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A tour of the hardware connected to my Macs

A lot of readers are interested in knowing what I have connected to my Mac(s) at the office. Here's a tour of the hardware I use - and rely on - daily. Everything from peripherals to high-end printers.
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1 of 8 Apple

Introduction

My move from Windows to Mac was a sudden one, primarily prompted by the changes Windows 8 brought to the platform. But switching to Mac meant having to radically change not only the way I work, but the tools I work with.

I still have Windows PCs – both real and virtual – but my primary work platform is now Mac. I have a max-spec late 2012 Mac mini and max spec mid-2012 15-inch MacBook Pro.

My systems serve dual purpose. Not only to I use them for the work that you see me output here, and for the day to day running of things at the PC Doc HQ, but I'm also a pro-am photographer and do a lot of image processing and timelapse creation. This dual-functionality makes my setup both techy and arty. 

Note that what follows is kit that I use daily in my workflow. The items here haven't just been reviewed, they've been thoroughly tested and put through their paces in the real world.

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2 of 8 Apple

Peripherals

I use standard Mac peripherals, and have the Apple Wireless Keyboard, a Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad connected. They're solid and well made, and a pleasure to use.

They do seem to chew through batteries at what feels like an alarming rate, but to be honest over the last six months I've probably only changes the batteries in each the once.

I mainly use the keyboard and trackpad, but there are times when I'll shift to the mouse if I want greater precision or if I'm playing a game.

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3 of 8 Wacom

Tablet

I also use a graphics tablet – the Wacom Intuos Pro medium. This too connects wirelessly to my Mac and I use this when I'm processing images, especially if I'm doing anything delicate.

I have to admit that I don't use the touch functionality of the Wacom, and I don't like navigating through OS X with a pen, but for pin-point precise work, it can't be beaten.

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4 of 8 Western Digital

Storage

I have a lot of storage connected to my Mac. Connected directly I have a 4TB WD My Book, an 8TB WD My Book Duo, and a 4TB G-Technology G-RAID. I use Carbon Copy Cloner and OS X Time Machine to move data to and between these drives.

I also have another 12TB connected via Ethernet in the form of a NetGear ReadyNAS box.

All this hardware is top notch and I've been thoroughly pleased with how it has performed and lasted.

This may seem like a lot of storage – and it is – but when I'm shooting timelapses or video I can pretty much fill a 64GB card, and on top of that Photoshop files and outputted video files are themselves huge. Not only do I want a way to store this data, but also back it up safely in care of mishap or disaster.

The data all mounts up in the end, and terabytes don't seem all that big any more.

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5 of 8 Western Digital

Portable storage

I also have portable drives that I use with my MacBook Pro when I'm on the road. For this I use a 4TB WD My Passport Pro, a dual-drive setup (RAID 0, RAID 1 or JBOD) that connects using Thunderbolt and on which I keep my data and a mass of photos and video, whicvh is itself daisy-chained to a 2TB WD My Passport Ultra which I use with SuperDuper to back up my Mac when I'm out and about.

Both drives give me superb performance and have given me no problems during the course of their usage.

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6 of 8 Lexar

Media card reader

I come back from photoshoots (sounds glamorous until you realize I shoot landscapes mostly) with several Compact Flash and SD Cards filled with data, and I need a fast way to get this data off the cards and onto my Macs.

To do this I use the Lexar Professional Workflow card reader, which is a dock that can has four bays that you can mix-n-match with different card readers and even flash storage (the readers have an advantage that they can be used standalone too, which is an added bonus).

Currently I have two Compact Flash card readers, an SD card reader, and a 512GB storage drive in my dock, and using Photo Mechanic 5 I can review my images quickly and pull the data off multiple cards simultaneously, getting them into Adobe Lightroom in record time.

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7 of 8 DataColor

Display calibration

Gotta make sure the colors on my display are as accurate as possible, and to do that I use a DataColor Spyder4Pro calibrator every month or so (or when I've fiddled with my display settings).

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8 of 8 Canon

Printer

I have a Canon Pixma Pro 1 printer for doing A3+ prints, an HP Photosmart Plus for general printing and scanning, and a Dymo LabelWriter 450 Twin Turbo for labels.

I don't print as much as I used to once, but I do like to print out some of my own photos. The output from the Pixma 1 is excellent, but paper and ink are expensive. The Dymo labeler makes sure that my letters and packages get to where they are suppoose to, and the HP Photosmart Plus handles general stuff.

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