Disney’s Gallery: The Book of Boba Fett

Thursday, May 05, 2022

A day late and a dollar short! May the 4th be with you!

I sat down and watched Disney’s latest Gallery episode, outlining the making of The Book of Boba Fett. The hour-long episode is compelling, artistic, and thought-provoking. It showcases the depth to which Star Wars creators are going to build out the Star Wars story around the films.

The Gallery episode is, of course, 10 times better than the TV season itself.

The Book of Boba Fett is chalk-full of swings and misses. Episode 1 is great. Episode 2 is mesmerizing. The Mando-only episode world-builds like the best of them. Luke and Grogu are stunning together (though I wish Ahsoka hadn’t appeared here).

Yet somehow, the bulk of the season fell flat.

All told, these Gallery episodes are spectacular and worth your time. The work put in with Grogu and Luke is perhaps the best Gallery work yet.

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My Apple Studio Display Setup

Sunday, May 01, 2022

The Apple Studio Display with nano texture finish.

I recently tweeted a tongue-in-cheek comment about the photographer over on The Sweet Setup. It was surely meant to crack a joke at myself, but at least one of the comments didn’t take it as such:

@joshuaginter Most of the time when I see a photo from this group, I think they're unwittingly saying: "We make so much money, look at all the expensive accessories we have!" 👨‍💻 🖥 🖥 📱 🎧 ⌨️ 🎤

Ouch.

I don’t think it’s ever been about “I make so much money” as it is “We literally write about cool Mac setups”. And, well, cool Mac setups often need some of the latest and greatest devices.

There was almost zero chance I wouldn’t pick up the Apple Studio Display at some point in time. It’s snazzy. It’s full of functionality. And it’s Apple — Apple products just work so well with other Apple products.

What took me awhile was determining the specs I wanted. Initially, the height-adjustable stand seemed like a no-brainer and there was little chance the nano texture display would provide any meaningful value to my setup.

But after realizing the height-adjustable stand is a $400 one-time set-it-and-forget-it height choice, I knew the upgraded stand wasn’t a good idea. And the nano texture’s ability to cut down on glare drives right up my alley to eliminate glare when shooting photos of the display.

The result was an Apple Studio Display with tilt-adjustable stand and nano texture finish.

I couldn’t be happier, so far.

I’ll get into more detail one day. For now, here’s how I have my home office setup.

The Studio Display is sitting in a Twelve South HiRise Pro stand I had from my old iMac days. It’s connected via a single Thunderbolt 4 cable (more on this cable in the future; the Studio Display is more cable-fussy than others are leading to believe) to the 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro. And beside the MacBook Pro is an external Microsoft Number Pad.

That’s it. Easy peasy.

I have numerous keyboards in the house which I enjoy using from time to time. But I can’t seem to shake the everyday-edness of this built-in MacBook Pro keyboard — it’s the best laptop keyboard I’ve ever used and it has increasingly felt like “home base” whenever I come back to it. The external Microsoft Number Pad just ensures I can continue to have number pad functionality while enabling use of this built-in MacBook Pro keyboard.

I’ll provide additional insight into the Apple Studio Display in the near future. For now, I’ll say the Apple Studio Display is one of my favourite Apple products in recent years, and I am so happy it will stay on my desk for years to come.

Keeping a Separate Creativity Computer

Sunday, Mar 27, 2022

There’s some magical force field right now which keeps my MacBook Pro from creativity and which keeps my iPad from productivity.
There’s some magical force field right now which keeps my MacBook Pro from creativity and which keeps my iPad from productivity.

I intended to move as much of my work life as possible to one laptop over the last half year. I’m not so sure it was the right decision.

I spend a lot of time in front of the MacBook Pro right now. Office days begin before 7:00AM and end around 9:00PM (I take an hour or two break for supper with my girls). For 95% of that time, the MacBook Pro glows in front of me.

I can do everything from that MacBook Pro. Nearly 90% of colleagues, friends, and clients I work with communicate in some form of data-based messaging. Phone calls and video calls happen in most messaging apps. Blog posts and photo edits can happen in Ulysses and Lightroom. You know the drill.

Yet there’s some sort of psychological barrier to opening the MacBook Pro lid when it’s time to create.

If it’s time to write a blog post, the last place I want to write is on the MacBook Pro. There’s just some sort of mental block there.

I even prefer the MacBook Pro keyboard for long-form typing!

That mental block keeps the iPad pretty useful. I’ve long preferred the iPad for photography workflows. Now though, the iPad has taken over almost all my creative endeavours:

  • Writing for The Sweet Setup or this blog happens on iPad.
  • Editing and exporting photos happens on iPad.
  • Handwritten notes or scribbles or drawings happen on iPad.
  • Research, connective thinking, and study happens on iPad.

It’s almost like, in the same way I don’t ever tend to use Excel on iPad despite having a pretty sound feature set, I don’t tend to get much creative work completed on a Mac. I don’t know why. I just don’t.

This isn’t a perfect line in the sand. Throw the MacBook onto a stand and hookup the Planck EZ and the creative juices have a strong chance of flowing.

It’s just that creativity happens so much easier on iPad.

“Creative” is quite encompassing. Apple’s definition of “creative professionals” — especially in relation to the latest keynote — centered heavily on power users needing powerful Macs. Were I in their shoes, I am sure the Mac would be the (only) option.

As it stands, I’m grateful for the mental block between my MacBook Pro and the creative work I need to complete. It provides some separation between office-work and side-gig-work. It provides a transition from office to home. And, in a way, it provides the opportunity to have some sort of shutdown period each day.

I don’t think my earlier drive to move everything to the M1 Pro MacBook Pro was a good idea.