what Macs to buy - I have specific needs

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Paul Nevai, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. Paul Nevai

    Paul Nevai Guest

    I have 2 pieces of software which I will probably need to be able to run for
    the rest of my life, or at least for many-many years to come, and neither run
    on intel Macs and one of them runs semi-perfectly only on G5s. Hence, I need
    to stock up on some G4 Macs which would last me, say, 25 years, although G5
    is also a possibility.

    What would be the best strategy? I am thinking of buying a few eMacs. Do you
    have any better suggestions? What and how many?

    Thanks, PaulN
     
    Paul Nevai, Apr 13, 2006
    #1
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  2. Paul Nevai

    Hans Aberg Guest

    In article <e1lt1l$rp6$-state.edu>,
    wrote:

    > I have 2 pieces of software which I will probably need to be able to run for
    > the rest of my life, or at least for many-many years to come, and neither run
    > on intel Macs and one of them runs semi-perfectly only on G5s. Hence, I need
    > to stock up on some G4 Macs which would last me, say, 25 years, although G5
    > is also a possibility.
    >
    > What would be the best strategy? I am thinking of buying a few eMacs. Do you
    > have any better suggestions? What and how many?


    Switch to other software that can do the job, because no hardware will
    last more than a few years these days, nor will it in the future. :)

    What kind of software is this, that isn't updated, can only run on Mac's
    G5's, can't be recompiled, nor run on Intel Macs under Rosetta emulation
    mode?

    --
    Hans Aberg
     
    Hans Aberg, Apr 13, 2006
    #2
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  3. Paul Nevai

    Ian Gregory Guest

    On 2006-04-13, Paul Nevai <> wrote:
    > I have 2 pieces of software which I will probably need to be able to run for
    > the rest of my life, or at least for many-many years to come, and neither run
    > on intel Macs and one of them runs semi-perfectly only on G5s. Hence, I need
    > to stock up on some G4 Macs which would last me, say, 25 years, although G5
    > is also a possibility.
    >
    > What would be the best strategy? I am thinking of buying a few eMacs. Do you
    > have any better suggestions? What and how many?


    25 years!!!

    In that case, do not spend a single penny on hardware. Instead, save
    your money to pay a developer to write applications for you which
    provide the necessary functionality. Specify that the applications
    should be written to use open standards and supplied to you as C
    source code. Also ask for full documentation of the design (flow
    charts etc) so that if C has fallen into disuse in 24 years they
    can be easily recoded.

    Ian

    --
    Ian Gregory
    http://www.zenatode.org.uk/ian/
     
    Ian Gregory, Apr 13, 2006
    #3
  4. Paul Nevai

    Paul Nevai Guest

    (Hans Aberg) aszonygya:
    :In article <e1lt1l$rp6$-state.edu>,
    : wrote:
    :
    :> I have 2 pieces of software which I will probably need to be able to run for
    :> the rest of my life, or at least for many-many years to come, and neither run
    :> on intel Macs and one of them runs semi-perfectly only on G5s. Hence, I need
    :> to stock up on some G4 Macs which would last me, say, 25 years, although G5
    :> is also a possibility.
    :>
    :> What would be the best strategy? I am thinking of buying a few eMacs. Do you
    :> have any better suggestions? What and how many?
    :
    :Switch to other software that can do the job, because no hardware will
    :last more than a few years these days, nor will it in the future. :)

    I could switch but I won't. MYM runs only on classic and it is the perfect
    financial software which I have been using for 15+ years. This has been
    discussed before and the concensus was to keep a Mac just for MYM.

    :What kind of software is this, that isn't updated, can only run on Mac's
    :G5's, can't be recompiled, nor run on Intel Macs under Rosetta emulation
    :mode?

    The Palm version of MetroWerks [unless someone can recompile for me which is
    most unlikely]. It runs on G3-G5.

    /PaulN
     
    Paul Nevai, Apr 13, 2006
    #4
  5. Paul Nevai <> wrote:

    > I have 2 pieces of software which I will probably need to be able to run for
    > the rest of my life, or at least for many-many years to come, and neither run
    > on intel Macs and one of them runs semi-perfectly only on G5s. Hence, I need
    > to stock up on some G4 Macs which would last me, say, 25 years, although G5
    > is also a possibility.
    >
    > What would be the best strategy? I am thinking of buying a few eMacs. Do you
    > have any better suggestions? What and how many?


    You will not be able to keep any current electronic device running for
    25 years without at least some maintenance -- replacing capacitors, etc.
    For a computer, which depends on rapidly changing technologies, this
    will be even harder. In twenty (or even ten) years, will you be able to
    find an ATA drive or a PCI card?

    In any case, eMacs or any other models with built-in displays are a very
    poor choice for what you want to do. I suggest you become an eBay
    regular and start acquiring a stable of PowerMac G4s. You could store
    them in your bomb shelter.
     
