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Switching to Mac and Snow Leopard from PC and Vista.


So after many years of debating it I finally decided to give an Apple Mac a try as my main Laptop solution. I very nearly upgraded to another Toshiba as I've had such great service and reliability out of my Tecra M7 Tablet but after a few conversations with fellow artists I made my mind up and took a trip over to Apple at Liverpool 1. I suppose it is a lie to say I was a complete Apple newbie. My life is littered with Apple products and as an early adopter I've been buying Ipods on a regular basic since the first version for the PC back in 2001. I bought an Imac some years ago (A 21" G5 powerpc version) and I have to say it put me off using Macs for a few years. I didn't like the Tiger OS and I found it much slower than my current PC's when using Photoshop and ZBrush. I ended up using it as DVD player which really is a bit old waste of £1500! AS 90% of my computer time is using graphic applications I have always felt like I should be a a mac fan but for some reason I just wasn't getting it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a PC/Windows Fan either. I'm not even an OS fan really. I find that I spend too much time messing with skins, themes, settings, backgrounds, icons etc. Windows has always been painful in one way or other and for years I was plagued with viruses. Windows 95 was always OK for me. ME was a waste of time. Windows 2000NT restored my faith a little and I don't think XP and Vista have brought anything new to the party in recent years. Security has never been an issue to me in terms of people seeing/using my data but as mentioned viruses have cost me money and time almost every year. In the past three years I've managed to find a way to work around this and that is by having lots of external hard-drives and keeping everything I own on them. I use MaCafee virus software and I upgrade my Windows OS or just re-install every 6 months or so. I had an awful time with XP 64 and and even worse time with Vista 64. I hasten to add these are all legal upgrades so I've spent a lot of money with Microsoft over the years with my latest purchase being Windows Vista Ultimate (64 and 32 versions).

So all that said I finally took the pluge and headed off to Apple. I had already decided on a MacBook Pro. I bought my Son, Jack, a white Macbook and I didn't like the look of that so it had to be the aesthetically pleasing aluminum 15" MBP. The native screen resolution is 1440x900 which matches my Toshiba and is about right for my eyes and needs. The look and feel of the laptop is awesome. It is sexy for want of a better term. The sleek aluminum body is clean and high tech and unlike Windows machines sticker free!. I am not a gamer (clearly, or Mac would be a no no!) but graphics performance matters to me. I went for the twin graphics card option which along with Snow Leopard I am hoping I have all the power and graphic umppphff I need. I'm happy so far and all my art apps are playing ball. I've read a few reviews that seem to suggest I've come to the Apple party late and there is no real advantage for an artist to use Macs these days.

So far so good. I upgraded to Snow Leopard on arriving home as it came with the MBP but was not installed. I do use my Toshiba for business so the MBP needed to meet all them same needs and the first issue I came across was the lack of Outlook on a Mac. Bummer!. I have to say of all the programs that Microsoft turn out I love Outlook best of all. I use Mobile Me and like all that connectivity between my Iphone, Mac and Web calenders but Entourage is not Outlook. In fact, it's crap. I would prefer to use ICal, Contacts and a bloody cheesy Note apps rather than Entourage. I find mail is slow to download load and the Rules process is tosh. My solution is a temporary one as I read that Outlook Mac is on the way next year. I decided to use BootCamp and desecrate my MBP by putting Windows Vista on it! I printed the Bootcamp instructions and ignoring the reviews by people who have screwed up their machines with Bootcamp I went ahead and made mine a Dual Boot Macbook Pro. It worked. Like a dream actually.

Now, Apple purists will think I'm cracked for making it a dual boot. For me it means I keep the functionality of my old machine and get the benefits of OSX and some of the cool mac software. Silo doesn't work 100% under Snow Leopard. There are color issues making it hard to use the materials functions. Modeling seems fine though.


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1 comment:

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