Apple, Tech, and Gaming

lives in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, with his wife, Amie, and two children, Matthew and Courtney. He bought his first Mac, a 600 MHz "Summer 2001" G3 iMac - just four months before Apple introduced the iMac G4. He says:

"This was the first Mac I purchased on my own, and the only one I ever purchased new at full retail price before becoming a dedicated low-end Mac buyer through eBay auctions and local sellers. I paid $1,299 for my iMac G3 just 4 months before the $300 price-drop on this model - and the surprising release of the iMac G4 flat panel (grrrr . . . bad luck)."

Although a bit disappointed at first, Dan's old-fashioned CRT iMac G3 has proven to be a wise investment with no hardware failures in a decade of operation. It served him well as his workhorse for seven years (through college and beyond) and has been outfitted with several peripherals and upgrades over the years. It is currently running Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger as a back-up machine, and finally took a back seat in 2008 to a 1.42 GHz eMac G4 purchased for just a fraction of the original price tag of the iMac G3, while providing several times the performance.

Dan's main production machines include the above-mentioned eMac and an off-lease 12" 1.5 GHz PowerBook G4 acquired in January 2011. Both are running Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard. The eMac has been maxed out with 2 GB of dual channel DDR PC-3200 RAM, significantly boosting Leopard performance, and is connected to a 22" AOC 1080p HD monitor via mini-VGA-to-VGA connection. It is also running in extended desktop mode courtesy of Screen Spanning Doctor. The PowerBook gets along just fine with the 768 MB of RAM it was configured with, although maxing out at 1.25 GB would be ideal.

On acquiring his first 12" PowerBook G4, Dan says:

"In April 2009, about a year after purchasing the eMac, I had purchased an off-lease mint-condition Hi-Res 15" 1.67 GHz PowerBook G4, and then sold it in December 2010 for roughly what I paid for it initially in 2009! The sale was prompted out of desire for a Sony Playstation 3 60 GB backward compatible launch console. I had also been eying a 12" PowerBook. Due to the amazing resale value of the Hi-Res PowerBook G4, I was able to nearly have both items without adding any additional cash and have not regretted it since!"

On slightly downgrading to a smaller 1.5 GHz machine from a faster 1.67 GHz machine with more (faster) memory, a much larger high-resolution screen and twice the VRAM:

"Needless to say, 'slightly downgrading' (while gaining amazing portability with a 12" unit) was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Although I really enjoyed the additional features of the 15" Hi-Res (especially the stunning 1440 x 960 screen), the 12" 'Book runs much cooler, and the portability has proven to be a worthwhile tradeoff for the extra power (in addition to gaining a PS3 in the process). I can't see myself moving to an Intel Mac in the near future, but at some point I plan on upgrading to either a 17" Early 2008 MacBook Pro with a 1920 x 1200 matte display or a 17" Early 2011 MacBook Pro, which can still run Snow Leopard and is also equipped with Thunderbolt."

Dan's other Macs include a 400 MHz Pismo PowerBook, which he currently uses as a wireless file and print server, along with a few project machines.

Dan enjoys creative, instructional, and informative writing. He is working on a series of fantasy novels as a side project, plays various recreational sports (golf, skiing, bowling, etc.), and has been an avid gamer since the days of the Atari 2600, owning countless games and a wide variety of handheld and home game consoles since.

He was an 8-year member of Sony's (former) Gamer Advisory Panel, providing insight and advice to developers and enthusiasts alike. He is also a member of the Vintage Mac Consultants Association, an alumni member of Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity, and a 2003 graduate of The Ohio State University, possessing a Bachelor of Science in Consumer Affairs with a Minor in Economics.

He says, "Most notably, I am a Mac Fanatic!"

Why a Mac? "I love everything Apple and Macintosh related, and Macs allow you to you feel more connected to your machine and workflow due to the 'personality and attitude' given to them through unique design and an attractive interface. I began using Apple computers in the mid-80s with an Apple IIc+."

"My late father (and Accredited Public Relations entrepreneur) George Bashur, was in journalism, graphic design, and the PR business throughout his entire professional career, and he always used a Mac, since they were tools of his trade. I had the privilege of using his numerous machines growing up (beginning with an LC and a Performa 476, followed by a Power Mac 6100/66 DOS Compatible, a Beige G3 266, and several others). Needless to say, Dad's collection of Macs and peripherals gave me much of the inspiration I have today for the Mac. As I began to learn more and more about the hardware, upgrades, Mac OS, and the applications Dad used, it gave me an incredible thirst for knowledge that I could only quench through an incredible amount of research and hands-on learning."

Besides my passion for Macs, gaming, and writing, I also appreciate repurposing older technology that was once too costly for the average user but has become accessible due to its age. My Sony LocationFree base stations are a testament to that. I own two of them, with a total of five devices connected. Although they once would have cost over $500 combined, I purchased the units for less than $50 each shipped to my door - a savings of more than 80%! Why replace something if it works just fine and still has a purpose or can be reused for a different purpose? Those LocationFree base stations can still utilize analog connections to send an acceptable picture over the Internet to my PowerBook or PSP. It's certainly come in handy at places with WiFi to help entertain our children by bringing up my connected devices (including my digital cable DVR),"

Maybe you own an older Mac that's just sitting around that you were thinking about letting go of and buying a brand new model. Think about what its capable of without any upgrades, and then think about what some used software that is now a fraction of its original cost, coupled with potential upgrades, adapters, or additional peripherals, could unleash. If it's cost effective and can still meet your needs. go for it! Low-end Macs and low-end accessories cost much less than new, and you can still be just as productive, while investing that money into other passions. For me, that other passion happens to be gaming, and by being a low-end Mac user, I am able to have the best of both worlds!"

Dan Bashur has been writing for Low End Mac since July 2009 and also has content published on projectgamers.com, a website dedicated to the use of Sony's PSP. Updates to this site will be on the way soon, and new Project Gamers articles will be posted within Apple, Tech, and Gaming under Sony Handheld News going forward. The upcoming release of the PlayStation Vita will surely reinvigorate Sony's handheld gaming business and will give us plenty to talk about for years to come!

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