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Old January 26th, 2005, 12:43 PM   #16
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Rhett - that second one seems really nice, I'm impressed with the dual wireless and wired option (I guess that's for my friends as I don't have any laptops, but maybe in the future sometime) and the fact that it's cheaper but seems to still have some core security features like the NAT. Hmmmm......
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Old January 26th, 2005, 05:26 PM   #17
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Bryan: Yes, the first link in your post is only a switch, not a router (lets you connect multiple devices to a network but doesn't "talk" to your internet connection of provide a firewall). Your second link is a router with a feature set like the ones I've been using.

Rhett: I have a Linksys router like the one in your first link setup at our production center to share our DSL connection between a bunch of computers and it works great. The second link is very similar but adds WiFi. The pricing is curious, isn't it? Looks like the difference is that the first one has some extra security features which you probably won't even want. For example it can block access to certain URL's at certain times. I guess that's to keep the kiddies from surfing nasty websites? It also supports VPN and does packet inspection to prevent denial of service attacks on a server inside your LAN. Unless these are features you know that you need then they won't be of much value.

True, the WiFi might be nice if you have a house guest with a laptop, or if you want to do computer gaming with friends in your living room maybe, and that second link in Rhett's post looks like a good value. I have a couple friends with these.

FWIW, for my home I just picked up the cheapest little router/switch I could find a couple years ago at someplace like CompUSA I think. It's this model, for $40 with a $10 rebate, so for as little as 30 bucks you would have the basic features of a firewall and 4 port switch. http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/p...s=19&c=us&l=en
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Old January 26th, 2005, 06:01 PM   #18
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The second one I posted is the one I currently use (WRT54G), the first one is my older router, they both work nicely and are quite secure since I have cable internet and it's always on. I used to run a gigabit switch but I haven't had as much use for it lately as my Powerbooks hard drive doesn't really run that fast anyway (even though it has Gigabit nic) so if I need to transfer BIG files it goes over Firewire or through the 10/100.

Something to keep in mind is that if your GF (or you) wants to move her computer to another room, all you have to do is add a wireless card and you get to keep the internet on it. (same thing with the Mini)
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Old February 5th, 2005, 08:48 AM   #19
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This Cringley article is interesting: The Mac Mini is all about video, playing video.

http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20050120.html
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Old February 5th, 2005, 10:25 AM   #20
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That is a very insightful article and one that makes a great deal of sense business wise. This opens a whole new discussion regarding HDTV and markets etc. but oh well: I always was curious why services like Movielink didn't advertise more on television etc., my only guess was that the idea of legally downloading a full movie for watching on a computer was too early for most consumers, that they hadn't yet embraced the idea of sitting around a computer to watch their purchase. I tried the service once just for curiousity so the gf and I rented Benny and Joon (awful movie by the way) when I lived at my old apt with a computer in the bedroom connected to my "production monitor" (aka 19inch flat picture tv) so we watched it from the bed late one night (it was well after when Blockbuster closed so it initially presented value by being available, sort of like 2am drunken iTunes purchased ;) ). The sound was brilliant and the picture was quite good, it was a fairly quick download and the interface was simple enough but I still wasn't too thrilled about watching the movie on my computer screen rather than our main TV and 6.1 polk audio surround setup. Still though, we found ourselves another night a few weeks later past the closing time for Blockbuster and wanting to rent a movie so we turned again to Movielink and hit one of the main walls with the service, lack of depth. Movielink (at the time, a yr ago) had a serious lack of movies. Benny and Joon happened to be "featured" on their site but as soon as I searched for a couple of movies we had in mind, we found nothing.

Anyways, my point is I was wondering why a major company hadn't jumped on the legal downloading bandwagon and throw some cash at it the past year (my guess was legal red tape with nervous movie execs putting their content online). I think this article brings to light the wonderful position Apple could put themselves in if they can get enough people putting computers into their entertainment rooms as again, watching movies in your computer room is a tough sell. They'll also need a huge selection of movies to keep movie buffs pleased (techno movie buffs will be among the first movers or early adopters). The bluray vs. hd-dvd debacle is also really a great opportunity for Apple to bring movie downloading to the mainstream HDTV people who are waiting for the new HD movie content battle to settle.

