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PC style as important as Clock Speed

CowboyNeal posted more than 15 years ago | from the beige-no-more dept.

News 172

Anonymous Coward writes "According to this news, after iMac success, PC style is as improtant as megahertz. What do you guys (and gals) think? " I'd have to agree, as I've owned some nice computers, but they were all eyesores.

cancel ×

172 comments

First posters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046900)

Now I understand why those irritating 'first posters'. It's annoying to see an empty slashdot page.

One question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046901)

If style is so damned important, why is it impossible to get a black case and keyboard? (Or monitor bezel, for that matter)

I wouldn't mind spending a couple of extra bucks on good looking trimware, but to make it the central theme of a purchase is just foolish. After a day or so, the novelty of looking at your sick-blue iMac case is going to wear off... and then you have to worry about what's inside.

Color over specs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046902)

``Color is for most consumers more important than all the mumbo jumbo over megahertz and megabytes,'' Jobs said.
What? When I get a PC, one of the things I'm looking at is the system specs. If I want it to look different, I'll paint the case. If I don't like the case, I'll buy a different one.


"It's all a bunch of tree-hugging, hippie crap" - Eric Cartman

Imac Style Will Age Badly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046903)

The imacs look cute today, but two years from now, they will seem like the equivilent of the '59 Oldsmobile. The rest of the world will have moved on to sleek, flat-screen monitors and cases the size of a casette player.

The architect Louis Sullivan said it best: "Form follows function, that is the law!" Frank Loyd Wright made this his design creed; and the homes he designed are now considered national treasures.
Flashy corporate "style" becomes junk.

Cobalt Qube (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046904)

Would you be so quick to buy one of these if they were beige?

The Anonymous Coward
We Had One, But For Some Reason It's Function Escapes Me
EFNet's Own...Doommaker!

C'mon, what's *really* important? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046905)

1) 99% of the time you are looking at the text and images on the monitor, so who cares what the box looks like?

2) The car analogy is weak: you would not buy a nice looking car that has a very weak engine. Similarly, even if it looks like something from Star Trek, a computer must *perform well* from a CPU/RAM/OS point of view or it is useless.

3) As others have posted.. the ideal solution is to just hide the "ugly" parts of the system.. just have a nice flat panel display, sleek built in (to the desk?) keyboard and ergonomic mouse.

4) Personally I think the iMacs are dog ugly. I've never been into anything retro, super colorful, or transparent. Like those transparent phones and Gameboys -- why!?

It's important to some. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046906)

For the consumer who really does not know much about things like the difference between VRAM and SDRAM, what ``cash memory'' is, and a DDC monitor, then what they really care about is (1) will it be easy to use for them and not break after a week? The Mac helps in that department (at least for the consumer =) and (2) will I like its ``feel''? Some people prefer pink to blue, so why not give them their choice? I never see my computer since I always use it via X, so I don't care how ugly it is. (My X server's hardware is hidden behind the table; it runs from diskettes and NFS.) But, to the consumer who probably isn't using X , then a choice of colors is something nice to have.

Joshua jerodd@usa.net [mailto] (who is still morning for Monolith)

a tool and it should be powerful and elegant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046907)

first off, a computer is mainly a tool. it should help you become more productive and let you enjoy your work as much as possible. it should be comfortable and encourage you to be creative and efficient.

that said, apple is the only computer company to really realize this. the iMac is *not* underpowered, as it is obviously a consumer computer designed and marketed for non-techie types that can still hang with the big boys. it isn't faster than a monster pentium tower with dual fans and light dimmingpower supplies but that is because it's beauty lies in it's simplicity.

apple builds sports cars in the classic sense. monster geek boxes are like a 68 sedan deville with curb feelers and a 4 barrel 454 V8. i happen to like both. each has their place.

Depends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046908)

I think I will pay a slightly more if the case look better. Until the computers are so invisible, I am stuck with 3 very ugly box sitting right beside me and making a lot of noise.

I certainly don't mind a litte change, such as a different color of casing, keyboard ... maybe, maybe the case manufacturor all sign a deal with MS, and only make case in the same color of the MS keyboard, or make be a blue sky look better in beige.

Apple came first (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046909)

Nope. Apple came first. The PC as a computer for small business/home/personal use was a concept that did not exist before Apple. It was generally ridiculed and most people thought Apple didn't stand a chance with that idea. It was only when IBM entered the market that the idea was legitimized for the computing industry corporate types. When IBM announced that they were going to be releasing a PC, Apple followed with a full page advert in the N.Y.Times welcoming IBM to the PC market.

Proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046910)

Actually I don't think it would take a rocket scientist to come up with an AT or ATX case which is a little better than a simple rectangular prism. Both the AT and ATX standards have strict rules about drive bays and such, so as long as you buy standard mobos, drives, etc., you should be able to fit it into any AT/ATX case.

Proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046911)

Oh Pshaw.

That's more a problem with notebooks. There's also a huge amount of industry and consumer pressure to keep that standarization. Most of the companies who put together PC's don't manufacture all the components themselves so they have to buy them from somewhere and it behoves both parties to implement a standard design, or rather at least, a standard interface.

Besides, there is obviously many, many solutions to the design problem that don't require a beige rectangular box. The current PC design is the miminalist solution to form and function. Its a purely functional piece of crap that probably was just a box that the engineers whipped up figuring that the industrial designers would make it purty later on. Well, appearnetly the hardware designers have been on some serious crack because no one has done anything interesting after the original mac.

ITs been less a matter of economic necessity than pure laziness on the part of manufacturers. This is why Jobs saved Apple (for the moment) because he realized that most consumers needs are far exceeded by the current hardware so its best to give them something that fits into their home.

--Dr. Fardook
joshuaw@rsgsystems.com

air flow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046912)

I'm no engineer, but I don't imagine the box that cases come in now are too effective for air flow. As an avid overclocker (hey I'm just trying to save a few bucks), it's a small issue with me. Even more than the CPU itself, though, good airflow inside the case would help to keep the drives nice and cool (my floppy disks are often VERY toasty if I leave them in the drive for even just a couple minutes). And I think a case would look pretty bitching with like huge molded air intake vents and shit. Ya woo!

Imac Style Will Age Badly (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046913)

Yeah, and Frank Lloyd Wright also claimed to hate all the skyscrapers in New York because they were all the same. A bunch of steel and glass monoliths. Although he claimed not to like them, he did like having them there so his buildings would stand out. Would the Guggeheim (sp?) look nearly as good if every building looked like that?

pc style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046914)

Anyone who thinks this about computers deserves an iMac. I don't care if it has 3 heads and drools. If it's faster than your computer then it's better.

