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Part of growing up? Becoming humble in personal computer use as the years go by

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  • Part of growing up? Becoming humble in personal computer use as the years go by

    I've probably said in the past that I call myself a retired gamer. That has merit, I feel pretty much content playing a medley of the same old games for the rest of my life and focus on more practical things to do with my computers, which I feel can be more rewarding and worthwhile. I want to digitize my DVD's and VHS tapes to MP4 or AVI files to save shelf space, create 3D movies with software such as IClone5, or organize and shrink down my 15 year collection of files made since my teen years.

    I suppose I'm either old fashioned in my way of thinking and feeling, or I'm just becoming more mature. I'm almost 30.

    I've spent only about $40 on my graphics card and it works great for my needs. I think it's a waste to spend big dough on high end gaming stuff and see it go obsolete and unsupported for playing the latest games in just a few years. Plus I feel watching 1080p digital download versions of movies is more my thing. I never have to worry about upgrading in order to keep on watching movies. Also high end GPU's take up way too much heat and power. I rather save on my electric bill.

    I also get tired and frustrated of the whole upgrade process in general. I don't want to lose compatibility with my favorite software or have to design a whole new complicated computer build or learn new tech stuff. Plus mostly every new tech spies on us. I don't want to buy into any of it. I'll just keep spare parts for my aging PC's. Once they don't work with modern browsers anymore, I'll just go to the public library to use the internet.

    Does anyone else feel similar to how I feel, being over the hill as a computer user or geek but you don't really mind it? I now feel a simple life is the happiest life.
    Last edited by computerdude92; February 26, 2021, 05:27 PM.

  • #2
    Everybody gets burned out from being an early adapter and spending major money on PC upgrades over time. People get set in their ways over time. Some people just don't have the cash to spend even if they wanted to keep up.

    Not sure why people want to shrink the space DVDs take unless you have a 1000's of them they are pretty easy to store.
    What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
    Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
    Boxed apps and games for the above systems
    Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

    Comment


    • #3
      I've spent big money on computers in the past. It was stupid. I always look for deals, even in the past. I won't and really can't spend big money these days. But I still love to tinker and put stuff together. I'm always discovering ways to get pretty damned good performance on a budget. Take the mining gpu's I've bought recently. About 40$ apiece, they're the equivalent of gtx 1060's. I haven't even gotten 1 working yet, but my understanding is they'll even work with Steam.

      I was contemplating a new build this week but I'm 90% sure I'm going to pass. I've barely touched a respectable system I've built recently (really close to a year ago now). Deals are always coming down the pike. You don't have to jump on all of them.

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      • #4
        I used to be a BIG collector. I brought home lots of old PCs and parts from the recycling center I volunteered at, as well as anywhere else I could receive them. At one time my hoarding disorder got so bad I had 83 computers if I remember exactly and I needed to rent a heated storage unit. I probably got hoarding disorder from my parents. (No offense to them)

        I overcame my addiction all by myself by downsizing gradually for about 5-6 years. It was tough and emotional for me to part with all that stuff, but I realized I didn't need all the bloat. Everything I have needs a purpose or it has to go. I'm still not all the way done. Just a few more cases, systems, and hardware parts to let go of. I'm keeping my top favorite ones of course. I wonder if computer geeks in general are more prone to developing hoarding disorder?

        I now plan to have only 3 computers with spare parts saved just for them - once I finish building them. Collecting is nice if it's manageable. I need to be able to walk into the front door of my house LOL!

        All I need is my:

        1. Internet/main PC

        2. Win9x Pentium II machine

        3. 486 DOS machine

        That's all I need to be happy in PC land. Just 3 computers. I still have my old collection of vintage sound cards. I can swap them in and out whenever I want to capture MIDI music with Goldwave or Audacity, rather than having a whole bunch of old PCs laying around with different sound cards installed in 'em.
        Last edited by computerdude92; February 27, 2021, 02:32 AM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by tipc View Post
          . . . they're the equivalent of gtx 1060's. I haven't even gotten 1 working yet, but my understanding is they'll even work with Steam
          A little more on this and what does Steam have to do with it? Also, what's broke on those cards and do they 'smell' odd?
          Surely not everyone was Kung-fu fighting

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          • #6
            I bought them new and verified that the system acknowledges their presence. Should have said haven't gotten them up and running. Nothing is broke afaik, except me. You generally have to perform a little hack to get them running. Linus did a video about it.

            Kind of the point is if it plays nice with Steam, it's fully functional. People have gotten mixed results.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tipc View Post
              I've spent big money on computers in the past.
              I've always said that if I spent as much money on wood shop tools as I did on computer equipment, not only would I have a shop that would rival Norm Abrahms, but I'd still have the tools and they'd still be useful.

              Of course, I'm not a woodworker, so there's that detail to it all...

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              • #8
                I use 30-plus-year-old computers on a regular basis, so I definitely don’t care about having the latest and greatest!

