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My Apple tech - it’s old but it’s working!


I am a fan of gadgets. I love tech and in particular, I am a massive Apple fan (does that qualify me as a fanboy?). Last year, I fought the demon hard. First in the spring, the new M1 iMac, then in November the brand new MacBook Pro’s with their shiny and super fast M1 Pro & Max chips. I wanted….I wanted badly, but the businessman within me somehow managed to keep the wallet closed. How long for remains to be seen, but I’ll admit I do have an urge to buy!

How it all started

I switched from Windows and PC’s over a decade ago. My first ever purchase was of course an iPhone. Well, that just opened the flood-gates. Although the term had not yet been coined, I realised that the eco-system was a real thing.

If I took a picture on my phone, it miraculously appeared on my next purchase - the iPad. Of course, then I began thinking that a Mac of some sort would make sense as everything would then be in sync the whole time. And so it was I bought my first Mac - an original MacBook Air quickly led to an iMac (which I still actually own, although don’t use).

Yup, I was that geek that visited the Genius Bar every Sunday morning for about 6 months learning how to use Numbers, Pages & Keynote.

Since then, I have bought nothing but Mac and have even convinced family and friends of their merit. It was toward the end of last year, after the release of all the new bounty in 2021, that I stood back and took a look at the gear that surrounds me day to day.

It’s all so old!

The odd truism is, that even though I am the heaviest Mac user within my family & friends, using them to not only edit video and run my YouTube channel but also in my graphic design company, I have the oldest tech!

I am sure like me, if you are an Apple fan, you may well watch many of the same videos and creators I do. Everything is so new, exciting and fast. Very fast! Speed is what dates tech the most.

I take great care of all my gear, and to look at you’d never guess it’s age, but I can feel some of the items starting to creek at the seams. Renewal will soon become a necessity I fear.

I say I fear, as there is little doubt I enjoy the prospect of buying, but getting a new Mac to be ‘yours’, with everything installed, passwords recognised and plug-in’s working, is actually a pain. No matter how easy the process is made, it still remains arduous.

Then of course, there is the cost. I know PC & Android users will be citing that I could save a fortune if I ventured away from uncle Tim, but honestly, I don’t think that likely. Not only am I pretty adept at using Macs and the attending keyboard shortcuts, but I am above average at sorting out the odd glitch too (other than properly ridding myself of the notorious ‘other’!) Although, even there I have made in-roads!

So I thought, it may be interesting to have a look at a real-world set up of all the products I use daily, a brief insight in to how I use them and their age & specs.


The Mac lineup

My oldest Mac is to this day, still my best. No surprise really as it was to be the mainstay of my design business. It was well spec’d out but dates back to late 2015. Its a 5K 27” Retina Display iMac, with an Intel i7 4GHz processor and 32Gb of Ram. For graphics it has an AMD Radeon R9 inside,1Tb of storage and an SSD drive. Only now is it beginning to slow down and show its age on large Photoshop documents, but it still gets the job done.

The Mac of choice for video editing, purely as the 27” is at my office and not here in the studio, is a 15” 2019 MacBook Pro. It too runs the i7 Intel chip, has 16Gb of Ram with a Radeon Pro 555X graphics card. Everything is stored on externals, so it has only 256Gb of storage with an SSD drive. To be fair, when I bought this, I was not editing video. It was bought to work on site with clients in a design capacity. Since I have started on YouTube, it has shown it’s limitations, but again, gets me through the day and gets the videos out. It is at its slowest on rendering and exporting from Premiere.

Now, I am going to make my apologies and excuses about the final Mac in my line-up. I had my previous MacBook Pro stolen from my car one night in London, and I simply had to have a Mac to broadcast (I was still on the radio at the time). The only machine available to me for that day was….as I say, I am truly sorry….a 2019 4K Intel i3 pile of ****! Honestly, if I have ever regretted buying a Mac, this was it. It got me out of a hole for that weekend, but, how on earth an i3 machine was still available is a mystery to me. Outside of emailing and Numbers, it is pretty unusable! It now sits on my desk just to watch YouTube videos on! The monitor is the only good thing about it frankly!


iOS

So, if you have followed my channel at all, you’ll know I use the iPhone to shoot all my videos. But even then, it is not from the current lineup. Mine is a regular 12 with 256Gb of storage. The cameras are still surprisingly good (with the help of the Filmic Pro app). iPad wise, it’s a mini for me…5th Gen! Totally basic - it is only the 64Gb version.


And to round of my Apple hardware, I have a pair of original AirPods 1st Gen (again, not pro!)

Still never lets me down though

Make no mistake, I want, and hopefully will, replace some of this gear during the course of 2022. But my main point for writing this blog, was to highlight, just how well it still performs.

I’d say my usage is probably above average. Daily I’m found using the Adobe Creative Cloud apps such as InDesign, Photoshop and Premiere, and yes, I am sometimes left waiting for the spinning beachball to catch-up, but they hardly ever crash, never let me down and most importantly, get all my various tasks performed.

As mentioned earlier, speed and the lack of waiting for renders & exports will be the main reason to change up. Today for example, as the latest 8min 4K video was exporting, I actually went to the supermarket whilst it was doing it’s thing! Trying to work on this MacBook Pro whilst video is exporting is just not even worth thinking about.


Conclusion

Rounding off where we started, I love tech, gizmos and Apple’s latest and greatest. Although I am tempted with every new release that comes along, I have to remind myself that these are merely tools for my job. At the end of the day, they are still performing….and pretty well too.

There will always be something newer, later & greater. Technological development never stands still and it would be wrong if it did. But always bear in mind your end-game and usage. Buy smart and buy wise. Sure, watch the guys with all the latest kit, but constantly remind yourself of the real world, where you and I live.


Keeping up with those Joneses can be a mighty expensive game!

Next week I will tell you what I think I’d like to add to the line-up this year, but in the meantime, why not watch my video talking about reasons you should start your own YouTube channel.






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