revisiting risc

Discussion in 'Community' started by jefhatfield, Jun 21, 2002.

  1. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i am a computer repairman and i am in a cisco router class that i attend in the nighttime and we recently went into some detail about cisc vs risc processing

    while the more common cisc processors rule the market, high end routers and mainframes often use risc processors made by ibm and motorola

    the $1800 dollar router i use is incredibly powerful and all it utilizes is a motorola 030 processor!

    it really is true that macs could get by on way less in terms of clock speed of the processor and compete against 2 ghz pentium 4s

    while many of us keep looking at the next mac, many don't realize how powerful our current machine from last year, or before, really are for our current needs we put on the machine

    i still like my three year old ibook and now that i have an appreciation of the risc based g3 and g4s, i am considering keeping this as my main machine thru even a 4th year

    now if i had a pc, a four year old machine would be a pentium processor and that thing would be useless...but a four year old mac, like the original imac, is still a great machine with its dialup modem and usb ports
  2. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Re: revisiting risc

    I completely realise how powerful my TiBook is, and it still amazes me how thin it is as well....... but ultimately I still have to render stuff... and when projects take hours/days to render you begin to think how much more processing power you could actually do with....... time spent rendering is pretty much a loss maker..... so the quicker you can render the more freetime you'll get to take on other projects....... but that's why in Jan 03, I'll be buying a new TiBook and whatever PowerMac is out at that time as I'm needing more and more processing power than I currently have access to because of the complexities of the projects I'm currently involved with........

    Until the days when computers work in real-time they will be IMHO not fast enough for what I need them for........ :( :)
  3. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    Re: Re: revisiting risc

    it sounds like you have your own graphics firm/business

    but if you have the funds, maybe you can figure out a way to get that power from the new servers that apple has

    of course, in my computer repair business, we also do some individual graphics jobs for people using the ibook and it's ok and when we need major computing horsepower, like printing 500 ultra high res color laser prints in 45 minutes, we go to kinko's and use their $150,000 dollar xerox fiery super printer

    where my wife works, a fortune 500 company, they get around the render/graphics cost issues by renting super high end gear from a computer outfit called rent-a-computer and get hundreds of g4s loaded with ram and all the programs needed and if anything feels not up to par speed wise, they swap out for the latest mac and sign a new rental agreement

    this way, there is no loss of funds in buying machines which they need to replace every 12 to 18 months

    i worked at a major silicon valley company and they stupidly bought a shipload full of pentium 1s when they first came out and for a few months, they were the most technologically outfitted company in the valley...

    guess what? they are still paying for those pentium 1s and cannot replace those machines until they are paid for in full so for the last couple of years, they have been losing valueable time using slow machines they were committed to

    so if possible, from what i hear you saying and being in business myself, think about leasing and saving yourself a lot of money and making a better net profit in the end

    i mean, it would be nice for our business to have a 150k xerox printer in our house, but it's much cheaper for us to rent this machine's time, which kinko rents every year for the latest model...than to purchase it

    for our small business, we simply buy our stuff because we know that we will use it for 3 full years which makes it worth it in the long run...but if we needed to replace machines as often as it looks like you need to, i say save the money and lease/rent a machine

    that way, you can always have the latest and greatest at your fingertips and in the end, they end up with an obsolete machine they have to end up dealing with

    my 2 cents/pence ;-)
  4. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    Re: Re: Re: revisiting risc

    Don't own my own graphics company.... and I'm definitely nowhere near hitting Fortune 500 status just yet :( I'm actually currently a freelancer...... at the mo I only have my TiBook that I do all freelance work on... unless I get contract work in companies.... in which case I have access to their hardware as well......

    When I left my last consultancy I decided to go freelance... that's when buying the machine came up..... and decided that a laptop was the way to go........ at the time I wasn't aware how much work I'd get........ as it turns out freelance work has been pretty good....... alot of the my first projects were CD roms, and websites..... now I've shifted more into DV cutting and Post production and compositing work with a real interest in moving into HDTV in the next 12 months..... because alot of this work requires as much power as possible I'm looking into new machines....... I want to keep a laptop as it means I can still go and work with a client and not worry about transporting work as everything is on it...... but I'd love a high powered desktop so that I can set to render and leave it going... whilst still being able to work on the laptop.......

    I'm very concious of not taking too much work on at any one time, so 2 machines would probably be enough to double my current productivity on some projects particularly DV work...... I'd love to have an Xserve setup to help render but at this moment I'm not sure if the projects I have on the go would justify that outlay......

