Diagnosis: Caked Dust and Animal Hair

November 24th, 2006 · 1 Comment · Tools and Tech


My old iMac was prone to crashing. Sometimes it crashed 10 times a day. I’ve tried everything, short of putting in a new logic board. So when I finally decided to get a new logic board, and opened it up to get the board serial number, I found the problem. Caked dust and animal hair. After $10 worth of canned air, it’s been three days and it hasn’t crashed yet.

We love Macs. If America went to war against Macintosh, I would have a hard time choosing my allegiance. Do note: the most efficient Macs are the ones with slower processors.

Apple, like other computer makers, wants you to pay twice or three times as much for their higher end systems that only perform 10% better (under normal conditions). They tempt you to think that a 2GHz system is twice as fast as a 1 GHz system, which might be true in a special case but is not true under normal conditions.

I like the cheaper slow processors loaded with 768 ram (best bang for the buck) or perhaps 1.5Gb of ram if you want luxury. Any more ram than that seems a waste to me–even for video editing. If you work with video then get the biggest hard drive you can too. The plain truth is that an old G3 processor edits video fine. A G4 is luxury. With G5s we are at the point where processor speed is irrelevant.

If you’re a video artist on a budget and you need a editing station, consider a used Mac G4 desktop for under $500. Don’t shy away from iMacs, either–they handle Final Cut Pro just fine. Put the money you save into software, extra ram, a backup hard drive and a really good camera.

Category: Tools and Tech

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