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About Akamatsu

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  1. Akamatsu

    Apple Tax™ on the new 27" iMac

    Yeah, Apple are usually very poor value when it comes to options. I think it's because they rely heavily on the economies of scale, so the cost in disrupting and reorganising regular production lines is reflected in the price of the custom options. It's worth noting that Dell, HP, Acer etc. all do the same thing. For the 27", the ram is user upgradable. For members of Atomic, there's simply no reason to buy more ram through Apple. For the regular consumer, you'd have to be doing professional work to justify wanting more than 8GB. 768GB SSD's are for people with too much money. The fact that the Samsung drive Apple use isn't available through regular retailers should be enough to indicate the target audience. Replacing it with three 256GB drives might be cost effective, but it also increases the chance of failure three-fold if you plan to RAID-0 them together (note that Apple must be using a single drive, as the option is available for their notebooks as well). You pay $95 premium for the processor upgrade, but as stated above, I think this is to do with economies of scale. Apple might make 5 million 27" iMacs with the 3.2Ghz Core i5, but only 500,000 with the 3.4Ghz Core i7. I'm not sure what the actual price difference would be with the mobile graphics chips, but I imagine it would be similar to the processor. The way I see it is that you compromise on absolute value for warranty, to a certain extent reliability (i.e. avoiding weird hardware conflicts), and convenience. It's not for everyone, but it works well for consumers and occasionally tech minded people with different priorities.
  2. Akamatsu

    Which is the least pro music decade

    Every decade of music has its shit, as well as its gold. The only thing this poll demonstrates is that most of Atomic are 20-30 years old, and therefore started getting into music in the 90s or 00s. Once you learn to filter the shit out, it doesn't matter where it comes from, and you can't learn that skill until you've listened to a lot of shit.
  3. Akamatsu

    Apple Tax™ on the new 27" iMac

    It's a bit more than just looks - quality, sound, ergonomics and 5.8ghz wireless should also be considered. I was dismissive of paying extra for 5.8ghz equipment until I moved to an area saturated with 2.4ghz traffic, now it's become just about essential. However, I appreciate you putting the list together. I'm not very knowledgable on the current tech, and it's good to get an objective opinion. Given that I can get the high end 27" iMac for $1837 delivered after my education discounts (depending on how the exchange rate shifts), I'm still leaning that way. The iMac will have significantly higher resale value, so I'm pretty confident I'll be able to recover the $300 difference.
  4. Akamatsu

    What whisk(e)y are you drinking?

    Very underrated in my opinion, it's my favourite of the highland whiskeys. I'm drinking Yamasaki 12yo tonight. It's a nicely crafted, and quite reflective of the Japanese culture. Delicate, smooth, and interesting. If you like the Talisker, but would like to try something a little bit less intense (particularly the iodine flavours), give Lagavulin 16yo a try.
  5. Akamatsu

    Android 4.2 and new Nexus devices

    Nope. It was an engineering decision made by the Android team, not by Google's management. Presumably for silimar reasons though (ignoring the SD card issue), they expect users to employ Google's cloud services. 8gb is not a lot media, it's not even a lot of applications these days.
  6. Akamatsu

    Android 4.2 and new Nexus devices

    Jesus, it's going to be difficult for other companies to compete at those price points. Some very cool new software features as well.
  7. Scott Forstall Reportedly Forced Out of Apple - http://www.macrumors.com/2012/10/29/scott-...d-out-of-apple/ I'm genuinely excited over this news. iOS6 has been very disappointing from my perspective, it's the hardware that is the main selling factor of the iPhone 5. Furthermore, it's Jonathan Ive. Love him or hate him, you have to respect his work. It'll probably be a year or two before we see any big changes, but I hope this will end Apple's use of skeuomorphism, and will result in the creation of something completely new and innovative.
  8. Akamatsu

    Apple Tax™ on the new 27" iMac

    The hard drive is likely going to be a pain in the arse to access, but there's a hatch at the back with 2 spare SO-DIMM slots for upgrading the memory. $88 AUD should boost the standard configuration to 24GB. The 'Fusion Drive' tech looks interesting. Similar to Intel's RST feature, it combines a 128GB SSD with a 1 or 3TB magnetic drive with some sort of optimised RAID 0 configuration. As long as the price is reasonable, it could be a very convenient option. The FX-8350 looks awesome, and I've always been a fan of AMD. It's something I would consider if I were to build a small render farm. I've just found out the local pricing in my country + education discount (I'm currently working as a teacher) brings the price of the standard high end 27" configuration down to $1,837 AUD. Outrageous value if you ask me. While still comparable in price to a custom PC, I think I'll be going with the iMac when it comes out in December for the reasons listed in my original post.
  9. Akamatsu