    Neill Massello, Apr 13, 2006
    #5
  6. Paul Nevai

    Davoud Guest

    Paul Nevai wrote:

    > I have 2 pieces of software which I will probably need to be able to run for
    > the rest of my life, or at least for many-many years to come, and neither run
    > on intel Macs and one of them runs semi-perfectly only on G5s. Hence, I need
    > to stock up on some G4 Macs which would last me, say, 25 years, although G5
    > is also a possibility.
    >
    > What would be the best strategy? I am thinking of buying a few eMacs. Do you
    > have any better suggestions? What and how many?


    Would it help us answer your questions if we knew the names of these
    two pieces of software? 5-10 years is nothing in dog years, but 25 is a
    lot of dog years.

    Davoud

    --
    usenet *at* davidillig dawt com
     
    Davoud, Apr 13, 2006
    #6
  7. Paul Russell <> wrote:

    > 25 years sounds like a long time but it really isn't - there are plenty
    > of > 25 year old systems which still run fine today (e.g. Apple ][).


    Being able to find isolated individual systems that still run after that
    long is worlds different from being able to count on a particular system
    doing so. It is the difference between "it could happen in rare cases"
    versus "it will very likely happen".

    I actually happen to still have an Apple IIe (sold my II+ when I got the
    IIe). It worked last time I powered it up, which was less than a year
    ago. But I also invested in a copy of Virtual II, mostly for the
    nostalgia value (and it prompted me to play with Bard's Tale a little,
    as that's one game I recalled spending time on a few decades ago). With
    Virtual II, I can run programs without putting strain on the old
    hardware - particularly the floppy drives and my old floppy media.

    > I'd suggest getting a few of the most recent G4 towers plus some spare
    > parts (disk drives, keyboards, mice, monitors, etc) and mothball the
    > spares and any machines that are not needed in the short term in a
    > clean, dry environment where the temperature is stable.


    Exceptions no doubt exist, but I would not expect hard disk drives to
    take well to "mothballing". Spindles get stuck, etc. You actually do
    better if you spin the thing up every so often - not enough to put a lot
    of wear on it, but enough to spread the lubricants around and avoid
    other stiction issues. A lot like an old car, and for much the same
    reasons. It will probably be in better shape if that proverbial little
    old lady from Pasadena did drive it to church once a month or so.

    --
    Richard Maine | Good judgment comes from experience;
    email: my first.last at org.domain| experience comes from bad judgment.
    org: nasa, domain: gov | -- Mark Twain
     
    Richard E Maine, Apr 13, 2006
    #7
  8. Paul Nevai

    Hans Aberg Guest

    In article <e1m0bm$rv8$-state.edu>,
    -state.edu (Paul Nevai) wrote:

    > :Switch to other software that can do the job, because no hardware will
    > :last more than a few years these days, nor will it in the future. :)
    >
    > I could switch but I won't. MYM runs only on classic and it is the perfect
    > financial software which I have been using for 15+ years. This has been
    > discussed before and the concensus was to keep a Mac just for MYM.


    I have encountered a similar situation, some scripting software, that a
    lot of Hollywood people seemed to use, and therefore others,
    only available for Mac OS 9. A check of this software, seemed to suggest
    that development of it had been dropped. So I looked for other software,
    and there was some much better ones for Mac OS X available.

    So I suggest you to do the same: Software that isn't developed is not
    worth having. Consider the migration problems. It could be that the
    software you are looking for is not yet here. Then use the one you have,
    until the right software shows up. But if your current software isn't
    developed anymore, it's time to drop it. There few exceptions of this for
    commercial software, as such software is usually hacked together, with a
    lot of bugs and limitations. (A non-commercial program, that is not
    developed anymore is TeX, which is a standard in some technical
    typesetting, such as math, but its sources are open, and one can freely
    develope ones own version of it, as folks also do. Commercial,
    undeveloped, closed software, is moribund.)

    --
    Hans Aberg
     
    Hans Aberg, Apr 13, 2006
    #8
  9. Paul Nevai

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    In article <e1m0bm$rv8$-state.edu>,
    -state.edu (Paul Nevai) wrote:

    > (Hans Aberg) aszonygya:
    > :
    > :Switch to other software that can do the job, because no hardware will
    > :last more than a few years these days, nor will it in the future. :)
    >
    > I could switch but I won't. MYM runs only on classic and it is the perfect
    > financial software which I have been using for 15+ years. This has been
    > discussed before and the concensus was to keep a Mac just for MYM.


    What does MYM say is the long term cost for such a decision? It's just
    numbers, Paul, and other software running on newer hardware can feed up
    the same numbers. Other than stubborn refusal, you make no case in
    favor of MYM being a future noose around your neck.

