Hardware MacOsX Workflow

Apple: C’mon, already… update the MacPro

OK, a general rant on Apple and folks who make their living using Apple computers.

I’ve got a production suite at my photo studio, and another at home. They do the same thing… edit and store images and video. My MacPro at home is from 2006; my MacPro at the studio is from 2009. It has been several years since the line was updated, and the updates were just little housekeeping features_subnav_macthings like slightly faster processors.

Other Mac lines have enjoyed some nifty technology boosts, like Thunderbolt connectivity and USB 3.0 — but you can’t get a MacPro with either. I put an aftermarket USB 3.0 card in my MacPro at the studio and still get USB 2.0 speeds with it. Argh!

Rumors have had it that the MacPro will receive the love this year – but with Apple behind in iPad and iPhone development, who knows if it will happen. All told, I’m admin for five MacPro’s and one aged but still fighting G5. I need to replace at least four of them this year! I’m maxed-out on OS – 10.7.5 is the highest I can go on any of the machines I have.

For years the MacPro ruled the personal computer roost with it’s robust processors, the ability to put a lot of RAM to use, and great graphics speed. Couple that with a case that has four internal hard drive slots and room for two DVD burners, and you had the perfect production machine. Now Windows-based machines have closed the gap and probably surpassed even the MacPro. 

Apple, where’s the love? Don’t forget the people who for years have been your bread and butter, too.

Featured Gadgets Parallel Desktops

The Accidental iPad and How I Use It

When Steve Jobs announced the iPad a few months ago I didn’t think “Wow, I gotta have me one of those…”. Though I was intrigued by the form factor and slightly motivated by Steve Jobs’ demonstration of the device, it didn’t scream out at me as something I needed. I was actually more amused with all the criticism surrounding the choice of iPad as the name for the device.

I yawned and went on with my life.

Nearly a month ago I walked in to our local Apple store with my family. We weren’t looking for anything in particular, just letting my kids fawn over the Mac hardware as we thought about buying a MacBook for my son before he heads off to college. I asked one of the Apple store employees if they had an iPad I could take a look at. He handed me an 8 x 6 inch card with a picture of one on it. The device was far thinner and lighter than I expected.

He then asked if I would like to reserve one.

Hardware Software Workflow

Random Musings on Apple’s Migration Assistant

Well, this sums up my recent experience with Apple’s Migration Assistant. I just received my new Snow Leopard, 2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor Mac Pro. It came with 8 gig of RAM, and I immediately added four more 2 gig Kingston chips for a total of 16 gig. The memory was recognized after restarting, and there was a new message indicating all the memory was installed correctly. Sweet, Lightroom should love the extra speed and RAM. Upon setting the machine up, I decided to try the Migration Assistant for the first time. My older Mac Pro was the target to get data and move my software over.

This is where it got really boring. It just worked. I hooked up the firewire 800 cable, rebooted the old Mac Pro to firewire by holding the “T” button, and selected the items I wanted to transfer from a short list. I clicked OK, and wandered off. It sat there and chugged along, transferring everything I had selected down to my browser and network settings. It took about two hours, but that is a huge time saving over installing and setting up a new machine. Normally I would expect to spend two days!

Next, I opened my CS4 upgrade and installed it… it just worked, too. After this install, I dragged the CS3 stuff to the trash to free up that disk space.

I guess, really when you get down to it, that boring can be good. I have a few applications that need updates. I updated to 10.6.1 OS X, and then grabbed the Snow Leopard HP printer drivers… my first print job, a 20-page brochure from InDesign CS4 opened from a CS3 document, printed flawlessly. Next I updated my Epson drivers from the Epson support website for my R2400. The page says in red letters “This file contains everything you need to use your Epson Stylus Photo R2400 with your Macintosh.” Perfect.

So here I sit, less than four hours from putting it together out of the boxes, working on a brand new system with everything from my old system. Now the old system can be re-configured to be a capture station for new images, and hopefully run my now discontinued Epson 4870 scanner. So far, that doesn’t want to work, but that is on the old system. Bottom line? Migration assistant rocks!