strumzilla

​A blog/journal about my life and the stuff I like. Popular subjects include music, guitars, gear, books, movies, video games, technology, humor.

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I finally caved...

I just ordered my first new Mac since my 2013 MBP which was relegated to drum room duties a few years back. It had been chugging under the weight of multiple monitors and larger track counts for awhile.  Apple has creators wrapped around their fingers since they still imo provide the most stable and streamlined environment, especially for music and video. And they charge for that exclusivity. 

I’ve managed with a WinPC these last couple of years, enough to write all of the songs I’ve posted to date. It’s been a bumpy ride at times as I’ve had some major shutdowns and failures (all in the WinPC driver/software side) and recurring hiccups that regularly interrupt the creative process. It wasn't a new experience for me, as I've owned desktop PCs for over thirty years. I actually got my start on a TRS-80 Color computer, followed by an Apple IIe (which we never really knew how to use properly), an Amiga 500, and then finally a Gateway IBM 486.  I toiled under the pre plug n play environment for many years, so I'm not unaccustomed to making PCs work, I just grew really tired of it.

For me, the appeal of the Mac is that it just works. You turn it on and it's reliable like a television (pre smart tvs) or a refrigerator. You don't have to constantly struggle with driver updates, hardware conflicts, etc. I’ve had multiple Macs in the past, dating back to my first Mac Pro in 2007. With rare exception, they just perform. They don't unpredictably freeze up, crash, fail to boot, etc. like my WinPC still does on a recurring basis. When they die, they die horribly, but that’s typically after many years of steady service (and usually a few months after the AppleCare has run out). I'm willing to take the chance again just to have that Mac workflow environment, which is still my favorite by a long stretch.

So, with shaking hands (and spouse approval), I clicked the mouse and drained a considerable pile of ducats from the vault to order one of the new iMac Pros. I chose a mid tier option that I’m hoping will last at least four years and beyond. Mid tier in Apple terms is premium by any other company’s standard. By the time I feel compelled to upgrade again (inevitable in the computer world for the foreseeable future) we’ll hopefully have the house paid off and enjoy a bit more discretionary flexibility. Of course I paid for AppleCare this time so I'll be covered for any disasters at least for three years.  Depending on what's developed in that timeframe, I may still be happy with the its performance to keep going for a few more years beyond. 

It's not about having the fastest/newest computer, I've resisted Macs for many years now and went back to the desktop PC when they released those touchstrip MBP with very little incentive for the creative types. The iMac Pro is a step in the right direction and maybe the upcoming Mac Pros will be even more appealing, but I'm not willing to wait at least another year that could stretch to two based on how slowly they've trickled out updates to the pro level devices.  Having seen several reviews and demonstrations from creative professionals, I know the new iMac Pros are a content powerhouse and I look forward to just creating for a good long while. 

More frequent blogging here

I took a brief hiatus from Facebook. In a periodic reassessment of my life's priorities (a process I engage in every few months to years), I've found that FB for the most part was not adding much of value to my life. At its best, it provides an easy portal to engage in actual conversations with people who share similar interests or otherwise are friends/family. It seems for me that the overwhelming amount of time I spend on there is just reading through a bunch of meaningless posts, getting the same "news" regurgitated by various pages/people, and at best getting a random "like" for anything original I post. Unfortunately, there is still the occasional nugget of valuable information (I wouldn't have found out about King Crimson coming to Dallas until too late without FB) and I'm subscribed to a student group through Berklee where there are occasional important notices.

When I first started posting "original" content (including covers), it was nice to have at least a small audience from which to receive feedback. I greatly appreciated the friends and family who would indulge these efforts because I know I'm the worst about wanting to watch or listen to something if I'm not in the mood. 

The problem became that over time, FB becomes this self perpetuating process where you feel validated by the completely trivial "likes" you receive, even if they only reflect a mouse click. How much effort does a mouse click take? I know I'm pretty generous in giving them if someone posts anything I find remotely entertaining. I'm not complaining about the people on FB, everyone has their own lives and honestly probably don't even see the majority of stuff that any one individual is posting. 

So, all that to say this is where I'll be posting more of my occasional ramblings. I had been using FB for that and it was a nice convenient means to quickly document a thought or picture that others could comment or interact on, although that was rare. I'll still use FB but I'm learning to divest myself from any expectation of feedback or outcome. It may eventually be an artist portal for my various creative works in the future, and in that case I may setup a separate page.