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Monday, 06 October 2014


get the Pro not the air. I just got a 13" base Pro, and it seems faster than my 27"iMac (the SSD makes booting and loading stuff so much faster). You may want to go with a larger SSD and more memory though (you can't upgrade memory at a later date) And of course you could always get Xander to buy it for you (to get the education discount). Also keep an eye on Apple's refurbished laptops; the previous model is not that different from the current model.

Using a blue-tooth keyboard with an iPad, or even an iPhone helps a lot when typing.

As usual, depends on your computing needs. Since you're going to be home connected to a 27" something, I'd say maybe a 15" Macbook Pro but if money is an issue, the 13" Macbook Air. The Pro will be more robust and have more computing power. While traveling, the Macbook Air will be lighter. Compromise but then ... ?

Just wait until October 16 Mike, new iMacs are coming. Rumors say that a new 27" iMac will have a 5120 x 2880 retina display.

Before you assign the old 27" computer to a printer, be aware that with a Thunderbird cable you can use the old computer as the 27" extension monitor for your new laptop. This saves you about a thousand bucks, or a few hundred if you had planned to buy a non-Apple 27-incher.

(My vote for the laptop a Macbook Pro. They're barely bigger than the Airs but have more guts.)

when you get a chance, you might want to check this out from notebookreview.com:


Mike, I use my iPad extensively on the road for communication and have found this to be indispensable:
I've used this and its predecessor on iPads for a few years and many trips and no longer take a laptop with me.

That said, I'll be interested in your computer selection as the iPad is not really up to much for post processing and I'm looking to spend a year on the road where post will be needed. I'm leaning towards my first Mac and will be interested to see which machine you select.

Thank you for the wonderful work you do with TOP.

Best wishes for success.

Grant Tomlinson

My household currently has 7 Apple computers, not all in use. One thing about Apple is, they do what they think will increase their income, and screw the users, the users have to take care of themselves. For example, they used to have a built-in DVD player on the iMacs. No more. In its place, you get a thinner iMac. But who cares? It's not a laptop, I don't carry it around with me. I don't expect to attract young women with the thinness of my iMac...While I know you can get a separate DVD player, that's just more money and it uses another USB port and adds clutter. (Don't even get me started on the latest GarageBand "upgrade" in which they eliminated some of its most useful features, apparently in an effort to drive you to Logic Pro.) I also just had a massive frustrating iMac failure (my main computer) in which the video card went out -- turns out it's a known fault, and Apple will replace the video card for free, but they don't tell you that until it fails. I eventually found a way (with some help from Ctein) to hook a laptop into the iMac and control the iMac hard drive from the laptop, but it was a large pain in the posterior. I should add that while iMacs up to the 2013 models could get RAM upgrades by the users, using inexpensive RAM from places like Best Buy, the 2014 models have the RAM soldered in, and can't be upgraded, so the more RAM you want, the more you have to pay the inflated Apple RAM prices. (This information came from a RAM upgrade site, and I didn't confirm it personally.) End of rant.

Anyway, I think a Mac Pro with a lot of RAM would be your best bet. I really don't like those laptop-to-monitor-to-keyboard deals, because it all gets too cluttered if you're also running speakers and an auxiliary USB port, but if you're gonna have one computer, that would probably be best. I don't really think a guy dealing with photographs on a daily basis can have too much RAM.

However, I think an ideal configuration might be a cheap Air for the rather rare times that you travel, and a new iMac of the kind that Apple may announce week which is rumored to have a Retina display. With max Ram on a 27" iMac, you could manipulate several photos AND write a column on the same screen.

And...please tell me that your current iMac isn't a mid-2011 model -- that's the one with the bad video card...

[Yes, it is. You mean a newer iMac will be capable of scrolling smoothly without hanging up? If so, count me in. --Mike]

You can turn off the Blogsy footer, you've paid them for the app they certainly shouldn't get those annoying name checks for free.

Mike, unless you are deeply entrenched in Apple's products, I would encourage you to get a PC. With a limited budget and an unpredictable income, I would opt for something that is as future proof as possible. I have a Microsoft Surface Pro 3 that has a dock that quickly connects it to USB ports, a mouse, and monitors. It has a touch screen and can emulate a tablet (like a more powerful iPad) or a laptop when used with an attachable keyboard. Except for a small fan, it has no moving parts.

