Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display (and new Trackforce trackpad)

The saga of my journey into Apple computers continues...

I recently contacted the Apple Store in Woodfield Mall about the discounts set up for my students and during my discussion with my product specialist, I was offered the chance to swap my new Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display for an even NEWER one that has the latest TrackForce trackpad.  Kudos to Apple for offering this to me!

I had just purchased the MacBook Pro just shy of two months ago, but recently, Apple announced an improved version with a new Intel processor, an SSD (solid state drive) that is twice as fast as the old one and also a new trackpad that makes it easier to click and has secondary functions.  Apple's product specialist decided that I should be using the latest version of the machine since it is one that I will use to evaluate their computers with for recommendations to my students.  He felt that if I had a better experience with my machine, I'd be happier with my laptop and ultimately refer more potential computer users to them!  Smart move on his part and great customer service!

I have to say, this is how business should be run!  While it was not something that needed to be done, the gesture was a smart one.  If only other companies would recognize that a little bending of the rules often go a long way to gaining more satisfied customers and also more business because of it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Problem With PCs...

Back in 2011, I purchased a new Dell XPS 17" laptop with an i7 processor.  It has served me well until this past year where it has started to really slow down.  It's a problem common to any PC.

With the last two days off of work, I decided it was time to wipe the hard drive and do a clean install of the Windows 7 operating system and reinstall all of the programs.  I've done this type of thing many times to other PC computers, so it was easy to do.

The problem though is that you HAVE to do it eventually.  PC's seem to really start slowing down the more you use them.  Perhaps this is a MAJOR reason users of Apple Macs really prefer using a Mac!

I've heard that this isn't necessary to do on a Mac.  Time will tell as I continue using my new Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display.

I also defragment the hard drive of my PC's regularly.  Again, I've heard that this is not necessary on a Mac.  Not really sure why though!  Also, since my drive on my MacBook Pro is a flash drive, it's been said that you definitely do not want to do a defrag of this kind of drive.

I use McAfee anti-virus software with my PC's and also Malwarebytes for controlling malware.  Does anyone know if this is necessary for Macs?  If so, what antivirus programs are best for a Mac?

By the way, after reloading the Windows 7 operating system, I have well over 200 software updates reloading back in as well.  Some started to have problems reloading and so I simply stopped the auto-update function of Windows 7 to control having to sit at the computer all day trying to get the updates to work.  It's just another issue with PC use!

So far my experiences with an Apple Mac have been mixed.  I like some things, but not others.  But I will say this... PC's are a pain to deal with when they start slowing down!  Apples win in this regard!

Oh... the PC is blazing fast again since the reinstallation!

(Image borrowed from the Internet)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Daughter and Mother

Special thanks to one of my former brides... Monica, for letting her daughter Brianna model for my "Balancing The Light" class tonight!  It was fun!

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

One Month Update On Owning An Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display

Well it's been one month since I purchased a new Apple MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

I purchased this computer with the intent to learn the Apple Operating System (OS) so that I could help my students in my Photoshop and Lightroom classes while they navigated their computers while taking class.  Here's my observations so far:

1. I like how lightweight the new computer is compared to my heavy 17" Dell XPS laptop.
2. I like that it is whisper quiet.  No loud fans blowing while working with it!
3. I like that the computer has a solid-state flash drive to store my programs and data.
4. I never turn off the computer!  Because of this, it's always immediately ready to use.  No start up time!
5. I like how fast my emails come in!
6. Surfing the web is really nice and fast.
7. NO POP-UPS!  Great!
8. No viruses!  Well, at least that's what they tell me.  But so far, nothing.
9. I don't like how the operating system deals with working with Microsoft Excel and Word.  Simple "Cut and Paste" or "Copy and Paste" is very slow on the computer!  I have to wait a couple of seconds after copying before I can even paste.  Not good!  (4-8-15 Edit Update:  Found out that this slow cut and paste or copy and paste issue is not the Apple Computer... it is the Microsoft Office!  Seems it is the software that is not reacting quickly.  When doing cut and paste or copy and paste with Apple's "Numbers" spreadsheet, it moves very fast.)
10. I don't like that there is no Backspace key, only a delete key!  You have to line up your cursor perfectly before you can start deleting.  That's SLOW and often inaccurate.  (Edit: I was told that if you hold the Fn key while depressing the "delete" key, that becomes your backspace.  Why couldn't they just put a backspace key on the keyboard??)
11. I don't like that Apple seems to purposely want to do everything 180 degrees opposite of how it is done in the PC world!  Of course you can say that Microsoft tries to do everything opposite of Apple... it depends on your perspective.  But just like camera companies, it seems these two big companies purposely make it hard for the user to transition from one operating system to the next.  NOT COOL!
12. Apple IS NOT the cure all for all problems with a computer!
13. I still do not understand why everyone says you need a Mac if you do graphics or photography.  To me, working on the PC or Mac is the same in terms of using Photography programs.  I don't see much difference.

While many people who buy a new Apple are totally excited with their purchase, I was not.  I only purchased it because I had to in order to help my classes move along faster.  Because of this, I'm not swayed by the hype often associated with a new Apple purchase.  I wanted to see if Apple lives up to the hype and so far, I'd say it doesn't.

It has a lot of great things going for it as I've outlined above.  But it also has its own quirks that makes me wonder why there is so much hype about it.  It's almost like a cult!  But I'm here to say, I'm not convinced it's the cure-all for everyone.  If you want style (it's a beautiful design), lightweight, fast turn-on times (I never turn it off), long battery life and no viruses, it's the best out there!  But if you need to manipulate files by easily moving them around quickly, I'd say the PC has it beat.

Perhaps I still need more time to see if I move quicker with the Apple OS.  I will say I'm a lot faster than I was when I first got the machine.  Only time will tell if I become a full Apple convert.  But so far, indications say I won't be fully converted.  I still like the PC better for many things.

To be fair, here's what I don't like about a PC...

1. Use the computer long enough, you will get viruses unless you have an anti-virus protection program.  Even that doesn't guarantee you won't end up with a virus.
2. Use the computer long enough and you'll notice it will start slowing down to a crawl.  The registry gets mucked up in time and that's a major problem.  Often you might need to wipe the hard drive and totally do a clean install of all programs to get the computer back to the speed it was when you first bought it!
3. Blue screen crashes can happen and that can spell disaster!

Here's what I like about PC's...

1. You can build your own PC if you know a little about computers.  Buying mother boards, RAM, power supplies, chassis'... it's easy to make your own or upgrade your own computer.
2. You have lots of manufacturers who make parts for your computer!  You aren't stuck with just one brand of parts.
3. They cost a LOT less than an Apple computer!  Apple often is a lot more money for most everything they make.
4.You can usually find someone who can help you if you don't know something about the computer or the program you are working with.  Why?  There are likely more PC users in the business world than Apple users (although Apple is starting to gain a lot more devoted users now).