Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Why I work on a mac.

If you're a Windows OS fanatic, best to stop reading this post at this point.

For everyone else, specifically artists, interested in actually being productive, I went Mac a few years ago, at the insistence of M'lady...who dragged me into the store kicking and screaming almost. ( And this was after I'd had a PC, with all it's cheap generic hardware fail me, destroying a months worth of work I had to quickly get redone in a week. )

Once I got one and experienced some sort of functional, user friendly OS for the first time in my life, I never looked back.

Now I'm onto my third Macbook Pro. This little baby you see here arrived last thursday. Damn near 3 GHz, with 8 GB ram.

I'm lucky enough to make artworks for a living. I finish them off on computer. I really found if I put the money into a quality machine, I end up recouping the costs pretty quickly.

I use macs because I want to be productive. If I buy a car, I don't expect to have to have the knowledge of a mechanic just to drive the damn thing. Yet this is pretty much my experience with Windows. I want to be productive 100% of the time I choose to be on my computer. My MBP gives me this around 98% of the time. If it's 3am and I have a deadline, I am not interested in anything else.

And yes, Macs are not good for games. Boo hoo. That's why Mac allow you to dual boot, allowing me to even do that if I want to. But this is primarily a work machine. If you want to be serious with your work, I definitely recommend investing in your work flow and going mac unless you're some sort of specialist that for some reason really does require a PC.

Look at that. They're interested in communicating clearly with you.


My old Macbook Pro and my new one. When you upgrade a mac, they have this thing called Migration. With 3 clicks you basically transfer your old laptop ( not just the contents but your user settings, passwords, literally a carbon copy of your old machine ) onto your new one. It's painless and easy.

And then I went back to work.


Darth Duncan said...

I too work on a Mac. Wouldn't have it any other way. What do you do with your old machines? How often do you replace?

Templesmith said...

I find them good homes basically when I get a new one. They're still good machines for general stuff to to intro new people I know to macs but I upgrade maybe every 2-3 years if there's an actual real leap in the speed or something. Been waiting for the new 17" MBP for aaages.

Vilkacis said...

Do you use a Cintiq or anything of that variety or do you do all the art outside and then scan it in full-color?

Len N. Wallace said...

I've tried working on a Mac a couple times before, and I'm just so hardwired from working with PCs that my brain has a lot of trouble. Took me forever to figure out what the Mac equivalent to a left click was.

Oh, and I hate my PC to death. I'm just too broke to afford anything new.

Templesmith said...

@Vilkacis I have a Cintiq but yet to tinker with it properly. I still wouldn't use it to draw fully digitally though. I still love my original physical art too much.

I scan in greyscales mostly. Check my blog archives for a bunch of times I've posted progress shots of my art from sketch to computer.

Templesmith said...


Just use a PC mouse man!

Sure it takes a little getting used to, but so did the metric system....oh wait...Reagan said that was too hard and took you guys off it half way through...damn! ;-)

Joe Frazier said...


i do computer support for a living and the supporting the 6 or so mac's on our network is a nightmare. they are great pieces of hardware when they work by them selves but trying to have people work on them and work with a Domain is a hassel and a pain. SharePoint is even worse. and don't get me started with macmail (the worst program ever) or Mac Office blech.

i really enjoy using one at home and encourage people less than savvy to use one, however for work they are garbage. unless of course your work has to do with art and you use it by itself.

Templesmith said...


My wife does exactly the same, probably for more macs and dealing with a big ass server for the publisher too.

She shudders to think what her life would be like if they were Windows machines instead.

Which is the point. I never said they were the perfect. Just that they, for me, actually work. Unlike Windows which usually insists I bend to it's will instead of the other way around. ( Can't comment on Vista, except to say visually I loved it years ago when they released OSX. )

James K. Collins said...

@Joe, it's not that Macs don't network as well as windows boxes, it's that they don't use the Windows networking stuff as well as a microsoft box. I was on a mostly Mac network and the few Windows users were the ones who were considered the pains in the a**.

And don't get me STARTED about the stink created when our MS-based Head of Sales mail-bombed everyone in her addressbook with a virus. OUR users were fine, of course, but it was less than a coup for PR.

And yes, MacMail is unmitigated crap; nobody uses it, except maybe Apple Support. I'm a Eudora fan myself, but I hear Good Things about Thunderbird.

Hailey - Island Reef Job Applicant! said...

Well you've convinced me. Only thing is they're so expensive. But maybe it's worth it

Templesmith said...

Haily, the one thing to kind of factor in is the less problems you'll have with the machine than with a PC. A lot less lost hours in frustration. ( I can speak from experience there )

But yeah, they're a bit more of an investment than a standard PC/laptop I know.

Shay said...

In the age of (admittedly mostly illegal) cider ports, Macs are becoming decent gaming machines too.

From Portal to C&C: Red Alert 3 to Dawn of War, there's pretty much everything worth having for macs nowadays.

Angela said...

Yeah and let's not even get started on the difference in tech support. Apple will actually fix your machine if you sport the extra Apple Care costs. I worked for Apple for like 4 years and not only do they sell a quality product, they treat their people well too.