display tends to quit, I access the machine remotely.

Multicore Benchmark on my new iMac: ~8100

Ideally I would have built a new AMD machine and gotten up to 20000. However, I needed a Mac to do the work that I am now doing.

I am suspicious of the combo drive using an SSD as a buffer to the hard drive. If something went wrong there then it would definitely freeze the computer.

Best wishes,

John Coffey

Monday, November 18, 2019

2017 iMac freezes up

A few months ago I purchased a used 2017 iMac and installed Windows 10 on it. For the most part, this has been a great machine. However, there is now a problem. The computer will appear to run slow and then eventually freeze. This usually happens while using Google Chrome.

I am normally good at dealing with any kind of software problem that comes up, but this could be something going wrong with the hardware, like the RAM, the SSD, or some controller board. Hardware is mostly outside my area of expertise, although I did buy some new RAM chips that I have not yet installed. I could try taking out the old RAM chips and put in the new RAM chips and see if the problem persists.

On the software side maybe there is a virus, which seems unlikely because I have Norton which normally takes care of these things. It is possible there is a driver issue, but that also seems unlikely. I would not expect Google Chrome to be the problem, but I would not rule it out either. I could try a different web browser.

I need to reboot the computer into McIntosh mode and see if the problem happens again. If it does, then it is a hardware problem. However, if the problem goes away, then something is wrong in the Windows 10 world and I would consider erasing the Windows 10 partition and reinstalling the operating system, which is a time-consuming task.


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Intel Could Take YEARS to Catch Up… - Ryzen 9 3950X Review

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The $89 Gamestop Premium Refurbished Nintendo Wii U is a steal | Plus Gamestop Black Friday Deals.


This offer might be interesting for some gamers.  I'm don't particularly trust GameStop on their refurbished items.  They have a reputation for doing a bad job on some refurbished (repaired) items.  However, they do have a return policy.

However, in the last couple of years, Gamestop has had some killer deals on Black Friday or Gray Thursday, like a $60 XBOX 360 with a $60 rebate.  I got one of these.  (I had to wait in line for like an hour.)  However, I found out that the XBox 360 has a high failure rate, especially the ones from Gamestop, so I sold the system.  I was also not thrilled about how bulky the system was and the fan in it was a bit noisy.

I make this point because in another month we will be looking at Black Friday Gamestop deals.  I would enjoy some of the Mario games on the Wii U, so this might be a worthwhile purchase, especially if the system is heavily discounted for Black Friday.  In terms of power, The Wii U is about 50% more than the Xbox 360 and has the advantage of being able to run many Nintendo titles, which according to the video are cheap for the Wii U.  (However, the Wii U is only about 40% of the power of the Nintendo Switch, which itself is much less powerful than the current consoles from Microsoft and Sony.)

Last year Gamestop had a killer Black Friday deal on the Nintendo Switch, which is a system that I want.  Instead of charging $300 just for the console, you could get the system with a game for that price, plus a $50 or $60 credit that you could use to buy a 2nd game.   I would have taken advantage of this deal, except that I had heard rumors that Nintendo was going to come out with a new Switch this year.  Nintendo did come out with a new Switch this year, but the only difference was a doubling of battery life.  These new Switches sell in a red box.

I don't know what is going to happen for sure, but there could be some interesting Black Friday deals.

For anyone wondering, both Sony and Microsoft are coming out with killer game systems 3rd quarter next year using AMD chips that aren't even released yet.  These have been described as extremely powerful game systems rivaling the best gamer PC's.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

This might be a reason to not buy a glass backed iPhone.

Unboxing a SEALED iMac G3 with MKBHD!

I think that some people will assume that older machines have more value than they have.  They might have some value as a collector's item, but as a computer, my out of date Raspberry PI 3 exceeds it in every way.


With a speed of 350 MHZ, 64 megabytes of RAM and 6 gigs of storage, the iMac G3 would be capable of only the most basic web browsing.  Many, if not most, websites would not work.  If it comes with some useful software, like word processing, then it would have some value.

Twenty years ago I remember trying to get some value out of an old 400 MHZ PC.  It was useful for playing old games, but I seriously needed an upgrade, which I did.  I went through about a five-year upgrade cycle, first getting a 2.4 GHz computer, which at the time seemed very impressive, and then a dual-core 2.4 GHz computer, and then a quad-core 2.8 GHz iMac.  I still have the iMac, and I got a whopping 9 years of use out of it, but this year I have upgraded to a better iMac.

I have learned through experience that older computers have a high failure rate.  Stuff just breaks, and the old machines aren't just worth fixing.

John Coffey

Sunday, October 6, 2019

DVD-RAM: The Disc that Behaved like a Flash Drive - YouTube

I remember around 2001-2002 my company gave me a 1 GB flash drive and I felt privileged.  In the stores, these were around $100, which seemed like a lot of money at the time.

Today you would have a hard time buying a 1 GB drive.  It is the kind of thing they would give away in promotional offers, assuming you could find any.  I would like to see them in cereal boxes, say for videogame promotions.