Attractive and functional computers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046915)

Well reading all the above comments. Aesthetics is indeed important BUT not at the expense of a functional design. Personally (big IMHO) as a former technician and present computer owner (duh) I like computers that are aesthetic inside AND outside. A nice clean motherboard, *everything* placed like the designer actually gave a damn.
A nice design would be the main case being at home on the desktop or underneath. The interface devices (read keyboard,mice,display} would be attractive and functional. Any kind of devices that accept removable media would be seperate from the main unit. Possibly intergrated with the display or keyboard.

Don't forget about SGIs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046916)

SGI invented the idea of neat looking computers, Apple has just brought them to the average user. Would an SGI look so impressive if it didn't have a nice looking case. The O2 is a great example: SGI took a tower and rounded it out to make a workstation that said "Graphics" before you even turn it on. I personally understand that the iMac is not for the average Slashdot reader / Linux user but the new G3 towers are #&@^!ing awsome. Form factor is the future, deal with it.

Mike Frager
fragermk@drthunder.ml.org

I like it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046917)

Gumber sez:

I like the iMac and the new G3s. They are reasonably powerful, reasonably priced computers that look really, really good.

Some people have complained that the style will age badly, and that two years from now they will look dated next to the flat panels and tiny cases delivered by other vendors. I think this complaint lacks substance or thought. First, computers are going to be dated in two years anyway, whether they look it or not. Second, the current beige box standard has been with us for almost two decades. If we are going to end up with compact cases and flat panel displays from a variety of vendors, we will probably owe a lot to Apple. I saw few efforts in this area among mainstream vendors until apple released the iMac. Now the Wintel world looks like they might actually do something about it. But the truth is, I think apple will get there first: They have demonstraited the panace and the inclination to try, and as a whole systems company they are in a better position to creating and propagating form factors than any of the Intel vendors.

I do realize that various vendors have done work in this area, from NCs, like Corel, to specialized PCs like the Monorail, but none of them have acheived the success that Apple has with the iMac. A success I can imagining them repeating in the future with a compact case system.

Of course, there is more to the new G3s than looks. They come with fast processors, top of the line graphics, a double speed PCI slot and 3 double-width PCI slots. Add to that two 400 Mbs firewire ports and you have a machine that would be hard to match on the intel side, especially for the $1599 price for the low end G3.

Form and Functionality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046918)

I've noticed quite a few posts along the lines of "give me functional over pretty." While I undertand what the posters are saying, most of these posts seem to imply that you can have either a computer which works or one which is attractive, but not both. Additionally, it seems that many are of the mind that something that looks good cannot also be functional.

This attitude that functionality must prevail over form is one I often encounter in the Linux world. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have heard someone say that such-and-such app is worthless when ran on X simply because it has a GUI slapped on it, whereas the same app on a console is "perfect". IMHO there is absolutely no reason why a computer (or an app, within reason) should not look as good as it works. A world where function alone is the supreme goal would be coma-inducingly dull to say the least.


So I say, "Give me form and functionality. Give me a computer that I don't want to shove under a desk. And give me apps that don't put me to sleep or make me cringe when they open - but make them work." And on the apps: don't whine about how much extra work it is to put a GUI on an app. I code and it isn't _that_ difficult to add one and add a good one.

Anyway .. just my early morning rant.

hollings@cs.pdx.edu

color coordination (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046919)

I which the hardware makers would atleast have
color coordination. As it is, some devices have
a off white slightly darker or lighter than
other devices. When you put all these things
together, it looks like an ugly patchwork off
colors.

who the hell cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046920)

> granted, if I didn't know what "MHz" was, I would probably care how the machine looks

If you are primarily concerned with speed, I hope you know a lot more than what MHz is. Especially when comparing RISC based machines to CISC based machines, you can't say the 400 MHz CISC = 400 MHz RISC.

John

why get a sexy machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046921)

You want to use it for your computing needs not for your sexual needs, right? Just watch out for the cpu fans it can cut....

Fins, Fenders, Bells, and whistles (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046922)

Though I work with computers I am an architect by training - and I find that good design is sadly lacking from the PC industry.

No one is arguing that the power, flexibility, and functionality of a computer should suffer just to make it look different.

Yes form does follow function. But where do you see that happening in some of the more funky computer designs you can find out there?

The Compaq Presario is just a box made curvy on the outside. Silicon Graphics' O2 follows the same principle and look like a melted block of Indigo butter. And why do Silicon Graphics new "Borg" machines look the way they do? I am not picking on SG - most other computer maker who want to design a different looking box add fins, fenders, bells, and whistles. They look different but where is the functionality.

Apple has been different atleast in the beginning. I still appreciate the small footprint and the "stackable" nature of the original Mac Plus. There is even a small indentation in the front so the keyboard can use that extra 1 inch. That's design. The bad news about it was that you needed a "Maccracker" to get to the inards of a Mac Plus.

The early CX and FX models were good too with their flip top pizza boxes - very convenient. Then they started make all those beige boxes for which you needed a fully-stocked toolbox just to get to the memory.

The iMac has a design concept. Whether you like it or not - it at least has a concept. To reduce footprint, to reduce tangled cables, to make it easier to carry. I don't think the iMac suits my personal needs but I do appreciate the designing that went into it.

And look at the new PowerMac G3s. I have only seen them in pictures on the web but you have to admit they look a bit different. The handles are not only functional - they also make a distinctive design feature. And I just love the effect of the blue apple logo on the translucent case with the faintly visible "G3" at the back. And the pure functionality of the easy-opening door with access to the internal without needing a screwdriver is much needed. The machine is supposed to even run with the door open - great for /. types ;-) !

And check out the new monitors. With their "tripod-like" stand, it looks like you can even store a keyboard underneath them - a great space-saver.

I call them "Crashintoshes" because of the MacOS - I hope they do something about it soon. But they are ahead in terms of design now - the rest of the industry will follow.

And just because form has to follow function there is no reason why form can't be fun. The five new colors for the iMac are a nice touch.

Good design doesn't sacrifice function. It glorifies it so that it becomes art.

Style IS (WAY) more important than CPU MhZ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046923)

I can't count the number of people I've advized to stay away from Apple's latest flash in the pan fluf over substance offering.

So, when I look at a computer, I look at how the STYLE is going to affect FUNCTION. And to that degree, Style is way more important than the CPU's cyclic rate.

IMacs suck, let me count the ways :

13" monitor... really guys, don't you know bigger IS better... what what if I wanted to upgrade JUST the monitor later on. Half the success of the IBM PC computer hinged on the fact that you could upgrade individual componets. The mentality of the average PC owner is that their computer is a progressive fun adventure that only get better as you add nifty toys to it... to not grasp this concept after two decades of market place behavior is just amazing...

