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Observatory Computer system?

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#1 Wmacky

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 03:47 PM

Posted a similar request in the Computer forum a while back with limited responses. I'll try again here.

Anyway. moving in day is here, but I find myself still without a computer system for the warm room. A recent failure and replacement of the the main home computer, as well as last minute finishing costs have left the funds for the OB computer rather thin. I'll have plenty of processing computer power at the current home computer for Image rendering, so that won't be needed as much in the OB, but I'd rather not get a complete dog either. It would be nicer to do some processing out there, but this is not a firm requirement.

That said, I'm looking for:

Inexpensive as possible.
2 monitor outs (HDMI for one, but DVI may be ok?)
lots of USB outs.
WIFI or provisions or a add in wifi card, and perhaps external antenna connections?
Decent specs. but will take what I can get.

The big question is the Operating system. I seemed to have missed the boat on getting a good deal on a decent performance Win 7 unit. I hate Win 8 on the new computer BTW but it is what it is.

Are we getting any closer to all the OB type software working with Win 8? To start off I'll need to run:

A Toucam driver
Various webcam capture software
Backyard EOS
Orion version of PHD guider.
Celestron remote software for the CGE.
Stellarium

And later perhaps some lesser expensive OB packages with remote focusing and other nifty features?

Looking for input of the WIN 8 option, as well as any leads on a good machine for my needs?

#2 rimcrazy

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:16 PM

Build your own and install win7. You can still buy win7. Go to newegg.com and get all the parts you need. look for a low cost i3 or i5 system. Should be all you need.

#3 Wmacky

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:21 PM

I don't know. I've built computers in the past, and it always seems to come in at around a grand. Even when putting together a semi budget system. I'm looking for sub $400 which seems doable with a win 8 system.

#4 Mary B

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 05:43 PM

http://www.newegg.co...N82E16883258002

#5 piaras

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:41 PM

Posted a similar request in the Computer forum a while back with limited responses. I'll try again here.

Anyway. moving in day is here, but I find myself still without a computer system for the warm room. A recent failure and replacement of the the main home computer, as well as last minute finishing costs have left the funds for the OB computer rather thin. I'll have plenty of processing computer power at the current home computer for Image rendering, so that won't be needed as much in the OB, but I'd rather not get a complete dog either. It would be nicer to do some processing out there, but this is not a firm requirement.

That said, I'm looking for:

Inexpensive as possible.
2 monitor outs (HDMI for one, but DVI may be ok?)
lots of USB outs.
WIFI or provisions or a add in wifi card, and perhaps external antenna connections?
Decent specs. but will take what I can get.

The big question is the Operating system. I seemed to have missed the boat on getting a good deal on a decent performance Win 7 unit. I hate Win 8 on the new computer BTW but it is what it is.

Are we getting any closer to all the OB type software working with Win 8? To start off I'll need to run:

A Toucam driver
Various webcam capture software
Backyard EOS
Orion version of PHD guider.
Celestron remote software for the CGE.
Stellarium

And later perhaps some lesser expensive OB packages with remote focusing and other nifty features?

Looking for input of the WIN 8 option, as well as any leads on a good machine for my needs?


What about a Zotac ZBOX ID82? Found listing at Tigerdirect.com.
Has HDMI and DVI
6 USB - 2 USB3, 4 USB2
I3 processor 16 g RAM supported
Wifi

I use a 5 yr old Toshiba Sat Pro that is running about the same set of programs, only a Core 2 Duo 2.2 ghz, 4 gig RAM.
Pierre

#6 rimcrazy

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:10 PM

There is nothing magic about Win8 and a $400 system. Personally I would not touch Win8 if you paid me but that's just me. While your astronomy software "should" run on Win8 there is a substantial chance it won't. Most of the software out there was developed for XP. Win7 Pro has a compatibility mode that allows you to run as Win XP SP3. I do not believe Win 8 supports that at all. If you are buying a system I'd rather be safe than sorry.

#7 rimcrazy

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 09:16 PM

I just happened to think of something. I don't know what Win8 machines you are looking at that run $400 but if they are Windows 8 RT they will not run ANY of your software. Windows 8 RT is for an ARM CPU based system and is not binary compatible with any of your windows software.

Best check to be sure.

#8 Tom and Beth

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 10:23 PM

I was going to put a Toucam (740) on my Win 7 but couldn't find a driver....

#9 Wmacky

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:14 PM

OK, Looking at Mary B's link, I have found a additional option.




Discounted to $369. It comes with decent specs, and also has the 2 monitor outputs I need. Again, no Wifi, but this one does have PCI-E slots for a possible Wifi Upgrade?
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16883103788

What say you?

I need this by next weekend, so I need to order tonight, or tomorrow morning. I think It's going to be one of these. I think that Zortach system will strain the budget to much after buying a OS.....

#10 Wmacky

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 09:25 AM

What the heck, I went ahead and bought it just now. I'm tired of looking, and it was just about what I was looking for, and at the right price. I just glad it's a Win 7 machine!






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