Friday, October 31, 2008

I love it I love it I love it.

I an officially a Mac user as of yesterday. I spent several hours getting used to the new laptop, and I love it. OSX Leopard is so much better than Vista in so many ways I don't even know where to start.

It's nice to fire up a computer, install a peripheral and have it just... WORK. No ridiculous permission issues, none of this automatic attempt to find and install your driver for you (which NEVER works, by the way) no more antivirus software hogging system resources. Sorry, Microsoft, you done fucked up and lost a customer with your bloated new OS. Once you go Mac, you never go back.

On a funnier note, I had to do some dumpster diving this morning. I had left the box the MacBook came in on the floor next to my wastebasket, which the cleaning crew took as a signal to throw in the dumpster. I can't blame them, but it was unusual because most of the time you can't get them to throw empty boxes out. At any rate, I started to panic because the box had all my software and a couple accessories in it. Fortunately I was able to find it in the big dumpster out back, but I had to do some crawling. I was also fortunate that it was all office waste, which is mostly paper, and not everyone's kitchen garbage and broken glass.

So I am thoroughly enjoying the new MacBook Pro, and checking out all the new features of Adobe Creative Suite 4.

Monday, October 27, 2008

More vectors!

Some more downtime at work today so I decided to flex some Illustrator muscle. Almost everything I know about graphic design I've learned on my own since graduation. They just don't teach much of it at all in the BPMI program at Iowa State.

My laptop should get here Thursday. I'm like a child before Christmas.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ilea iacta est.

The die is cast. I am about to become a Mac user. I just ordered a MacBook Pro:

320GB Serial ATA Hard Drive @ 7200
4GB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM - 2x2GB
Accessory kit
iWork '08 preinstalled
2.5GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
SuperDrive 8x (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
Backlit Keyboard (English) / User's Guide
MacBook Pro 17-inch Antiglare Widescreen Display

I think this is going to actually replace my desktop as a work computer. I can still hook up a second monitor to it, and I still have all my peripherals. Wacom tablet, NuLOOQ Navigator, external hard drive, etc.

The only thing is that I'm going to have to upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite 4 since I can no longer do a cross-platform switch with my current Adobe Software. But CS4 looks fucking AMAZING. Just the new features in Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash gave me a hard-on. Especially Flash, which now has, among other things, inverse kinematics. You can make complex character animation without having to use a ton of script. Awesome. I can't wait.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My latest gripe with Vista.

I'm working on a Photoshop painting, doing a lot of heavy, hi-resolution brush work. I noticed I was getting a lot of brush lag; that is, when you make a stroke it takes a split second for it to register on screen. If you aren't a digital painter it doesn't sound like a problem, but trust me, it is a HUGE problem.

I need my graphics program to be responsive and provide instant feedback, otherwise what's the point of all this expensive technology? When your computer boasts a 2.41 GHz CPU with 512MB video memory and 4GB RAM it had better goddamn perform.

I did some forum searching and found that if you change your display theme from Vista Basic (solid-color windows, no fancy effects) to Vista Aero (transparent window frames, animated window opening effects, more of a "Mac" look), the problem is fixed. Sure enough, after I did that, no more brush lag.

Leave it to Microsoft to design an OS in which the more basic graphics scheme makes your computer run LESS efficiently. "What's that? You say you just want a basic interface with no fancy animations and eye candy? You're missing out on the whole Vista Experience™! Look pal, we spent a lot of money and man-hours programming these advanced display features, and dammit, you're going to use them. Alright, alright, if you MUST have a no-frills interface, I suppose we have some leftover source code we can paste on top of everything."