    I'm predicting that I'll be looking at 12-14 month cycles before updating from the time I buy my new machine in early 03' so it's not really feasible to lease for that time, although if a big project comes in, and I need access to hardware... leasing is definitely something I'll be considering as there're many places that lease hi end macs for a project duration.....

    I've done alright with my current TiBook (15ish months), although now that alot of my work is DV based, I'm beginning to notice that performance is beginning to lag alittle..... but I'm waiting for MWSF before I upgrade to new macines......

    Freelance work though is fun and very enjoyable....... although the stress levels are higher..... but that's counter-balanced by the money which is roughly 4x what I'd get in a consultancy..... so that eases the pain!!
  5. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    it looks like you have the better option with freelance going over a consultancy or temporary agency

    the thing that can eat up all your profits is the expese of buying a machine so frequently though, so that's a tough call

    if you can budget your price in one year's worth of accounts to include your yearly tibook and high end software, then you will be ok

    let's say that you want to make 24,000 pounds a year to live on

    and the tibook loaded with required software will cost you 6,000 pounds (these are rough numbers and i don't know exchange rate)

    to make up for your 500 pounds of laptop and software expense every month, then divide it up among that month's accounts assuming you have enough clients

    also write off the expense of the machine and the software and keep all receipts

    what i do for my IT business is charge $25/hr for tutoring and basic maintenance...but i only think i need $20-22/hr...but i tack on the extra few dollars to cover for gasoline for the car and eventual wear and tear on the vehicle

    now when i get a storefront or building/office for my computer repair business, i will charge $35-40 to start for basic stuff to cover my rent expenses for the building/store

    for every employee, i tack on an extra ten dollars and hour up to making $80-90 and hour max. to cover their pay and insurance

    ...and there you have it

    that's why a proper computer repair business or graphics business charge so much per hour for their services

    as little as i charge for tutoring and basic hardware maintenance, there is always a college student willing to work for ten dollars an hour or even free to get hands on computer experience before they finish their degree there is always someone cheaper than me per hour

    everything comes down to supply and demand and that drives current hourly rates

    don't be afraid to "factor in" your laptop costs into your freelance fees for your services

    ...don't pay for the laptops out of your own pocket (you should only have to do that initially for your first machine)...let the customers do it (thru proper fee per hour) so you can make money and grow consistently

    and in the end, you can meet your target of 24,000 pounds a year

    i hope this helps...i have been doing this fee adjustment thing since the 1980s and when i first started, i was too generous in what i charged per hour

    one won't get rich freelancing, but one does not have to go broke either

    but if financial freedom is your goal thru being a graphics professional, then do two simple things

    1) hire employees and get at least an office
    2) work very hard and be generous to your employees as to keep them around working for you which they will be happy to do

    ...most people do not want to work the hours it takes to reach financial freedom

    you can hope to work for someone else and become ceo in that one percent chance that you may reach that point

    or you can hope to make it in network marketing or e-commerce and hope to be that one percent

    but to play the safe odds, get that business with empolyees and work very hard and you will be fifty-fifty in your chances of hitting it big and those odds are a lot better than one in a hundred

    i hope this helps:D
  6. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    The one thing that I really love about freelancing is the experience and knowledge you gain through 1 to 1 exposure with clients...... I love this.... I'm pretty lucky that the clients I've worked for have either been completely naive about design and as such are not really aware of the possibilities of creativity and technolgy so they are like sponges... they absorb everything and are very much up for trying out different solutions...... as long as you can explain exactly what you'd like to do and why...... the other type of clients are ones with a very defined role..... and know exactly what they'd like because they're aware of the possibilities etc..... this I find challenging because generally they have a completely different idea about where a project should go as to how I envisage the process.

    With regards to money... I consider myself extremely lucky...... the profits I make a year are quite large (for an indiviual) so paying for a machine say every 15 months isn't too bad..... my TiBook cost me £3200 when I bought it at the start of last year....... and I think that when it comes to selling it, I'll probably get back around £1k on the used market........ but because of TAX deductions I can now make... I'll instantly get back 17.5% of the full retail price if I was to buy now..... which is quite substantial when you're looking at £3k for a mac.......

    That £2.2k I have experienced in depreciation over 15 months basically amounts to just over a weeks gross income. From the leased prices that I have knowledge of in London......(taking into account that I'm a minority leaser i.e. 1 or 2 machines so the lease price is higher than if I was leasing in bulk) it's a very close call between the two...... but had I leased at the same time of buying my TiBook I'd only have gotten a Pismo..... (because of the delay in shipping the Ti) which was the machine I had before.. so there are many factors that are needed to be taken into consideration, at the moment I think I have the nod though.