Heat disipation with regard to cutting edge technologies. So, when if I were to Upgrade an IMac, I would likely experience heat related problems due to Apple engineering their cast to the max of existing specs. Everyone KNOWS the latest and greates to push both size a capacity, also pushes the heat barrier.

limited options... non-standard (no, USB isn't standard yet) internal equipment, mean I'm looking at buying from Apple when I need to upgrade that $1300 lunk of crude that slick advertizing campaigns and lemming like peer pressure forced me into. Upgrade just the Graphic card... NOT.

Asthetics... I DON'T LIKE THE IMAC DESIGN THEME... thanks for providing choice (any color as long as it's translucent and blue ford style mentality). Thanks for providing a case that doen't allow me easy access to hack and thinker with the hardware (ok quick nerd survey.. How many of you /. readers have open cases as you read this... award yourself extra points for multiple open cases.)

The list goes on and one... IMacs just plain suck and represent a last ditch marking ploy from a company on it's well diserved trip down the down the tubes.

Speed and Style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046924)

Granted, a nice case is good for some people, but even if the computer is in plain sight, I don't really look at anything but the monitor and the mouse (what?? you look at the keyboard, why would you want to do a stupid thing like that??).

I also build computers, and well, I have to say I care about my hardware. I like cheap and fast, that is why I go with Intel processors running Linux (faster, better, cheaper, unless you are going to waste the puter by putting winblows on it...then the Motorola hardware is better...then you'll be running MacOS, which in its current permutation, better than windoze and getting better, IMHO).

As far as looks and stuff goes, if you haven't seen the Yosemite cases, they are pretty cool, and as with most Apple cases they look like they are pretty well designed, on the inside as well as the outside (Mac cases are really easy to work with). Along with that, The specs of the computers inside the cases are impressive (something many would drool over, even those who are into the techie stuff).

Check 'em out at:
www.macaddict.com/news/9901/macworld.mwsf99.html
and at:
macworld.zdnet.com/1999/03/features/yosemite.htm l

ph43drus
(I still can't get to my passwd, at least, not from school, boo hoo hoo, what a little whiner I am...)

Give me boxy, but maybe not beige. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046925)

Boxy is good because you can set things on top of your machine( PPA Zip ). And you can tuck a square-ish box into a corner a lot easier. Ever tried to sit a CD on one of the new Gateways? ( No, _I_ didn't buy a Gateway ). But black is definetly the way to go color wise. :)

MegaHertz is ALL that matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046926)

Which is why Intel and Alpha ruke. Powerpc can only do 400 mhz and lotsa sun boxes only do 300 mhz, which is why wintel is winning. smart people buy wintel..

I care a lot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046927)

My computer has gone through three different cases
already, and I asked for a new one for my birthday.
Here is a link to some pretty PC cases: http://www.elanvital.com.tw/

Power is important - my computer is a Dual PII-300.
Each CPU puts out heat equivalent to 40 Watt light
bulb. Try finding a case that will not overheat
with an 80 Watt light bulb in it.
At work I have a Dell Dimension XPS H-266, the
prettiest case around, in my opinion. To bad Dell
has changed the design since than.

I like my SGI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046928)

O2's are cute...
they are strong...
it makes a good combo...
pc's are ugly...
pc's crash... (running windows)
makes sense to me...

-D.Alphaeus

iMac sales are a scam! no one is buying them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046929)

they'll never sell. everyone withoout a computer is lacking one because they're waiting for you to give them linux

Genius at work. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046930)

Gee. It finally dawned upon them that people want
cool looking computers even though for the past
X years people couldn't wait to see what the latest
SGI boxes look like or what the new Suns are going
to look like an everyone screaming "Where can I get
it in this color?" "Where can I get a cool case?"
Yadda yadda yadda...

What a marvel the ever changing corporate world is..

Appearance matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046931)

I have a lot of electronics in my house... and I care what they look like just as much as I care what my furniture looks like. Yeah, functionality is more important by far, but that doesn't mean that looks don't matter. Personally I don't want an iMac look alike, but my computer is in a black case, and hopefully if the industry becomes more appearance conscious I'll be able to get black bezels for CD-ROM, etc., again. Some time in the
early nineties those became unavailable and everything started coming only in "computer beige". That was one phase of the commidification of computers, where price became the primary thing... now that the basic consumer computer system is in the $1000 range we're entering a more advanced stage of commodification where appearance becomes part of the marketing again.

Moore's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046932)

By Moore's Law, anything you buy will be obselete relatively soon. So, many people -- reasonably -- will value how a machine looks over its raw power, since anything you buy will be worthless in two years anyway.

Consider laptops. Those things always cost more but have less power, and are pretty unupgradeable.
But people buy them because they want a machine they can carry around. You'd never use a laptop for a server, it has a different function. Same with the iMacs; they're not selling servers, they're selling personal machines.

(\x.xx)(\x.xx)

sgi knew it years ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046933)

"I'm told by those in the know that the pdp-10 didn't suck, pity they stoped making them in 1983."

From the FAQ of the Monastry (You know who you are).

cheers
Craig (knee deep in larted users) Summers

Demise of classic PC style (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046934)


I for one will miss some of the classic elements of PC style, including the sublime functionlessness of the TURBO button, and the oh-so sexy LEDs telling you what Mhz your computer runs at. Goddamn you Apple and your heretical fashion consciousness!!

I thought real nerds had computers with no case, so that they can have all their hard drives lay on the floor!

iMac and Yosemite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046935)

I think the iMac and the new Yosemite boxes by Apple are the ugliest design concept ever (except the new Intel NC boxes... sheesh). They look like appliances that escaped the 50's. And the handles are even stupider (makes it easier to steal though).

I think the best design concept of any computer ever was the Apple Powerbook G3's (the soft black and the nice curvature is very cool).

looks, feh ... what about the noise? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046936)

Yah... my Seagate Barracudas can be heard on the floor below...

Hmm... anyone still making those lucite quiet boxes?

IF YOU WANT A GREEN COMPUTER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046937)

Then buy a computer, and paint it green.
duuuuuuuuuuhh

huh, WHAT'S THE POINT?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046938)

I don't get it. I really don't.

computers are designed for one purpose: to be delegated some sort of work, and get it done. I wouldn't mind if our router was build on top of a pizza hut box with a spare PSU, really. They displayed a bunch of iMacs booting from a big badass powermac box. This box will probably NEVER see the light of day, being tucked in some cabinet somewhere. Why would ANYONE care what freakin' COLOR it is?!

Perhaps I should start a company to make beautiful, colorful, translucent ATX cases and charge big bucks.