It is very powerful, and can easily handle Photoshop CC or even Premiere pro and After Effects. I can use it to replace my desktop, my laptop, or my iPad without much sacrifice at all. My only reservation is that as a laptop, it has a fairly small, but beautiful, 12 inch screen. It is nice and light though for a laptop.

This is bound to be a controversial recommendation, but if you haven't tried a Surface Pro 3, then perhaps you should before rejecting this idea. Of course, there are many other great options.

The Air is lighter, has no optical drive or memory upgradability, the Pro has an optical drive and upgradable memory.

For the laptop, I suggest finding the screen you want to buy, and buy the laptop attached to that. Pretty much any machine you choose will work well for you. :)

I'd look at the Macbook Pro line and decide how much you really need. If the screen will be used only for travel, you can save money, weight, and size with the 13". The Retina display has become the de facto standard but they still make the regular one with a traditional spinning hard drive, you do not need a huge one. If money is an issue, and when is it not, I'd look at the 13" "standard" Macbook Pro with a 500GB hard drive, and 8GB RAM. I believe (someone will correct me if I'm wrong) that you can add memory and change the drive in that model. In the Retina models, the memory you start with is all you can get. I suspect the regular 13" will be phased out sometime in the near future, though I have no insider information. Good luck.

My recommendation would be to get the quad-core i7 15" Retina display Macbook Pro with 500 GB solid-state drive. It's the best performance per dollar value for photography applications. The quad-core i7 is only available on the 15" model as a processor upgrade over the base configuration. The Retina display is must-have for photography applications, and the computer is both lighter and thinner than the non-Retina version, which is big plus when travelling.

I'd also recommend the Apple 27" Thunderbolt display. It's not only a gorgeous display, but also functions as a hub to connect ethernet, hard drives, and other peripherals. Comes with a Firewire 800, Thunderbolt, USB and ethernet ports, and charges your laptop while connected. Also has a decent but not audiophile grade audio system built into the display.

I also have the 24" NEC professional PA241W BK SVII color-calibratable monitor for color and photographic professional applications, and while it has superb color, color-management calibration and profiling capability, it's matte screen does not reveal the detail that the Apple 27" display does. I use the NEC for color-critical tasks such as soft-proofing and color management when making prints, and the Apple T-bolt display for all my other photo editing work as it is sharper than the NEC.

13 inch MacBook Air + Dropbox account. I have had my MBA since 2011. It's a brilliant design--best laptop I have ever owned. At home get an Apple Bluetooth keyboard, trackpad, and monitor and you will be golden.

For 25 years I worked on computers. From main-frames down to generic PCs. I'm out of it now. It cost less to buy a new one than to hire a tech to repair the old one. Also laptops are tricky to repair. Better to let it die and get a new one.

I'm saying all this because I know a thing or two about PC computers but nothing about Apple computers.

This means when a friend buys an Apple computer of any kind they cannot consult me for advice.

I love it. So buy an Apple computer. Any Apple computer. You'll get no advice here.

If you use Photoshop or similar get at least 16GB of RAM. There are only a few Mac laptops that can hold 16GB of RAM (MBP).

A fast SSD in the laptop is useful but you will also need some external disk drives. Thunderbolt is very fast, but USB3 drives are quite fast (compared to USB2) and a lot cheaper.

The MBP can support multiple external monitors.

And the MBP is strong for travel, you just leave the extra monitors and disk drives behind.

Good luck!

If there is any way you can afford it, you might want to try to get one near Thanksgiving time. Last year I got $250 off a $2000 Macbook Pro from B&H. It was the weekend before Thanksgiving.

You said in answer to my comment that you *do* have a mid-2011 iMac.

I don't know what scrolling problems you have, because I didn't have those -- in my case, one day, the screen suddenly went blank. Everything else in the computer (memory, drive, etc.) was still fine -- but I couldn't see anything. So, you take the iMac to an Apple service center, and they will fix it for free,, because it's a known and documented fault (or if it's a private center, you get the new video card free, and pay for labor. I paid $110.) But here's the problem -- the mid-2011 hard drives are hard to get at, and for some reason that wasn't explained to me, you can't simply remove them and then boot up with the repairman's drive. You need to transfer something from your hard drive to the repairman's drive before you can boot up. The bottom line is that you have to leave your drive with the repair shop for at least a couple of days, and you can't remove anything from your drive before you do that, because you can't see the screen to do anything. In my case, I had bought and sold a number of houses in the past two years as I was re-arranging my life, and I had a *lot* of financial information, including bank transfer information, social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit information, etc. on the drive. I didn't want to simply turn all that over to a computer tech for several days.

