I’m a Happier Person, Thanks to My Mac

mac-pcNo, seriously. I can honestly say that I’m a happier human being because of my MacBook Pro. My entire life I’ve been very into art, music, and especially the digital forms of those things. So I guess in some respects I’ve always been somewhat of a closet artist, but hadn’t really found my medium yet. With a knack for computers and technology those two things (computers and art) never converged for me. Why? Now I know. Because I was stuck in Microsoft land. And let’s face it  – there’s nothing artistic or creative about being a Windows user. Being a Windows user does not inspire creativity. And lets face something else  – something that took me years to admit – doing visual arts or music on a Windows computer is extremely difficult.

Case and point: A good friend of mine, Aaron, is a brilliant musician. He’s not only multi-instrumental, but he’s a brilliant song writer. In the 1990s he and I used to dabble with MIDI instruments, synths and a variety of other music technologies, all at his house or in one of his studios. All the while he had a Windows computer. Yet he’d always complain about how difficult Windows made things for him. He’d frequently ponder getting a Mac, and for some ignorant reason I’d convince him not to bother with a Mac. I look back now and I regret being so stinking ignorant!

There’s so many other stories I could tell similar to that one. One about a friend Liz who was a talented graphic designer. She used a Mac and I used to pick on her for it. Why? Cuz I was an ignorant Windows guy.

For enterprise purposes, a Windows machine is a great machine, always has been. But once Apple stopped building their own processors and finally started using Intel processors, all that changed. That’s when I got myself a Mac, well, a little later.

I got my MacBook Pro after having a fit of rage (a silent one) on a train to/from NY in March of ’08 years ago (read this for the story). I’ve never looked back! I feel like some once-pious Christian missionary who’d preach all about the ways of Christianity, to only find himself miserable and converting to, I don’t know, Buddhism. What I mean by that is, I regret being so ignorant for so long. I’m sorry to all those Mac people who I dissed so many times! I’m sorry to any Windows people who I steared wrong.

Today, I find myself a healthier person – and I mean that. I’m healthier because I have those creative mediums at my fingertips like never before. I have a small home studio that I use to make music. I have a synth (thanks Aaron!), and some killer studio monitors, a crappy little electric guitar, and dual monitors – and I use a bunch of professional grade studio software apps for this. I’m learning, and I’m having a blast. I’m learning to use Final Cut Pro. Holy crap that’s a beast. But I’m lovin it! I’m also a semi-pro photographer using Lightroom and Photoshop and a bunch of plugins. For the first time in a long long time I’m once again a closet artist. I have a bunch of little projects I’m working on and I’ve never felt more inspired and creative. And I would not be doing any of these things if it weren’t for that fateful day on the Acella Express when I finally had enough of Windows and made the switch.

If you’re like I once was, an ignorant Windows jerk who for some stubborn reason would “never” switch to a Mac – well, good luck to you. You don’t have to be ignorant, or a jerk either. But if you are looking to really have fun with technology, fun with a computer, and create and inspired – get yourself a Mac.

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No Alternative: Glynis

Woke up with a song in my head that I haven’t heard in years and years. I couldn’t remember what album it was off of, but I soon discovered it. The song is Glynis by The Smashing Pumpkins. It was off a great compilation album that I now remember so well – but I can’t seem to find a download of it. Some great tracks! Great memories. Anyway, check out some vintage pumpkins. Kind of appropriate for Valentine’s Day. One love.

Part of Joy Division's Legacy

joy_divisionI had a sad conversation at work yesterday with a few co-workers. I was playing a live Joy Division song. I don’t recall the song now, but Ian Curtis was lamenting into the microphone. His cries were blaring out of the speakers when one of my co-workers exclaimed with a grimace, “what is this?” I responded “Joy Division” and she remarked back sarcastically about the music lacking joy. I could only laugh and think to myself “no shit.”

I quickly started into a monologue about how influential Joy Division was and still is, and how the The Killers wouldn’t be around if it weren’t for Joy Division. Neither would Nine Inch Nails, Morrisey, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Nirvana, Radiohead, any kind of 80’s electronica, and of course New Order – all some of the best music of my time on this planet. But explain this to a handful of twenty-somethings who are more preoccupied with what Britney or the Jonas brothers did last week. Hey, I can’t hold them responsible for this though, I was like them once, so I took the time to play some Joy Division to them. I played a few songs, the requisites of course, like Love Will Tear Us Apart and New Dawn Fades. I held off on my personal favorites like Digital and Dead Souls. They took it in, mostly, and their eyes lit up when they recognized a melody or a lyric. OK, mission accomplished.

Maybe I’m a snob, and I probably am a bit, when it comes to music. I’m not alone either. I have plenty of snobby friends who dress the part and attend more shows than I can anymore. Thankfully I had another music snob  in the office who was able to back me up on these things and help school these kids.

I find myself now feeling like one of those jerks from when I was a teenager trying to educate me on the influence of David Bowie or Thelonious Monk. I guess this is a sign of aging.

I found out yesterday, from my office ally, that there was a movie released last year titled Control, about Joy Division but more specifically Ian Curtis, and directed by legendary photographer Anton Corbijn. The trailer is below. It’s next on my Netflix queue and I can’t wait! But will it make me feel old, and even more of a snoot? Who cares, at least I know good music!