    > :What kind of software is this, that isn't updated, can only run on Mac's
    > :G5's, can't be recompiled, nor run on Intel Macs under Rosetta emulation
    > :mode?
    >
    > The Palm version of MetroWerks [unless someone can recompile for me which is
    > most unlikely]. It runs on G3-G5.


    So what is it you're really looking to do here? You need to get past
    the software and say what problem you're trying to solve. If you want
    to do Palm development, I'm sure that there are still plenty of
    solutions, all best discussed in a Palm group (although a quick Google
    search easily turns up <http://www.palmos.com/dev/tools/gcc/>).

    --
    My personal UDP list: 127.0.0.1, 4ax.com, buzzardnews.com, googlegroups.com,
    heapnode.com, localhost, x-privat.org
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 13, 2006
    #9
  10. In article <e1lt1l$rp6$-state.edu>,
    (Paul Nevai) wrote:

    > What would be the best strategy? I am thinking of buying a few eMacs. Do you
    > have any better suggestions? What and how many?


    You're not going to find any hardware by anyone which will run for 25
    years. Your best strategy is to make sure you have control of the apps
    you need, assuming you're using them for a business.

    --
    We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams,
    Wandering by lone sea-breakers, And sitting by desolate streams.
    from "Ode", Arthur O'Shaughnessy
     
    Howard S Shubs, Apr 13, 2006
    #10
  11. * Paul Nevai [04/13/2006 16:08 UTC]:
    > What would be the best strategy? I am thinking of buying a few eMacs.
    > Do you have any better suggestions? What and how many?


    This thread is looking a lot like the last one you started with the same
    question. The fact is, your expectations are unrealistic... as many
    others have said.

    --
    -=Elden=-
    http://www.moondog.org
     
    Elden Fenison, Apr 14, 2006
    #11
  12. Paul Nevai wrote:

    > Hence, I need to stock up on some G4 Macs which would last me, say,
    > 25 years. . .


    I do hereby nominate this as the silliest albeit possibly unintentional
    troll of the last quarter century. Seconds?

    > What would be the best strategy? I am thinking of buying a few eMacs. Do you
    > have any better suggestions? What and how many?


    Best strategy remains a 50' lead-lined reefer of assorted G4 and G5s
    parked in NORADs long term parking lot 5150.

    Dude, at some point in the not too distant future you will just have to
    re-key in all the data from your dead app into one that will take you
    into the future.
    J
    ust pay someone to do it -- your alternative strategy is, to be kind,
    kookie as heck.

    --
    -John Steinberg
    email: d
     
    John Steinberg, Apr 14, 2006
    #12
  13. Paul Nevai

    Paul Nevai Guest

    (Hans Aberg) aszonygya:
    :lot of bugs and limitations. (A non-commercial program, that is not
    :developed anymore is TeX, which is a standard in some technical
    :typesetting, such as math, but its sources are open, and one can freely
    :develope ones own version of it, as folks also do. Commercial,

    I never heard of a "folks modified" TeX. You are probably thinking of add-on
    packages [macros] such as LaTeX. Right? /PaulN
     
    Paul Nevai, Apr 14, 2006
    #13
  14. Paul Nevai

    Paul Nevai Guest

    Doc O'Leary <> aszonygya:
    :What does MYM say is the long term cost for such a decision? It's just
    :numbers, Paul, and other software running on newer hardware can feed up
    :the same numbers. Other than stubborn refusal, you make no case in
    :favor of MYM being a future noose around your neck.

    The problem is much deeper. What about the gazillion numbers which are in my
    current MYM DB? E.g., my phone bill in 11/1992? What will happen to that if
    I start using a new finacial package? Do you see how complicated the issue
    is?

    In addition, if I switch, then I need to be prepared to switch on a regular
    basis.

    /PaulN

    P.S. I have been using emacs for about 20 years and I know that emacs will
    stay with me for the rest of my life. So will TeX and gawk and sed.
     
    Paul Nevai, Apr 14, 2006
    #14
  15. Paul Nevai

    Paul Nevai Guest

    Howard S Shubs <> aszonygya:
    :You're not going to find any hardware by anyone which will run for 25
    :years. Your best strategy is to make sure you have control of the apps
    :you need, assuming you're using them for a business.

    You might be right but my NeXT cube has been running for 16 years now. Of
    course, all the internal drives have long been dead and I had to replace the
    monitor once but it still works. /PaulN
     
    Paul Nevai, Apr 14, 2006
    #15
  16. Paul Nevai

    Robert Moir Guest

    Paul Nevai wrote:

    >
    > I could switch but I won't. MYM runs only on classic and it is the
    > perfect financial software which I have been using for 15+ years.
    > This has been discussed before and the concensus was to keep a Mac
    > just for MYM.