After some research, and talk with Ctein, I found a little-known technique that would allow me to boot up the broken machine in a mode that would allow another computer to use its hard drive, and you didn't have to see anything on the broken machine to do that. I then connected to a laptop with a Thunderbolt cable, and was able to take control of the broken computer and strip the sensitive information out of the drive. But it took a long time to get that done -- the Apple on-line help people didn't even know about that remote technique. I found it online, after a couple of suggestions by Ctein turned me in that direction...

What I'm saying is, your computer (if it is 2011) could suddenly flash a white screen at you, and unless you have a compatible laptop and a Thunderbolt cable handy, you are SOL. You either trust your working drive to a tech, or you buy a new machine.

By the way, the tip somebody gave you about having Zander (or is it Xander now?) buy the laptop...that's definitely something you should look into, but read the small print.

Three more things I'd keep in mind when choosing an Apple computer:

1. Only the MacBook Pros have the Retina screen. You're a photographer, and I'd be very surprised if you didn't consider the difference night-and-day. Even most non-visual people do.

2. Shockingly, out of all current Apple computers, only the most recent MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro can drive an external 4K display. As of now, buying anything else will get you stuck with a standard resolution screen for as long as you have the computer. An we are already nearing sub-$1000 prices for 4K 27-inch displays that even cover Adobe RGB — which is kind of like the definition of photographer's display heaven.

3. The current MacBook Pro is capable of editing 36 MP pictures in real time, with no significant delay—barely. If you can possibly see a camera of such or similar specifications in your future, you'd be well-advised to not choose a smaller model (like an Air or an iMac—again, as of now, that is).

The Macbook Pro 15" is good if you don't need to lug it around airports on a regular basis and you can afford it. The Air is good if you want portable and lightweight and would like to spend less, but the screen is small and it won't be as speedy for the photos as the bigger ones. It's really about the compromises...

I've got a MBP Retina (2013) with 8GB RAM and I love it. I've only got the 250 GB SSD (I store my photos elsewhere). For some reason you can get a deal on this model from time to time. If you work in lots of layer you might want to spring for more memory. Regardless of what you get, make sure you have the SSD and the Retina display—you won't regret it. I don't miss not having a DVD drive, when I need one (about once a month) I just plug in an external via USB. I don't do video.

If you wait for the new models, you should be able to get a good deal on a refurb.

I've used a base level Macbook Air 11.5" 4GB 128 GB SSD since about 2012. I've used it to build several enterprise IT applications and use it to cut all my photos on the road. It's never missed a beat. I posted a video some time ago showing it editing a 300MB TIFF


another vote for the 13" retina macbook pro. also, you can use the imac as a monitor rather than having to acquire a dedicated one. that way you can extend its life way beyond your applecare period (something i've never bought for a desktop machine, by the by).

As you have advised camera buyers, the place to start is with "what do you want to do with it". What is your typical use case(s), which are the lessor ones, and optimize for the primary use case. Your technology choice should be driven by where you get the most value, and the secondary uses should get far less weight in the overall decision.

Some of the advice so far assumes you will do a fair amount of photo editing, but is this a fairly regular activity, or is it infrequent? This use will be a key determining factor in how much fast external storage you need, how much memory and type of screen, and whether this is needed when mobile or just at TOP headquarters. You might also examine writing needs, viewing needs, and what type of external peripherals you use.It shouldn't be driven by all possible uses (feature creep)

Trying to get every possible use in a single device drives cost up, and ends up with a physically bigger device. (kind of reminds you of the rationale for getting the top of the line DSLR) On the other hand, getting fit for purpose means you likely will need a 2nd inexpensive device for ancillary needs and need to develop a strategy to keep some data synchronized between the 2. But, you may spend less overall, especially if you can reuse some of what you already have. And, you might end up with your primary device optimized for what you do 80% of the time.