Regarding nervous movie execs putting their movies up for download: there will always be piraters of everything, movies, music, software etc. It's simply a fact of the market and our country: we're fat / greedy and
a large portion can't turn down something free even if it's deemed illegal / stealing (see Enron or the lack of general morals in business, or our president for that matter ;) ) . I think they're mainly worried that pirating will hit the maintream population more so than ever and it'll be more accepted and easier to get. To this I ask the question: in the mid 80's and up, how many families did you know who had recorded a million movies on VHS from other movies / tv / and HBO ? I would say just about every family I knew of when I was a kid in the 80's had VHS illegal copies with fuzzy and grainy FBI warnings that we all wondered what they said - there'd be like 3 moives on one tape because everyone used EP mode to fit in more content. You'd have to fastforward through like Arthur and Ladybugs to get to Goonies (god I hated Arthur when I was young). True, there wasn't as much concern back then because the quality was clearly better at the multiplexes and the public was less informed about video quality than our new DVD generation. In conclusion, I think the movie companies should continue to attack illegal downloading of movies to make sure the public understands somewhere in the back of their mind that pirating is not a good thing - that's about all they can do though. P2P will evolve and get smarter and harder to track with even faster download speeds and people still in droves rent dvds and copy them on their burners (wait until the dual layer standards settle later this year, full 1:1 copies will be possible). It's an interesting debate but I think as a country, it's something that will never be remedied. Again, we're a greedy country who's generally obsessed with getting "ahead" in life by making more money: getting the raise, a higher paying careeer that you hate, screw your neighbor for the promotion, sue for our own ignorance (Tobacco companies vs Cancer, fast food vs. fat people), cheating the stock market. If there's something free out there, most will take it and think later about whether it's deemed illegal or not while the term illegal has been extremely diluted by seeing the more "privileged" get away with illegal acts all the time so why not us? (I'm not down on the USA, I love it but it's also about realizing how it runs, the strength of the term illegal could be a thesis paper in itself).

Well anyways, can you tell I had time to kill?

Rhett - I ended up getting the Linksys wrt54g - it's a solid product, I'm quite happy with the purchase. I think after rebates, it'll be like $60. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old February 5th, 2005, 12:40 PM   #21
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Bryan, nice post and glad you liked the suggestions.
I loved your remarks about the VHS era of movie pirating. I still have that tape with Arthur on it. I actually loved that movie. Dudly Moore is so funny (or, "such a hedge") I remember what a big deal it was to record movies off of cable TV. You know, back when cable was worth having because they didn't edit the movies (sensor) and didn't inundate you with commercials! I HATE the new trend of those little spam pop-up ads that play when the show comes back on! FX is especially bad about this. I won't even watch it anymore it makes me so mad. So back to my point, I haven't done it lately (mostly because there isn't anything worth it on TV) but what is to prevent people from just recording their movies off of HDTV or Cable or Satellite and popping it on DVD? I mean, TiVO hasn't killed the Movie industry. You could even Pay-Per-View something and record it onto your set top DVD recorder couldn't you (or your computer for that matter). I think they blow the whole thing WAY out of proportion.
The reason the music industry isn't doing as well the last few years isn't because of people downloading mp3's, it's because they insist on selling us CRAP! (wannabe's and lip sync'ers are not artists no matter how much marketing money you stick behind them) There are so few really good new artists on the big labels it's disgusting. And when I buy an album because of a song I heard somewhere and then find out the other 15 suck, I feel like I've been robbed! So who exactly is the pirate? I go to the iTunes music store every Tuesday for the FREE new music download, sadly enough, I don't even download the FREE song half the time. That's how bad it is!

