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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    I live in Massachusettes; Observatory in New Mexico
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    Default Recomendations for PC Needed

    Hello!

    After nursing and rebuilding an 8 year old PC (Ive upgraded the motherboard/processor twice, the power supply three times, hard drives many times) I'm finally gonna byte the bullet and replace it. I have no qualms about building a PC from parts. I want a small as possible foot print - I will put all the storage (save the boot drive) in an external cabinet probably via eSATA. It will be used almost entirely for astronomy. It wont be controlling the telescope, but everything else astronomical will occur on it. All my non-astronomical stuff is done on a Mac, which I will also be replacing. I considered buying an iMac and running either Parallels or Fusion VM, but have read to many horror stories about them. Bootcamp is not an option 'cause I'd like too have both OS X and Windows 7 running at the same time. (Has anyone gone the route of Parallels or Fusion?) So I'll probably get an other Mac mini and an equivalent Windows computer. I Own Windows 7 Ultimate so don't particularly need another copy of Win7.

    Thanks, George

    P.s My astronomical software is pretty much CCDStack, AIP4Win, Dplot and Photoshop

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Mesa, AZ
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    28,003

    Default

    VMWare is just plain excellent. I use VMWare Workstation on the PC and it's basically perfect! I have a Mac OS X (Snow Leopard) VM (you aren't supposed to be able to do it but I did) without any kernel patching. It's from a vanilla store-bought OS disk. Booting is "exotic" though not difficult. Going the other way, Mac hosting Windows 7 using VMWare, is much more common. Parallels sucks. Pay money, get first class software and support from VMWare.

    If you go Windows hardware, buy a Dell T3500 from their outlet store. 3 year warranty with on-site service. You can get anything you want if you want long enough and search carefully enough in the outlet store. I'd recommend at least RAID and a killer video controller. Who cares about disks, I'd replace them anyway. I have two of these and I am so happy. They both run 24/7 and I do all my development on this one.
    -- Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    I live in Massachusettes; Observatory in New Mexico
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    Default

    Certainly Parallels gets more bad comments than VMWare Fusion. Your comments may cause me to reconsider the iMac. I've had zero problems with the OWC Mercury elite I use with the Mac mini. All of my music and photos are on it. It's RAID 5. If I go the iMac route (or even a PC) I'll buy a second one and also run it RAID 5 for all of my astronomy images. Right now I have 6 HD's in the tower Im retiring. They are in 3 pairs each pair RAID 1 I shudder to think of migrating, though. VMWare talks about their migration tools. They seem very optimistic. I cant imagine Photoshop being migrated let alone Win7 its self. Anyone have any experience with VMWare migration?

    ,,george

  4. #4
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    Oct 2005
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    Mesa, AZ
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    Default

    What do you mean "migration"? I feel stupid. Anyway, I used a VMWare tool to convert a PHYSICAL windows XP machine to a VM and it actually runs great!!!!! That completely amazed me.
    -- Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    I live in Massachusettes; Observatory in New Mexico
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    Default

    That tool you used VMWare calls "Migration Assistant". Both Microsoft and adobe only allow win7 and photoshop to run on one computer. So when the migration is done I would guess that you have to "unregister" them on the first machine and then "register" them on the virtual pc. I can tell you from experience that adobe can be very cranky about this. It may be necessary to "unregister" photoshop before the migration. I've never moved a win7 so I don't know what that entails.

    How do u run ur xp? Unified with OS 10 or in a separate window?

    Geo

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Mesa, AZ
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    Default

    Oh, well I don't have a problem running a bunch of Win7 VM's on the same machine. I think you can just call Microsoft and tell them what you're doing and they give you a new code right then. I recall doing this once a while back. Dunno about Adobe, I took all adobe s/w off my systems except Dreamweaver (and I wish I could find a replacement). I have gotten to where I really hate their "we're different, we're slow, we love weird controls, we're gray, and if you don't like it tough" user interfaces, and all their doodads, content management tools, blah blah. "Twas too much. Maybe for professional publishers but not me.
    -- Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    I live in Massachusettes; Observatory in New Mexico
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    Default

    Amen to ur comments about Adobe! But if ur going to do astrophotography ur sort of stuck with photoshop. I do very little of it and one reason is the dread of dealing with photoshop.

    G

  8. #8
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    Sep 2006
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    Default

    Bob, Have you ever tried VirtualBox?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Default

    Yes, and it's low-grade compared to VMWare. I started out with VirtualBox, had lots of problems with Linux display detection, crashes with one Linux, instabilities with Windows XP VMs, just not there. I know it costs money, but VMWare is worth it.
    -- Bob

 

 

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