16 Apr 2012
As I write this, it is Sunday afternoon and I am sitting on the couch with cold pills and kleenexes on one side, my dog Ritzy on the other, and my new MacBook Pro sitting on my lap. That’s right, I drank the kool-aid and picked up a new laptop for my 40-[mumble mumble] birthday.
This has been an interesting weekend … well, today has been interesting because yesterday I did 5 hours of yard work and then went into the office for the last half of the day – Saturday sorta sucked. On the other hand, Sunday started off with a bang … actually it was more of a “crash”. Around 2:30am Sunday morning, I woke up to squealing tires followed by a loud crunch. Ugh … no other choice but to go outside to make sure that someone hadn’t hit a tree and was in need of some help. They didn’t, so I went back to sleep. I’m sure the image of me in my underwear will be with them forever.
At 8:00am Sunday morning, my daughter Kate and I were up and building a fort in our living room because a photographer from the New York Times was coming over later that morning to take our photo in front of our masterpiece.
The funny thing about it was we had it all ready to go when the photographer showed up only to have her ask us if we would tear it all down and rebuild it so she could photograph the process. I have to admit I saw that coming but since building forts in the front room is kind of fun, we didn’t mind accommodating her request. So why were we getting our picture taken for the New York Times? That is a story for another day.
When that dog and pony show was complete, my entire family went out to the “computer store” so that I could take a few models out for a test run. See, I spend a lot of time on my laptop and the one I currently have is really old, takes about 43 minutes to boot up, runs so hot that several pairs of pants have caught on fire, and several of the keys stick … so if you found typos in the past, it wasn’t my mistake, it was the result of a computer malfunction. It was time to replace my long-time buddy and friend. My wife had previously bought me that computer for Christmas and so it was her idea to buy me a new one for this years birthday (which happens to be today – April 16th).
I had done a considerable amount of research but was still unsure which system to buy. I even put the question out to the readers of the Life of an Architect FaceBook page … and they delivered. I received loads of good advice and a few passionate emails telling me why I should get this computer or the other, normally accompanied by some tale of woe and bad luck, followed by love of happiness.
Fast forward a few hours and I was walking out of the store with a new 15″ MacBook Pro with a monster hard drive, loads of RAM, and a ginormous video card – all the things I am likely to need as soon as I started using it. In fact, I already had a post written for today but I wanted to experiment with the process using my new laptop so I decided to write this one.
One of the things I am going to have to buy is Photoshop – which I own for the PC but I am going to pony up and get a Mac version. I create a lot of graphics and edit a ridiculous amount of photos for these posts and the software that came with the system (as awesome as the salesman promised it would be) just doesn’t do everything I need. A good example are the photos I’ve attached below – these were taken using the camera on my iPhone but to use them here, I had to crop and resize the images to make them a little more web friendly. Picture size and resolution are just some of the things that makes a big difference when a photo intensive website loads. My site might be slow but it could be a lot slower.
These pictures were taken at the large modern house that I have been showcasing here on Life of an Architect over the past 18 months. We are 3 weeks away from completing the project and things are falling (maybe that’s a bad word to use for an architectural blog …) things are coming into place and it is getting easier to see what the final product is supposed to look like. We architects like to talk about certain ethereal things like “space” and “sense of enclosure” but as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Hopefully with my new laptop, I’ll be able to write those thousand words in half the amount of time that it used to take me. Thanks for indulging me with this post which was really about nothing – but hey, it is my birthday after all. (Unless you’re going to the AIA National Convention like me – in that case you can buy me a beer).