I was working for a company in 1992 when one of the programmers wanted to purchase a 2 GB HD for $2,000.  Our reaction was like, "A dollar per megabyte!  That's amazing!."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecH3OU0R4ls

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

AppleTV+ is going to FAIL!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnshU94aVec

Several years ago, analysts were predicting Apple would buy Disney.  Steve Jobs served on both boards of directors.  Not only could Apple afford to buy Disney, but this would allow Apple to own the entertainment market.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Samsung Galaxy A20 Review - Amazing Budget Android Phone $160-$200

Budget phones have gotten pretty powerful.  The CPU benchmark on this phone rivals my old desktop computer. When it comes to bencmarks, Apple is usually on top with their own custom CPU's, but Apple seems to want to soak their customers.  I think that I would be quite happy with this budget phone, which is plenty powerful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6c6Vyf3RE8&feature=push-u-sub&attr_tag=q49imeFrbiOIK46p%3A6



Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Math problem.

This kind of thing causes huge arguments on the internet, but I think that engineer types should get easily get the answer...

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

GameStop Is Gonna Try Some Big Changes To Save Itself.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RwVpywoDM-c

The Cortana at 1:12 is the funniest thing I have seen in a while. It has happened to me before.
As a result of this, I just tried to see if I could get Contana (on Windows 10) and Siri (on the iPhone) to talk to each other. The result was surprising and amusing. The conversation went like this: Me: "Hey Cortana!" Cortana: Beep. Me: "Hey Siri." Siri: Beep. Cortana: "Shirley you are not Siri-us." (Exactly like that!)  
Siri: "I am always serious."

Saturday, June 29, 2019

How many computers do we own?

Around 1984 there was an article with a prediction that went like this: "Someday you will throw away computers. Your house will be littered with them. You will get computers in cereal boxes." Thirty-five years ago, that day seemed like it would be pretty far off.

How exactly has this prediction faired? Well, how many computers do I own? Here is the list...

1. One of the more powerful computers in my home is my iPhone 6s+. It is a powerful computer masquerading as a phone.

2. I have an iPhone 6+ that mostly works, except for the wi-fi, which is why I don't use it anymore.

3. I have an iPhone 5 that is becoming obsolete, but it would still be functional. It only uses the AT&T type radio bands, which means that it could also work with some discount companies.

4. If I were to look really hard in my junk pile, I could find my old iPhone 3GS. It might still function as a phone, but nobody would want to use it.

5. I have an iPad 4. The only reason I bought it was because my iPad 2, which I loved, was stolen. However, I don't really have much of a need for it. The iPads were originally touted as book readers to compete with the Amazon Fire tablets, but I don't think that reading books on a full-size iPad is a great experience. You can do all the normal internet stuff with them, but I have plenty of devices that can do that. I think that my iPad is best used to play audiobooks.

6. About eight years ago I bought a Microsoft Tablet on a Black Friday sale for $200 because this seemed like a fantastic deal at the time. At the time, it probably was. However, this has been the most useless piece of crap that I own. One could use it to browse the internet and read email, but it is way out of date, and it was never very useful to begin with. It is less pleasant to hold than an iPad. I doubt that I can get any software for it.

7. I'm typing this on my late-2009 27" iMac. However, this computer has a number of problems, such as the display repeatedly shutting off. The computer has 4 major parts that have been identified by a technician as showing signs that they may fail in the near future, which makes the machine too costly to consider fixing. Even just dealing with the display problem is not really worth it.

8. Which is why, today, I bought a 2017 iMac, which is a significant upgrade from my old iMac. It will take at least a day for me to get all my software installed and working on the new machine.

9. A couple of years ago I was given a Raspberry PI 3, which is a very cheap small computer the size of a deck of cards. It can run Linux and do normal computer stuff, although it is not very powerful at all. However, I configured it to be a game emulation box that can be hooked up to my TV.

A new Raspberry PI 4 has just been released, and it is more powerful.

10. I own both a NES Classic Edition and a SNES Classic Edition. I used to sell these for profit because they are often hard to find. I plan on selling at least one of these. Both are game emulation boxes, and I have hacked one of them to play more games. I plan on hacking the other one as well.

I am also considering also getting a Sony PlayStation Classic. It is a more powerful system that has been discounted down to $30 and can also be hacked.

11. I bought an Arcade1up machine. This is a 3/4 scale arcade game that you assemble yourself. It is essentially an emulation box, and it comes with 12 classic arcade games.

12. Back in the early 2000s, I bought a joystick that can be hooked up to an old style TV and it plays 10 classic games. As a game system it is not particularly great, but I still occasionally use it because it does a great job with one game, which is Pole Position. I don't have anything else that can play this game.

13. I have an old Sega Genesis with some cartridges that I plan on selling. Thirty years ago the 68000 processor in the Genesis was considered a mainstream computer processor. I have seen really old mainframe computers that cost a fortune that used this processor. By the 1990s the 68000 processor was only really used in game systems.

14. I have a really old laptop that someone gave me. It is very slow, but I was able to use it to run chess tournaments. However, it recently stopped booting. It appears that the hard drive is corrupted. I thought that maybe I could fix it, but...

15. I was able to get a refurbished laptop very cheap that is vastly superior. This computer proved very helpful as a backup computer while my iMac was in the shop.

So technically my house is littered with computers, some of which I could easily throw away.

If you own a calculator, which I don't, it has either a 4-bit or an 8-bit processor inside. It is also a computer, although very limited.

As far as getting computers in cereal boxes, I saw a little handheld game that came in a 2007 cereal box. It was pretty primitive, probably using a 4-bit processor.

Best wishes,

John Coffey