Something Random

sdbardwick

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We've recently started getting P. O. D. pix in our order-confirmation Emails. They were legible "stills", though.

But my wife recently got an Email from Amazon with a link to a "live" map showing the delivery van location "real-time".

That's progress!
Been doing that in my neck of the woods for a while now (1+years). But now UPS is joining the live van tracking club as well!
 

sedrosken

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The point where the springbar holds in the strap for my watch finally gave out on my WaveCeptor that I wore every day, and honestly for a 40 dollar watch that I didn't mind you'd have thought I'd have just bought another one, but no -- the Seiko 5 I have I like to keep looking nice since it's something I can wear to functions and not look like I'm still 12 years old, so that's out as an everyday watch. I kind of wanted in on the smartwatch scene, but I didn't want to pay Apple or Samsung prices and didn't really want everything the mainline watches can do.

So, I bought a Moto 100. So far it's everything I wanted in a watch -- it tells time in 24h format, can track steps and heart rate and even oxygen saturation, and it wasn't upwards of five hundred dollars. I got mine new, so I overpaid by most estimations, but I wanted absolutely no doubt in my mind about its battery, and I also immediately swapped the strap for a magnetically clasped steel band. Why companies continue to think silicone and resin is a suitable watch band material at the hundred dollar mark I'll never know.

The battery's supposed to last up to two weeks, but I don't know what kind of usage you'd have to do to hit that figure, because I've burnt 5% of the battery in just a few hours. Granted, I did spend a bit of that updating its firmware (which kept its screen on and its CPU pegged, I'm sure). I'm guessing I'll eventually settle into a comfortable battery runtime of around a week, give or take a day. And it's lighter than the watch it replaced as far as I can tell. This does not run WearOS, that's how it can achieve such a long battery life figure, but honestly for a watch I figure once it stops getting updates I'll just live with it until it can't pair up to my phone anymore.

The only thing I'm outwardly disappointed in right now is the lack of available faces, but hopefully that's something they correct -- for now I found the face I hated the least and stuck with it. I ended up pairing it to my work phone instead of my personal -- that gives the notifications I'd need at a glance anyway, with work texts and emails and such. Meanwhile my personal phone barely goes off at all by comparison.

I'm not very happy that USPS left it at my porch instead of in the parcel locker portion of our communal mailbox at my apartment complex -- I half-expected it to be gone when I got home, especially since it's got that lithium battery sticker on the side announcing for the world that the contents of the box are electronic in nature.
 

LunarMist

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USPS/UPS/FeDex, they all deliver like crap sincethe pandemic.
Somehow leaving a high value (>$5K) package in a pubicly vbsible area is fine with them if the driver takes a picture of it.
However, they did not leave my relatively cheap R7 which I WFHed for all day and I did not hear any bells or knockers.
 

sedrosken

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I just activated Office 2003 on my Pentium 4 build.

19 years after it released. By phone. The online activation no longer functions; the servers used to authenticate it are no longer online.

But they still have a phone line. Nine groups of 6 numbers read into a microphone, and another seven groups of six read back to me and keyed into a wizard later, and Office 2003 is no longer complaining about being unactivated.

What a time to be alive.
 

Handruin

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I'm impressed they still have phone operators for this kind of task versus continuing to have some web portal to deal with it.

Office 2003 though? Why do you want to use an office suite that's so old?
 

sedrosken

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It wasn't an actual operator, it was an automated system. I'm betting someone up high's forgotten they even pay for this phone number anymore, much less keep the system running on it. Although, it seems to have been updated sometime recently, because it offered to send me a link to a web portal and also send my confirmation ID through SMS.

As for why, this (socket 478 Pentium 4) build's running XP and isn't doing any serious work anyway. Even if it was, 2003 is the last version I consider to have a sane UI. Yeah, I could use some newer version of LibreOffice on it, but while I know for a fact Office 03 and the 2007 compatibility pack will install and run properly on XP out of the box, I don't know what the last version of LibreOffice is for XP and frankly, I don't want to bother with it.

