I haven’t written for ages due to the death of my laptop – it served me well for 5 years – so I guess I shouldn’t complain. In common with organic things this man made dream-machine developed a tendency to heal itself when things went wrong – and over the last couple of years they did on a regular basis. It developed an intermittent fault which became terminal three weeks ago. It would work perfectly for three or four days then mysteriously it would go on vocation for a couple of days and fortunately, return ! It’s tantrums included the screen flashing like crazy and the only thing I could do was hold down the power button for a couple of seconds and crash out ! Naturally this resulted in work being lost but I grew used to having to regularly hit the save button ! Upon rebooting the contraption would sometimes come on but more often than not it would sulk and not power up – pathetically squeaking to itself for a couple of hours – or at worst for a couple of days after which it would come back for a minute or so before either flashing or alternatively the “black veil” would come down, complete with a message asking me to hold down the power button. After a couple of hours all would be fine and things would work brilliantly for days – but then it would breakdown again. I stupidly put up with this behaviour for about two years but each time it broke down I knew it would be ok and it would go through the self healing process ( I wish my car would do the same) ! However, about three weeks ago my lovely Mac died and failed to reincarnate itself so I took it to the lovely repair-shop who informed me that they could restore it to health but it wouldn’t be economically viable to do so ! Even if I paid the repair bill of nearly £500 they couldn’t guarantee that the repair would last very long AND as it was on the cusp of being a VINTAGE model (5 years old) spares are not readily available (adding insult to injury) ! They tried to sell me a replacement but I really didn’t want to spend the money so I got a second opinion from another company who didn’t try to sell me anything or even repair my old machine. They did strip out the hard disk and put it in a posh silver metal box with a USB cable and plug so that when I get another machine I can transfer all the data.
I was tempted and on the verge of buying a new MBP, with retina screen and much more power . . . . That is, until I read all manner of horror stories about reliability issues with the chips.
Instead, to tide me over, I bought an ipad – whilst I psyched myself up to spend a lot more money on another Mac of some description. As I do a lot of digital illustration and have aspirations of getting to grips with Maya (for 3D illustration) I thought it would be sensible to have a 27″ screen -so I toyed with buying a second hand iMac but sadly by the time I got my act together the company sold it to someone else !
My iPad and I have been inseperable and I’ve been exploring several new illustration program’s ! I have a lot to learn but it’s fun and will be very useful for teaching. I’m still going to buy either another laptop – (assuming they fix the reliability issues) plus a big monitor OR I’ll get a big iMac !
For now I’m getting to grips with Sketchbook Pro and Procreate. The DNA spiral illustration (above) was made in Sketchbook Pro. I have been posting the odd image on FACEBOOK iPad Painters page plus Chriswoodartist and time permitting, I’ll add another post here but College is about to start and once I’m back in teaching mode – everything goes into free-fall !
My final piece of advice to anyone considering buying a new computer is DO YOUR HOMEWORK – it’s fraught with peril. I have often sat on the fence waiting for new and better machines to become available but this can be a mistake as like cars (and toddlers) they often have teething problems ! So in short I’m in a quandry but whilst I make my mind up I will continue to explore and enjoy one of the most successful purchases of my life – hurrah for the iPad !