    Apple Tax™ on the new 27" iMac

    There was a significant update to the iMac line today, which has got me tempted to purchase another desktop. I bought a late 2010 27" iMac, and it was by far the best PC I've ever owned. I regretfully gave it away after moving overseas, and have been missing it ever since. The new version has me considering buying another, so I thought I'd compare it to an equivalent all-in-one and a custom PC to see how much extra I would be paying for the brand name and intangibles. First up, let's look at the features and price of the new imac. Specifications 27" 2560 x 1600 IPS display 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 memory 1TB 7,200-rpm hard drive NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX with 1GB GDDR5 High quality aluminium enclosure FaceTime HD camera SDXC card slot Wireless Keyboard Wireless Touch Mouse Dual Band 802.11n Wifi Bluetooth 4.0 Intangibles Design - no cords OSX (personal opinion) 1 year Warranty with support iPhoto, Garageband, iMovie Price $2,199 Comments Unfortunately, Apple haven't released the cost of upgrade options. I'd want one with an SSD, and possibly an i7 processor. I'd also likely put some 3rd-party ram in to boost total memory to 16Gb for running multiple virtual machines and to assist with large photoshop/illustrator/CAD files. Next, the closest all-in-one I could find: Dell XPS One 27 Specifications 27" 2560x1440 PLS Core i7-3770S processor 3.1 GHz 8GB DDR3 1600MHZ 1TB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M 2GB DDR5 Slot Load Blu-ray combo drive Wireless 1703 802.11b/g/n Bluetooth v4.0+LE HD webcam SDXC card slot Wireless Keyboard Wireless Mouse Intangibles Plays blue-rays No cords More games & software available 1 year Warranty with support Price $2298 Comments Faster CPU, slower GPU, display is likely to be less colour accurate due to PLS tech. I've priced a custom PC from Umart, with specs as close to the Mac as I was able to find. If you have any suggestions on better parts to use, let me know: Specifications Dell 27" U2711 UltraSharp IPS $754.50 Intel Core i5 3470 CPU 3.2Ghz $199 Intel DZ77SL50K MB with USB 3.0 $134.50 Kingston 8G(2x4G) KHX1600C9D3T1K2/8 GDDR3 1600MHz $49 Western Digital 1TB WD1002FAEX $115 Gainward GTX650Ti 1GD5 $149 Lian Li PC-6B Mid tower chassis $135 Antec 450W ATX NEO 450C ECO PSU $58 Logitech HD C270 WebCam $27 Apacer USB2 Internal all in one Card Reader $13 Logitech K270 Wireless Keyboard $24.50 Logitech Touch Mouse M600 $58 TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 - 450Mbps Wireless N Dual Band PCI Express Adapter $49 Logitech Z320 2.0 Stereo Speaker $35 USB Mini Bluetooth Dongle $15 Windows 8 (64-bit) $99 Intangibles More games & software available Ability to easily upgrade Geek credit Price $1914.50 Comments Graphics card was selected based on the performance Nvidia give for the 675MX here. Being able to upgrade could add significantly to the value depending on your opinion. While there is a 1 year warranty for individual parts, this does not cover any software issues that might arrise from this unique combination of parts, and isn't as convenient as Apple's offerings. It's also possible to reduce the price further with a cheaper case and mouse, without affecting the performance. ______________________________ Compared to the Dell, I think the new iMac is inherently better value for my particular purposes. I do a lot of graphics design and photography, so colour accuracy in the display is a critical factor. Though being able to play blue-rays would be nice, I find most of the content I watch is digital anyway. Compared to the custom PC, I'd be paying $284.50 premium. That's quite a bit extra for the design and warranty. I think it's clear that if you have some tech know-how, and in particular if you want to play games, the iMac is poor value for money. So for me, the question boils down to how much I like to reduce clutter, and how much I like using OSX. I love the spaces feature of OSX. I honestly think it improves my productivity in a similar manner to having multiple monitors (though not by as much), and it's satisfying being able to give a discreet area for different tasks. At any one time, I usually have a space set up for procrastination (iTunes, Chrome), email and communication (skype, IM etc), and productivity (VM, CAD, Illustrator etc) with the occasional reference documents filling up spaces to the right of this. It just seems to work really, really well, and I find it's something I miss with Windows 7. Desk clutter is something that's hard to quantify as well. All I can say that once you go all-in-one, it's difficult to go back. I'm irrationally trying to calculate how much time having more desk space will save in terms of not having to clean my crap up, and seeing how much that might add up over the course of 2-3 years, but I know it's just trying to find a way to justify the extra cost. Warranty and upgradability are also factors I consider, but neither is critical. It's nice to have a good warranty, but I haven't had to use it on any previous Apple products I've owned. Before I jumped ship, being able to upgrade and tweak hardware was important, but it's much less so now. I don't really play games anymore, and I think that's the thing that drives upgrades the most. I would still be happy using my old 27" iMac if I had easily been able to ship it overseas with me. It will be interesting to see what the reviews say when they eventually come out.
  10. Akamatsu

