Changing My Computer Workflow

I have spent the last year in my house for the most part and while I do expect to get back to some sense of normalcy in my schedule, I have decided that I’m going to do things differently.

First of all, it turns out I don’t mind sitting around the house. I’ve worked 80-100 hours a week for most of my adult life. I guess I am at the stage where 40 hours seems like enough. So I won’t be traveling as much. Because of that, I am changing my computer and going more minimalistic.

I had a top of the line MacBook Pro but frankly, that stupid touch bar on the top continues to be a deal breaker for me so I sold it. What am I replacing it with? A lowly 2020 Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD Storage.) This is probably the first time in my life I’ve ordered the low-end Apple product. I usually go the other direction. But since I will primarily use this computer to check email, write the occasional article and quickly scan my in the field photos for keepers, I won’t do any editing on it. In fact, I won’t even load Photoshop onto this notebook. I’ll stick with Apple Photos and if I want to quickly share something made in the field, before I get home and do my serious editing on it, I’ll just make a SOOC, JPEG from Apple Photos and call it good.

I am buying a Dell UltraSharp 34 Curved USB-C Hub Monitor – U3421WE monitor. I’ll put that on my standing desk and use it to view my musical scores and to do basic music editing. I’ll use Logic on the MacBook Air and since I don’t have any serious multitrack recording to do, it should more than handle the job.

For my photo editing, I am using my trusty iMac Pro. It’s fully loaded. It has one of the best screens you can find for photo editing and it just does the job for me.

The key to all this is I have invested heavily in external drives. I have a dozen SSD drives that I will hook and unhook to one of the two computers I am using. This allowed me to buy the most basic MacBook Air. No need to pay the high prices for Apple storage. I can connect an SSD and be done with it.

I am still using Luminar 4 as my main catalog software and I do run some presets there. I also use Photoshop on the iMac Pro for heavier lifting and of course I use almost all the TopazLabs software for further editing. I have added Capture One to the mix but am only using it for my guitar photography.

I sold my Apple Mac Pro. It’s a beautiful, and powerful and fast computer but it takes up a lot of space and is ridiculously expensive. It was really overkill for me. I just don’t do as much computer work as I used to. A client wanted to buy it from me and gave me 90% of what I paid for it so I made the decision to just rely on the iMac Pro which is no slouch.

As I get older, I find myself wanting to downsize. When I was younger it was all about acquiring the best and most toys. Now that I have finally grown up, I am putting the money I saved based on these decisions to good use – buying more bass guitars!!! I know, I know. I am beyond hope.