Saturday, March 11, 2017

Of Macs and amps...

I said I wouldn't do it - actually pay for a heatsink for my 70-watt amp kit. Any old hunk of metal would suffice to dissipate the heat and surely I'd find a suitable scrap laying around that could be put into service. Well, my garage is neater than I'd imagined - so I bought an Official Heatsink which is now enroute to me.

Once it arrives, I'll drill and tap it, finish the amp and post the results here.

I'm debating how much detail to post regarding the build. There is no documentation whatsoever and there are a few gotchas to putting this thing together. On one hand, I want to help others who want to build this kit (8 of you have emailed me); on the other hand, it's not my job to assist the seller of this amp by doing for free what they ought to be doing themselves. It's a matter of principle...

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A few years ago I had the opportunity to work with a pro photographer - a real one, not a "I'm a photographer with an expensive Nikon, can I photograph your wedding for X dollars?" wannabes that are a dime a dozen. The workflow, from studio lighting to computer processing, was a laborious pressure-cooker for him but a playground for me. He relied on excellent results for his income while I simply wanted to learn.

One thing I learned was that most people in his line of work use Mac computers. So do a lot of others who need to be seen as professionals on the cutting edge.

Last month, I spent many overtime hours working with a couple of engineers on a project to update a Doppler radar system. They used Mac computers to do what I do with a PC - namely, to look at various parameters of the radar using the computer's terminal program. A conversation ensued on the merits of Mac vs. PC and, with the OT providing justification, I bought a used Macbook Pro on eBay.

It arrived in even better than excellent condition, scrubbed of the previous owner's doings and with a fresh install of Sierra. A $300 bargain.

I've always wondered about the PC vs Mac debate and will now be able to see for myself if Macs are really "all that".
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