This is coming from someone who only just last week upgraded OSX on my iMac from 10.6 (Leopard) to Mavericks so not exactly following best practices! But I did upgrade memory from 4 to 16GB a couple of years ago, and was glad the iMac had slots instead of soldered memory. For portable use, I decided to use a cheap ($300) Window 8 laptop, though I really wanted a MacPro. The Win8 laptop keyboard/trackpad drives me nuts because it is constantly doing things I don't intend, especially with the fly out menus, but it is all I need for occasional use. I mostly use it to download memory cards, some minor edits on the road and checking email/web.
Good to hear you are planning this and not impulse buying

I would choose the 13" macbook pro (in fact I did)... it is more configurable than the air (and more powerful) and you don't need the 15" because most of the time you will attached to a bigger monitor anyway.

As an aside, I don't know where you buy your computers, but I bought my most recent one at B&H on a blow out deal. I get educational discounts from Apple, and even so, I got a lot more laptop for my money at B&H. They do this periodically, so I would watch for it. (Maybe you already do).

I bought a cover with a built in laptop style keyboard for my iPad Air. It was cheap ($70), adds very little bulk over a regular protective case, and since it's a part of the cover, there is no need to carry the keyboard separately. In use, it unfolds to form a stand that props the iPad up at a 45 degree angle similar to a laptop screen.

It's a world of difference from tapping on a glass screen, it feels just like typing on a regular laptop. I can attest that I can once again post long-winded rants in short order on my favorite social media site with no fear of finger fatigue.

One small caveat is that they made one small compromise for the sake of space; the location of the shift key is bit different than on a regular keyboard, which caused a few typing mistakes until I got used to it.

Wait many months, as the MacBook Pro Retina will finally get the next chip which I hear will be so energy efficient that it will not need a fan.
Broadwell is the codename used to refer to a 14-nanometer die shrink of Intel's existing 22-nanometer Haswell architecture. Intel says its new, smaller designs will bring a 30 percent reduction in power consumption while offering the same horsepower.

Faced with a lack of significant chip upgrades from Intel, Apple this year has slashed prices and instituted minor speed bumps with updates to its MacBook Pro, MacBook Air and iMac lineups. So far, the company's strategy appears to be working, as Apple set a new June quarter record thanks to cheaper MacBook Air models.

While you are waiting, buy a refurbished 11" Air for $719

Then you will discover that even a mere 4 gig RAM allows you Photoshop and LR at the same time.

Then you will discover that the Air is so good, you end up buying a Retina iMac and never upgrade to the MacBook Pro. The retina iMac and refurbished Air will cost less than the next MacBook Pro Retina anyway.

Just ask Scott at TechWise and see what he says.

None of the current Apple laptops have an optical drive.

The things that change as you move through the line are mostly screen size/style and mass storage.

The Pros can all be had with retina screens, the airs cannot.

IMHO the Retina screen is a huge win over a regular one. For general use and occasional carrying the 15 is good. For more carrying, the 13 works.

The only problem with the retina laptops is that it's hard to use one next to a non-retina screen because the difference in pixel densities is jarring.

Also, no matter what Mac you buy, get it with the largest SSD you can afford. It makes a HUGE difference and the most current OS is designed with an SSD in mind and tends to perform badly with a spinning drive.

Buy the most powerful laptop with the most RAM you can afford. RAM is as important as the processor to the speed at which the thing will run under load. If you're going to be looking at photos, a retina screen on the laptop is important. This future proofs you for new and greedy software updates and releases. All you need to back up your work on the road is a reasonable sized USB flash drive or SD card.

(Above I mentioned using your old computer as a monitor via a Thunderbird cable. I meant to write ThunderBOLT cable...)

As others have said, go SSD instead of HDD. No question. No, really.

It all comes down to make one single decision: Do you want a retina display or not? If you do, your only choice is a Macbook Pro. Than you only have to decide which screen size suits you best: 13" or 15"
However, if you don't care about retina display, than you can get yourself the ultimate portable Mac, a Macbook Air.

Simple, isn't it? :)

Two computers---a mac mini desktop (quad core i7 version---it has expandable memory, so you can increase it when you need it, or max it out now with cheap OWC memory) and an old-fashioned hard drive (cheap, big, good enough, fast enough), and a base MacBook Air 13" for travel (up the memory to 8Gb for $100, it'll make it last much longer).

It'll cost about the same as one decked-out laptop, but gives you a fast, expandable computer you can leave behind, and a small, uncompromised travel computer.

You'll replace the mini every few years, just like you're doing today. You don't need much from the laptop, so you can replace it every other cycle. Cheaper again. And you always have a backup computer.

