Category: Apple

Apple related posts

My commute home

I just picked up a GoPro Hero4 Black over the weekend. I’ve been testing out the timelapse feature on it and last night I recorded my drive home from work. I set the camera to shoot an image every second. I imported the images into GoPro Studio, and had it convert the images into a movie with a resolution of 4000×3000 resolution with a 23.98 fps. Then I opened Final Cut Pro X and imported the clip as a 4k movie with 3840×2160 resolution. I thought the movement was just a little too fast in the movie so I stretched it out to a 1 minute clip. This was about 83% of normal speed. I then added a vibrancy filter to it. Here is the finished product:

Commute from work – HD from Jeff Self on Vimeo.

Software for my iMac

With the new iMac 6 weeks from being delivered, I’m thinking about the software I’ll install.  So here goes:

Hoping that OS X 10.7 will be shipping by then.  I will still install from scratch however. I think since I’ll have two drives, I will have to partition the 2TB drive to hold the /Users directory.


New iMac on the way! Eventually.

Just ordered my new iMac this past weekend.  Upromise was having a 10% sale for Apple so my wife gave me the green light.  Here’s what I ordered:

  • 3.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 27″
  • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2x2GB
  • 2TB Serial ATA Drive + 256GB Solid State Drive
  • AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB GDDR5
  • Magic Trackpad
  • AppleCare Protection Plan for iMac

I’m going to fill up the memory to its maximum 16GB, but I’ll order the memory from Other World Computing to save a few hundred dollars.

Unfortunately, because I ordered it with the SSD, it won’t ship until July 6th and I won’t receive it until around July 13th. No biggie. Have plenty to do until then. Have a house I need to sell.


My eBooks library

Since getting my iPad in April, I’ve become a fan of eBooks.  I took advantage of some coupon codes on O’Reilly last month and purchased electronic copies of many of my books.  Here is a list of what I currently have on my iPad:

ePub format


I love the fact that I can carry around these technical books all the time and be able to look something up so quickly just by doing a search inside of the iBooks app.  My only complaint with the iBooks app is that I have to add my books through iTunes.  Would be nice if iBooks supported DropBox.

No, I'm not switching to Windows

This is a followup to my previous post, Is it time to switch to Windows?

I’ve decided to go with the 4-core Mac Pro.  I still don’t know why Apple gives it only four memory slots when the DDR3 memory is triple channel.  Would it have been too much for Apple to give it six slots?  Anyway, I have found out that the 4-core Mac Pro can support 4GB modules according to this article on Bare Feats.  So theoretically, this Mac Pro can have up to 16GB of memory.  So I’m going to order a 4-core Mac Pro with only one upgrade.  I’m bumping my graphics card to the ATI Radeon HD 4870.

So I’ll order the Mac Pro with the ATI graphics card, order the 12GB memory kit from OWC and order a second hard drive from NewEgg.  The cost will still come in a little higher than I want to pay, but I’ll have something much better than the iMac and won’t have to deal with changing software to work on Windows.  I’ll still have to build a PC running Ubuntu Linux to use for my telecine machine, but now I can build something really cheap or even pick up a used PC for next to nothing.

Is it time to switch to Windows?

I’ve had my PowerMac G5 since summer of 2004 and I’m ready to replace it.  Its served me well but when my Mac mini can run circles around it, I know it needs to go.  Especially when I’ve got a big project ahead.

I’ve got about 10,000 feet of 8mm film that I will need to get converted.  I’ve been looking at ways to build my own telecine device with a scanner.  I don’t think I’ll be able to use a Mac for this, so I’m really looking at building my own PC and running Ubuntu on it.  Then use some Python code to talk to the SANE interface of the scanner.  But thats for another post.

Once I get this film transferred, I’ll need to edit it.  I currently run Final Cut Pro.  But the problem I see is a lack of hardware from Apple that suits my needs.  Lets take a look at the three machines I’m looking at.

8-core Mac Pro

I love the 8-core Mac Pro.  Its a beautiful machine.  Dual Xeon 5500 Nehalem processors.  Its got everything I want in a desktop machine.  There’s only one problem.  I’m not a professional video editor.  I can’t afford the $4000 price tag.  So its a no go.

4-core Mac Pro

This is the red-headed step child from Apple.  They really don’t want you to buy this machine.  They cripple it just enough to convince pro shops to just bite the bullet and go for the 8-core Mac Pro.  If this Mac Pro came with six memory slots, I’d be all over it.  But its only got four.  It just feels dirty to me that Apple would go out of their way to cripple a machine like this.


So what about the consumer Mac?  Could I settle for the iMac?  It has decent performance, definitely much better than my dual 2.0Ghz G5, and is in my price range.  Except its got one major problem.  It has 2 memory slots.  It comes with 4GB of memory.  If I want to upgrade to the maximum of 8GB, it will cost over $900.  Why?  Because the iMac is using DDR3 memory.  And the 4GB modules are expensive.  So if I want to get an iMac with 8GB of memory, the price tag will be in the range of the Quad-core Mac Pro.

And the winner is?

So right now, I can say that none of these Macs work for me.  Which really sucks.  I love Apple hardware, and Apple software even more, but it seems like Apple isn’t catering to the prosumer like me.

So what am I to do?  As I mentioned earlier, I plan to build a PC that will run Ubuntu.  The problem is video editing sucks on Linux.  So what is my other option?  I could install Windows 7 on the PC as well and then install Adobe Premiere Pro to do my video editing.  Even after building an Intel i7 machine and buying Premiere Pro, it would still come out cheaper than a Mac Pro.  This would also lead to another problem.  I use Aperture.  If I make the transition to a Windows machine, I could replace Aperture with Adobe Lightroom.

Apple could make this real easy by just releasing a computer that fits in between the iMac and the Mac Pro.  Something that runs on an i7 processor and is expandable.  Sell it for between $1500 and $2000.  I’d order one tonight.

But without that much wanted Apple computer, economics may play a role in my future hardware.  I can’t stand Windows.  I love OS X.  But if I can keep a $1000 in my pocket, I may have to go to the dark side.

2008 Recap

Another year gone by.  Good riddance, 2008.  I lost my grandmother and father within a week of each other in October.  When all the older members of your family are gone, you get a new perspective on life.  I don’t have parents to lean on for advice anymore.

With the losses in my family the last few years, I am now on a mission to preserve as much history as possible.  I am scanning negatives and photos and storing them in Aperture.  I have a box full of 8mm film that I need to have converted.  I’ve got a ton of geneology stuff that my mom had.  I also have Digital 8 tapes of my own kids that I am converting to MPEG4 movies.  I’m worried that my Sony Digital 8 camera is going to fail before I can get all these tapes migrated.

So this is my mission for 2009.  How am I going to accomplish all this?  I’ll blog about this in the future.