And, that is exactly what it is. A tool.
I've used PCs forever as I never liked the fact that there was no good supply of GAMES for the Mac. I had weathered thru the time when there was no photoshop ( I was doing freelance Graphic Design ), and I used Corel Draw.
Things have changed! I love windows XP -- It Almost NEVER crashes, and support for all sorts of different add ons has been great. I Have about everything you need - Wacom Tablets, Flatbed scanner, Card Readers, 3 different Hard Drives, 3 different printers, DVD Burner, CD Burner, and tons of software. This thing is so stable! A far cry from the good ole Win 3.0 days, and that was an achievemnt.
I shoot mostly digital now, and wanted a solution to 1) save me the hassle when in the field to download images, and 2) give me some basic tools if I'm on a trip somewhere.
I decided on the 12" Powerbook based on a few things, and so far, I love it. I got 640mb ram, the Superdrive, 40mb hard drive. To support redundancy I got a 60GB Firewire external drive, which works on both the PC and with OS X, althogh that was a chore. If you decided to do this, evidently to mount right on the Mac, it needs to be FAT32 File system, so you have to partition the drive. Not a huge deal, I think more like minor pain in the butt. The beauty is I can hot swap the drive between either computer. The reason for the Extra Drive to take with me is one of redundancy. I would have to have shot a ton of good stuff, and then have the computer go bad. Now, I will have two copies.
I have only had it this week, like 5 days now... and it has presented a couple dislikes to what I did. A couple crashes, but nothing major, and I think it did it because I didnt wait on certain things... meaning, I can probably learn what will lock it up.
Here is the biggest snag of the system, and why id advise anyone to think hard about. One is my investment in Software. I have paid $$$ for initial purchases, and upgrades to the standard programs I use alot, and I cannot afford to get them on the Mac. So, with the orignial intent of having a portable to do limited work on while on the road, I can settle with Adobe Photoelements, although it is a pain in the butt since im so used to Photoshop 7. The other big problem is that of Raw converters for os X. On the pc, I swear by Capture One DSLR, by www.phaseone.com
. Great workflow, and batching capabilites. For OS X there is nothing worthwhile that supports the Eos 10D. While ive gotten used to shooting first ( setting the camera to RAW and then not fretting about the white balance til later, either using a Kelvin setting or some other non automatic setting ), then correcting the white balance to what I need later, NOW im going to have to get it close. Takes a few minutes longer at each shoot, and when I do the raw files, I am invariably going to do it once more, there is one thing that this particular camera does that I like. It shoots RAW format with an embedded JPG. I can set this to small or large file, and then, using the file utility that came with the camera, on os X, batch remove the jpg files, and do whatever editing I may want while on the road. Its like, I can go thru the images I know are going to be good right away, and get a jump on doing some pre editing before I even get home.
I will be glad when Capture One Le comes out for OS X. I sure hope it would, then I could go back to the easier shooting method.
Hope you find this info helpful.
One last thing I want to mention is the "Cool" factor. It's not the 15" or the 17 inch bohemeth, but it certainly was cooler than any other laptops I looked at. I found it to be commonly used by travelling photographers in searches too.
ps, now I want one of those 21" Cinema displays- simply beautiful!