-W

it's about time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#2046939)

I think the Beetle is the ugliest most pathetic excuse for a car that I've ever seen.

Supposedly PC makers have gotten the message... (1)

jbaugher (74) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046976)

According to reports, PC makers will be revealing unique new designs at CES.

Spraypaint your computer! (1)

Gleef (86) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046977)

I think this is a perfect place to repost Dagmar's excellent HOWTO for spraypainting your computer. This was originally a series of answers to an Ask Slashdot question, but they've been collated onto a website.

Find it here: Dagmar's painting the computer -- a quick & dirty mini-HOWTO [airnet.net] .

No Subject Given (1)

bamf (212) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046979)

Who care what a machine looks like.

Function over form defiantly.

Unfortunately, IRIX sucks... :/ (1)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046980)

At least as far as security goes, it's historically been one of the worst OSes around. I won't deny that SGIs are cool, though. I've got two of them at my desk (and am using one now to type this).

- A.P.
--


"One World, One Web, One Program" - Microsoft Promotional Ad

Style secondary to horsepower (1)

CrusadeR (555) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046981)

The "style" of the bawx will always be secondary to the guts of the machine, at least in my eyes.

Ye gods! Were you there?? o_O (1)

Chris Johnson (580) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046982)

I was... and you're talking nonsense. How old are you?
Granted, it's not terribly important now, but let's not be rewriting history, shall we? Too Microsoftian, and really bad form for open source peoples :)

Style is important to some, but... (1)

gavinhall (33) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046983)

Posted by clinton:

According to the posts here on /. so far, there are a lot of folks who don't care what their computers looks like, and then there are a few who do. Everyone has their own preferences.

I think stylized computers are here to stay -- but not everyone will have one. It's kinda like cars. There's the Geo Metro (a $500 celeron system -- cheap but functional), racing cars/Indy 500 cars (custom built Pentium II 450 systems -- fast but not designed for the aesthetics), VW Bug (an iMac -- consumer oriented, more expensive than a Geo Metro, stylized), and the BMW (400 mhz Powermac G3 in a translucent case -- expensive, stylized, but not as fast or economical as a racing car).

On a different note, some people here are comparing their Pentium II systems to an iMac. Okay, a 233 mhz iMac isn't that great. But let's step back for a moment -- what does Apple offer to the geek crowd?

Today you can buy a 400 mhz G3 system [apple.com] (which is faster than a 450 mhz Pentium II system, according to the bytemark benchmark), Rage 128 graphics, Ultra2 SCSI, with up to a gig of memory. USB and firewire. Integrated 100base-TX networking. It can display on 2 to 4 monitors, if you happen to plug in more video cards. And it all happens to be in a stylized translucent case. That kicks ass!

And what can I run on this sweet machine? MacOS X Server [apple.com] aka Rhapsody aka OpenStep aka NeXTStep aka BSD 4.4. FreeBSD and OpenBSD and NetBSD users should rejoice! Unix users should rejoice! The fact that you can run BSD 4.4 (Rhapsody), MacOS 8.5, Redhat Linux for Intel [xlr8yourmac.com] , and NT [connectix.com] on the same machine at the same time is pretty cool. When was the last time you could get Solaris or Linux bundled with your Compaq or Dell? When was the last time you got video/ethernet drivers for Linux/Solaris when you bought a video card or ethernet card? Well, Apple makes hardware and software that works under Unix. (And even open source unix -- MkLinux [apple.com] is mostly their doing) The fact that at least somebody in the mass market computing industry is trying to push this kind of technology (Unix) and philosophy (supporting open source) and aesthetics (translucent curved cases) should be reassuring.

sgi knew it years ago... (1)

bluGill (862) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046988)

Good looking case, Heavy duty case, and good hardware inside.

Apple has the looks. They fail on the heavy duty case, but almost everything does. They get a C for hardware inside. The powerPC is a nice chip, and I'm not knocking a lower power insides for those who don't need the greater power, I just don't think apple is that great with designing hardware. (mind you most PCs do worse)

Now if they would fix the OS, but all OSes suck. I'm told by those in the know that the pdp-10 didn't suck, pity they stoped making them in 1983. (Okay, where is that taken from. Kudeos if you can answer without violating the spirit)

who the hell cares? (1)

felicity (870) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046989)

granted, if I didn't know what "MHz" was, I would probably care how the machine looks -- part of the reason I picked my car.

but who *looks* at a computer? at work my workstation is shoved under my desk and I only see the monitor/kb/mouse. The servers are located in a small dark room downstairs and most people never see them.

at home, the system *has* to be in view (because the SCSI cable to the scanner isn't long enough for the system to go under the table) ...

of course, this whole thing reminds me of an ex (thankfully) roommate of mine. when moving in, he was hooking up his computer. I walked in to see what he was up to, and he said "So ... What do you think?" my answer was "all I know is that it's white." he didn't know what was in the box.

so, I guess it depends. "fashion" cases are nice, but I wouldn't buy a computer because of one.

visuals, specs, & noise (1)

pohl (872) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046990)

I appreciate visual design, but would prefer NeXT black over iMac day-glo. I would even sacrifice a little speed for a machine that lends my home-office some style.

However, I would gladly do without both style and high-end performance for a zero-noise machine. I suppose I could live with head-seek noise from the fixed-disk, but power-supply fans and cpu-fans bite the big one.

Intel and Microsoft developed the PC?!? (1)

Falathar (930) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046991)

> Yet while the ``Wintel'' duopoly of chip
> colossus Intel Corp. and software giant
> Microsoft Corp. are due credit for developing
> the PC ``for the most of us,'' the importance of > design isn't lost on either of them.

Funny most histories of computing site Apple as having really developed the idea of the PC. And we all know how much Microsoft stole from Apple. And yet business people seem to have shorter memories than presidents...

sgi knew it years ago... (1)

Phil Gregory (1042) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046992)

What OS did the PDP-10s run? Whatever it was, it probably sucked [kite.net] .


--Phil ("Linux sucks differently every time a kernel is released.")

Re:Of course it matters (to most) (1)

Kyusaku Natsume (1098) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046993)

I agree. Cool, good and useful industrial design can help a lot.

``There will be a rush to design things that look a little bit cool, but that raises the question can you reach really low prices with offbeat designs and do you have the volume to justify the expense of the industrial design?'' Kunstler said.

