edit on the go

I'm in the process of switching from using Microsoft Windows and I'm headed to Apple land... We have replaced our over four year old HP nc8320 laptop, and will be replacing our desktop in the coming months (waiting for Apple to update the Mac Pro).


I've used Microsoft product since MS-DOS 3.3, and have been a career IT person for over fifteen years (mostly as a server systems engineer designing mostly Microsoft systems), and while I will continue to keep up on MSFT stuff and continue to use them for the technology side of my work life, at home... I'm pretty much finished with Microsoft. While OS-X has some issues, it's a far nicer system to use (all the power of UNIX with the best UI I've ever seen) especially if you want to do photo or video editing.


Gear in the Frame:

Apple 15" MacBook Pro

Core i5 2.4Ghz. CPU (not worth spending the $$ on the Core i7, especially when this won't be my primary editing machine and especially when $300 only buys me 10% more performance)

4GB of RAM (going to 8GB pretty quick)

500GB 7200RPM Segate Momentus XT Hard Drive (this is a great drive that comes with a 4GB SSD cache)

High Res Screen (but not the Anti-Glare screen, clients love looking at images on the glossy screen)


G-Tech G Drive mini 500GB Hard Drive

Wacom Intuos 3 4" x 6" Tablet

Gretagmacbeth Eye-One Display 2 Colorimeter

Calumet UDMA Firewire CF Reader

Apple Magic Mouse

Garmin eTrex Summit HC



OS-X 10.6.4

Windows 7 Ultimate (running inside of VMWare Fusion)

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom

Adobe CS5 Design Extended

RoboGeo (Run under Windows 7 for geotagging)

  • Les Stockton 5y

    Everyone that I know that has switched from Windows over to Mac have been pleased.
  • Catherine 5y

    I've been considering hooking myself up with a MacBook Air but I'm scared to make the switch from Windows because even iTunes confused me.

    Very sweet set up though - enjoy your holiday!
  • Brian 5y

    What do you think of that silly mouse? I used it and really don't like it. Although it is an improvement over the might mouse or whatever it was called, this one is still not great. I bought a sweet travel wireless mouse and it rules.
  • noeltykay 5y

    Tuscany!!! So envious! The wife and I spent five days there in 2005..absolutely gorgeous! Enjoy!
  • Carris McKinney 5y

    The switch has begun! Let me guess, you didn't go for the one to one service as you seem to know everything already! ahaha!!
  • Photographer 5y

    @beachc0mber: If your into photography and want to process images, the MacBook air is pretty thin on hardware, slow CPU's and not enough memory to really tackle RAW processing, etc.

    The problem I had when I first started really using Mac's (I got stock in charge of a network of about 40 of them as a small part of a much larger network) was that I would over think things... the reality is the Mac is so easy and logical to use that I would just get lost. Once I relaxed things got a lot better.

    @croz1007: Well I bought it... so I don't exactly hate it. I'm a pretty picky guy when it comes to input devices as spend a ton of time in front of computers (and I have carpal tunnel issues), and I have to say that the magic mouse is one of the nicest mice I've ever used... I love it.

    Carl McKinney: Actually we did opt for the One to One service... wanted Joleen to be able to go in and spend some time learning as this is entirely new for her. Additionally, while I'm not exactly a technical novice I'm learning that there is a lot I need to learn to help make my life easier... it's fun to be on an OS that's got a UNIX back-end, makes me thankful for my early HPUX system admin stuff I used to do...
  • JasonWeddington 5y

    Welcome to the Cult of Mac! Enjoy your stay.

    I'm also a career IT guy and I made the switch to Mac just over a year ago. It's definitely the way to go for photo editing.

    Check out GPSPhotoLinker for geotagging on the Mac. It's free and simple.

    GeoLogTag for iPhone is pretty good for recording GPX tracks. Not as accurate as your Garmin, but good enough to solve the "where did I take that photo again?" problem. And you can email the track file from the app, so it's a little easier to get at your track data. I have a Garmin too, but I find myself using the iPhone as my geologger more often.

    Totally agree with your comment on the MacBook Air. It's under-powered and very hard to get anything done in terms of photo editing. I have an iMac with 8gb RAM at home that does a great job, but I'm using the MacBook Air on the road. It's miserable. I'm about to sell the thing and pick up a MacBook Pro.

    I use a Logitec Mouse. Can't get used to Apple's mice.
  • Catherine 5y

    Would you recommend the Macbook Pro for image processing then?

    The thing is that I'm a lecturer and would also need to use my laptop for developing materials, and making resources. Is is just strong on image manipulation, or can I rely on it for word processing, etc too?
  • Photographer 5y

    @beachc0mber: What do you think the setup in this photo is for? ... yes I would reccomend a MacBook Pro setup for image processing.

