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Re: Apple/Microsoft Ecosystems -- If Mac Pro is EOL, why stay with Apple at all?

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Walter Soyka
Re: Apple/Microsoft Ecosystems -- If Mac Pro is EOL, why stay with Apple at all?
on Jun 20, 2012 at 5:01:33 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "Not only do we have to change NLE's we have to change OS, install all brand new hardware and get it all working. If we change NLE and not OS, the network is still running as we know it, it just a new app or seven, which will be challenging enough."

Sure -- the bigger the facility, the more variables for integration. I know it's especially hard for you because you are expected to maintain your systems and your SAN on top of actually editing.

My setup is simpler than yours, with a managed switch, a few VLANs, a VPN end-point, and no SAN. Integrating the 5 PCs I added to the network this year was straightforward and worked exactly the same as adding a Mac from the network perspective: configure the new MAC addresses for reserved IPs and hostnames on the switch, then plug them in.

I've been holding off on buying the SAN because it's a big investment to make. When I do buy, cross-platform support will be a requirement, and I'll have to expect to lose some productive time getting it installed and tested.

[Jeremy Garchow] "I know you preach about "once you're in the app", but there's so much more that happens when things aren't working quite right, especially with multiple machines connects to the same storage."

How do you troubleshoot Mac issues? Part of it is familiarity, and that's something you'd have to reacquire with Windows -- but that's not as hard as you think, and I'd argue that it's not part of a normal, day to day user experience for most people here. Googling error messages is cross-platform.

On your SAN -- it's got cross-platform support, right? Have you tried adding a PC? Did you set it up for your Macs yourself, or did you have some help from an integrator getting it up and running?

Even staying on the same platform is no guarantee that your SAN performance will be the same: look at the FCPX/SAN issues Oliver and Andrew have raised here.

I do not want to downplay the planning and effort that would be involved in switching your facility from OS X to Windows. It's a lot to take on in addition to the work you get paid to deliver, so I believe you when you say it's not a good choice for you. I just don't see Apple going out of their way to make the transition seamless for customers in general if they stick with Apple hardware and software.

[Jeremy Garchow] "With the future being so uncertain, it seems silly to spend a bunch of money on that today. In the future, maybe once an answer is clear."

The problem I see is that the date when we collectively expect clarity keeps getting pushed back. FCP Legend was getting creaky, and FCPX was supposed to be awesome last year -- and then the SuperMeet scared the community. After launch, we all had to wait to see what "old" features Apple would add and what workflows third parties would support before we could adopt FCPX in collaborative workflows. There was supposed to be a new Mac Pro at WWDC, and now we have to wait until "later next year" for "something really great."

It's not just Apple. MC5.5/MC6 was going to make Avid relevant again among the FCP crowd, but MC is barely even mentioned here and maybe it's merging with Symphony anyway. Adobe showed tons of improvement in Premiere Pro CS6, but it still has a few very notable weaknesses. Smoke 2013 is in pre-release, and has a gentler learning curve, but is still somewhat idiosyncratic and runs on suboptimal hardware when compared to the Linux version.

If you can hang on for a while longer to see how things shake out, that's a good move, but I think the last year has given us more questions than answers.

It's hard to tell people who have already been waiting a year (or two or three) to upgrade that they should wait another year -- no, really this time -- to see what the post landscape will look like.

We certainly live in interesting times.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
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