Get the Air now and the mini when they next update it (it should be soon). It fulfills an immediate need (real travel computer instead of iPad). Then bring the mini into the mix later, using your iMac as a monitor (or buy a monitor, which you can also replace much less often than a computer).


Somehow, deep down, you know you have already made your decision. I'd be careful about being influenced too much by all the opinions here because there's lot's of incorrect information (like get a MB pro instead of an Air because it's got a DVD drive--nuhuh, not anymore for the retina version), but mostly because what would work perfectly for me or someone else might just be irksome for you. I'd exercise some care about buying soon-to-be-old tech or already-old-tech (like the new bargain iMac which is a performance dog). Macrumors.com has a pretty fair set of buying guidelines that are (mostly) current and good descriptions of the machines. Buy the most storage and most ram you can for any machine you choose [upgrades impossible or hard on most current macs]. Value for macs is usually one processor step down from the the max speed offered. The current Macbook Air screen is NOT SUITABLE for anything approaching reasonable photo editing, but is just fine for everything else. Beware the hassle of a cable nest when using the laptop as your primary machine. Also, the battery is built-in (not user-replacable) and will likely exhaust itself earlier than normal if left constantly plugged in or run through daily recharge cycles (despite the power management/trickle charge foo foo built in to the hardware). On the other hand, you have great protection in the case of power outages. Lastly, don't discount getting a high end mac mini (new ones rumored for this month) for the desktop and an 11'' macbook air for road warrior duties with the memory/hard drive (ssd) maxed out. That my two cents--probably worth less. Good luck!

Hi, Mike.

I’m with John Camp, mostly. You don’t travel much (yet); you don’t go to libraries to research; you don’t escape a hell-hole of a house to the coffee shop to write—why do you need a laptop? Wait for the rumored new iMac, get a lot of RAM. The fact is, John’s rant notwithstanding, iMacs are simply splendid machines for the money. Further, the thing about laptops is that they are always pushing the state of the art with them and laptops just don’t last as long as desktops. If you do start to travel more, get a low-end refurbished MacBook Pro to supplant your iMac.

I share your distaste for writing on iPads. Yes, you can get a keyboard (good idea if you travel immediately after your purchase of an iMac), but even with a keyboard they are irritating. I’ve had iPads since they first arrived and have tried valiantly to use them for writing and photo-editing but they’re just . . . I don’t know . . . sloppy and I’m not sloppy in either occupation.


Ah, you've come round to exactly where I am. I have a MBP 15 inch with a HP 2475w external monitor (apparently the same panel but different backlight to the z24x DreamColor, which is now a lot cheaper).

I leave it on the shelf and pick it up when I need to go mobile. There's two USB hubs connecting my keyboard, mouse, and hard drives that dock my laptop on my shelf, out of sight. To be honest, it is now relegated to the shelf. I have a smaller, lighter, more powerful Asus S200E (Core i3 + 500 Gb hard drive) that I take around as my mobile compter. The 500GB storage is large enough to do a proxy ingest on the road and then export partial Lightroom Catalogs for merging into my MBP rig. It has a proper keyboard for real work -- and it costs half the price of a MB Air.

For other applications, my work is now in the cloud (i.e. Google spreadsheets, Google Mail, etc.) so I don't need the same computer on the road that I have at home: I just need an internet connection. Lightroom is the only common app I really need.

My dream setup would be a Surface 3 Pro and a Mac Pro at home. But I can't afford that. So I think now, I'd be happy with a Windows netbook (the one I have) and a Mac Mini.


Depending on budget, I would go either a MacbookPro 13" Retina and a big screen. Or the maybe not so typical choice, a macbook air+ a mac mini. With enough memory the mini is really good. Anyway, whichever way, you really need as much RAM as possible as its not possible to upgrade and will be a bottleneck in photo editing.

I don't think you need a MacPro. I have one and it's not really faster than a new iMac or higher end MacBook Pros. You'd be paying for advanced circuitry and various high end components you don't need. The only caveat is that a retina 27" monitor which doesn't yet exist may not run off of any other Macs. So if a new monitor gets announced soonish I expect new MacBooks Pros too

The differences between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro are tradeoffs between features, price and weight. For blogging, web browsing, youtubing and email speed shouldnt be an issue.

How often do you travel? How often will you be carrying a laptop v driving with it? If you lug a laptop around often the lighter weight Air is noticeably kinder on your body. If that's rare, not so much.

