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New Toy!

I've owned many Apple devices since I began writing on the original 128k Macintosh in 1984. The one that's least necessary is also the one I like the best: the iPad. I bought my iPad Air, the original one, in 2013 (which does seem like a long time ago) because I thought they were cool and I was feeling flush back then. At first I couldn't figure out what to do with it and I barely even touched it for the first six months I had it. Within a few years it became my favorite Apple product and the on...
Tags: Photography, Computers, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Xander, AA Daily Reflection

Portfolio App for the iPad?

Carl asked me what I use as a portfolio app for picture presentations on the iPad and it's one of the (many) things I just don't think I know enough about to speak of. Anyone have any favorite ways of presenting pictures on the iPad they'd like to share? Mike Original contents copyright 2020 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved. Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links may benefit this site. Please help support The Online Photo...
Tags: Photography, Computers, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Carl

Amazing Facts and Figures About the Evolution of Hard Disk Drives

It took 51 years before hard disk drives reached the size of 1TB (terabyte, i.e. 1,000GB). This happened in 2007. In 2009, the first hard drive with 2 TB of storage arrived. So while it took 51 years to reach the first terabyte, it took just two years to reach the second. Fast forward 10 years, and in 2019 the largest commercially available HDDs can store at least 15TB of data. The world of SSDs offers even more space of at least 100TB. This article looks back at how hard disk drives have evolve...
Tags: Apple, Images, Photos, Storage, Seagate, Wikipedia, Tech, Blogging, Stats, History, Pc, Computers, Computing, Ibm, Statistics, Retro

The History of PC Hardware, in Pictures

We all use personal computers, and we all take them for granted in our everyday lives. It’s easy to forget that PCs have only been around for a couple of decades, and initially were nowhere near the powerhouses we have on our desks today. For example, did you know that the first “portable” computer weighed 25 kg (55 lb) and cost close to $20,000? Or that the first laser printer was big enough to fill up most of a room? Or even, that you basically had to build the first Apple computer yourself? T...
Tags: Apple, Photos, Technology, Hardware, Microsoft, Navy, Wikipedia, US, Blogging, Intel, History, Nasa, Pc, Computers, Engineering, Spock

We've Come a Long Way, Dudes and Dudettes

Does it ever occur to you to be grateful for the (good!) changes you've been able to witness, and the cool technology you've experienced the introduction of? It's something I appreciate. I've very glad my lifespan straddled traditional film and early digital, for instance. I wouldn't give up experiencing either one if I had my choice. I mentioned recently that my first computer was an Apple 512k Macintosh, in 1985. (It was also author Michael Crichton's first Mac, and his experience was similar ...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Law, Samsung, Computers, Michael Crichton, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Moore, Long Way Dudes, Charlie Top

A Non-Review of the 2018 Mac Mini

This absolutely doesn't rise to the standard of a review—I'm not remotely competent to write one. On the other hand, I've used Macs since 1984, pretty much from the day they were introduced. I've lost track now, but I believe I've owned or regularly used 17 of them since that first one, either at school, at the office, or at home. But I did want to mention that my new (2018) Mac Mini has had an almost transformative effect on my workdays, and I'm delighted with it. The specs on mine are: 3.0 G...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Mac, NEC, Computers, Retina, Mac Mini, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, John Scully

The Very Very Very Best Backup...

...Is still a box of prints! (Or a "few-of-a-kind" custom book like a Blurb book.) Okay, maybe not the best backup but the best archive. I had planned to make this point again two days ago (bringing us around full circle in recent discussions here on TOP), when this comment came in from David L. night before last: "My engineering career was as a hard drive engineer and in server storage. My advice—make prints." (That's his whole comment.)  Ending up with prints is still a good idea, even though ...
Tags: Photography, Computers, David, Yale, Visual Culture, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Tim Smith, David L, Printers and Printing

Deal of the Day: Samsung SSD (Solid State Drive)

On topic for World Backup Day, Amazon's "Deal of the Day" today is Samsung SSD portable solid-state hard drives for anywhere from 25 to 31% off list. The larger sizes are still pretty expensive, but they're more reliable than spinning portable drives and great as scratch disks among other things. The 1-terabyte size is only $178, marked down from $250 (Newegg's best price is $218). The 500GB size is only $98. The ones on sale are USB 3.1. By the way, this is a top recommended brand of external ...
Tags: Amazon, Photography, Samsung, Computers, Samsung Ssd, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Geoff Wittig

New Backup Plan (?)

