Back on track with a fast new Mac (for now).

Nov 2, 2010

I had big plans of posting to Prepress Helper once or twice a week.

That all got blown out of the water a few weeks ago by the welcome arrival of a beautiful, large historical book project. It has all sorts of old-time photos, with drop shadows, silhouettes, clipping paths and colorizations of many serious-looking folks. My own part in the project is preparing the images themselves for press. I’m on a breather today, waiting for the last section of the book. This whole project has been a lot easier since I just bought one of those new 6-core Mac Pros for my Photoshop workstation. Funny, it looks exactly like my trusty five-year-old G5. Never any hint of buyer’s remorse, I’m really glad it’s here! (Well, too bad it had to come direct from China.)

As with every new computer I get, I know it will seem gradually slower as I get used to it. My plan for when that happens: install a new solid-state drive (SSD) to make everything seem snappy again! They’re said to be a much more stable and reliable drive with no moving parts and speeds up to 285MB/s which is many times that of a standard drive with its fallible spinning platters. SSD drives work pretty much the way your digital camera’s memory stick does.

You might want to check out those SSD drives now; they’ll make pretty much any computer substantially faster with all disk-related functions like startup, application launching and more. Prices are fairly high for the larger drives, but appear to be coming down. Just make sure you do a little research and get the right kind; they’re not all the same. From what I’ve read, right now I’d probably go with the Other World Computing’s Mercury Extreme Pro RE SSD to be able to make it part of a RAID array in the future (after I got used to the high speed of a single SSD).