Even if I like how look the iMac, the best thing that the designer put in the little pet was the handle. I hate the boxes that are heavy, bulky and ugly (Ex. Compaq servers) that lacks this handy case improvement. On the other hand, I liked the design of the old Acer Altos that got a handle, white case and an excellent design, making easy and safe to carry the server (if needed) from one room to another, so I don't understand what this guy is trying to say, if he is implying that industrial design doesn't matter, maybe he never opened a box, so he doesn't know how can industrial design make easier the service of the equipment.
From a consumer's viewpoint it's OK that the designers put more attention to the looks of the machines, and a IS guy would care more about how easy is to upgrade memory, change processor card, swap hard drives, cooling, etc. so he can gave a god service to his customers, and this depends of the job (mostly) of the industrial designers.
And, if you are paying hundreds of dollars for that boxes, at least they could make them look good.

Cute? (1)

CaseyB (1105) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046994)

Sorry, but I don't want a cutesy-wutesy computer.

The idea that looks are important doesn't imply "cute".

What *I* want to see in computer design is a return the classic computer design: huge, imposing, and in it's best examples, frightening.

I want large, black towers. I want an ominous everpresent throbbing hum. I want blinking lights, that make it perfectly clear that the machine is thinking thoughts so far beyond your comprehension that you should be on your knees offering it baskets of fruit. I want quarter-inch tape reels spinning back and forth in a mesmerizing display of it's infernal machinations. I want to own a computer that looks like if you did something the least bit displeasing, it would make use of any electrical devices plugged in anywhere in your house to kill you.

But instead, we get transparent blue jellybeans. Sigh.

MegaHertz is ALL that matters (1)

lefty (1872) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046995)

the 300MHz G3's open a can of whupass on the 400MHz Intel's. I imagine the 400Mhz G3's will be top of the line PC hardware until Sharptooth and K7 come. The guys running 400MHz G3 LinuxPPC boxes are going to be my envy till I can setup a SMP K7 system.

Slashdot readers are not like most computer users! (1)

timur (2029) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046996)

It's mind boggling reading all the drivel posted in this forum. You ask a bunch of geeks if they care how their computer looks, of course they'll say "no". Geeks don't care how anything looks, including themselves (which is why most of them can't get a date).

The dummer ones among you even say that you'd prefer function over form, thinking that you can't have both! Do you think a manufacturer is going to increase the price of a system because it looks nicer? Of course not! Competition won't let them! The whole idea is that ALL computers, regardless of capability or function, should look good.

--
Timur "too sexy for my code" Tabi, timur@tabi.org, http://www.tabi.org

Post-purchase styling (1)

kdoherty (2232) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046998)

If I care that much about style in my computer I'll just customize it myself. paint the case/keyboard, etc.. I can't see actually making a purchase of one computer over another because of style unless the two were exactly the same in all other ways.
--
Kevin Doherty
kdoherty+slashdot@jurai.net

Of course it matters (to most) (1)

psychophil.com (2573) | more than 15 years ago | (#2046999)

How the machine looks is always a consideration. Given the choice, when we are buying a machine for the computer room, assuming 2 machine are identical in function, we'll buy the black box with lots of blinking lights over the off-white / beige no flash system. Clients who see the computer room are much more impressed by this than the 'plain' computer boxes.

Also, think of the standard homeowner. Do they want an f-ugly beige computer rectangular box sitting in the den/living room or do they want one that looks 'cool' and matches the couch/carpet/wallpaper?

Does it matter to everyone? Of course not... many of us on slashdot probably don't even have the cover on the case most of the time... but I do remember a very popular slashdot article earlier this year about different ways to paint a case.

Imac Style Will Age Badly (1)

homebrewer (2857) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047000)

Yes, Like the "swiss cheese" Acer Aspire of 1993/4 My brother has one that is _younger_ than an Acros and upgraded twice before going to an ATX design. The Acros is still being used today and still takes an AT MB. The "swiss cheese" guy has an "Acer Special" MB and the case is, well, a lost cause.

Trendy quickly becomes passe.

my two kopeks

chrome it (1)

UberScoob (3015) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047001)

Why stop at the outside? I want a computer with its insides chromed over like a some of those hot rod cars. Then i could put some cool hydrolics in like a vato-mobile. hell-yeah.

From a business stand point... (1)

Wiggins (3161) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047002)

...and a marketing end it is absolutely necessary. Although I don't think macintoshes were the first to come up with it. Lots of machines used to look cooler than your plain beige case, Acer made a pretty cool looking case, as does Dell, granted they were horrible to work inside of. Not to mention SUN and SGI has always made cases that looked cool, at least if you were a "techie" granted they were see through....of course it makes you wonder why a see through computer case would catch on but a see through bathing suit is illegal...I think our ideals are messed up personally.

who the hell cares? (1)

Lamont (3347) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047003)

I care. That's why when I built out my PC I went to the trouble of acquiring a very cool looking black cube case instead of a regular beige box.

Now if I could just find one of those very rare Microsoft Natural Keyboards in BLACK, I'd be all set.

You want classy cases? (1)

Doug Loss (3517) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047006)

Take a look at Great Expectations [cda-ltd.com] . They make furniture-quality wooden computer cases and accessories.

Doug Loss

Or... (1)

Doug Loss (3517) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047007)

If you can't afford Great Expectations, try Wood Computer Cases [rwebsite.com] . They print high-quality photos of woodgrain on regular cabinets.

Doug Loss

size matters most (1)

W84thend (3549) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047008)

Just give me a small footprint. Maybe a Netwinder.

Where can I get an O2? (1)

gambit (3767) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047010)

You should contact SGI in your area...they'll refer you to a reseller.

Form follows function (1)

Pablonius (3962) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047011)

'Nuf said!

Agreed, for many people (1)

Paul Carver (4555) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047012)

For young kids (grade school age) the iMac is plenty powerful and I'd be willing to let them pick their favorite color without worrying if I could save a couple hundred dollars by being more miserly.

The iMac isn't up to the standards of bleeding edge types, but if I were buying a computer for a kid going off to college (maybe not a CS major)I'd certainly consider it for the ease of moving it in and out of dorms.


Agree, kinda (1)

Ben Smith (5358) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047013)

It's like cars, some people just want a good, efficient machine, some people want something that just looks good, others want a nice looking car with a big engine under the hood.

Computers will be the same way in years to come.

I have an ugly G3 minitower, but I cover the thing in punk-rock stickers, so it ends up looking good.

who the hell cares? (1)

Ben Smith (5358) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047014)

99% of why I buy a computer is because of whats under the hood. But I keep my towers on my desk, cause I like em there, and everyone likes to have nice looking furniture that is sometimes a conversation piece, and beige boxes just aren't that. Apple struck a big nerve with the iMac.

Whenever I get computers I always end up covering them with stickers (usually obscure punk-rock bands) or something like that, just to lively the thing up.

I don't know cars, so I care how a car looks. I do know computers, so I don't care how they look. I think it pretty much works like that, and as computers get more mainstream, we're gunna see alot more boxes designed to appeal to the eye.

