My Move To Apple

Cerro Torre Glacier, Patagonia, Argentine. I may not show old images such as this one very often, but I certainly don't want to lose my access to them.
Cerro Torre Glacier, Patagonia, Argentine. I may not show old images such as this one very often, but I certainly don’t want to lose my access to them.

A few months back, I blogged about how I was switching from Microsoft to Apple. At the time, I purchased a MacBook Pro and was so impressed I went on to purchase a Mac desktop. It’s now been quite a few months and I can report I am more impressed with the MacBook than when I first bought it. It’s been stable and the start-up time is so fast, it’s probably paid for itself already.

As for the desktop, I really like it but I find the high-resolution screen has given me a couple of problems:

  1. The high resolution makes everything look good as well as very sharp. It seems to hide problems that would otherwise be identified when viewing on my PC. There has been occasion where I have finished editing an image, only to move it to my PC (which has a 1080 HD resolution) and find it’s not actually sharp.
  2. If I record a screencast or edit video on the Mac, its ends up being 10 – 20 times the size of a recording on the PC. This makes the file sizes too large to upload over traditional broadband (I can’t get fibre where I live).

I’m sure there are ways around these if I search hard enough, but I don’t yet have time.

One other problem I came across (and fixed) is when I plugged my Drobo into the Mac. Currently I have two Drobo units which store my back catalogue of images; literally hundreds of thousands of files. When I tried to access the images from the Mac, I found I could only read them and that I wasn’t able to write any changes or new images back to the storage.

After some research, I found this is because the disks were formatted by my PC to use NTFS storage. The only way I could change this is by formatting the drives in the Drobo and starting again. That may sound simple until you realise there are several terabytes of images involved and where can you put them whilst you do the work. Even just trying to copy the data could take weeks.

Eventually I found a great piece of software from Paragon Software called NTFS for Mac. Once installed this will allow you to read and write to NTFS disks. It works seamlessly in the background and you don’t even realise it’s there. I think it cost me around £12 for a license but checking just now the price is £16.99.

If you move to a Mac and you have images on large external drives, you will probably run into this problem. NTFS for Mac is a very neat, cost effective solution.

12 thoughts on “My Move To Apple

  1. I can’t help with the resolution problem unfortunately as I do everything on Mac’s, I can only suggest stop using the PC to view them, hee hee! What are they like if you transfer them to the MB Pro? You should be able to reduce the video file size by the way it is formatted and saved. Not being much of a video maker that is all I can suggest, however I’d be happy to help at any time with any everyday usage questions you may have, I’ve used Mac’s for nearly 20 years. Things like back up, I use ‘Time Machine’ to do a continuous rolling backup to a ‘Time Capsule’ but also use ‘Carbon Copy Cloner’ (an absolute lifesaver), every few days to a separate disk thus having 2 to fall back on if something goes wrong. You can boot up from CCC backups and reinstall a whole system exactly as you’ve set it up very quickly and be working again. Stuff like that, just useful tips, just ask anytime.

    1. Thanks for the advice and offer of support.

      I am loving the Mac experience at the moment. I’m almost certain the size issue with the video is relating to resolution. I can shrink the file by reducing the quality down to 1080 or 720 but it doesn’t reduce the file size as much as I would have thought. The best solution I have at present is to save the finished video as a Quicktime file, move it over to my PC and then import it as Media to Camtasia (which I use for editing on the PC). When I then save it the size shrinks by around 2,000% (yes, two thousand percent).

      I’m probably going to book myself on an iMovie course at Apple and ask a few questions. I was so impreseed with Apple I bought my wife the MB Air. She went on one of their training courses and loves it.

      1. Hi Robin, guess your nearest Apple store is Carlisle? I used to work in store (Bluewater, Kent and Milton Keynes) as a Mac specialist, a posh name for sales person but they didn’t want sales people as such they wanted people to impart the Apple experience to customers, mine was general knowledge but there were specialists doing exactly what you want to do with iMovie. However, have a look at this first;

        They do tutorials for most of the movie editing Pro apps but do this one is for iMovie and it’s under £30 and yours to download to view at your leisure. The first 6 lessons are free and then there are 15 more, £2.99 each or all for £28.99! As for your video problem I just recorded 20 secs in Quicktime, saving it in it’s native format (.mov) was 28Mb at 1280×720, exporting the file for ‘iPad, iPhone etc’ was 14Mb as an m4v at same res with no apparent loss of quality. That’s probably a bit to simple but hope it all helps.

      2. Thanks Chris for the advice and the link to the training. I do have a couple of training videos already but never find the time to watch them. These do look interesting though. My nearest Apple Store is actually Manchester. As I’m in town quite a lot I will probably take one of their courses. My wife has done a couple and she loves them. I also get to discuss my particular circumstances so it might work well.
        Thanks for your advice. It’s much appreciated.

    1. Sorry, don’t know what happened there and yes, I was replying to your article about your move to Apple and the fact that I have just purchased Paragon NTFS for Mac® 14 on Amazon. My problem was that I updated my Macbook to Sierra and found that I could not access my file on the external hard drives that were formatted to NTFS. I could not do anything with the hard drives at all, but they were fine with all previous mac os x software, Hopefully it’ll all be fine when I have received and installed NTFS for Mac® 14.

  2. oh, of course, I thought it was the iMovie Training but it said post and packing so that threw me!! I am so pleased that you are enjoying your Apple experience Robin, it must have been very daunting to change track after using one system for so long – only guessing! At least you can have the best of both, I really do mean it, any questions or queries just fire away, personal email if you like. Only today I discovered a major issue (very rare) that was locking up the system, the simplest of operations taking a minute or two to perform as something was hogging the processor and using up RAM. If I was new to Macs I wouldn’t have had a clue what to look for!

    1. Thanks Chris, I am finding the switch to Apple much, much easier than people said. I do though have a lot of experience in IT on various platforms so don’t find any of it intimidating. I have also read a few books on the subject now which is probably why I’m enjoying myself. If you have any further suggestions for background reading let me know.

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