Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter @ Elevation

Today the family went to the Easter service at Elevation Church in Matthews. What a wonderful worship experience, our 18 year old daughter answered the call and gave her life to Jesus. God is Awesome! We all had a nice dinner and now the day is winding down early.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for this glorious day you have provided. We praise your name and thank you for all the blessings you have given this family. Finally we understand that it's not about us, but rather all about you. We will talk later tonight lord. Amen & Amen

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

More Mac Pro to go...

Well, it's been several days since my Mac Pro arrived. I've added 2 hard drives, bought OS X for Dummies and many applications. I've learned some of the (in my opinion) negatives, and found myself still in awe of the beast. Here are a few things that SLIGHTLY disappoint me.

  1. No Thunderbolt ports - due to the limitations of the Xeon processor and main board.
  2. No USB3 ports
  3. Not one single consumer level PCIe sound card is compatible with Mac.

Well, that's the long list of negatives. Not much really for most users, there are solutions for all but the Thunderbolt.

  1. No solution for Thunderbolt, not likely to ever be one due ti Intel's spec. on the interface. It prohibits certain things that could be incorporated into a PCIe card that would provide a Thunderbolt connection.
  2. Add in cards available, reliability is questionable on some cards.
  3. There are external USB / TOSLINK solutions that are inexpensive. There are pricey solutions too (high end PRO sound cards, home theater systems, high end speakers with internal processing and amplification). I'm going to try one of the external sound cards and see how that goes. Actually, the 2.1 sound is fine for me at the house, my satellite speakers are so close together it doesn't really matter. My Altec Lansing 5.1 system easily configures to 2.1 and it's still loud and clear, and the SUB booms away when called to do so.

Now for the good stuff. This thing is a speed demon. Sure there are faster systems out there, but they are over clocked and water cooled for the most part. If you dabble in Video editing and transcoding as I do, there is nothing better that the Xeon processors. This this really crunches code like no body's business. Crunch all the A/V you want to, and still this system is responsive and happily doing day to day mundane tasks. I realize that some people do have highly modified systems that are faster, but you have to realize I'm replacing an OLD 2x core Athlon 4800+ system (over clocked to 2.4 GHz). I was happy with it, and it was a VERY reliable Linux / Win7 workhorse, but it's not even on the same planet as the Mac Pro.

When the newness wares off, I'll be upgrading the Mac. Bigger faster HD's, SSD boot drive, more memory, new peripherals and so on. Payday, I'll be replacing the free burning software (that gets the job done, but I want moe) with Roxio Toast.

Software in general disappoints me. I love Sony Vegas for NLE editing, but I'm disappointed to find out that there is no Mac version (just like with Linux). This means I'll be considering FinalCut Pro. I just hate having to learn a new user interface. NLE's are all different, and FCP has the reputation of poor transcoding (unlike Vegas) which means I also need the famed Compressor software as a companion. $$$ much learning, reading, mistakes.

Well, Mac is a new world for me, I won't cry about the software I leave behind though. I love learning new powerful applications (remember when we used to call them programs instead of Apps back in the 80's).

Lights out, bedtime calls...


Monday, March 4, 2013

Mac Pro Power

Today has been fun, my new Mac Pro arrived. I ordered the top of the line in everything. Whew! Was it pricey? I hooked it all up and I was in Awe of it's speed. Yes, I got the fastest thing they make, man Xeon processors are expensive.

Next, I wen't on the hunt for a new monitor. The old one worked fine, but it looked puny next to that big hunk of aluminum called the Pro. So off to the store(s) I went and got a new 25" HP. I wanted a 27" but honestly, the specs. on most of the 27" models just didn't measure up. When side by side, the only other monitor that had the color depth and really DARK blacks I was looking for, was a Dell and Best Buy didn't even have any in stock.

I lucked out on the HP, it was a clearance item and I got it for $125 less than marked. I've been installing software and adapting my peripherals all evening. I have to buy some scanner software for my old scanner to work, but everything else is doing fine.

This is going to be a week of fun learning for me.

P.S. Ubuntu Linux will be on there soon too. I just need to swap in a few drives from my old system.