My Apple Life

Firstly many apologies for the massive gap in my blog. I’ve been fairly busy at work and at home and kinda lost interest for a while. I have a few ideas in my head for future posts….. Anyway I started typing this post in early October so here go’s…..

October 5th 2011 was a sad sad day for me and any other Apple product users out there. Steve Jobs death whilst somewhat expected due to his recent illnesses was still a big shock to everyone. His vision and drive where unrivaled and ultimately unique. He drove everyone around him to be better, not just those that worked with him but everyone that used his beautifully designed products. I found out about his death as I was eating my breakfast and struggled to hold back the tears…. tears for someone I never met but I felt like I knew so well…! For any of you who havent already seen his Stanford commencement speech made in 2005 please watch it below… I challenge you not to let it touch you in some way…..

Anyway lets get one thing out of the way…. yes I am an Apple fanboy… yes I am a nerd when it comes to my gadgets – and most of them are Apple..! Now thats off my chest I’ll begin to explain my Apple life so far and how their equipment has adjusted and enhanced the way I work and live.

It all started around 18 years back when I went on work experience to McGarry Ní Éanaigh Architects. I was there for a week and was using Microstation on a Macintosh IICX. It had a 16Mhz processor and a hardisk of 40MB…. yes thats MB not GB….! At the time it was a pretty dam good machine and it drove 2 monitors… a 13 inch colour monitor and a 19 inch greyscale one. Compared to the PC’s I had used in college beforehand it was very very fast and I found it really easy to get around. It cost around £3500 and that was without monitor, keyboard or mouse….! At the end of the week I was pretty much converted to Mac but new it would be a good few years until I could afford my own. As it happens I was also asked back on a temporary basis a few weeks later. I’m still temporary 18 years later. hahaha. So throughout my years in McGarry Ní Éanaigh I used everything from this IICX, various PowerMacs, G3, G4, G5’s, G4 Cubes, MacMinis, XServes, iMacs from the very first one to my current 27inch Core i5 beast…!

Eventually I saved enough money to buy my own personal Mac at home and bought a G4 Cube. I bought it because at the time it was the cheapest way to get a Mac with a G4 processor. It was a beautiful machine and revolutionary in its design and size but it wasn’t without its faults and ended up being one of Apples failures. Over time I needed more power and lusted after the PowerMac G5 from the day it was released. Again it was a crazy expensive machine but having a dual-processor and room for an extra harddrive and loads of Ram I thought it would fulfill my needs for my new hobby – photography….! The thing is with every new camera I bought the bigger the file size got and the more storage, ram and power was needed to process and store these images. The G5 did the job perfectly for around 4 years but I had upgraded everything I could and hardrives where beginning to fill so it was time to move on. Being a tower based machine I decided to make the logical jump to a MacPro. I got a nice one off eBay  – new with dual quad core chips and a shite load of ram. Happy days. I nickname it ‘The Beast’ as it literally eats everything I throw at it without any issues…!

In the middle of all this I was now secretary in Mid Louth Camera Club and was running a lot of the digital workshop nights. A laptop was essential for this stuff so I bought a Powerbook G4. I got lucky with this one… I happened to be in PC World in Dundalk and I noticed they had the wrong price on it and they never noticed. Saved over €500 on that one…! Nice…. hahahaha…! I had that for nearly 5 years before for software incompatibility reasons I upgraded to the machine I am typing this post upon…. The MacBook Pro has been my base for nearly all communications, presentations and general day to day use. For the serious processing I still rely on the beast…! Recently I’ve had a few issues with the MacBook Pro but having purchased an extended warranty (from Ebay for really cheap) I’m confident that it’ll be back to normal in no time at all. Basically with the Apple Extended Warranty I make a quick phone call or website visit, get a Case ID and drop it into my local Apple repair centre. Easy and simple…

Of course now that I am working in Dublin I have to make that bloody commute every day. Until a couple of months ago I was was hauling the laptop up and down the motorway. Every morning and evening I pushed onto the bus hoping to get the the back seat where there is a little bit extra space. Why…???? Because my laptop wouldn’t open completely in the other seats. So I bit the bullet and offloaded a lens I didn’t use much and bought an iPad 2. It was going to happen eventually as I am known for my love of gadgets and to me this is the ultimate. To say I love it is an understatement. When they where first released I did question how they would fit into the Apple lineup and doubted their success. But for someone travelling/commuting (with a bad back…!) its perfect. With every software update it improves too. Yes I also have an iPhone…. I queued to get the first one, second one and now the iPhone 4. I’ll wait a while before getting the iPhone 4s but only because my contract isn’t up until January. Now with Netflix being available in Ireland for all my devices it makes using the iPad especially even sweeter.

Speaking of Netflix…. I also have an AppleTV. Every weekend I sit back put the feet up and watch a movie or 2 with the missus. Until I got the AppleTV 2 I would make a 10 mile roundtrip to my nearest Xtra-Vision and rent 2 movies to cover 2 nights viewing. Now I save on the petrol and just rent the same movies off the AppleTV. Netflix has made it and even better device with loads of older movies and interesting documentaries at my disposal…!

So thats where I am at with Apple. I’m a happy camper so to speak. Without Jobs at the helm I reckon the next few years could be really interesting.

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