12 April 2009

New Mac Pro

As my old dual G-5 was not cutting it anymore, I needed to upgrade my tower sooner than later. I keep hearing how expensive these new towers are, but honestly, I paid double for the G-5 than I paid for this dual quad core with 6 gigs of ram and a much better graphic card, not to mention the new LED screen which blows the old one out of the water. It seems a great deal from my perspective! Could I afford it in this bad job market...no. But I could afford less to be without a tower if things pick up suddenly. Oddly after setting it up and using it a couple days, I realize it’s basically my dream office now.

For now the old computer is networked into the new, giving me the extra rendering power for larger projects in Cinema 4D. The transition went better than expected with the computers doing basically all the work transferring all the software automatically. There were a few glitches, like re-installing adobe media encoder and now I must run Photoshop in Rosetta mode if I want to integrate the scanner. Apparently the twain driver only works in the PPC version of Photoshop. The largest software issue is my French grammar and correction program, “Antidote”. Every time I get a new computer, I seem to need to buy a new copy as there is no way to de-activate the old to re-install on the new. That is literally the only thing I can’t recommend about that software, however. It might be one of the best done programs I’ve ever used. They update frequently for integration with just about everything that you type into. Customer service is beyond amazing and even more appealing to me, it’s made locally.

The computer:
As with most MAC computers, ease of everything is everywhere. Putting in extra hard drives (up to 4) is even easier than before. You could literally eat off the inside of one of these machines. I’ve never seen the inside of something so organized and just plain clean looking. It has space for two burners, I opted for the one for price reasons, but it would be nice to get another as I am often caught needing a back up disk while I am burning a DVD or 10 for a client. The speed is amazing. Much better than I hoped. My last animation was a 2-3 minute per image render job. On this it was 20 seconds (!) and I experienced none of the screen refresh problems that have plagued me since I started learning character animation. The new graphics card showed it’s worth within minutes of opening my favourite software.

The monitor:
I have now two monitors... something I have quickly become accustomed to. The new Apple LED 24” is a big improvement from what I had, which was a pretty great monitor itself. I love having a microphone, video cam and speakers in the monitor (the sound is not half bad btw), something Apple should have been doing for years to make up for the prices they charge for these things.

Not everything is perfect. It seems ridiculous that new machine has a ton of ports and not one of them is a standard firewire! Hello, Apple! This is a Pro machine, non? We are not all going to run out and replace every video deck, camera and the rest on top of paying a minimum of 5000$ for a new computer! I was able to daisy chain a firewire hub from my Lacie external disk drive, but I really should not have to do that for a basic functionality.

The other big disappointment was the service at the Apple store. There must have been 100 service people and it took 40 minutes just to get one over to us and the first two that tried seemed to know nothing about computers or disappeared, never to be seen again. I know Ipods and Iphones are popular, but you might think giving service to a customer who knew exactly what he wanted and was willing to shell out a few thousand on the spot might be a higher priority.


Donna Lethal said...

I do love your Watson photo on your desktop.

Speaking of Apple service, my dad was in line at the Apple store in NH and one fellow decided he shouldn't have to wait along with everyone else, so he announced loudly: "Do you know who my daughter is? Sarah Silverman! My daughter is Sarah Silverman!"

Like that is going to get you line chops at the mall in NH, Mr. Silverman. Nice try.

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