    ipad mini

    The Australia Tax™ is pretty unreasonable this time round. It's the highest premium of any Apple product when compared to the US prices in terms of percentage, and I have a feeling it's driven by a lack of competitiveness in the 7" space. We pay a $70 premium for the Nexus 7, so Apple can get away with a higher price point.
  11. Huh, a quick search on the topic and yeah you're right. I remember having some problems a few years back updating a netbook with an external drive, and somehow got the wrong impression.
  12. Typically, when you run the Bootcamp assistant on Macs that come as standard with an optical drive, you won't be given an option to create a USB Windows install disk. There's a few reason you might want this, for example if you've replaced your optical drive with a second hard drive. This guide will show how to force this option on Mountain Lion. You'll need Xcode (free from App store), although you can also make the modifications using nano via the terminal if you're an advanced user. I'll only be going through how to do this with Xcode. Step 1: Permissions Go to Applications > Utilities > Boot Camp. Alt-click and select "Show Package Contents". Alt-click on the folder 'Contents' and select 'Get Info', and then add 'Administrators' to the 'Sharing & Permissions' with read & write privileges. You will have to click the padlock and enter your administrator password to do this. Do the same for the file named 'Info.plist' that the 'Contents' folder contains. Step 2: Find your system version Click  > About This Mac > More Info > System Report and then copy the first section of the 'Boot ROM Version' string. Step 3: Edit 'Info.plist' Open 'Info.plist' with Xcode. Expand "USBBootSupportedModels", add a new item by pressing the '+' symbol. You will be prompted to unlock the file, click unlock. If you get a permissions error, check that you've completed the previous step. Paste the first section of your 'Boot ROM Version', for example 'MBP81', and then save the file. Startup Boot Camp Assistant, and you will now have the option to create a Windows 7 Install Disk. To turn a Windows Install DVD into an ISO image, you can follow this tutorial: How To Create Windows-Compatible ISO Disc Images on Mac OS X _______________________________ I've replaced my optical drive with a second harddrive, so this was necessary to do for me to install Windows, as Microsoft doesn't allow you to install it via an external optical drive regardless of system platform. The Apple external superdrive will work with MBAs and rMBPs, but only because Apple have done something special with the drivers.
  13. Akamatsu

    Samsung, the masochistic tech company?

    To be honest, you're confusing me a little bit. I don't quite understand what similarities you're seeing in the image posted above, compared to what Samsung has just released. All Ultrabooks and netbooks have similar physical features, but it's the details that give away that this design was influenced by Apple's offerings. Lets take the colour scheme as an initial example. Apple laptops are silver as a result of the material they're made out of. This doesn't imply that Apple owns the colour silver, there were plenty of other silver laptops around before the original iBook came out, but they were the first to match it with a black chiclet style keyboard when they released the unibody Macbook. This isn't necessarily a logical colour combination, there's nothing objectively better about having a silver body with black keys, it's a style that Apple came up with. Given the plastic body, Samsung could have just as easily used any other colour combination. Second, let's look at the finer details of the keyboard. Apple wasn't the first to do a chiclet style keyboard, it was Sony for laptops, but the concept comes from a 1980s Sinclair PC. However, since their introduction in the 2005 Macbook, they've had a very particular style that hasn't changed much with respect to key sizes and arrangement. Take for example the arrow keys: Notice that there's blank space either side of the up arrow, also notice the rounded edge between the up and down arrows. Now, there's have a look at the same area on the new Samsung: Same blank space, same filleted edge. There are some differences in the radius of the fillet between the up and down arrows, and with the rounded edges of the keys. The font and symbol detail are also different, but it's hard to believe that Samsung arrived at these same design decisions without any influence from Apple's products. Finally, let's look at the trackpad and the groove used to open the screen: It's not really the trackpad that gives it away, although the lack of markings for left and right buttons is a deviation from their Series 9 design, it's the shape of the groove. It's slightly longer than what appears on the MacBooks, but the ends are unmistakable. This is not an objective design decision. It's not a case where this shape works best, and is therefore the logical conclusion. On the Macbook, the rounded corner matches the radius of the round trackpad edges. It's a design decision that maintains symmetry, but results in a sharp edges that many have complained about. In my quick search, I couldn't find any other ultrabooks that used a similar shape. It's difficult to explain how this could happen without the idea that Samsung has copied. So why has Samsung copied, and is it really a big deal? I'd argue they've copied because Apple has set the current fashion trend in laptops. Consumers like the style of Apple's laptops, some of them may even have chosen Apple's products on style alone, and this is a market that Samsung would like to tap into. It's actually very difficult to set a fashion trend, be it with clothes or technology, so it's a safer strategy to copy than to come up with something new. I personally don't think it's a big deal, but I do think it reflects poorly on Samsung. By copying, they're not innovating, and it implies a certain level of subservience to Apple.
  14. Akamatsu

    Samsung, the masochistic tech company?

    I agree with what you've mentioned, but would consider those elements 'subtle' as opposed to 'very big'. You have to admit, the similarities are striking. Very big would have been this: Which was the original Samsung Chrome book. It looked better than the new version in my opinion.
  15. Akamatsu

    Samsung, the masochistic tech company?

    Wait, what? Besides the hinge mechanism, what other big differences are there?