The New Setup

April 10th, 2021

Well, went and upgraded the computer setup, replacing my trusty ol’ 2012 15″ Macbook Pro that saw me through the past nine years or so, with the new M1 Mac Mini (seen sitting atop a little filing cabinet thingie, tucked nicely below the desktop).

As I wrote to the reason for getting the new setup, was primarily for screen reasonings, for photo editing, and the trusty ol’ Macbook not being adequate for such tasks… and the graphics card seeming to have again failed, to connect an external monitor to use for such an endeavor… which I did have at one point for awhile, until it ceased to work the very high priced NEC 27″ monitor I had for it and used… otherwise, I most likely would have just kept the trusty ol’ Macbook, as it functioned and performed just fine for me.  As a ha-ha funny little kick in the teeth though, the new monitor arrived before the Mac Mini, so I hooked it up to the trusty ol’ laptop, and the bloody thing worked!  So, essentially, I could have just kept and used the Macbook… but, everything was all already ordered… and, good to upgrade for posterity reasons.

The aforementioned NEC monitor, I had sold upon my return from gallivanting across the countryside living out of a van… both for the money from the sale to help me in some way or another… as well, as it not being of any use to me, seeing as it no longer worked with the Macbook, so no point in keeping it.  So, since the major reason to acquiring a new computer was for a better and good screen for doing editing  work, that was pretty much equal in importance in the new setup, second to the computer itself.  I am not Mr. Moneybags though, so another NEC, or an Eizo like monitor was not going to be in the cards… just something with a good, calibrated screen, but also a lot more affordable.

Originally, I had in mind a BenQ monitor I had set on getting… but, in the last hour of once again doing some research, I decided upon a HP DreamColor Z 24″ monitor.  Reason doing so, it had a higher nit rating than the BenQ, of a rated 50 more… one of the reasons the Macbook failed me in getting a proper edit of my work, was because, even with the screen’s brightness maxed out, it was not sufficient for accurate editing… so, that was the impetus in wanting a new screen that had a better brightness rating.  Also, the reviews seemed to be better for the HP for it’s color accuracy… as well as it must going to be updated soon, and so was selling for $200 less than it’s regular selling price, which put it $50 cheaper than the BenQ also.

I am pleased with the monitor, really does make my images pop, when I look at my catalog, seeing them fresh on the new screen.  Years ago, I fashioned up a self made grey scale chart in Photoshop, from 0 black to 255 white, in increments of 5, and on the Macbook, could never really differentiate between 0, 5, and 10… could just perceptibly tell 5 from 10, but definitely not 0 and 5… on the new HP monitor, wonderfully able to quite well… and even at the screen’s brightness set at 33%.

Grey Scale Chart

It’s also nice to have the more real estate of the larger monitor too.  My previously had NEC was a 27″, but really didn’t feel, or want, to get that big again, thinking a 24″ would be adequate enough, and is, I have no complaints at all.  One thing I do definitely notice, from nearly a decade of the retina screen of the ol’ Macbook, even at it’s 15″ size, the text was A LOT more clear and crisp on it, than this here, much larger screen.  The HP has a 1920 x 1200 screen at only 94 ppi, compared to the 220 ppi (I believe it was) of the 15″ retina display of the Macbook… text on the HP looks a lot more jagged… but, that would be my only critique of the monitor… overall, I am pleased with it.

As for the Mac Mini itself, it’s fine… I mean, my Macbook Pro was still fine, and so really isn’t much different or new with the Mac Mini, aside from it being newer.  Thankfully, all that I care for, and need, to work, still does, being that it contains Apple’s own new M1 chipset… Photoshop had just become able to run natively on it… Lightroom, still isn’t yet, and needs to use the Rosetta Stone thing whatever it is to run… but it does work.  Even more thankfully, Silver Efex Pro still works.  really the only functionality I lost app wise, was Shrook, my RSS feed reader program.  But, found a nice, free alternative, AnOtter RSS, it’s icon is ancient old school looking to the more polished of desktop icons of today… but, does the job, and what’s better, am able to access and use it on my iOS devices, something I couldn’t do with Shrook, unless I paid extra to… but, with this Otter, able to, and for free to boot.

Speaking of iOS devices, as can be seen in the lead-in image atop, am able to now connect and use my iPad Pro as a second monitor with the new system, which is good, neat and nice.  Can even forego the HP monitor and, say when back on the road, can just tote in the little 7″ x 7″ Mac Mini and iPad anywhere, and use in a pinch, without having the carry in the HP monitor… which is another reason I wanted and went with the smaller 24″ screen size, for a little easier portability… but, can always just use the iPad as the monitor too… so, that is neat and nice.

All in all, am pleased with the new setup.  Better screen for editing capabilities… newer, and will now be able to see me through for the next decade of use… small, lightweight and portable, for my gypsy nomadic self, when back on the road going who knows where… overall, think it was a good investment.

Haven’t shot shit since my last day of doing black and white… mostly because of the newer money-job occupying my time.  Am possibly looking to pick up another lens for the Fuji this month, their 50-140mm zoom lens to cover the telephoto range… then, the only other would be to pick up their 16mm prime, and I would be set… but, will see.  By the start of May, should be all settled into the new money-job, and schedule getting back to normal, so as to be able to go out and do some shooting.

Until then, got the whole new computer setup, for as I said, so as to see me through the next decade or so of creative work… just pickin’ up the last of the lenses for the Fuji, and will be good to go.

It’s Spring!  Renewal, new life, change, growth… life moving forward and on.  Hoping and wishing y’all are doin’ the same in and with your own lives, and wishin’ you well with you and your life.