    When it comes to financing a new machine... (or machines in 03') I do exactly what you do....... increase my rates...... but quite slightly so that over the duration of a couple of projects I've experienced quite a large income boost.... that can offset the cost of buying new machines and software.

    I don't really have desires to become my own boss of a design company..... I'd much prefer working in a collective, where all members of the collective take home equal pay... and have equal say in how the collective is run... there're many examples of this type of business model within design comapnies in London that are hugely successful..... and this type of solution I believe works very well in a creative industry/company, but probably less so in other types of industries though.

    As for becoming rich......... I have my eyes on finding an exceedingly wealthy Mrs iGav..... :p
  7. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    wow, you are really established and that is a good thing

    with that type of work and income, i could see why buying a tibook once a year is no hassle

    i used to live in the computer graphics capital of the world...northern california

    but i read that the torch has been passed to london and george lucas has a lot of people there

    computer graphics was invented in this ghetto neighborhood in san francisco called the SOMA district (south of market district) known for its homeless population and prostitutes

    the rent was low and it was perfect for artists

    by the year 2000, the SOMA didn't have the artists but 200 companies

    now the SOMA has a bunch of vacant office buildings and waiting for something new
  8. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    I was checking out the job situation when I was in San-Francisco a couple of years ago and the job market was fantastic.... I regret not maybe applying for work there....... :( Northern California is great...... it's kind of reminds me of England with coast and countryside...... definitely some thing I could live with..... hey I know the SOMA district to....... I did make the effort to check out designers whilst I was there... because of the differences in design between the US and the UK....... shames it's all gone bust in that area....... maybe the artists will move back in now........

    I love London though....... certainly it's very popular with design and post companies... we have the Mill (Ridley Scotts Post house) , Framestore, Moving Picture company etc all are hi-profile post houses....... but I guess it's always been like that in London.... always had a very strong design industry.......... which is why I'd find it very difficult to leave........

    With regards to been established.... I'm no where near as established as what I could be........ the limiting factor is that I am a freelancer so I can only take on projects upto a certain size... otherwise I'd have to consider taking someone on... and like I said in a previous post.... I don't think I'm ready or indeed would want that at the moment........

    The income can sound impressive....... but as you know..... by the time everything adds up, such as hardware, travel, software, insurance etc...... it really does look alot less impressive......

    But I really don't do it for the money....... I consider myself incredibly lucky that I totally love what I do...... I live, eat, breathe and sleep design..... so as long as I feel that way... the rest of it is just a bonus....... :)
  9. Beej macrumors 68020


    Jan 6, 2002
    Buffy's bedroom
    This post is pointless, but I thought it would be nice to see a one or two-line post in amongst all these really long posts. Sorry, I'll leave now! :D

    Kidding :)

    I have to agree about old Macs. I shudder at the thought of having to use a 4-year-old peecee, but a four-year-old Mac? Sweet.
  10. irmongoose macrumors 68030


    Dec 3, 2001
    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    Hehe.. I was gonna say the same thing! You can practically write a short book now about risc processors.. hehehehehe...

  11. coolocity macrumors regular

    Jun 24, 2002
    Central New York
    It's so true. I hate being bashed for having an 800mhz iMac. 'Ooh, but my PC is 1.8 ghz.' I'm just trying to accept the fact that some people will never get it.

    - John
  12. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i use a three year old ibook and a three year old pc laptop

    one is still fast and workable...the other i have to work won't take windows 2000 all the way with all features and it certainly won't work 100 percent with windows xp...for that matter, the pc laptop does not work 100 percent with windows 98, either

    in another year, i can still see myself doing stuff with the ibook, but the pc laptop will have seen its day

    if i get a new ibook today, i could use it for four years since i am not a high end designer or audio buff and that is the beauty of any mac...its longevity
  13. krossfyter macrumors 601


    Jan 13, 2002
    secret city
  14. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    let them bash know that you can do computing with an amazing uptime while the pc users, slow and fast, will just be troubleshooting a lot of the time

    let them use your machine and they will see and if they don't want to use it, it's their loss

    mac, linux, and beos have their fans but the majority of the pc users will never venture over because they feel safe with the platform they know...especially the ones that have learned all the good troubleshooting techniques...they don't realize they are working for the computer and not the other way around

    when i boot up my mac, it's fresh and ready to do my work and when i am ready to leave, i just go without having to put it on "maintenance wizard" and "virus scan"

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