Aesthetics (1)

eGabriel (5707) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047015)

It bothers me a bit when people overdo the aesthetic thing. There are people who will go out of their way to put their television in the part of the room where the cable doesn't reach, because it 'looks better there.' I don't get it. It still looks like a TV, and my eye is focused on the flickery, moving-picture part.

If the hardware looks nice, and isn't proprietary, I'd buy it, sure. If it has a curved, molded CD drive or some oddball motherboard size, screw it.
I don't think most of us function over fashion types necessarily WANT an ugly box; it's just that we have seen what most of these pretty boxes are like on the inside.

Just like many don't want a GUI that takes all of their RAM and CPU cycles, we don't want a conversation piece that has the cpu soldered to the board or worse.

I hate the way Intel machines look (1)

Honeylocust (6024) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047016)

I hate "fashion marketing" as much as the next person, but I have to admit that the average Intel machine is, visually, an abomination. We bought a new one recently and it's an ugly ugly ugly box which is made even more ugly by it's attempts to be less ugly. Worst of all, it's cooling fans, all six of them for what I know, make such a racket that I can hardly see myself think. The only saving grace is that you can stuff the machine under your desk and only look at it when you need to stuff floppies and CD-ROMs in.

I'd love to have something ~small~, at least as a head.

Beige is ugly? (1)

cswan (6058) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047017)

Does everyone really believe the color beige is ugly? I, for one, think it is one of the nicest colors that can be applied to computing in general. I mean, what piece of computing hardware _hasn't_ come out in a beige color?

I buy an iMac, but I want to use my old printer [oops...well, have to buy a network box for the printer to use with an iMac.] My old Apple printer, of course, is beige...my iMac is not--Aigh!! Throw that damned laser printer out! It's ugly!

Being the neutral color that is it, what is the problem? It doesn't clash with anything, so why do people think it stands out?

I'd wager that 90% of the fridges/freezers out there are beige or white--so, what's the deal? People generally don't think too hard about the guts of one of these appliances...but in general they come in one basic color. I also question the notion that computers are becoming a commodity. In a sense, they are, but the internals of a computer ARE what define the subjective experience of it. It's great that I can show it to my friends and say "Ain't that great! Blends in with the curtains", but if it is a pain in the ass to use, what good is it to me?

And, tell me the truth--who wants translucent green? I would love to see a room where translucent green 'fits', but beige does not.

Personally, I don't care what Mac does. If you get a Mac, you are certainly going to know that you are buying a proprietary box, anyway. If you bought a standard PC, you would know that you could go anywhere and order parts for it. Buying a proprietary system will guarantee that you will have to order non-standard parts for it. Instead of getting the 50cent faceplate, you will have to order, direct from Apple, the $20 'cranberry' faceplate. Want to order a DVD-RAM drive in Cranberry? Oops..sorry, can't do that.

I worked in the computer retail trenches for years, and some of Schteve's thoughts are accurate--your average MAC user is usually not going to understand what is inside the box, anyway. But a couple of years down the road, when you explain to people that they can't run X software because they didn't get enough RAM when they bought the machine, they get confused and feel like you deceived them, tricking them into buying an inferior product. Do customers ever come back in the store to say "I simply LOVE the computer you sold me. It looks splendid sitting next to the sofa!" No, they come back in irritated at you for selling them a crappy product, and think they are entitled to a refund.

Easy Open Case = Stolen Components! (1)

signal7 (6874) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047018)

``Hopefully that'll put pressure on people to make better boxes. I don't want to deal with 10 screws to put in a little piece of memory.''

Is it just me or am I the only one that thinks making it harder for your co-workers to unceremoniously 'borrow' components is a Bad Thing(tm)?

looks, feh ... what about the noise? (1)

shymko (7271) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047019)

While stylish looking machines are fine, what really boils my blood is all the damn noise these infernal machines make. I'd love to see a reliable dB rating attached to any PC marketed out there, and make noise reduction a fundamental part of the design process.

For example, I gladly forego 7200RPM drives for 5400RPM drives which are quiet (IBM Deskstar's are great). It's a speed tradeoff, but one I readily make.

I like the look of Corel's Netwinder. I like the planned specs and the functionality of the LC. But if it's got a noisy fan and disk, I'm passing, no matter how cheap they make it.

Slashdot users and lack of style. (1)

juuri (7678) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047020)

You know sometimes I wonder what the background is of the typical slashdot poster. Why? Because they seem to have no sense of real computing history... well that and a complete and total lack of understanding of the common computer user. Of *course* style is important. This is regardless of the OS or the hardware inside. If any of you had used anything besides PeeCees you would understand this. Having owned one of almost every major workstation line made (except hp boxen)... style is *very* important to me. "Oh but what about the insides you whine?" What do I care? Each of these boxes have had unix and scsi under the hood. As a serious computer user (which many slashdot users claim to be but obviously aren't) workstations have met all my requirements for years and they still continue to.

So since they are all the same how do they distinguish themselves? Easily *style*. How many of you have ever spent significant time in front of a NeXT? Steve Jobs recognized way back in 91 that if you make something visually appealing as well as having great utilitarian value then you can make something that will last long past its usefulness. SGI and sun have done the same... whereas most people with PeeCees want towers they hide under the desk, workstation owners are proud about the machine they have on their desk. Serious computers users do care about style.

And the common user? Who are they? They are the 99.99999% of the population that will never read (or care to read) a site like slashdot. They are the people who just want a computer that they can send email on, view the web, make pretty graphs and do taxes. You do not need a PII 350Mhz for this. Microsoft is the reason you do. The point is just *like* a car... if it does what you need then style is damn important.

How about perspective? (1)

JB (8504) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047022)

It never ceases to amaze me how many of the people who read /. are completely unable to understand the thinking processes of the common computer user.

Of *course* people who read /. regularly care more about what's inside than outside, but the VAST majority of people are HIGHLY clueless about this sort of stuff. They get confused about ROM and RAM for Pete's sake. All they want is to be able to run MS Office and some games and some educational stuff for their kids. Does it surprise you that these people care about what color their computer is as much as what CPU it uses?

The fact that aesthetics are so important leads me to believe that bringing Linux and other Open Source software to the masses will require bringing it to the clueless, and not the other way around (as many people would like to think).

JB

screw the appearance, unless... (1)

tkprit (8581) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047023)

unless you're talking about size: I'd rather have those teeny VTS 6Gig firewire drives (the ones due in June, not March -- thick credit card-looking things) than a 3.5" SCSI drive of the same capacity.

I'm not sure that's "style", however: if they were black with purple polka-dots instead of that blood red color, I wouldn't care. I'd take Ugly and Functional over Cute anyday.

