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Friday
Jun152012

Macbook Pro or No?

So Apple debuted their new Macbook Pro at WWDC this year and as a current Macbook Pro user, should I upgrade to this one?  Mine's 4 years old, and while it's never let me down in any of my productions, an upgrade would speed up my rendering times a lot.

What's cool about this new laptop though?  Apple's made lots of advances with including USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.  The retina display is amazing as well!  There's some logistical problems with implementing it, but lots of potential.  And the amount of hard drive space is overwhelming, even the thought of SSD's in the hundred of gigabytes range.

Nice improvements, but I won't be getting it.  Why?  Well, I don't think this computer is really a professional version of the Macbook line anymore.  Why do I say this though?  Well, it doesn't have an optical drive anymore, nor does it have a built in ethernet port.  You can argue all you want that people barely use discs anymore, and I agree with you.  Taking out an optical drive works for computers like the Macbook Air.  Even the regular Macbook (I'll get to this later).  Those computers are really for people who enjoy surfing the Internet, take notes in classes, and maybe enjoy some photography and file sharing.  But there's so many more uses for the Macbook Pro line.  I think of mine as a mobile office I can use to tackle just about any problem.  Most of those problems have been solved using the optical drive or by plugging into a network easily through an ethernet cord (sometimes figuring out wifi passwords is a hassle).

Now that adaptability is much reduced because the new Macbook Pro is just a souped up Macbook Air.  They even compared it's thickness to the Air.  It used to be that Apple had three distinct styles for three distinct laptops.  And what was reassuring about the Macbook Pro, pre-2008, was that it resembled a Mac Pro in design and had extra ports and features to stay versatile.  Now Apple is merging the designs of all their mobile devices so that they all resemble eachother.  Put an iPhone, iPad, and newer Macbook next to eachother and you'll see what I mean.  It's great for branding, I won't argue that.  But a side ffect of that merging is loss of distinction and extra features between lines.  This current iteration sees the loss of the optical drive like the Macbook Air.  So now how can I do things like burn a demo reel for a client on the go?  Sure I can buy an external optical drive, but that's an added hassle, so why bother?  If I forget an ethernet adapter, how do I drop files off at my office network?  I have to contact IT now to get a password to the wifi.

Hopefully you can see my frustration with the new line.  If you go to the Apple website right now, you'll see there isn't a regular Macbook line anymore.  With the loss of added features in the new Pro, I can only really see this new computer as the new Macbook with the word "Pro" added at the end.  It certainly does make it harder for more experienced media creators to do their work without said features.  Though it, like last year's Final Cut Pro X (that's a whole new blog rant) does aim more towards amateur content creators.

Quick word though about why removing the optical drive will benefit Apple.  Imagine you've got this new Macbook Pro and you want to watch a movie.  Well, you can't pick up a DVD, can you?  Nope.  But wait, iTunes lets you rent them!  Bingo, Apple.  You've just driven more traffic and money towards yourselves.  It's a smart business move on their part.  But an annoying one, at least to me.  I don't like the way iTunes and other online services handles media distribution with DRM.  I still buy movies and music on discs speciifically to avoid DRM.  That way I can consume my content on whichever devices I want.  Anyways, enough of that side rant.

So, in short, lack of new features in what Apple calls the next "Pro" Macbook means I won't be getting one.  And seeing as I got a Macbook Pro in the first place for Final Cut Pro, which no longer really works for professionals anymore anyways, I'll be switching back to PC for my next computer.  Something with all the features I need.  And, if even only so I can watch movies on DVD, an optical drive!  Maybe even one that reads and writes Blu Rays?  Definitely!

Friday
Jun082012

Last Bit of Station Managing

I've talked about Texas Student TV a lot here already. I decided why not post one of the last things I did as their station manager on my site?  In my year as manager I concluded we should connect with our audience and alumni more.  Just broadcasting on tv wasn't enough.  So what's the best way for a tv station to update its audience then through video?  In addition to many other things we started doing, we started releasing these monthly newsletters.  If you ask me, I'd much rather hear what's new at a place n a video then read a message.  Hopefully it's something that sticks.

Tuesday
Jun052012

I Used to be a Boss! Now I Need A Job...

So I decided to be a little ironic with my first blog post on this website.  Well, if you know me you know I spent all my college years at Texas Student Television, and in my last year there I had the honor of being their station manager.  It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot being the head of an organization.  I took the job with a lot of pride and felt like I was bragging about it whenever I talked about it to others.  I mean, how many other 20 something year olds can say they ran an FCC licensed tv station?  Not just that, but the nation's only digitally licensed, student run one!

Anyways, the term for station manager lasts only a year, so my term just ended on the last day of May.  Now my replacement has taken over and is running good old TSTV.  With all the extra free time on my hands I can finally get to some me time though!  While at first that might mean vacation, it also means I can focus on getting a job!  I spent so much time running the tv station that I couldn't even give much thought to internships or jobs after college.  But now that that's different, let's see what I can muster up!  Challenge Accepted!

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