Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's in the bag?

Because I'm on the road as often as I am, I've opted for a mobile solution to my digital darkroom. I've found that when I'm away from the computer too long, my familiarity with my routine post-processing techniques can wither quickly. Sometimes that's exactly what I need, but usually it's nice to have Lightroom and Photoshop at my fingertips when I'm on the road.

As time passes, my need for a more robust setup increases. Since I've started I've added an external display, Time Machine backup, Wacom tablet, Drobo external storage, Lexar FireWire card reader, aftermarket cooling pad (doubles as USB hub), and even changed MacBooks (see
Improvements to Technological Infrastructure). Obviously when I leave home, I can't take the Eizo, external backup, etc. So comes with me on the road?

Here's what's in the bag?
-MacBook Pro 15" in InCase frost case (with AC adapter)
-USB adapter for iPhone/iPad
-Wacom tablet (with mouse, stylus, and USB cable)
-2100mAH battery for mobile devices
-iPhone with earbuds (to drown out crying babies)
-Swiss Army Wenger laptop case

It doesn't seem like that much when I type it out but it feels like 9 pounds worth of electronics. I suppose the iPad's redundant but the wife sometimes travels with me and gets bored of her iPhone.

Truthfully, if it weren't for my mobile lifestyle I'd just get a Mac Pro. But if I had a dedicated desktop, I'd have too much trouble with Lightroom catalogues and storage issues. That being said, I'm sure someone will suggest that I do cloud computing or get a .mac/.me account or something but I find that way too confusing. I'm a one-computer-guy. On the other hand it can really be argued that with my current setup (the external display, Drobo, etc.) I really have more of a desktop than a laptop. The worst part of having the MacBook Pro is that I can't put more than 8GB of RAM in the machine and I already have 8GB. With Lightroom and Photoshop each taking up 4GB of RAM when open, I'm pretty much maxed out. Then again, I'm convinced that if I had 32GB of RAM, Lr and PS would find a way to eat 32GB of RAM. And now that the Hasselblad produces 31MP files, I need more RAM than ever. Oh and another gripe is that I'm very used to retouching with the 24" Eizo. It's hard to retouch only on the MacBook's 15" display.

Now that I think about it, with all the gear I lug around perhaps I could have just gotten Mac Pro and figured a way to transport the external display? What about portable power? Ah damn, I knew I was forgetting something LOL! Maybe next year they'll refresh the MacBook Pros with a motherboard that takes more than 8GB of RAM? :)

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