MacBook Air are rumoured to be receiving a retina screen soon. Is the added detail of a retina screen important to you? If so wait if you're contemplating a MacBook Air. The new Air will also be lighter still. Expect them anytime between soon to early 2015. Intel is struggling getting their new chips ready which the Air will need for its new revision.

How complex is your photoshop work? A MacBook Air can handle EM1 files in Photoshop as long as your demands aren't too complex. The D800 files are much larger and suggest a MacBook Pro.. The more complex the Photoshop files become the more advantage the MacBook Pro becomes.

Laptops are inherently more expensive that iMacs. IMacs are the value proposition but don't travel well.

Don't to forget backups. I buy cheap USB bus driven portable drives for backup. They don't need to be plugged in to the mains, they take their power from the computer. Fewer electrical chords to worry about. All hard drives eventually fail. When yours will fail is a total crap shoot. That's why I also use backblaze. It's a great service (insurance) for cheap. Http://www.backblaze.com.

How much does screen size matter when you travel. 13" MacBook Pros are adequately fast and lighter than 15" ones. If you don't care and price is not an issue then the 15" MacBook Pro is an iMac replacement.

Some iMacs can be used as a monitor to MacBooks. I don't know if your current one can. Retina Monitors are on the near horizon. It's not yet clear to me if current MacBooks of any flavour have the internals to run a retina monitor. We should know more after Apple's Oct 16 event.

NEC is coming out with a 32" high end colour accurate monitor. You probably can't afford it. Most decisions in life are balancing tradeoffs. It's nice to have the fastest computer which generally is most important to people on hectic production schedules. It's nice to have the lightest computer but that best serves people who carry their laptop day after day.
All the best

For the statement about backup off-site. In the last few years, I use 2nd hand macbook pro. Got 3 of them in the last 3 years from my 2 sons, plus 2 macbooks. The screen is a bit broken but usable. But the key is to take away the optical drive and install two internal drive t - one ssd and one usual hard disk. It would be reasonable fast and you can do a bit backup anywhere as well.

Quite common.


Be a Hongkonger and 50+, I found the last few days very hard to pass. A Chinese saying - living a day like a year. Look at facebook, TV, firechat, newspaper, ... go to the site. It is very hard to see Tiananmen Square in 1989 especially Hong Kong is the only major city do remembernce of that with 200,000+ people every year (some less but recently back to 200,000). Well, it is very hard to see it unfolded with your own city and your own students. I am not in the frontline and some of my friends are. To be honest it is not a war zone but 87 tear gas are shot towards people holding hand or with umberalla. Last time they used 7 on Korean Farmers (when they use pipe etc.) But for using on Hongkonger it is 47 years ago or 1967 the Culture Revolution spreading to Hong Kong when I am young (7). Totally unprepared. Shocked. They (should I say we symbolically) occupied and still occupying two main roads one in Hong Kong and one in Kowloon (plus 2 more streets in key shopping district) but Not in Central. 9+ days now. Do not know how it is going to be resolved. It is a wonder it is led and still be led by a 17 years old and other two is less than 21. The government has agreed in the talk about talk (:-)) remember they let go of Snowdon because the US has filed the wrong name :-)). Not sure how we ended. But the movement is amazing as it is mainly university and secondary students (with parents trying to protect their kids) led by the young themselves. In one stage, we have 200,000+ in the occupied road singing our city song (which I do not know we have one but know now), led by that 3 young men - well, one is only a boy. I do not take up any of my 50+ non-phone camera. No mood. Too emotional to do things. Crying from time to time even when they or we sang that song. One of the surprise is every one seemed to use iphone, samsung or some sort of Smartphone. In fact, the only weapon we have is a camera (on the phone). When the police working with the triad hit the people, what they can do mainly is video it! Well, may be no one know how really to fight communist ruling 1.3 billion people ... As one of the ex-Dean of Medical Facility no one care about Tibet monk burnt themselves (really saying that with not even one drop of sympathy as far as I heard of the quote!). Hence, can you fight with people like that with just a camera phone. So far that is it. We will see.

Sorry not very coherent and claim. Awful English in the best of time but even worst now.


Back to the post, get 2 hard drives. They even come with a thing to change your optical drive as an external one!

1. Logitech keyboard case for the iPad.
2. Select your pictures first and touch the share button. Then select and compose your email

Dennis, I feel for you. Good luck over there. I read it's dispersing though?