Yes, I am actually signed into an email account in Outlook 2003, just to give you a heart attack. :p It's signed into an IMAP redirector I'm running for a copy of ProtonMail Bridge on my NAS. Since all the client-side communication is local, as long as the client can render HTML messages (and I've had luck going as far back as Outlook Express 5.5 on that front) it really doesn't matter what you use -- if someone's far enough into my LAN that they can see my decrypted email traffic, I've got bigger issues than that.

My PIII build's running Office 2000 on Windows 98SE, and my 486 is running Office 97 on Windows 95B. I tried going back to 95, but pre-97 versions of Word use a different version of .doc and I can't load anything made in 97 or later in it, so it's a pain to actually use.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I happen to know that there ARE older products Microsoft absolutely refuses to reactivate. Neither Small Business Server 2003 nor 2008 work any more. I was even trying to re-activate SBS2003 on its original hardware.
 

sedrosken

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I wonder if pre-activated copies of Office XP/2003 were/are floating around like they did for Windows XP? I haven't had to mess with activating Windows XP a day in my life -- the burnt CD Dad was given years and years ago (and that I've taken an ISO image of and slipstreamed updates into) when he bought his P4 from a local builder at the time must have been a VL copy. Usually I get around having to activate Office by just using a version that's from before that was a thing, 97/2000 can do everything XP/2003 can, it's just not as pretty. They can do almost everything 2007+ can do too, with the compatibility pack. With KernelEx I've gotten that working as far back as Windows 98/Office 97 as a combo, but it'll work out of the box on Windows 2000 and newer.
 

sedrosken

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I'm giving a dual-SIM experience a trial run (with my boss's blessing) -- I'm really tired of carrying not just one but two bulky phones around everywhere I go, especially when 90% of the time one or the other goes completely silent. So far the experience has been surprisingly trouble-free with the exception of a few small annoyances.

Android seems to, as far as I can tell, have nuked the separate user-profile feature they used to have. I'm using an S20 Ultra 5G on the latest update, so I have Android 13 (OneUI 5) and I can't seem to figure out how to swap around for the life of me. Then again, I'm scared to death I'll miss a message or something doing that, so maybe having everything sort of mixed together is a good thing.

I have a preference for the Google phone apps -- their dialer and Messages app are quite nice compared to most pack-ins, unfortunately they don't respect my system settings where I have different notification/ringtones set for each SIM so I know what I can safely ignore by sound. The Samsung pack-ins work and do respect those settings, but I'm not a huge fan of them on an aesthetic level. Something about them just seems off to me.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Iirc, multiple user profiles is a tablet thing. You should be able to do eSIMs on your S20 though. Mine just got Android 13, which definitely does support that.

I have an unlimited use Office 2007 volume license that dates from before activation became an issue, which started with Vista and Office 2010. It's definitely possible to make media for XP that uses an answer file that includes a product key, but the most widely overused volume keys (TPCRY-) were eventually blacklisted by later installers. I remember that I bought 10 Windows XP licenses and got a volume license of my very own as well. They were really ready to give them out at first.

Between trade in, instant rebate and customer loyalty something or other, I got a Galaxy Tab S8+ for just over $100 over the weekend. It's comically large but it has a 120Hz screen and a fast CPU. I can't believe how much nicer reading huge PDFs is on it.
 

sedrosken

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My personal number on the S20 is through an eSIM. My work is through the actual physical SIM. I distinctly remember multiple profiles being a thing on phones circa the Android 6-7 era. I'm not super annoyed, just a little chagrined that I can't quite so easily keep everything separate and I have to be careful where I save a contact or which number I'm using to call/text. I've set preferred SIMs for my contacts, but for some reason nothing seems to respect that setting.

