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Walter Miale
Please recommend computer, software, & learning resources
on Dec 31, 2017 at 10:01:45 pm

Sorry if this is the wrong forum for the question below. Is there a better one?

A friend of mine who is relatively new to computers wants to get into computer art and video. Please give suggestions about

1) what computer or computers to get, with what specs, for herself and her teen daughter
2) what software for video
3) what websites or other free resources to learn from

Thank you.


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John Rofrano
Re: Please recommend computer, software, & learning resources
on Jan 1, 2018 at 4:34:27 pm

[Walter Miale] "1) what computer or computers to get, with what specs, for herself and her teen daughter"
Without knowing a lot about what they want to do or what their budget is and realizing that they themselves might not know where they want to take this, I would recommend they get a biggest iMac that they can afford. The 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display, 3.0GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, 8GB memory, and 1TB hard drive starts at $1,299 USD and the 27-inch starts at $1,799.00 USD. Really any of the new iMacs should be fine.

If they can't afford a new one, OWC has some excellent deals on used Macs. Just make sure you don't get anything less than a Core i5. (i.e., no Core 2 Duo, those are very old, and no Core i3, those are too weak for media creation) Buying new is always preferable especially if you plan to keep it for a while.
[Walter Miale] "2) what software for video"
I would start with iMovie which comes free with all new Macs. Don't let the free price fool you, it's quite a capable little video editor and my daughter uses it for her YouTube fashion videos and loves it. If you need more capability, you can get Final Cut Pro X but that's an investment at $299. What I did was purchase iTunes gift cards when they went on sale. I bought 3 x $100 at a 20% sale making them $80 each so I only paid $240 for FCP X. 😉

You didn't ask about photo software but Affinity Photo for $59 is the deal of the century. It's an extremely capable photo editing program on par with Adobe Photoshop but for a lot less money. They also have an iPad app that you can exchange files with. They provide a very creative environment for editing photos.
[Walter Miale] "3) what websites or other free resources to learn from"
I'm an educator so excuse me for pointing out that sometimes "free" training is worth every penny that you pay for it ($0) but there are a few gems out there.

You can search YouTube and be educated for days from people with as little as an hour of knowledge to some very good tutorials from experienced users. David Cox has some very good free tutorials on using a Mac for the first time:





If you want structured format education I would recommend lynda.com for general Mac training and Ripple Training for Final Cut Pro X training but these will both cost you.

~jr

http://www.johnrofrano.com
http://www.vasstsoftware.com



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Walter Miale
Re: Please recommend computer, software, & learning resources
on Jan 1, 2018 at 10:37:31 pm

Thanks for the informative response. OWC is a nice find, as are Lynda.com & the others. Further Q's:

1) Please say a word about platform. Cost is a factor for my friend. Maybe a PC is the way to go for her?

2) I need a used Mac or two myself & cost is a major factor. So I'll look at Core i5, yes? Is that the same as quad core? Either iMac or Mini or MacBook Pro OK?

3) Is 2011 too old? Would 2012 (or newer?) be a big (How big?) advantage?

4) 13-inch screen is kinda small. So either a Mini or and MacBook Pro with an external monitor?

5) I see big stand-alone screens (Acer) are dirt cheap. But please recommend a practical display for use with a mini for say working in bed.

Thanks!

Walter


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