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The iMac 27 inch and My Mac Odyssey

The journey from PC to iMac 27 inch…

iMac 27"

I have loved my iMac 27 inch desktop. Within the next seven days, my Mac world and set up will change. I will be counting myself lucky and fortunate as my new 16” M1 Max MacBook Pro will be landing with me in these next few days. I am certain, somewhere down the line I will buy another Mac, but for now, the 12-year journey is complete. It seemed a good point to look back at why I changed in the first place, the iMac 27 inch models I have owned, and what hopes I have for this soon to arrive, Apple Silicon MBP.

Those distant PC days

Funny enough, I was never a computer nerd! I was forced to take Computer Science at school, but hated it, and failed the exams dismally! I didn’t own a computer until I was in my mid-30’s, and I seem to recall it was a Sony laptop, as I had a Sony store on my doorstep. That limped along for a bit, then I entered the world of desktop PCs. At the time, I owned a print & design company. I had come off the presses by this point and was running the business. So, my day-to-day tasks were merely office-based. Even then, I recall the painfully slow updates for Windows machines. I also recall something called ‘de-fragging’. Am I imagining that or, or is it a real thing? I’d had a tower PC built with dual monitors, and it was about then, I started to notice Macs.

As I was in the print and design world, it meant I was often in creatives studios and was surrounded by this sea of gorgeous looking machines. They seemed creative, quieter and, quicker. And the sort of work they were doing on them, appealed to me. The inner nerd had been born. Macs were about to enter my life.

The start

That inner nerd I mention, came to prominence pretty quickly and the first thing I did was to download the Mac screensavers and have them on my PC monitors. I know, I know….I am smiling myself now, but it somehow made me think I was working on a Mac! Still being office-based, my demands really didn’t require a Mac, but there was a voice in me that simply wanted to be a part of that world. So, to my first actual Mac, and it was a base level 21.5” iMac from 2010. Oh boy, I was in love. Everything immediately made sense to me, somehow. The operating system, gestures, the mouse. I actually looked forward to using it, which is still true to this day. I had to run a virtual PC on it as two programs I used to run the business were PC only, these being the days just before everything becoming cloud or web based. The Mac Odyssey had started.

MacBook Air

A little something for the weekend sir

So, now I thought of myself as being a Mac user, best I start creating like one! So, Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite became my best friend and I started to work with InDesign, Photoshop, and a bit of Illustrator. All this was on that original, 21.5” iMac. But I fancied a little something for the weekend. So, a 2012 MacBook Air was my first laptop. It felt wonderful and looked stunning, with its tapered design and retina screen. The elation soon burst, though. Getting it home, I realised that the internal SSD was too small for my music library. Luckily, the guys at the store were great. They sorted me out an external drive, and my library was on there. I was a happy bunny once again. That’s two Macs in then! As it turns out, that was really just the start.

The need for speed

That 21.5” iMac had served me well (I still have stored away, actually). It got me used to macOS and to Creative Cloud apps. I was artworking on a regular basis now, and my Mac was starting to struggle as the files became bigger and more layer intense. Next in sight, was the iMac, I am still running now. If you have watched any of my videos, you will see my pride & joy. The 27” iMac that has been with my since 2015. It has worked its backside off, it really has. I am so attached to that machine. In those 7 years, it has seen me through creating a design business, starting a radio career, podcasting, blogging, and, finally, creating a presence on YouTube. It has been my daily driver and never let me down. Honestly, it is only as I now edit video, that meant its days were to be numbered. Although the machine was well spec’d, it was never intended to be a video rig, so it is doing remarkably well in honesty.

During that same 7 years, a few other Macs had come in to my life as well. The radio work meant I could often need to record interviews off-site or produce shows on the fly, so I bought my first MacBook Pro. A 15” from 2018. I made the mistake of leaving it in my car one evening in London, so some lovely fellow relieved me of that ownership prematurely. I needed to replace it quickly, so bought the other iMac you’ll see behind me in my videos. It’s a 2019, 21.5” iMac, and undoubtedly, was the worst Mac I ever bought. Aside from the lovely screen, it was next to useless for anything but emailing and Numbers. But, I had to have a machine in my studio that same weekend after the MBP was stolen. In 2019, I bought the machine that I am writing this blog on, which is a 2019 15” MBP (the one with a Touchbar!). It’s been decent, and again has shifted a fair bit of work, both graphic and audio/visual. The worst aspects of it are a useless battery life and the fans, which constantly run. But it least it again gave me the option of working remotely.

In to the future…

When the new Apple Silicon MacBooks were launched last year, I kinda knew they would draw me in, and the Mac won! As I said, right at the start of the blog, I am days away from my latest M1 Max Mac arriving. What am I hoping to gain from it? Outside a silent working environment with a workable battery life, the main thing has to be speed. The export time on my videos is just far too long. I am hoping to shave about 30 minutes per video from the render and export times, which is huge. On the podcast I use a few plug-ins which again slow down my workflow. And for design, Photoshop is where I am hoping to notice the biggest gains, as those files are getting ever larger.

After some great feedback on my channel, I have decided to go with a clean install and set-up on this newest Mac. I will add to it purely what I need and no more. I may be a few months late to the party, but I feel, finally, my workflow is where it needs to be.

Why not a Mac Studio?

As I was buying this Mac, the Mac Studio had just been released. I gave it very careful consideration, but for the first time decided that the flexibility of a laptop would suit best. It’s the first time my main workstation will be a laptop, but I am happy with the choice. The screen, by all accounts, feels large, and it’s a 120Hz refresh rate, Pro Motion, mini led panel. It will give me the option to work off site with clients, as efficiently as if I were at my desk. That will be a revelation for me. Being a lover of the larger screens though, I also have a Studio Monitor on order, but will not be receiving that for around another month yet. Those damned supply chain issue!

Wish me luck

I cannot wait. I feel this new Mac is arriving just at the right time. My life and workflow have changed a vast amount as we come out of COVID, which means my demands too have grown. It’s an eye-watering amount of money, make no mistake, but it will be working 10+ hours a day for 5 or 6 days a week.

Now, if I can only find a way to monetise these blogs and my YouTube channel to help pay for it!

What have your experiences been of Apple Silicone been? Do you have an M1 iMac, Mac mini, MacBook Air or a MacBook Pro? I’d love to hear from you.

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Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on May 03, 2022.

Are you subscribed to Medium yet?

I am only one of a whole host of writers here on Medium, the premium blogging site. It is such good value, and you can join below.

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