I went to a T-Mobile store yesterday on my way home from a job just to confirm that it'd work before I made the jump, and they did confirm it but tried desperately to sign me on a S22 5G. It'd have been essentially free financed for 24mos on a unlimited plan. It's a decent deal, especially for a mainstream provider, but I have 2 months of service left on Mint that I've paid for and the only S22s they've got for the deal are the lowest storage option. With no mSD slot, that's a huge no. Also, the plan itself would cost around 200% more per month than what I'm paying for right now; granted, I'd be able to use all the T-Mobile towers (Mint can't) and they include a couple other goodies, and my perspective on phone service pricing is warped from being a Mint customer for the last year and a half or so. But more than all that, I've been burnt too many times financing phones from carriers. I like being able to jump around as I please even if in practice I don't do that all that often.

WGA and activation have been a thing from Windows/Office XP and beyond. 2000 is the last version to not feature it in any way -- XP I think could just be gotten around relatively easily.

Both my A53 and the S20 have 120Hz screens but frankly I don't understand the hype for phones. I'm not gaming on them and the superficial "smoothness boost" for general browsing and such isn't worth the battery drain. If they had a 540p 30Hz option I'd use it in a heartbeat -- I'm already at the 720p60 setting. I can't see the difference on that small of a screen. My main monitor is one thing, I just don't get any benefit out of it on my phone.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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ANDROID supports multiple user accounts, as in it is part of the AOSP baseline. I've only ever seen it enabled on tablets and phones running LineageOS. My Tab S8 and old-ass nVidia Shield tablet both have it, for example. Functionally, it doesn't look like there's MUCH difference between Samsung and Google as far as Calendar and contacts aside from aesthetics. Samsung's versions tend to be a little dumbed down and I'm not sure if they 100% sync to both Google AND Samsung or just to Samsung. I also rely on notification noises for a lot of things, so I feel your pain that they aren't consistent. There's probably a Tasker routine you can build for keeping things right.

Also, activation was a one-time check, at least for volume licenses of XP and Office up to 2007. They didn't start with the continuous validation BS they do now before that. IIRC the first time they started that for Volume Customers came with Server 2008, when we had the option to use on prem volume license servers where licenses were counted and billed every 6 months, or to use the same ones consumers use.

Actual random thing I just noticed:
Amazon uses three different smile icons for notifications on Android. They are different for Photos, Shipping and Music. The size and line weight of the smiles is different for all three. I never would've noticed except that I had one is each all right in a row.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I set up a customer's new offices on Sunday and I couldn't believe the internet speed for the price they were getting. I've been on the same Comcast service plan for something like five years. Last time I talked to them, the main thing I heard was that I had to accept an extra subscription to their weirdo security software to get faster/discounted service, so I stopped asking.

Called today and they made my connection 4x faster and $60/month cheaper. It's even going to be cheaper than what I've been paying after the contract expires. This is the one time I've ever called Comcast all undeniably saved money.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The Girl from Ipanema is an absolute all-time banger.
It's the movie trope for elevator music, but it's also the one of the most frequently recorded songs in history. I'd never REALLY listened to it, and as a middle aged person whose social life authentically involves attractive women young enough to be my daughters, I'm really feeling it.

I actually like to listen to podcasts and video series about music theory and composition, particularly in styles I'm less familiar with. Nahre Sol, a contemporary classical composer and pianist, got me started down this path. Today I found this wonderful video by Adam Neely about the complexities surrounding The Girl From Ipanema.

Totally worth a half hour of your time

 

LunarMist

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I remember the orange LP back in the 1960s. I couldn't understand the song or what it meant, but my father was very interested in Jazz and had all Stan Getz albums. I much preferred the Beatles.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The song is actually a lament from older man watching a beautiful young woman walk by. She's oblivious and unaffected by his gaze. It's a rather universal experience for men of a certain age, I suspect.

