Marvin Is Getting Old

FTLComm - Tisdale - Thursday, February 28, 2002

Yesterday marked the
third year of the Yosemite, Power PC, G3 Pro, Blue and White being at work in this office. Now as computers go that is getting pretty old. When Faster Than Light Communications first began business as an Apple VAR in 1995 we anticipated changing our hardware every six months. Though this was our plan it did not always work out as some equipment was kept in service a few months longer and some only a month or two. But Apple Computer Company tended to bring out new computers in that six month cycle and it was best to stay with the development.

Among the machines that worked a little longer was a Motorola clone tower that was on the job for over a year and one of the most interesting Macs ever, the 5200 which we began with was here for over a year.

The machine that preceded this one was a great G3 desktop that could and did everything we needed done and though Marvin was fancy it was
less than spectacular in being able to function at all during its first half year on the job. But as time passed the software, its operating system, gradually began to catch up with it and turned the machine into a very good computer. At least six operating system upgrades and almost as many firmware upgrades, have taken place and this computer now three full years on the job, is working at the same performance level as brand new machines.

During its life, it has had several hard drive modifications but now sports a 40GB drive and 700MB of RAM. The older video and SCSI cards are a bit of a problem, as we are ready to move the machine to the newer OS X and have to do some experimenting to get the cards to work in harmony with the new system software, but this can not be put off more than a few weeks from now, as time most assuredly is moving along and it is time for OS X to be up and running.

I thought it would be useful to report the progress of this computer to you because we all have made the assumption that the headlong rush to new hardware was absolutely necessary. With the advent of the G3 processor speed is no longer a real factor as few can notice the difference between a 300 speed machine and a 600 speed machine, fast is simply fast and with lots of RAM the whole issue of speed is somewhat clouded.

Apple introduced a new version of the work station tower machine like this one last month, sporting two 800mhz processors and dual monitor plugs. Since Marvin has always had two monitors running on it and is running all the present and future software it seems hard to justify replacing it in the foreseeable future.

The new iMac with its flat LCD screen looks pretty nice, but for the heavy lifting done in this office it is less machine than is needed, so for now, Marvin will keep on swinging day after day.

Happy birthday old guy.