                If computers were as interesting today as they were in, say, 1984, I would probably be much more into modern computing. That’s not to say they’re aren’t any new computers I like, it’s just most of them are pretty uninspiring compared to my old ones.
                Compaq - “It simply works better”

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by tipc View Post
                  I've spent big money on computers in the past. It was stupid. I always look for deals, even in the past. I won't and really can't spend big money these days. But I still love to tinker and put stuff together. I'm always discovering ways to get pretty damned good performance on a budget. Take the mining gpu's I've bought recently. About 40$ apiece, they're the equivalent of gtx 1060's. I haven't even gotten 1 working yet, but my understanding is they'll even work with Steam.

                  I was contemplating a new build this week but I'm 90% sure I'm going to pass. I've barely touched a respectable system I've built recently (really close to a year ago now). Deals are always coming down the pike. You don't have to jump on all of them.
                  You are talking about headless mining GPUs that you would need to run with a specific motherboard+ CPU combo with built in video that under special hacked drivers would allow sending video out from the GPU to the monitor via PCIE bus using the built in motherboard displayport connector.
                  What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                  Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                  Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                  Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    yes, but the Zotac cards are so basic you can, I believe, solder video connectors to the pads on the circuit board. You may or may not have to perform that hack, not sure. Their gtx 1060 product is identical, The p106-90 mining cards just don't have video connections. I suppose their could be firmware differences, but I don't think those difference can't be overcome. For 40$ I figured I couldn't go wrong. I bought 4 of them.

                    I'm not sure what you mean by a specific motherboard.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tipc View Post
                      yes, but the Zotac cards are so basic you can, I believe, solder video connectors to the pads on the circuit board. You may or may not have to perform that hack, not sure. Their gtx 1060 product is identical, The p106-90 mining cards just don't have video connections. I suppose their could be firmware differences, but I don't think those difference can't be overcome. For 40$ I figured I couldn't go wrong. I bought 4 of them.

                      I'm not sure what you mean by a specific motherboard.
                      I was under the impression you were talking about the Linus tech video on youtube using mining cards made without pads for video connectors at all (nothing to solder to on the board).
                      What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
                      Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
                      Boxed apps and games for the above systems
                      Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        in the one video, towards the end, Linus suggested soldering connectors to something. I want to say he was using a Gigabyte card, but can't remember exactly. When he said that, Anthony said "are the chips there" or something like that. The Zotac cards have pads on the circuit board. Can't speak to every vendor. The Zotac card is probably more generic then any of the others, and from my vantage point would likely lend itself to conversion more readily. Whether using the display port method or adding video connectors.

                        Tech Yes City also did a video, maybe 2. There was a post on Linus' forum that said his card worked fine. I'd have to look. He must have had a Zotac, as it turned up in a google search.

                        Linus wasn't using a special motherboard as I recall. These are 3gb cards mind you. 1060s are typically 6gb.

                        I disassembled everything but my Xeon, so I can't even test these at the moment (Linux sees them though, I verified that for each). The Xeon doesn't have on die graphics. So until I add connectors it's a no go.

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                        • #13
                          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08eeXcIeM14

                          It works to a large extent, if you're computer isn't too old (Intel 4th gen or newer), and you're nvidia driver isn't too new. As far as gaming he say games from 2019 onward will give problems. It's something I can play with, and may get into gaming a bit, it can still presumably function as a generic graphics card for whatever else. At the very least you have the horsepower of 4 gpu's if you're motherboard has enough pci-e connectors. You only need a x1 slot to tap these for mining or whatever else.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by compaqportableplus View Post
                            I use 30-plus-year-old computers on a regular basis, so I definitely don’t care about having the latest and greatest!

                            If computers were as interesting today as they were in, say, 1984, I would probably be much more into modern computing. That’s not to say they’re aren’t any new computers I like, it’s just most of them are pretty uninspiring compared to my old ones.

                            Oh yes, this. While I do have a handful of new systems - or fairly new at least - I use old systems from the 80s and 90s every day. And while these things are a lot more expensive to buy than they were, it is hard to imagine not adding to the 'collection' from time to time, even though it isn't really a collection so much as a range of 20-30+ year-old computers from which I can select the best tool for the job to be done.

                            For me, the basic issue with more modern systems is that they are so bloated and over-featured that I never feel I control them, they always seem to be in charge of me and the work I do. My iMac, for example, is constantly pinging and beeping with incoming emails, texts and notifications of all kinds. My Win 10 box never entirely seems to be working right and needs semi-constant attention. In both cases my workflow is disrupted.

                            Whether my (newly acquired) Mac Classic or Toshiba T3100e, or NEC portable, or even a PowerBook 1400 I actually forgot I still had, I can just focus on getting a task done. And even though I now have a few more old systems than I probably need, well, there's always a possibility something I don't yet have will benefit.

                            I started learning to program in 1979 and have spent my years since working in computing as the pace of development and change has gradually increased. It's good to get back to my roots.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In my opinion, 90's computers and newer are more interesting. There's so much more you can do with them compared to 80's computers. So many endless hardware/software options and upgrades to customize with. I'm a practical guy too and I like a computer I can build just the way I want to suit my wants and needs. 70's and 80's computers are boring to me no offense. There's not much hardware in them really that I can interchange and play with. I love to tinker... what can I say? I can't stand a stock box.

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