One of my great-great aunts was a classical pianist. She taught my mother to play, and my mother has been a piano teacher to some degree for most of her life. I play as well, but I'm versed in classical piano and not THAT good at it.

Nothing blows my mind like the ability some people have to improvise, especially in Jazz, and even more especially when they get to the level of, say, late Miles Davis or Sun Ra, where an entire ensemble might be harmonizing on a single chord without regard for any other structure in the music as written. Classical composers have been through that cycle as well, but always in an intensely formal fashion. The other funny thing about Jazz is that a lot of great musicians never formally studied what they're doing. They just DO IT. Nowadays, the kids who follow that path (and I have cousins who are trained in Jazz percussion and trumpet, respectively) have all the lessons beaten into their heads, but did Dexter Gordon or McCoy Tyner?

There was a music professor named Richard Greyson who used to improvise live on either familiar themes "in the style of" well known composers. He'd do audience themes as well, if they could write the musical notation of hum clearly enough. The level of understanding required for such a thing is astonishing.

His Youtube Channel is here, if anybody wanted to explore such a thing.
 

sedrosken

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Do you guys have any particular recommendations for mice? I have (and love) a Pro Intellimouse, but there's a known issue with the connection from the scroll wheel assembly to the main board of the device where the cable's not flexible enough so it breaks internally. This is the second such mouse I've had fall victim to that issue, and I'm tired of buying new ones or opening them just to flub the repair. I have a MX Master 3 but it's just not comfortable to use, my hand always cramps up on that one.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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For real, I've almost always been a trackball person, starting with the Microsoft Intellipoint then the Logitech Trackman and Trackman Marble+ and now the M570. I buy a new one about every 30 months (old ones get moved over to less frequently used computers); I use the wheel as a button a lot and it seems to wear out faster than everything else. On the plus side, I don't need any clear space around my keyboard to operate in a GUI and I don't feel like I have any kind of incipient RSI from being a trackball person.

The other positive for trackballs in a space shared with others is that most people see one and won't try to use your PC. :D
Trackballs take a couple hours to get used to, but so do mice and trackpads.
If you're a gamer, the M570 only has two extra buttons. I've literally never mapped those buttons to anything. I'm not even sure I've ever clicked them, even on accident.

I do have a couple Honeywell mice in a box someplace. They're weird but they really did work better than mice with balls.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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I spent $40 on a subscription to CuriousityStream, in part because it includes the cost of Nebula, a sort of creator-driven extension of Youtube. Nebula operates on the lure of creators who already make content people like. CuriosityStream is just a huge collection of curated documentaries. It's certainly true that damn near everything is on Youtube, but I am seeing how valuable the curation is in the service. There are some other bundled streaming services as well but I haven't felt like using them yet. It definitely feels like a good deal compared to Netflix, which I think we all know has nothing interesting on it now that every other big studio has its own platform.

When I visit my parents, they spend their time watching the same few TV shows about veterinarians and World War 2. I think I'm going to pass this on as an alternative to yet another account of the Battle of Midway or prolapsed goat uterus.
 

Chewy509

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We have Curiosity Stream + Nebula (I think we got it for US$12 for the year on a special), and I've been watching 50/50 Youtube vs Nebula recently. The quality of content is certainly far higher on Curiosity Stream + Nebula.
 

sedrosken

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I've been considering such a sub, which is high praise considering I don't pay for a single other streaming service at all period. I had Discovery+ for all of a month and I didn't much care for that either. I subscribe to a few YT channels that proclaim to upload "higher quality" and/or "bonus content" to Nebula, and they can't seem to stop singing the praises of CuriosityStream (although that I suspect is down to them paying the bills more than anything) and the pricing seems relatively okay. Can you buy it for more than a month at a time? I'd be okay with paying, like, a hundred bucks to access it for a year, but monthly subscriptions kind of make my skin crawl.
 