    Apple has a huge share of the educational and creative markets... it's excellent at everything except sucking, which it doesn't really do.
  • lee 5y

    I like to think that my life in the Macworld started similarly. Today it has become the running joke at work, where incidentally I've been using an Ipad and Mini to do the majority of my day-to-day tasks as a network manager. Here's my Apple punch-list:
    27" iMac
    24" iMac (for sale)
    17" MBP
    Mini (snow leopard server)
    iPod Shuffle (qty 3)
    iPod Touch
    iPod Nano
    iPhone 3G
    iPhone 3Gs
    Airport Extreme
    Airport Express (qty 2 for streaming wireless audio through house)
    Time Capsule (2TB)

    I need an update on the MBP, not because mine doesn't work, it does quite nicely as a DAW (which is why I'm selling the 24" iMac. I would like a 15" instead though as it's too hard to travel with the 17".

    Let me know if you have questions on the audio streaming, which is probably the best thing ever as I control it with my iPhone. The above list doesn't include my wife's MB and iPad. I'm pathetic.
  • Photographer 5y

    @shoothead: Yeah I used to be pretty up on Mac's during the 9.x and into the OS-X transition, but that's been almost a decade. I remember buying 25 user licence copies of 'Dave' to attach all the Mac's we had into my Active Directory network.

    Currently I have a pretty complicated home network, completely with DMZ network zones, Exchange servers, DB boxes, and white boxes running OpenBSD as routers. However I'm so sick of dealing with the crap when I get home. So I'm drastlically simplifing things...

    When I'm done with my conversion things are going to look like this:
    - 15" MacBookPro for on the go editing, and functioning as my wife's main machine (with two kids she's rarely able to work up in the office)

    - Mac Pro with a 30" Display (not Apple's, either Dell or the more spendy NEC)

    - Large CoolerMaster CMStacker case filled with disk, running FreeNAS as a large data store... likely will doing iSCSI to the Mac Pro so the storage appears local (thus making Lightroom happy).
  • lee 5y

    I like your iSCSI option.
  • DerDrache 5y

    Did you get the matte screen? I've got it on 15" MBP and glossys just look weird to me now.
  • Photographer 5y

    @DerDrache: Nope... I opted for the higher res. screen but not the anti-glare.

    I was on the fence and went out to the Apple store and spent a while looking at both displays. The anti-glare would have been a bit easier to view if in direct sunlight, it had a very slightly wider color gamut, and was just a plain more honest rendition of the images.

    But if I'm honest with myself, and how I think 'most people look at things, the glossy display just looks better meaning that the images look like they are under glass, etc. even if they are technically a bit less perfect and are maybe a bit more contrasty than normal. So that said:

    This laptop has three primary functions for us 1.) having a computer Joleen can use in different locations in the house (two kids mean that her sitting up in the office all day just doesn't happen) and that when needed 2.) can serve as a mobile editing workstation on the go (like when we are in europe at the end of August) 3.) serve as a viewing platform to show both clients and potential clients images.

    It's the third reason why we went 'glossy', because I think that average folks like the look of the glossy more even if it's not technically as accurate (as stated above), and the most important function of this compter is showing images to non-photographer types. So we went glossy...
  • Elliot Etherington 5y

    Catherine there isn't much point in getting the air, yes it is very well designed but the spec is quite low. May I suggest the Macbook pro or the normal macbook as they have a lot more force in them for PS and other editing software, I am currently saving up for the new iMac :)
  • mjpi 5y

    just switch to mac myself, don't think I will be going back....
  • randomrazr 4y

    is it worth the anti glare option?
  • JasonWeddington 4y

    Mine comes today! I was waiting for quad core. And I went with the 512gb SSD option. I'm selling my iMac and going all laptop all the time.

    I agree with your thoughts on anti-glare. Images just look better under glass and perception trumps reality most of the time. I went with the high-res screen, glossy.
  • Photographer 4y

    @randomrazr: Read my comment above to DerDrache, in short it depends. I didn't get it for the laptop and am happy with my choice (but I did upgrade to the higher res display). But it's not my main editing machine, I have a brand new 3.33Ghz. Mac Pro monster at home with 30" and 22" calibrated NEC monitors.

    @jwedd459: I couldn't go all laptop all the time, the new MBP are great and tons more powerful... but I need more storage internal than a laptop can provide.

    The problem with the monitor and gloss vs. matte is that the perception changes... and since I have to be very aware how my images look printed on different surfaces and to make sure that my color is 100% accurate the glossy screen doesn't cut it. But for just showing off to potential clients or general purpose stuff the glossy is fine, great even.

    ... if I were a code monkey I'd want glossy as the text is easier to read (by a slight bit) so coding all day would be easier on one's eyes (in a controlled darker lighting environment that is... but of course all true nerds work in the dark)
  • JasonWeddington 4y

    The storage issue is a valid point. But I'd already outgrown the 1TB in my iMac and was using external drives anyway. So nothing really changes. I'm interested to see what happens with Thunderbolt drives in a few months. Daisy-chaining Thunderbolt drives through an Apple display looks like an attractive solution.
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Taken on July 11, 2010
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