April 15, 2011

Bonus - "What accessories should I buy for my new laptop?"

There’s pretty much only one thing in the world that makes my blood boil.

Getting up at five a.m. to write and then waiting for 25 minutes for my laptop to boot up. This actually happened to me on a business trip back in February and it took every fibre of my being not to chuck the thing through the window of my hotel room.

Instead, I got back, did a little research and bought myself a shiny new Macbook Air. Everything’s running a whole lot faster now. And while the laptop is the central hub to my work, it’s the accessories that really, truly make it everything I need it to be.  I’m away from the office a fair bit so the accessories are the “must haves” I need to work, photograph and play just about anywhere in the world. Here’s four I buy and how I use them:

iPad 2 – Second monitor, viewscreen, video editor.
Tablet, tablet, tablet. Blah, blah, blah. I may sound like an Apple Fanboy, but I use my technology to be better, faster and smarter. The iPad’s a good example. I use it for a whole lot more than Tiny Wings:

·      Monitor. I use it as a second monitor for the laptop (using the Air Display app) for more screen real estate.
·      Viewscreen. When I photograph professionally, I connect to the laptop and to DSLRemote on the iPad. I can show off photos as I take them. It also helps me see any flaws in the lighting, composition or faces.
·      Video Editor. I recently started shooting blog posts on the iPad and edit them in iMovie on the iPad.

Invisible Shield – Neurosis controller.
I’m a little crazy about keeping my gadgets look shiny and new. Part of it is because it helps resale value, but I also like my stuff looking newer, longer. The Invisible Shield is a military-grade sticker that goes overtop of most cameras and gadgets to protect them from scratches and nicks. I wish they made them to cover my kids.

Simplenote – The app I can’t live without.
I govern my personal and professional lives via To Do lists. Problem is, writing a list on a virtual sticky note means the list stays on the laptop. I want something I can update on my phone, tablet and laptop. That’s where Simplenote comes in (there are different clients for Mac and PC). I write a note on my PC and it syncs to everything. Make a change at the grocery store? It’s instantly reflected everywhere you use it.

Extended warranty – The one time I buy it.
If it’s good enough for Consumer Reports, it’s good enough for me. The first name in consumer goods reporting says to get AppleCare (extended warranty) for my Mac – and that’s exactly what I did. With my previous Pro, AppleCare helped out when I had problems with batteries and DVD drives. You can even find cheaper versions of it for sale on eBay.

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