Chewy509

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I've been considering such a sub, which is high praise considering I don't pay for a single other streaming service at all period. I had Discovery+ for all of a month and I didn't much care for that either. I subscribe to a few YT channels that proclaim to upload "higher quality" and/or "bonus content" to Nebula, and they can't seem to stop singing the praises of CuriosityStream (although that I suspect is down to them paying the bills more than anything) and the pricing seems relatively okay. Can you buy it for more than a month at a time? I'd be okay with paying, like, a hundred bucks to access it for a year, but monthly subscriptions kind of make my skin crawl.
Voucher: "LEGALEAGLE" for 42% off full year ($12 for full year, instead of $20 for the year).
 

sedrosken

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Oh, hey, thanks! They had a standard promotion where through the holidays you got 40% off, funnily enough, but the code you gave me was better. I'm already finding a lot of the channels I subscribed to.
 

sedrosken

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I realize most of you are far past your IRC days if you were ever indeed in them, but I'm curious as to your opinion on this situation. I personally only keep two versions of mIRC around with a license I was given by an old friend, those being 5.91s for Windows 3.x and 6.35 for NT4/9x. Everything newer in some roundabout fashion I can coax HexChat into running on, and HexChat has been my preferred client since I got involved with IRC around 2014 or thereabouts. I'm ambivalent about mIRC in particular -- I find its scripting interface a bit obtuse and its lack of multiple connections in versions prior to 6.x frustrating, and XChat and its derivatives are much simpler and sweeter by comparison -- but I wonder as to what this implies for software vendors in future. Will everyone be allowed to make whatever changes they like to their licensing model, without terms in that initial license allowing for them? In this case it can be argued that the (single solitary) developer needs to be compensated for the 25+ years they've spent working on the software, but what does this imply for much larger corporations that can afford to bleed money as it were?
 
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Chewy509

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Regarding the mIRC license, it ultimately comes down to, is this a breach of EULA / contract, which depending on your area and the amount, would typically be seen in small claims court or similar if there is quantifiable harm done to yourself by the breach. You would have to prove on the balance of probabilities, what "lifetime" actually means in regards to this license, and show that the change in contract has caused quantifiable harm to yourself. At most you would likely see a refund of the original license amount paid, and even then it could be a portion of. (eg if a lifetime is only 10 years, and you used it for 5, then only half back).

Some EULAs define "lifetime" as being 5 years, or 1 year past the EOL of the system it is certified for. So if the software is certified or designed for Windows XP, then 'lifetime' ends 1 yr past the EOL date of Windows XP. A lifetime, may also mean, the lifetime of the original system to which it was licensed for, so if you started using it on a 498 running Win3.11, and then upgraded to a new super-duper Pentium-II with 128MB RAM running Windows NT 4, then the license has expired it's life on the original system, and thus can't be used on the new system.

For those old systems that used hardware dongles (AutoCAD, various POS systems, etc), the dongle had a 1yr warranty, and the 'lifetime' meant the lifetime of the dongle. So when the dongle fails, then no more license, unless the dongle failed in its warranty period.

I haven't read the original EULA on mIRC and am not a lawyer, so can't comment on the specific case in regards to the above.

In the legal sense "lifetime" is a fuzzy value and not defined as the expected life of a human, which people commonly take it to mean.

On IRC it's been many years since I've interacted on IRC, but I don't think I ever used mIRC as the client?

Anyway, since IRC is fairly niche (like usenet), the only real harm is reputation to the author...
 

sedrosken

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Some favorites of mine are Joe Scott (Answers with Joe on YT), Knowing Better, and LowSpecGamer (started with his namesake, moved to video essays on the history of the gaming industry at large). Knowing Better attempts to give unbiased explanations of societal mechanics and long-forgotten echoes of past social issues; he doesn't usually succeed in the 'unbiased' part of his goal but because I align more-or-less with him politically I'm not too bothered. Just confessing my own biases here. ;) Another few channels I follow but usually only watch when it catches my interest are Half as Interesting, RealLifeLore and Wendover Productions. Yes, I'm aware I'm relatively basic.

