Tag Archives: computer


MacBook Pro Retina unboxing

At the start of the year, I picked up a MacBook Pro with Retina display. Half late-graduation present, half-birthday present to myself. It’s the best Mac I’ve ever used, but then again, why wouldn’t it be?

I mean, you would think that given the innumerable and considerable technology advancements since the last time I purchased a Mac (March 2011), that any new Mac would improve upon every aspect of my previous Mac and then some. I don’t know about you, but I would definitely be questioning what the tech industry was doing if there were regressions of any kind.

Thankfully, there aren’t. I’m excited to say that the MacBook Pro with Retina display gets pretty damn close to my perfect machine. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted from a portable Mac. It’s powerful without being too bulky or heavy. It has great battery life without sacrificing portability, and while it may not be as upgradeable as I’d like (more on this in a bit), that’s a compromise I’m willing to accept for a machine that is otherwise everything I’ve ever wanted out of a personal computer, especially seeing as Apple offer configure-to-order options that satisfy the vast majority of customers, including your truly.

Because specs matter, my MacBook Pro comes with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of flash storage. The amount Apple charge for the 1TB flash storage upgrade borders on the extortionate, but there’s a price for everything, and that was a price I was willing to pay for some of the highest-performing flash storage around. Yes, my new MacBook Pro cost me a pretty penny, but considering this is a computer I’ll be using for hours at a time, every day for the next three to four years, I think the price was pretty reasonable. And since my Retina MacBook Pro now supports 4K displays at 60Hz, I don’t think I’ll be upgrading from this machine any time soon.

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A Little Bias

For the past few months now, I’ve been experimenting with something called bias lighting for my computer displays. All the cool kids are doing it, so I thought I would do the same.

Now it’s gotta be said that I spend what probably amounts to an unhealthy amount in time on front of LCD displays, if I’m not looking at my two LCDs on my desk, I’m staring at my iPhone on the bus, in the street, in the car, wherever.

The vast majority of my time, though, is spent in front of my displays at home: a decently-sized Dell 27-incher, and the 15-inch LCD of my MacBook Pro. They’re not the best match-up size wise, but going back to a single display when I’ve been using two for the majority of my computing life would be painful. There was a period where I went back to one due to reading something about single-displays being more productive. Needless to say, that experiment didn’t last very long — but I digress.

The theory behind bias lighting is that it’ll increase the perceived contrast of the display, as well as relieving eye-strain. It has a few other effects as well but those two are the main ones I’m really interested in, particularly as the lights in my room stay off for the most part (yes, my LCD tan is working out very well, thank you).

So I guess the question you’ve all been waiting for: how well does bias lighting work in practice?

The answer? I’m not exactly sure. Like I said, I’ve been using it for a couple of months now, and there’s definitely no discernible difference. Perhaps my piddly little 6-LED strips aren’t bright enough to have an impact on my gargantuan 27-inch display, perhaps I’m sitting too close to the monitor for them to make any kind of a difference, or perhaps I was expecting too much out of bias lighting in the first place.

Perhaps I’ll notice a difference when I turn them off for a month or so – but that’s for another time.


Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! Warning: extremely long post ahead!

Yes, Severus. As in, Severus Snape. As in, Harry Potter is so cool and I’m such a geek that I’ve named all my computers after characters, and even spells from the Harry Potter universe.

The practice to name computers after a specific theme isn’t new (but why people name hard drives is a little beyond me), but some take it one step further by choosing a name not only from a specific theme, but a name from that theme that has meaning when applied to their computer.

Take my former computer Protego, for example. In Harry Potter Protego is a spell that produces some magical barrier that protects the caster from harm (to a limit). My computer Protego was somewhat like that – sure, it wasn’t some sort of magical barrier, but being an IBM xSeries sever meant it had a very decent, durable case – which earnt it the name Protego. I didn’t say the names had to be an exact match! :p

All of my past computers have had names that relate to the computers themselves, whether it be a physical characterestic or otherwise, no matter how vague the connection, they had names that related to the computer. That ended with Severus, however – try as I might, I can’t seem connect anything that I can associate with Severus Snape to my new computer. It’s just too hard!

Introduction now out of the way, it’s now time to get some background info in before we dive into the nitty-gritty. Over TWO THOUSAND words about your new computer, you say? Easy, I say – don’t worry, there will be an abundance of pics later on for those of you with an aversion to lots of words.

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