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Thread: Hello

  1. #1
      teamtebb is offline
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    Post Hello

    Hello to everyone.

    I am a mature student currently studying ICT at Doncaster University Centre and have been given an assignment relating to a fictional map making company.

    (I must firstly apologise as I have no experience of map making whatsoever - and hope this post does not offend anyone - it certainly is not my intention).

    The basic idea of the assignment is to design a new computer room for the company and choose a selection of relevant computer hardware (for the room) that would best assist the map makers in their work.

    One of the tasks is to provide 3 separate specifications of a single stand alone computer system:

    1. A budget system which costs as little as possible but still just manages to do the job.
    2. A 'money is no object' system - basically a map makers 'dream' computer system.
    3. Finally a system that stands nicely between the two - a professional system that could be manage the job nicely but would not cost the earth.


    Specific components would include monitors (size/resolution/make/model), graphics cards (make/model), RAM (suitable size) required, Hard disk storage (size) required and printers or plan printers (make/model) if necessary + any additional hardware you may feel is relevant.

    I was going to try to contact a few businesses directly but noticed this forum and thought I'd give it a go.

    If it's ok I will probably post a few questions over the coming months.

    Also if anyone knows any sites or links etc... that would also be fantastic.

    My email address should also be available if anyone wishes to contact me directly (if it's not available please let me know).

    Many thanks.

    Regards

    Dave

  2. #2
    Guild Artisan Juggernaut1981's Avatar
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    Post

    Hey TeamTebb,
    I'm sure there are plenty of Industry Pros (points at the Industry Pro Group) who would tell you the stuff they have, the stuff they'd like and the stuff they'd have wet dreams over...

    In the meantime, if you want to learn about making a map or two... hang about and lurk in the tutorials section like almost everyone else does! Don't forget to post WIPs if you decide to pop your mapper's-cherry...
    "Sacrificing minions... is there any problem it cannot solve?" - Order of the Stick


    Some of the books I have written, or am still writing...
    My Lulu Store

  3. #3
      teamtebb is offline
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    Default

    My first reply - and positive - thanks for that - I wasn't sure what to expect.

    I had to chuckle - I was wondering where this little journey might take me - who knows I mught be designing my first map in a month or two???

    Many thanks

  4. #4
      Coyotemax is offline
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    Default

    Ok, here's the system that I started with, and worked just fine until I got tired of waiting for the system to catch up (and incidentally, made some very nice maps with regardless)

    Acer laptop (i think we spent 600 on it new, 3 years ago) 1280x800 screen, 32megs builtin vid memory, 1gig ram, AMD Turion (something midrange) 64 gig hard drive, and an external wired mouse to complement the touchpad.
    That had access to a wireless router (linksys, 4 hard ports) (maybe 100 bucks). I was bedridden at the time so i had a laptop desk and cooling fan unit (by Belkin), call it $50 combined (i know you can get simple laptop desks and a chair from walmart for around 100).
    Total price.. $750 ish.

    I would call that pretty close to bare minimum. It wasn't long before I could sit up again, so I'm now using my desktop machine about half the time.

    Desktop: Dell Dimension DIM 3000 p4 3ghz, originally supplied with 512Mb RAM $800
    Memory: 2gb ram kingston ram installed aftermarket $150
    monitor: Dell E173FP (no short name found) 32 bit capable, 1280x1024 max resolution (included with desktop price)
    Keyboard/Mouse: Dell, provided with system, standard/basic as it gets.
    graphics card Radeon 9250 (64megs memory, agp4x) $150
    Cd/DVD: Sanyo CRD-BPDV2 DVD+RW (aftermarket, i think cost $120 - included drive died)
    Internal drives: maxtor 80gb IDE(7200rpm)(aftermarket), western digital 80gb IDE(7200rpm)
    External drive: Iomega Prestige 1Tb USB2.0 $150
    Nostromo N50 (Belkin) speedpad $50 (originally for games, but it works great for graphics applications too, amusingly enough)
    Wacom intuos4 graphics tablet 4x6 - $299
    Lexmark x5150 scanner/printer/copier $90
    Armoire/Wardrobe desk, Sauder DIY kit $400
    Office chair, generic, no brand name found $150
    Total budget to put together from scratch including furniture, around $2400

    To me it's a pretty decent midrange system, there's only one project I've attempted to work on that slowed me down appreciably. I'd like to expand to 4gig ram, but honestly, 2 gigs is doing fine.

    As to high end systems, I'll let the industry pros wow you with what they want. the only thing I could put on that list for sure would be the one Wacom Cintiq monitor tablet.. 22" i think? It weighs in over $5k on it's own
    Last edited by Coyotemax; 10-20-2009 at 02:47 AM.

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  5. #5
      teamtebb is offline
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    Dear Coyotemax

    That's excellent - just the sort of stuff I need - I really appreciate your time on that - many thanks.

  6. #6
      Coyotemax is offline
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    No worries, if you want more detail on make/models in there I can go look everything up in more detail, this was just off the top of my head.

    (pretty good memory though if I say so myself, hah!)

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  7. #7
      teamtebb is offline
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    That's great and much appreciated - the assignments ongoing for a few months (due in end of January 2010) so there will probably some more info needed. It makes a real difference knowing the information is coming from real people. I'll try to keep posting updates regarding progress.

    Thanks again.

  8. #8
      Coyotemax is offline
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    I've updated my desktop system (looked up the model numbers and such on the net where applicable). I'll get the laptop specs later and do the same thing, just repost them in the original.

    My finished maps
    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

  9. #9
    Guild Adept icosahedron's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm not a professional mapper, in fact I'm a recent convert/dabbler, however, my observations in just starting out lead me to the following observations:

    1. An average desktop system seems to be able to create pretty effective maps.
    2. Much will depend on the type of maps produced, their purpose, and any restrictions imposed by the employer or the market (eg what software to use, what resolution is necessary, whether your software needs to be compatible with your customers', etc.)
    3. A tablet is a must for serious mapping.
    4. Printing might be as important as drawing. Maybe you'll need some large plotters (or maybe you'll outsource printing).

    Are you going to draw a map of the computer room?
    Mapping a Traveller ATU.

    See my (fantasy-based) apprenticeship blog at:

    http://www.viewing.ltd.uk/cgi-bin/vi...forums&sx=1024

    Look for Chit Chat, Sandmann's blog. Enjoy.

  10. #10
      teamtebb is offline
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    Good advice. Ill make a note.

    I don't need to map the room in any details - literally a plan view of labelled 'squares' depicting positions of equipment.

    Many thanks for the help - I'll make sure everyone gets a mention in the acknowledgements.

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