Some channels I'd like to see produce content for Nebula are Dave's Garage (retired MS dev), Ben Eater, Technology Connections, and Night Mind (more of a horror channel). Maybe PatricianTV. Other channels on YT I subscribe to I'm obviously subscribed to for a reason, but don't really feel their content is "professional" enough for such a service. Not that being "professional" prevents my subscriptions from releasing stupid videos on occasion.

---

That's quite a nuanced point about so-called "lifetime" licenses not really being so, and legal definitions not necessarily aligning with common ones. My knee-jerk paranoia about the situation seems rather unjustified in retrospect. I wish I could pivot over to an entirely FOSS-based workflow so I wouldn't even really need to think about licensing, since I don't tend to change code, but the demands of my employment and entertainment conspire to keep at least one foot in the MS ecosystem.

Keeping with the theme of legal discussion, I find myself puzzled at the situation with Microsoft's impending acquisition of Activision-Blizzard. On the one hand, I have no desire to see a big company snap up yet another big company, but on the other, it couldn't happen to a better one given Act-Blizz's recent scandals and toxic work culture. Not to mention, not a single studio under their umbrella seem to be able to release a competent product that isn't a rehash of an older, more illustrious one. I'm guessing money is the motivator for that one -- they're on strict time-tables, so they can post numbers for shareholders, but it comes at a long-term cost of faith in their brands and IP I believe. I'm hoping Microsoft understands this and arranges for sane development schedules in the future.

The FTC and Sony seem awfully keen to block this, but if it went to court I'm betting MS would win. The FTC seems awfully concerned with Microsoft's doings compared to AT&T's, Disney's, or even Sony themselves. Not that I don't agree with their point that further consolidation of the industry only stands to harm consumers -- it's just a nuanced situation that's bigger than my own personal opinions on the subject.

---

I've been eyeing a used MacBook or Mini or some such recently so I could kick the tires a bit on OS X so I can confidently support them for my work. Not that we plan to take on any customers that make heavy use of the Apple ecosystem right now, but it's good to have on the resume and good to know in case I run into any machines in the wild. That said, apparently everything necessary to Hackintosh the laptop I bought recently for a project appears to be available (it's a Latitude 7490, for context) and if it's just the OS I need to become familiar with I'm definitely leaning toward the cheaper or free option. I'm just not sure I feel like nuking the drive on that right now.
 
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Chewy509

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I've been eyeing a used MacBook or Mini or some such recently so I could kick the tires a bit on macOS so I can confidently support them for my work.
My only bit of advise when dealing with current mac's, is when buying second hand:
  • Buy direct from the Apple Refurbished Store.
  • Buy from a large bricks/mortar store who is an authorised Apple reseller. (B&H, Walmart, etc).
  • If buying from a liquidator or other refurbish center, power on the machine onsite and ensure that:
    • It's not linked to an iCloud account.
    • It's not linked to a corporate MDM solution. (JAMF, etc)
    • It's exactly as listed.
    • Check the warranty status via serial number with Apple directly.
  • Avoid Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, FB marketplace, etc, as there are heaps of stolen goods on these platforms.
If you look at the r/mac sub-reddit, there are posts almost weekly of people buying 2nd hand and finding out the units are either stolen, or linked to a corporate iCloud or MDM solution... and the companies have either reported the units as stolen or the company no longer exists.

Apple will reset a device for a defunct entity, but it'll be on you to prove that the company no longer exists and a clear/proven chain of custody of the device with proof that you are now the legal owner of the device. Just note, Apple will verify the evidence as well and it may take months...
 

sedrosken

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Buy direct from the Apple Refurbished Store.

Then I may as well just not bother and proceed with the tentative plan I had to hackintosh my laptop. I'm not spending the kind of money they're asking just to play around and familiarize myself with OS X. Granted, I probably won't get a 100% clear picture of how it is on official hardware that way, but I should get "good enough".
 