...anyway, hopefully somebody will figure it out. Maybe a co-op of iTunes and NetFlix, now THAT I would buy!
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Old February 5th, 2005, 05:30 PM   #22
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Rhett - I could talk all day about how and why the music industry sucks so bad now and why they are losing big money (in short, marketers have become too smart for the publics own good and have perfected the model of disposeable artists based on initial appeal rather than talent). I can still remember the days when MTV was actually cool, actually played music and played good music even if it was mainstream. There was a time when Lose your Illusion fought it out on MTV's countdown with Black Album classics and Blood Sugar Sex Magic and ofcourse then the Nirvana era with Soundgarden, STP, Pearl Jam etc. Regardless of whether you called that stuff mainstream at the time, at least it was real, Scott Weiland really was a crack head, it was a time for real musicians and real people before short term musical marketers perfected their models. I guess what is really cool now is that we can pick and choose exactly which tracks we want to actually buy off of iTunes but I think this works against quality artists because it stresses the new appeal based marketing plan. Oh, check out Becks new ep exclusively on iTunes, it has some great 8bit nes nostalga on there.

Regarding Arthur - I've only seen that movie twice and I was 8, so I guess my perspective on it isn't the fairest :) . Netflix, although I'm not a member, has an awesome selection of movies and an iTunes merger would be incredible, we can only dream. While on the subject of renting, Blockbuster I think will be dead in 8 years unless something is changed. "Not having" any late fees takes away the incentive for people to return movies and they can only stock so many copies. Ever tried to rent something new on a Saturday since the switch? They're usually all gone or severely depleted because no one takes back their movies from Friday. So, they're trying to move their customers to online mail based rentals as they've predicted it's the short term future (check out their new site, it's hard to even find information regarding store only movies) but altering their brand image from store front to mail based will be tough and Netflix is already the staple child for postage rentals. The next frontier and what we've been talking about is downloadable movie rentals once the market is ready but with consumers already comfortable hitting the Netflix website to add movies to their que etc., a transition to downloading would be much easier than the again, store front image based Blockbuster. Downloading movies could however take the stress off of Blockbuster having their stores stocked with titles and more onto bandwidth costs which is much easier to manage than shipping. Blockbuster, you better be ready for the move - but maybe that's just me... I miss my business marketing classes :D
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Old February 8th, 2005, 06:10 PM   #23
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Bryan, Thanks for the review.

I was in the NYC Aple sore snooping around and I'm definitely tempted. I am probably the last person on earth who is not running some kind of editing program on their computer. I am a PC user and have been considerng the jump to Mac and FCP, but I'm trying to figure out the best hardware solution. I have Vegas loaded on my PC but have been to chicken to try it out.

The Mini is looking good, but I'm also considering a used Dual Proc. G4 and upgrade to G5 when I get a few more projects. Thanks for adding some food for thought.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 06:40 PM   #24
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Mark: the mini is a great "out of the box" entry point for people, but if your main interest is FCP and if you can find a decent deal on a used dual G4 then I think you'll be better served due to the expandability and simplicity of upgrading (open up the side and you can get at everything, easy to add cheap internal drives and RAM, etc). Of course you have to consider the condition of any used machine plus the cost of upgrading to OS X 10.3 if needed. If possible see about putting the used machine on AppleCare.

But if you just want to casually learn about the Mac and FCP then the mini is a really easy way to get into the game.
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Old February 9th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #25
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Thanks Boyd. Yeah, I'll probably get the best G4 I can. Mirror Door, 1.47GHz proc and all the fixin's. Seems a lot of folks have OSX on their machines on ebay.

The Mini seemed like an option, but I was delusional.
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Old February 9th, 2005, 01:03 PM   #26
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Mark - I agree with Boyd as well. The mini is great for me because I don't plan it as a replacement machine for my PC and also am fine with simple cutting in FCP and maybe some mild color correction but also am used to laptop performance (from my previous projects I had to work on with director's powerbooks). Again, if you're looking for a straightup replacement of your pc and plan to do some serious editing in fcp, then I think expandability should be your priority and a dual proc. G4 or saving up for a G5 is the best path.
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Old February 9th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #27
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I will keep my PC, as much as I hate windows.

I will probably end up doing some long form projects on the Mac, so that's why I'm thinking bigger machine with more space/speed/upgradbility.
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Old February 9th, 2005, 01:39 PM   #28
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Agreed with everyone. I just got a Mac mini (I am one of Steve Job's targets, the PC guy who has been dying to try a Mac) but I will keep my P4 beast for editing. The thing is that even after a day, I believe that when my PC bites the dust, I will be getting a G7(8?)(9?) ;)


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