now that i have a mac…

now that i have a mac, there are so many tools that i have available to me that i have not had before. this is both exciting and overwhelming.

i imported my first HD video from the camcorder today. looks like video editing could become quite complicated if i let it. for now, i think i’m ok with simple editing and my aspirations of using premiere or final cut pro may just be left as aspirations. iMovie is a whole lot less intimidating…

but the biggest issue i had was trying to figure out my photo processing workflow. let me tell you, this is critically important to me. i was really disappointed with what my options were.

what i really wanted was some way to browse my RAW photos, take the ones that i am interested into photoshop for processing and then save them out. i was really hoping that iphoto would be the tool for this. what i didn’t realize was that iphoto does not handle RAW files directly. instead, it imports the RAW photos and makes jpeg thumbnails. this is awful for me because then when i drag a photo from iphoto to photoshop, it drags the iphoto-processed jpg, not the RAW image.

if i am doing something wrong here, let me know, but this makes iphoto unusable for me. this sucks because i love, love, love the features that iphoto has to offer.

then i started looking at other options like aperture, but i just don’t get what all the hype around aperture is. it feels a little bloated to me and i’m not convinced that it really will improve my workflow.

coming from my windows workflow of using ACDSee as my image browser, i was desperate and googled “ACDSee mac” to see what other people were doing. well, guess what? ACDSee for mac is in beta and let me tell you it is fantastic. FANTASTIC. my workflow from windows can be directly moved over to the mac and all is well in the world again.

brand new machine

so i have decided to build a new machine. this decision comes after much deliberation about whether or not i would need one, what kind to build, and just how much money i would budget for it.

usually a desktop for me has a budget of around $500. dells make great desktops. they are cheap, they are reliable, and work great. my last few desktops have been dells and i have been very pleased with them.

this time, though, i knew that i wanted to build a desktop that could deal with the processing requirements of editing video. and not just any video, but HD video. and so the quest began.

really, when it comes to editing video, it’s all about the software. and when it comes to software, i think that the mac software reigns king. so what to do? i looked at mac pros and holy cow, they are EXPENSIVE. you’re looking at over $3000 for a machine.

sure the cases are beautiful, but…man.

and so the next choice was to start looking at an osx86 solution. it turns out that you can build a pretty decent machine for about $1000 with supported hardware.

media server solution

so i have finally decided what my media center solution is going to be after much head and heartache. it’s a little more complicated than i was really hoping for, but i guess that’s just the way that it goes.

at the heart of the media center is the PS3. and what really pushed me over the edge was really just the simplicity in the UI for the media center. to get to this point, i have tried:
1) windows media center
2) windows media center w/ media browser as the front end
3) xbmc
4) mediaportal
5) boxee

i had issues with all of the above. the grand idea was that the windows media center would be great to drive my content, but at the end of the day, i didn’t like the default video view of the media files and media browser was just too buggy for my tastes.

xbmc was familiar, but the UI experience in that and mediaportal (a derivative of xbmc) really just fell flat.

boxee actually looks fantastic. it’s alpha quality code, though, so i had a lot of crashes or other playback issues which ultimately made me shy away from it. it’s almost worth getting a mac for it.

in hindsight, the only other solution i wish i had tried out a bit is plex for mac.

but my complete solution is now:
PS3 + Windows-based Media Server.

i’m using ps3 media server available for linux, mac, or windows as my DLNA server. it is the most feature-rich DLNA server i’ve found to date and i absolutely love it. it makes using the PS3 a joy to use and is very easy to setup.

the windows media server will transcode content on the fly for you to handle those pesky .mkv files that the ps3 doesn’t know how to play.

after all is said and done, i’m really happy with the solution, it’s easy to setup, easy to use, and now there is no confusion on how to use the TV at home.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-13

  • One piece down, two more to go. #
  • Parts for the new computer are slowly coming in. #
  • Piece 2 of 3 done. Changing table is higher than I remember it but it's nice. #
  • baby changing table/drawers for the nursery is set up. Felt a lot more tedious to assemble than the crib. #
  • the last piece of the trifecta is done! #
  • are day old krispy kremes worth eating? Have I become a donut snob? #
  • Stupid woman in front of me forgot something at counter and made us wait 5 minutes while she looked for it in the grocery store. #

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-06

  • Just fixed an issue in production after being woken up way too early in the morning. #
  • you know you are working too hard when you try to google "deadliest catch" but end up typing "deadliest captcha". #
  • Didn't know the bachelorette was already airing. Really would have liked to have seen Melissa Rycroft on it but hear she's engaged now. #
  • I somehow always manage to make healthy cereal unhealthy. Raisin bran crunch looked healthy, I can't help it if the crunch is sugar coated. #
  • Mailman at work told mehiw he was on vietnam's national ping pong team & his father went to the olympics to compete. #
  • Ugh, girl in front of me just placed an order for 7 pearl tea drinks. I'm never getting my pearl tea. #
  • finally! #
  • brought koda to work and all he wanted was to sleep under my desk. #
  • Getting ready to watch spamalot. #

building a new machine

i just placed the big order. parts for a computer, a camera, and it’s now time to wait for everything to come.

the parts?

intel core i7 920 2.66GHz dual quad cpu
asus p6t se mother board
12GB corsair pc12800 ddr3 ram
antec three hundred case
evga geforce 9800 gtx+ 512MB
corsair 850W 80 plus

should be a screamer!


oh yeah! i totally forgot to mention that i went to seattle this weekend. pictures from seattle are posted as well. it’s been a while since i took pictures, so it’s nice to know that i haven’t forgotten how to do it.

we drove out to tacoma on our trip and i have to say that tacoma is pretty disappointing. there are some museums and the museum of glass, the chihuly bridge, and the lunch we had there was great, but aside from that, not a whole lot out there. downtown was pretty dead and pretty small. we kept getting lost trying to find the city center because we didn’t realize we were already in it. so we kept following signs that took us to the port of seattle and eventually back to where we started again. it was then we realized that we were in downtown tacoma.

krispy kreme in the office

there’s krispy kreme in the office again.

i’ve already taken one because the call of the maple glazed donut is too strong, but i haven’t eaten it yet. i’m trying to hold out so that i won’t have the urge to eat more of them.

but it is taunting me. beckoning me to eat all of its delicious glory. beckoning? did i say beckoning? i meant mocking.