And anyway, the non-Mac crowd desiring aesthetics as well as function has always had those monitor-cover things, spray paint, and mousepads, right? What more could they want?

Hardware as part of the decor? (1)

tkprit (8581) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047024)

>>ways to hide all the cables

oh that reminds me: if style is so important (over function) why aren't more people using those AC adapter "networks" (by intelogis or something like that) vs ethernet? Sure I hate mega cables too (cause I haven't drilled all the holes and I trip over them), but speed is just a WEE BIT more important than appearance.

Form versus function, ad nauseum... (1)

Khyron (8855) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047025)

From the various articles I've read over the past few days regarding the new iMac flavors [apple.com] and their impact on the personal computer market as a whole, I've gleaned one sensible comment - that the personal computer has reached a level, as a commodity, at which it can be considered a standard home appliance.

As such, certainly visual appeal and functional design are sure to become more influential factors in choosing a PC than they have ever been before. But my question is, why only now, and in particular, why has the iMac triggered this media blitz (which is sure in turn to trigger new product lines from everyone under the sun, who will say they all had it under development anyway)?

PC users have cried out against their cases for years. If those of us who build our own machines weren't screaming about the ugliness of beige, surely we were complaining to each other about the difficulty we had with working (physically) in our machines, the odd tools often required, and even the injuries we had sustained (no one who's done any sort of PC maintenace extensively has escaped some level of personal injury, ranging from scrapes and bruises to the deaded "slot bite" which results from inadvertenly inserting a finger through a case expansion slot and attempting to retreive it).

In fact, years ago PC makers took a great deal of effort to make it damn near impossible to work on your machine. And Apple lead the pack. In high school, I once had to repair a Mac in newspaper class because the school system lacked the funding to call a certified technician. Not only was it put together with torx screws, but they were so deeply seated as to require an obscure driver (luckily the same sort of driver is sold at auto stores for replacing headlamps in automobiles). IBM also contributed to the nonsense by putting together all of their earlier home systems (especially all the microchannel ones) with screws capped by a trademarked nonstandard head design, much like the gamebit screws which close Nintendo systems and cartridges.

While I'm happy that in the past several years, "screwless" PC cases such as those made by Enlight have seemed to dominate the market, and proprietary systems like Dell [dell.com] 's now come standard with easy open cases which facilitate adding peripheral cards and internal devices, I do not share the media's apparent bliss over the iMac inspired "form over function" design revolution at all, because aside from it's transparent plastic gumball appeal, the iMac case represents a step backward in usability.

Now granted, that's part of the iMac's purpose, and the Macintosh mentality in general - make it pretty, make it easy, make it simple, I don't want to know how to work inside it or configure it myself (right down to the single button mouse). But is this sort of design implementation really what PC consumers want?

Take the bloated looking latest generation proprietary machines you see at Comp USA and Circuit City these days. You know, the latest line from Compaq, Gateway, et al. Large, heavy cases covered in pretty plastic shells which bend and buckle when you try to pick the machine up and move it, feeling more like packaging material than sturdy construction. And look at the way the plastic elements of these cases "snap" together, rnedering them useless if a single plastic bar should bend, warp or break off (versus a screw hole which you could at least attempt to re-tread).

Perhaps, this overhyped new design evolution will include remedies to such existant PC problems as well as relief from the ever boring beige regime we have all become far too sickened of, but I am skeptical that this will happen. Personally, I'll stay where I am for now, with my screwless Enlight tower, spray painted black by hand.

SAVE THE BATS,

-Khyron

it's about time.. (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047030)

Computer aestethics have been lacking for years. Boxy beige clunkers are okay for work, but when I'm at home I'd prefer something a bit more elegant. Give me some nice curves, better colors, and something that shows off my tastes a little.

I want something that looks as destinctive on the outside as my window managers and color schemes look on the inside.

Besides, computers are a lot like cars. Nobody wants to spend a lot of money on one and not have it look good, or at least look different than everything else on the road. Why do you think the new VW Bug is selling like crazy? It's because it doesn't look exactly like every other car out there.

incorrect (1)

tuffy (10202) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047031)

The first Apple ][ was delivered in April of 1977.

The first production PET was shown in June and the first TRS-80s were delivered in August. Both come after the launch of the Apple ][.

Thus, Apple ][ is the first.

Source: http://web.islandnet.com/~kpols son/comphist/comp1977.htm [islandnet.com]

Make it work, and hide it.. better than IMAC (1)

cholko (10212) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047032)

Sorry, but I don't want a cutesy-wutesy computer. Putting the thing out of sight would be a better solution. Sort of like the Aptiva my parents bought. Its one of those stealth jobbies, only the monitor and cdrom/floppy are evident. The tower is hidden from view (though it needs a longer cable)

Honestly, if they would improve the design so that it hides most of the computer I think more people would be happy. Basically all you need is your monitor, keyboard, and mouse around the bulk of the time. Maybe a little box with the removable drives available...

Instead we will probably get stuck with Chia-Computers...

.

Another take... what I want in a new PC (1)

cholko (10212) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047033)

Well, it could happen in a couple of years... some PCs do most of what I want anyway.

First off, a PTG flat screen (plastic-that-glows or similar technology - no CRT). Some flat panel speakers (once the quality of sound gets even better). Having a non-attached keyboard and pointing device for jobs requiring them. Otherwise voice control the damn-thing from across the room.

Removable storage? Case? The case should either be in the audio rack with the rest of my electronics, or buried behind/under the desk. Access to removable storage could be in the case if it were in a audio rack environment (IOW - a properly designed machine hooked up to a network (or internet) really has little need for constant access to removable storage. Add a CD jukebox and your all set.

Eventually to make cases much more customizable we have to ditch PCI cards. Perhaps a bigger PCCard as used by laptops that does not require the case to be opened and use a common edge connector. (something the side of a CD case...)

Just some ding-a-ling ideas..

Cool looking boxes would be nice (1)

ACK!! (10229) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047034)

I don't think a single person here would buy a box just on looks. After all this is news for nerds not new for fashion fools. However, I will say right off the bat I am tired of those damn ugly beige boxes sitting all over my office and in my house.

Yeah, I know that I can break out the paint and get artistic on my machine but I am not a painter, or designer so what I would get is a box that looks like its had paint splatted all over it.

I know this message has gotten pretty passionate "who gives a flying **ck how it looks!" responses but come on if VA Research started making radically cool looking machines everyone would cheer.

Also, please consider the fact that most big time commercial machines have very similiar innards and comparing them is pointless. They are all the same. There are a few noticable exceptions like VA Research that makes high quality machines from the very best parts. Still, whether it is Compaq or Packard Hell it is all pretty much the same under the hood. You can buy a comparable machines and find the same sort of parts in each.

