Hello all and welcome to this week’s RAWRweekly.
No doubt, yesterday you heard about Steve Jobs death, and no doubt either that you’ve probably read one or two of the many millions of blog articles about him by now. So I’m trying not to jump onto the grief bandwagon here by going on too much about the loss of Apple’s iconic co-founder. I had a lot of respect for the guy, who seemed to be a master of both tech and marketing. I have even more respect for the legacy he leaves behind, which is what I’d like to talk about this week.
I feel that the ideas and technology of Apple and Jobs himself, did a lot to help create the tools that private individuals like myself needed to produce artwork and entertainment from home. Apple’s developments helped create laptops and desktops that could function as mini production studios, where one could produce art, record music or edit a movie. Thanks to them, mass-media creativity was put into the reach of many and lot of these abilities reached Windows based computers too. These days your main concerns would be the specs of the computer and the software you need. The artist’s choice between a Mac and a Windows Based PC, is more due to preference and what you have to spend these days (a major minus for Mac there alas).
Although I had used my old Windows based laptop to produce some of the first editions of Bata Neart, the digital versions of my own work didn’t really take off until purchased my first Mac. It was a few months after I emigrated to Norway in 2008, that I ordered a MacBook Pro. I had wanted a Mac computer for couple of years at that stage, and having finally settled down in this new country, I was able to save some cash for what would be my first Apple product. I had a few reasons for wanting a Mac. In 2007 we were still living in the age of Windows Vista, and it seemed back then that Windows-based PCs were not going to be as usable as they were during the XP years. At the time, my only other option was Linux, which was fast on my ageing laptop, but had the problems of being fairly useless for comic work and also a lot of work to get support for. With Windows 7 still being only a twinkle in a Microsoft developer’s eye, my other option appeared to be clear. My next computer, would be a Mac.
It was a good choice I felt. I went all-out with the purchase of a 15″ MacBook Pro, and I didn’t regret it (the Pro part, mostly referred to a separate grahpics card. Otherwise the normal Macbook would have been plenty good). Using it for normal everyday stuff was a joy. My Mac, although not problem free, has required less maintenance work than all of my Windows-based computers combined. This is quite important for me since my day-job involves fixing computers, and I really don’t want to be doing that during my time off. As my home computer, my Mac allowed me to relax.
But the edge, the real edge of my Mac, was it’s graphics power. By the beginning of 2009, I had gotten a copy of Manga Studio Debut 3 and my production of digital comics took off. I had started to scan Bata Neart pages again, and after a year of doing that, I was ready to regular comic production. Although a Windows based PC could have allowed me to do all of this (especially now that we have the much easier to use Windows 7), the Mac made me finally feel like an artist, and that helped me stay motivated in my comic work.
I thus, I am thankful for the legacy of Steve Jobs. Without him, and those like him, my comic work would be so much harder to pull off. So thanks Steve! If there’s some sort of Genius Bar/Pub in the iAfterlife, I owe you a pint when I get there.