Back in Manila in a new role

Phew – it’s been a while huh?

A tremendous amount has happened since my last update, with the most important change being the start of a new role at work. I’ve now taken on the position as IT Coordinator for the HS and program leader for the computer dept. It’s a highly demanding role, but a challenge I welcome and was ready for. I’ll continue with technology integration but in correlation with the coordination. I haven’t had a moment to catch my breath in 2 1/2 weeks and am often working late into the evening, hence the lack of blogging.

We were in the States all summer, mainly on a beautiful lake in Tennessee, but also a couple of weeks near Clearwater Beach, Florida. All in all it was a wonderful summer spent relaxing with family and taking time to enjoy a digital diet. Each time I return it feels harder to leave, but I also feel quite content with the expat lifestyle overseas.

We’re back in Manila in our new house in Makati (heart of downtown Manila). It’s great to have so much space and a quiet office of my own, but I miss the amenities of condo living. I’m sure once we’re more settled it’ll grow on us.

On a spur of the moment decision days before leaving the States I sold my primary Mac – my 17″ MacBook Pro. I had a really tough time deciding what to do about a new computer. The new MacBook Airs are incredibly fast for their size and I was contemplating picking up the 11″ Air and using the 27″ Thunderbolt display at home. In the end I decided that in order to best get back into my love of photography, the power and size of the 27″ iMac is the way to go. I ordered the BTO top of the line: 3.4 Ghz, 12GB RAM (8GB from Crucial that I’ll install myself), 256 GB SSD + 2TB internal drive, and 2 GB GPU. It should be a beast that will last me many years. I’ll likely supplement the iMac with a 2012 Ivy Bridge MacBook Air in a year or so for the best in power and portability. (we already have a Macbook / iPad / iPhone, etc that can get me by for a while)

Unfortunately, the Philippines built-to-order Macs take quite a long time to be delivered. I’ve been told it could be up to 6 weeks. Ugh. So in the meantime I am quite limited in my photo editing capability.

Overall, I’m quite happy with how things are progressing with life in Manila. Love the job, like the house we’re in, the coworkers are fantastic, and surprisingly I’m enjoying Manila more the longer I live here. There are many things I miss about Indonesia (we’ll be back in October for 10 days), but for the next couple of years (at minimum) we’ll remain happily in the Philippines.

11 inch MacBook Air vs 17 inch MacBook Pro vs iPad

This is a direct comparison of the screen size and resolution of an 11″ MacBook Air to a 17″ MacBook Pro. The following images demonstrate the same webpage in Safari, the same photo and palettes in Adobe Lightroom, and the gloss and glare of the Air and Pro side by side. Don’t put too much into this comparison, as it’s just a quick and dirty photo shoot with poor lighting.

The resolution differences:

11″ MacBook Air: 1366 by 768

17″ MacBook Pro: 1920 by 1200

And the pixel per inch differences:

11″ MacBook Air: 135ppi

17″ MacBook Pro: 132ppi

The 11″ MacBook Air has a higher pixel density than any other MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac or iPad. I still don’t get why they need to make the bezel so large on the Air, unlike the iPad, no one’s going to be holding their Air by the screen. The 17″ bezel is nearly half the size.

In terms of my very subjective, brief and unmeasured opinion, the Air was a pleasure to use. The launch times for applications such as Lightroom, Word, iMovie, and Garageband were nearly identical to my 17″. However, I have swapped my 17″ stock drive with a hybrid Seagate Momentus SSD/HDD, so it likely launches much quicker than a stock 17″ 500GB HDD. Additionally, I have installed 8GB of OWC RAM which never hurts.

I don’t think the 11″ Air could be my primary computer, even when connected to an external monitor. I’ve become used to 8GB of RAM and am not a fan of USB 2.0. However, it would make a fantastic road warrior, and as long as you are prepared to pack an external drive (which I do anyway), I think it’d be a great supplement to something like an iMac. I personally would prefer an 11″ MacBook Air to an iPad (which we have) if I had to make a choice, as I love having a full blown computer at that level of portability. But to each their own.

11 inch MacBook Air vs 17" MacBook Pro: Screen resolution comparison

11 inch MacBook Air vs 17" MacBook Pro: Screen resolution comparison

11 inch MacBook Air vs 17" MacBook Pro: Glossy screen comparison