My point is that this is a way for a good company to set itself apart in a big world of HW providers and I am amazed that nobody has thought about this sooner.

Oh, great (1)

Theseus (10302) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047035)

I can see it now: I'm on the phone with the PC maker:

Me: "Can I get get it with a SCSI controller?"
Salesman: "Uh, I dunno. But you can get it in blue."

Lowest commom denominator (1)

GeekBoy (10877) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047036)

I think style is nice to have, but only REALLY
important when your talking about computer users
that are in the lowest common denominator. People
who want/need to do serious work on their computer
eg. developers care about what their computer can
do, not about how attractive it looks. (Unless
of course you horny as hell ;) ).

ps. If you want to flame me on this at least post
something intelligent.

Style matters, even to /.'ers (1)

Tool-Man (11199) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047038)

Considering the number of replies to "Ask Slashdot: keyboard spraypainting tips wanted" [slashdot.org] , I'd say that even /.'ers care about aesthetics in their computers.

Another example, the 20th Aniversary Macintosh. Everything about the TAM, the style, the Bose sound system, the "concierge service", and the $7500 price tag were targetted at wealthy computer users with a sense of style. However, it wasn't until the price slipped down to around $3,000 that demand became so high you couldn't get your hands on one. By this time, the G3s were already available while the TAM was still running a PPC 603e.

The question isn't if people care about how their computers look. The question is, how much are they willing to pay? My roommate purchased a TAM then, and made a conscious decision to pay for style over performance.

Beige? (1)

HappyHead (11389) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047039)

Gee, my computers are almost never beige... Usually they wind up a kinda dull silvery-grey, with wires and parts hanging out the sides/sitting on boxes beside it, because they didn't all fit into the frame...
What I look for in a computer case is lots of room, and edges that won't slice my fingers open when I try to pick the thing up. (Not that I've bought a whole computer all from the same place in the last 6 years or anything, but I'm quite fussy about what cases I buy. :)

Funktionality (1)

clifyt (11768) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047040)

Are you geeks really that stoopid??? The average user wants to get on the internet, play some multimedia (quicktime, mp3, the enhanced CD with video that came with the the new Backstreet Boys cd my sister just bought...) and write a few letters. The iMac is not for you people, stop complaining. I'd really like to have one at home just to hook up to my stereo as an mp3 station. Right now, I have to deal with the old performa g3 I have (it works with my universial remote).

At my work place, I have several 300 mhz machines as well as a few 400s I use as various servers (I use NT as this is what my unmovable boss has specified so I need multiple machines as I can only run a few services on each before they start to crash). When I go home, I can function easily on my on 486 using win95 cause all I do is hook up to the net or type code that I ftp and compile on my fast machine (ie. terminal server) or grab my powerbook g3 and take it to a coffee shop and get some technical writtings done as well as play a few games or play some mp3 demos I keep loaded so I show the girlies.

Most people do not need top of the line computers except to play video games. I like video games, but I'm not going to waste extra money just to playgames. Thats what my sis's N64 for is for (ok I'm gonna buy the virtual gamestation for my laptop...first purchase in years). At home I want something to get the job done right and doesn't look too geeky. Now that I'm thinking about it, a lime iMac would look great on my grand piano in my studio...hmmm anyone release usb midi interfaces yet???

clif

There are other colours besides beige? (1)

StimpyBoy (11864) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047041)

iMacs do have several nice points. The doors are a nice touch, and I sure wish I had a handle on this heavy beast of a PC I have sitting on this desk.

On the other hand, a computer is a productivity tool, so I don't think creativity is as important as performance. It's a great bonus (In particular, getting your computer tower custom painted looks amazing, woos chicks and gets you big pay raises) but I wouldn't sacrifice much for it.

So, in summary, case painting, handles and doors would be excellent but integrating the monitor into the case or compromising the available number of drive bays are big turnoffs IMHO.

Hardware as part of the decor? (1)

Bigman (12384) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047046)

I just ran Cat.5 under the floorboards when I re-
wired the house. Neat little wallports on the
wall look just like phone jacks - very neat, and
don't aggrevate the YL.

You should see my macheeeen..... (1)

Maniacal (12626) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047047)

...Twice pipes...chop chort...candy apple red. For Christmas I got a pair of mudflaps each with a chrome silhouette of a naked chick on it. Gonna be sweeeee.

I think a full tower IS good looking (1)

jimduchek (13246) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047048)

I have a full tower sitting on my desk at school. The cover is off. It's solid steel, some ungodly number of drive bays, cords and cables hanging out all over.

I think its a work of art. iMacs look cheesy, in my mind..

less noise more important! (1)

anTiX (13814) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047062)

I don't care much how the computer looks. What I would be willing to pay a little extra for is reduced noise levels on harddisks, fans and the like. This would probably reduce a lot of stress of working with computers both home and at work.

I'm waiting for the hardware industry to take ergonomics issues seriously and develop hardware that actually improves how we are working with computers.

As long as they hold a large ammount of stoof! (1)

kitsch (13820) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047063)

I wouldn't think twice about paying extra cash for a purdy case. It would have to be better than the one I have though It has a lot of space inside though and doesn't have screws anywhere, except for the brackets which hold the drives in -which pop in and out of the case nice and easy like. All the designer cases I see either have little space or cramp your components in strange hard to reach places It would be great to find a designer case that had a bit of inteligence/flexability behind it.

iMacs (1)

Wile E. Coyote (13829) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047064)

Personally I'd take my Pentium II 350MHz in the beige box over the iMac anyday...It's not a decoration it's a COMPUTER. The only thing that matters to me is how well it runs...Give me an ugly box with a lot of speed and expandibilty over a tic-tac that isn't upgradeable anyday.

Purty colors! (1)

seron (108111) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047069)

Hell, I'd rather have a 1 Ghz box that looked like shit, and even smelled like shit. As opposed to one that looks like a flower garden and smells like roses, but only happens to be a 200 Mhz. Gimme power baby!

Seron,

Proprietary (1)

br (126933) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047070)

The only problem with 'nice looking' equipment, is the design begins to cause the hardware inside to become propirectary just for that model of computer. So, you can't just go to your local friendly hadware store and buy a different mother board, or a new floppy drive. You have to buy the hardware specific for that model computer, and that is always pricey since the manufacturer knows you have to buy their stuff.

Americanism (1)

foo (143650) | more than 15 years ago | (#2047071)

Back in good old 1986, there were already red and yellow boxes in Japan. The keys on Japanese keyboards had always been rainbow-coloured.

Good old American-centric ignorance...
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