[rescue] PowerMac recommendations?

Joshua Boyd jdboyd at jdboyd.net
Tue Apr 20 12:40:42 CDT 2004

On Tue, Apr 20, 2004 at 01:33:50PM -0400, Tim H. wrote:

> I don't have the space for lots of machines, and I was thinking that using a
> Mac would greatly increase the Just Works percentage.  Since all the Macs are
> now dual display out of the box I was planning on a single flat panel at the
> operator location, and the projector on the other output.  

Well, I'm told off list by somewhat respectable people that Mac OS X no
longer has the problems handling multiple simultaneous media streams
that one may have feared being a problem.

I do strongly recommend finding a way to try your setup out before
actually sinking the money into it.  In particular, you mention a dual
1.4ghz G4 and a G5, and I've heard a lot of reports of those two
machines being quite noisy, but they may not actually be so bad in your
sanctuary and with your processing load (keep in mind that a G5 varies
it's fan speeds as the heat output, i.e. load, vary).

Are you sure your G4 800 can't do the task?
> As far as why, the video will initially be archived on CD or DVD, providing
> the capability of copy on demand, eventually I would like to move to a web
> accessable archive.

Have you looked at stand alone DVD recorders?  You mention $500 for
getting video into the computer, but there are now stand alone DVD
recorders that cost less than $500.
If it were me, getting the video capture out of the computer while
trying to do the other things would make me far happier, even if
reliable people say it can be done.  But then, for somewhat important
things (say things that would be painfull or embarassing if they fail),
I tend to be a one task, one device kinda guy. 

> Other people have recomended a DV camera, I already have a Sony PTZ camera
> mounted in the church.  That was something else I need to do, control the
> camera, but that is what appears to be a fairly simple serial
> interface, and I don't think that will add much load to the system.

There used to be a lot of decent cheap Svideo in cards for Macs.
However, none of the ones I had any familiarity with at all were
supported on OS X.  I know that there are still cards that support
s-video in on the Mac under OS X.  I just don't know what is cheap and
what is good.  The reviews I've seen of sub $500 s-video -> DV
converters have tended to be fairly good.
> Budget is an issue, especially when I can do it with a couple PCs for
> probably a smaller total cost than a single Mac, but the Mac is
> Better(tm) and I have to fit in around an 8 channel light board, a 16
> channel audio board, all the accompanying EQ, Compressor/Limiter, 2 CD
> players, A couple Cassette decks, a VCR, and another body to help
> twiddle knobs, all without being an eyesore or displacing more than 7
> people worth of floor space in the back of the sanctuary.  I
> considered using an Xserve, putting it away in the amp closet, but
> that did break the budget, even though it had lots of cool factor.   

Would it be possible to use a console extender and put something
non-rack mounted in the amp closet?

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