The Pros and (Mostly) Cons of Upgrading to a 4K Monitor

I'm in the process of getting back into photography which will mean a new camera, more on that in a later post. But the first step for me was a new computer, one with the horsepower to handle a modern day camera and its RAW files. Along with the computer comes a new 4K monitor. 4K is great for media consumption, right? Your characters on your favorite show or movie really look detailed and realistic. Scenery looks wonderful. Everything looks great, right? Wrong. You know what doesn't look great? That photo I took in 2012 that I thought was sharp but is very much not. I transferred over my past catalogs of photos over to Lightroom Classic and eagerly began opening up some of my favorite photos. At first I was happy with how the colors looked and how the scene was composed. Then I noticed it was a little soft. Well I had just gotten a new contacts prescription so that must be it. Changed to my glasses and the photos were even blurrier! I went through photo after photo and most ca

The Programs I Use Everyday

Ok, this one is going to be a boring/geeky post. You've been warned. So what do I use daily for work and fun on my Mac?


Google Chrome: I've been using Chrome since it came out for developers many moons ago. With it's being released as a beta, Chrome became my go to default browser. But I was disappointed in the lack of extensions. Fast forward to today and I'm back on the dev version which has turned on extension support (Adblock, thank you!) and other useful tools. This has dethrone my previous go to browser...

FirefoxThis is a great browser, with so much to be customized. But that customization comes at a price. The more you add the more it lags. Now I'm not add-on/theme crazy, but you can really feel the lag with just a couple add-ons.

Stainless: This is Mac only, and pretty interesting. Similar to Chrome, the tabs all load in their own box, so if one crashes it doesn't crash the rest of the browser. Very cool. But Stainless takes this one step farther and allows you to treat each tab independently so you can log into 1 site with different usernames. This is really useful if you have multiple GMail accounts, or Twitter accounts.

SafariThe Apple browser. I don't know what it is about Safari but I just don't like it, but there are times when I need a 4th browser. It's not really add-on friendly, or theme friendly, but it is solid and quick.

Misc. Utilities:

SecondBar: I do most my work on a MacBook Pro with a nice (for a laptop) 15 inch screen. That's fine for when I'm out and about doing work, but when I'm at my desk I love hooking it up to my 22 inch monitor, what I didn't love is not having a menu bar on both screens. Enter SecondBar. It simply places a second menu bar in my second screen giving me access to program menus no matter which screen I'm working on.

CyberDuck: FTP programs are a must, and CyberDuck has been my go to FTP for Mac since day 1. It's simple to use, and very Mac-like. Unfortunately since OS X 10.6 it's been slow, so I might be looking for a new FTP.

Smultron: A (very) simple code/text editor. It's not flashy or sexy, but it integrates with CyberDuck, and lightweight.

MagicPrefs: I LOVE my Magic Mouse. It's nearly as useful as the touchpad on my MacBook. That being said, out of the box the Magic Mouse was lacking in some gesture/tap/click options. MagicPrefs allows me to unleash the power of the Magic Mouse with customized swipes, taps, and clicks.

Remember The MilkTechnically this is a web program, but since I can access it from a 3rd party program, my phone, my iPod, the web, GMail, and extensions for Chrome and Firefox I had to include this. My to-do lists can email me, text me, and IM me to remind me when projects are due. I love it.

Google Apps: Another web program, but this time a suite of programs. GMail; simply the best email option out there. The fact that it's free is even better. Access it anywhere from any device. Filters, labels, IMAP/POP3, 7+ gigs of space, integrated chat, awesome search, and more options coming fairly regularly? Yeah, I like me some GMail. GDocs. Google Docs is like MS Office, without the bloat and online. I have a word processor, a spreadsheet, and a presentation maker available to me for free online. Better? I can collaborate with co-workers and clients on documents here, and it happens in just about real time. Google Calendarkeeps my work and social life in check for me sending me daily agendas of what's going on today, reminders of events coming up, the weather, and has my favorite hockey team's schedule in there. The fact that it can sync my iCal and my phone's calendars is also great.Google Voice has been indispensable. Using custom made filters I can have my clients here my professional voice mail message and the boys can here a less professional message. 1 number to rule all my phones! Google Reader keeps a feed of all the sites that I subscribe and read so I can read them all from one place.

Adium/iChat: I like to do a lot of communication with friends and clients through IM. Unfortunately not everyone has the same IM client (Yahoo, AIM, Google Talk, MSN, etc) so Adium is my go to multi-client chat client. It logs chats for looking at later if I need to go over details, and it's just screams being a Mac software package. iChat is great for AIM or Google Talk, but I use it primarily when doing video chats.

iTunes: Can't get through a day without the music, and iTunes syncs my iPods and my phone.

I'm sure there are others that I've missed. Got something I should look at? Leave a note in the comments!


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