Mercutio

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Hackintoshes are very hacky and miss out on some of the stuff that makes MacOS interesting. Airdrop might not work, for example. I'd say Macs aren't particularly interesting either, but I primarily interact with them from a terminal window and have no need of the mobile integration tools, so I'm probably not doing Macs right, either. IMO, it's basically a quirky Linux distro with fucktons of software that would be free on any other platform.
Finder seems incredibly primitive to me, so I often replace it with the third party tool Forklift... which is one of those apps that would've been free on another system.
 

sedrosken

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I'm not looking to be wowed by the special features that only work properly with other Apple products, honestly I just want to be able to competently navigate and configure the OS should I need to for some reason for work.
 

Chewy509

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Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
I'm not looking to be wowed by the special features that only work properly with other Apple products, honestly I just want to be able to competently navigate and configure the OS should I need to for some reason for work.
Why not get work to pay for a unit then? If they need/want you to have experience with a product, get them to pay for it, especially if it's outside of your current scope of work. (You do have a training budget)?

The main reason to get a real mac, would be to get familiar with the restore/clean install process, especially for Internet recovery and time machine based restoration. (both would be difficult to do on a hackintosh). Device restoration on current model mac can be "fun", especially if you need a second mac to complete the operation (aka DFU restore).

From what I've seen people familiar with Linux, typically pick up macOS pretty quick, so I wouldn't worry about knowing the OS in detail.
 

sedrosken

Florida Man
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Eglin AFB Area
We explicitly don't service Macs, which is why I doubt I'd ever be able to convince my employer to acquire one, but there've been a couple times where I've run into them at a site. I'd like to at least be able to claim some basic competency in navigating its UI at least to do simple system configuration. Knowing the UNIX underpinnings fairly well doesn't do you a ton of good to clients when you fumble about just trying to get to the system settings. As simple as they've tried to make it, I haven't extensively used any Mac UI... at all, I don't think. I fuzzily remember running KidPix Deluxe on an iMac G3 in Kindergarten, but I couldn't tell you now if it ran OS 9 or X. I've been a pretty much exclusive Windows/Linux user.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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The main reason to have a Mac around for servicing computer is that a Mac is explicitly the only way to EASILY and LEGALLY download MacOS. Unfortunately, You're only legally able to grab MacOS versions that you've claimed, so older releases that are widely compatible with Macs one might have to fix right now, like Mountain Lion, aren't available to new users.

Mostly, using a Mac is knowing to use Spotlight to navigate and remembering that MacOS really likes to stick the lock icon and + and - icons in little out of the way corners. Other than that, it's just Googling which key combo is needed to access firmware or boot options.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
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We explicitly don't service Macs, which is why I doubt I'd ever be able to convince my employer to acquire one, but there has been a couple times where I've run into them at a site.
Then don't touch them. Advise the customer that their contract/service agreement doesn't cover them and refer them to your boss/manager. If they get shitty at you, then leave and advise your boss/manager. (It's better to fire a shit customer than a good employee).

I know its hard to say "no" to a customer, you want to be helpful, (I've been there), but if it's not part of your job or contract with the customer, then it's not your responsibility. If you get onsite and its a mac issue, call your boss/manager and get them to make the decision, basically CYA (Cover Your Ass) if something goes wrong.

Imagine, you go onsite, find it's a mac issue and can't get it working (and unknowingly making it worse). Customer gets shitty, blames you, calls your boss, and all of a sudden you no longer have a job, as: a, you worked on something not in scope of the contract, b, you caused harm to the customer, c, customer is now suing your old workplace for loss and damages due to your incompetence/neglience. (not saying you are incompetent/negliant, but that's how the customer sees it).

Extreme scenario, absolutely, but I've seen it with my own eyes multiple times.
 
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