    If that was the consensus then either you didn't mention that 25 year thing
    so people couldn't really judge, or you were speaking to kooks. Plain fact:
    Any consumer grade computer that is around now and can keep going for the
    next 25 years will be down to a matter of luck. If this is for a business
    you actually care about then you should know better than to bet the whole
    thing on a totally avoidable bit of luck.
     
    Robert Moir, Apr 14, 2006
    #16
  17. Paul Nevai

    Paul Nevai Guest

    Elden Fenison <> aszonygya:
    :This thread is looking a lot like the last one you started with the same
    :question. The fact is, your expectations are unrealistic... as many
    :eek:thers have said.

    I apologize for restarting the thread but things have changed lately: Apple
    moved to intel. So the resolution of the problem became more urgent. /PaulN
     
    Paul Nevai, Apr 14, 2006
    #17
  18. Paul Nevai

    Hans Aberg Guest

    In article <e1o88p$3q1$-state.edu>,
    -state.edu (Paul Nevai) wrote:

    > :lot of bugs and limitations. (A non-commercial program, that is not
    > :developed anymore is TeX, which is a standard in some technical
    > :typesetting, such as math, but its sources are open, and one can freely
    > :develope ones own version of it, as folks also do. Commercial,
    >
    > I never heard of a "folks modified" TeX. You are probably thinking of add-on
    > packages [macros] such as LaTeX. Right? /PaulN


    No, there are lots of different successor candidates to TeX around. Omega
    is one; see <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega_(TeX)>. There are several
    others. One candidate, I think, attempts to simplify the stuff one
    attempts to do in LaTeX3. A problem in this context is to give such a
    successor some de facto standard statues, as the original TeX is no longer
    being developed.

    --
    Hans Aberg
     
    Hans Aberg, Apr 14, 2006
    #18
  19. Paul Nevai

    Paul Nevai Guest

    (Hans Aberg) aszonygya:
    :No, there are lots of different successor candidates to TeX around. Omega
    :is one; see <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omega_(TeX)>. There are several
    :eek:thers. One candidate, I think, attempts to simplify the stuff one
    :attempts to do in LaTeX3. A problem in this context is to give such a
    :successor some de facto standard statues, as the original TeX is no longer
    :being developed.

    I see. It's very interesting. I always used normal TeX, AMSTeX, and LaTeX so
    I didn't know about these. Thanks for the info. /PaulN
     
    Paul Nevai, Apr 14, 2006
    #19
  20. Paul Nevai

    Doc O'Leary Guest

    In article <e1o8l9$3qf$-state.edu>,
    -state.edu (Paul Nevai) wrote:

    > Doc O'Leary <> aszonygya:
    > :What does MYM say is the long term cost for such a decision? It's just
    > :numbers, Paul, and other software running on newer hardware can feed up
    > :the same numbers. Other than stubborn refusal, you make no case in
    > :favor of MYM being a future noose around your neck.
    >
    > The problem is much deeper. What about the gazillion numbers which are in my
    > current MYM DB? E.g., my phone bill in 11/1992? What will happen to that if
    > I start using a new finacial package? Do you see how complicated the issue
    > is?


    No, I don't. What I see is that you're swamped in the quagmire of
    vendor lock-in. The solution is not to prolong the situation for
    another 25 years, it's to get the data, *your* data, back from MYM such
    that it is useful to you in the future. The biggest issue you face is
    that you may have stuck with their proprietary format for longer than
    the people who write conversion software, but adding years to that by
    stockpiling old Macs doesn't really solve your problem.

    > In addition, if I switch, then I need to be prepared to switch on a regular
    > basis.


    Yes, you do! That should be the plan, anyway. Your broken logic sounds
    very similar to "But if I back up my data now, I'll have to keep backing
    it up every week." Yes, yes you should. If this financial data you
    have is so very important to you in the future, you need to have a plan
    to take it into the future. Crossing your fingers and hoping hardware
    doesn't crap out when it's antique is *not* a reasonable plan.

    > P.S. I have been using emacs for about 20 years and I know that emacs will
    > stay with me for the rest of my life. So will TeX and gawk and sed.


    Good for them, but that simply supports my point that open formats and
    open standards last long after proprietary solutions dry up. You might
    want to look into GnuCash <http://www.gnucash.org/> as your replacement
    to MYM. It may not be as slick as some of the GUI alternatives (in the
    same way that emacs isn't as pretty as TextEdit), but the odds of your
    data becoming inaccessible slip to about nil.

    --
    My personal UDP list: 127.0.0.1, 4ax.com, buzzardnews.com, googlegroups.com,
    heapnode.com, localhost, x-privat.org
     
    Doc O'Leary, Apr 14, 2006
    #20
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