Mike: I too was looking for a notebook computer a couple months back. Took a look at the Apple machines since they weren't too expensive. Found that the Macbook Airs are limited to 8GB, and have an awful TN screen. The Macbook Pros have that nice IPS screen that's some variant on Quad HD.

So what did I get in the end? An Asus, because I still can't stand OS X and I wanted a proper native keyboard and also decent battery life.

Having been a Mac person for the past decade and the current owner of a mid-2011 iMac (Yikes!) and an iPad 2, I must say I come down firmly on the side of those who advise 1) that you determine first if a Retina display is important to you and 2) if it isn't and you must buy now, go for a Mac Mini and an 11-inch Air, maxed out on RAM and hard drive size if possible. You can use your iMac as a monitor for the Mini now and add a 27-inch display later.

If you really want a Retina display and you must buy now, the MBP is your obvious choice. I think the 13-inch version would be fine and my advice on adding the 27-inch display later stands.

If you really want a Retina display and can wait, I would advise waiting until Apple's Oct. 16 event. If the Air gets the Retina display, I would go with that (again, a base version maxed out on RAM and SSD space) and a Mac Mini equipped the same way.

If the 27-inch Retina display is unveiled, I'd urge you to spend a bit more for it now and then enjoy needing to replace your display much less often than you would with something like an iMac.

Let us know how it goes and why.

Regarding the stand-up desk, this appeared in the paper on Sunday. I might drive over the bridge and get one.


There are so many different ways to use a laptop! I'm running mine with a 120GB SSD, and that's been enough for years. It depends how you use it; my laptop gets used basically only when on a trip, and gets used to capture the photos taken on that trip, do email, do preliminary editing and web posting, and random web browsing. I dump it to the file server when I get home, and clear off the local drive. Investing in a 500Gb SSD for this usage pattern would be silly. For other usage patterns it would make it possible rather than impossible.

My biggest dissatisfaction with my laptop is the screen, and I paid extra for the better screen when I got it. We're now starting to see properly high-res screens in laptops (not just Apple's "Retina" display), and I'm kind of looking forward to that. But laptops are also a rarely-used luxury for me. But a vital part of my away-from-home photo kit.

When you take a photo and add it to a computer hardrive, does it lower the number of megapixels or does the file keep its original size? I have a few family photos that our photographer gave us and I am just worried they won't come out the same as they looked on the camera itself. I want the photo to look its best because it will be hanging on the wall.

Zach | http://www.butterflykissphotos.com/#/gifts-of-life-images/

I'm with those that suggest a MBP with 16GB ram. My 15" i7 model is a dream. I got one of the Refurbished units from Apple. The packaging was very plain, but other than that it is like brand new, it shows no sign of previous ownership, and it is eligible for the exact same AppleCare coverage as new. Definitely the best way to save money buying an Apple laptop.

No matter which laptop you go with, make sure to get a TwelveSouth BookArc or similar desk stand for the laptop. Apple's laptops can be used with an external monitor while closed, and doing so improves graphics performance. With a 27" monitor, you won't need the extra screen real estate of the laptop. The BookArc is a great solution for setting up your desk in a clutter-free way, and when you're needing to take it with you, you can just unplug the monitor, external drives, and the computer itself, and be on your way. Get a second charger and you can go from travel mode to desk mode and back again very quickly and without creating clutter. I had to get rid of my iMac to free up space, and once we had more space, I was thrilled to discover this solution. It really lets you enjoy the best of both worlds, especially given the relative similarity between iMacs and MacBook Pros these days.

The Retinal Macbook Pro 15" models were recently updated, with Crystalwell quad-core i7's and soldered 16GB RAM. B&H has the two standard configurations at $100 off MSRP, with options for a faster CPU and 1TB SSD:

$1900 - 2.2GHz, 256MB SSD, integrated graphics (Iris Pro 5200)
$2400 - 2.5GHz, 512MB SSD, with discrete graphics (GT750M)

The more expensive machine reportedly can run OpenCL on both of its GPU's and may be better suited to your workflow. Both can drive two 27" QHD monitors, or one 4K monitor over HDMI.

I use my iPad with my existing blue tooth keyboard from my iMac and use this:


It's a great stand and folds up to protect the keyboard for transporting.

It's practically like I'm using a laptop, if not identical to my iMac for doing things like posting to forums and I'd imagine for you posting to your blog.

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