Dateline, Sunday March 31st — Today is World Backup Day, in case you haven't already guessed the reason for the recent topics. (Also because I got a stonkin' new Mac Mini which is awesome, brilliant, slick and fast.) I'd link to, but they're probably getting slammed, because the site has not been responding all day. They probably took World Bandwidth Day off to go to the beach and missed that memo. —Mike So here's the backup solution I've decided of, um, this minute...
Tags: Apple, Amazon, Photography, Computers, Bill, Time Capsule, Digital Techniques, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Backblaze, Carbon Copy Cloner, Time Machine Time Machine, Trevor Johnson, Rodolfo Canet, Bill Tyler That, Peggy C


Because I am an unwilling slave to authoritarian Big Brother corporations and my mind has been taken over, I can't help thinking of the old Raid bug spray commercials that featured insects happily destroying human property until the can of Raid comes out, at which point they all shriek "RAID!!!" and flee. But what we're talking about here is not that, but computer storage. In the computing world, RAID stands for "Redundant Array of Inferior Disks." It's an umbrella name for several strategies fo...
Tags: Photography, Usa, Wikipedia, Computers, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston

Write On (Blog Notes)

I finally broke down, bit the bullet, unclenched the fist clinging to the wallet like grim death, and bought a new computer. I had the kind help of Ben Rosengart and Steve Rosenblum. I bought an Apple 3.0GHz i7 six-core Mac Mini with 16 GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. It's not here yet. I have a stack of envelopes sitting on my desk from readers who mailed donations recently, which is what paid for most of the new computer. The return addresses include J. Reid, Nicholas Hartmann, Robert J. Sliclen, R...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Computers, Blog Notes, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Steve Rosenblum, Ben Rosengart, Alan Currie

Calibrate That Monitor!

I used to love these...great way to calibrate that monitor. I don't need them any more because my NEC came with its own colorimeter, but the Datacolor Spyder5PRO is on sale as part of B&H's Mega Deal Zone, which has been extended until Midnight Saturday. The sale price is only $89.99. (Current price at Amazon, where it's an "Amazon's Choice," is $134.36.) Do note that your remaining window to get the sale price is very limited—it's Saturday evening Eastern U.S. Time between 6:00 p.m. (when B&H r...
Tags: Amazon, Photography, NEC, Computers, Photo Equipment, Editing And Portfolios, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Mega Deal Zone

Photo[shop]-Specific Computers

I'm far from a computer expert, so take this with the appropriate chunk of salt. I'm just reading and reporting back. A friend sent me this interesting short article about picking a computer for Photoshop and Lightroom. It's a product description page for a photo-specific computer built by a PC fabricator. It's on Punch and it's called "What kind of processor do I need for Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC in 2018?" It starts with a brief description of cores and threads, then moves on to cloc...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Microsoft, NEC, Computers, Fujifilm, Moose, Gpu, OWC, Acr, Lightroom Cc, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Thom Hogan

Photo-Specific Computers

I'm far from a computer expert, so take this with the appropriate chunk of salt. I'm just reading and reporting back. A friend sent me this interesting short article about picking a computer for Photoshop and Lightroom. It's a product description page for a photo-specific computer built by a PC fabricator. It's on Punch and it's called "What kind of processor do I need for Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC in 2018?" It starts with a brief description of cores and threads, then moves on to cloc...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Computers, Moose, Gpu, OWC, Lightroom Cc, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Thom Hogan, Amazon Canada, Steve Rosenblum, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Ed -RSB- Vince


Oh, joy. New Mac Mini. This will not excite some of you, but I've been waiting for this day for quite a while. The Mac Mini is exactly what I need (I prefer the form-factor because I can use my third-party monitor of choice and secure the computer when I'm away), and my 2012 is in need of updating. I'm on my computer 6–10 hours a day so little differences add up. Photoshop CC speed performance compared with current 2014 model: Here are the rest of the details. Available November 7th. As my fri...
Tags: Photography, Computers, Steve, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Steve Rosenblum, Amazon UKAmazon Germany

Glorious collection of control panel photos

Control Panel is a fantastic visual blog "in praise of dials, toggles, buttons, and bulbs," a companion to the Control Panel group on Flickr.
Tags: Post, Photography, Design, Technology, News, Buttons, Computers, Control Panel, Control Panels, Switches, Dials

New MacBook Pro

Apple has updated its MacBook Pro with Touch Bar models to incorporate 8th Gen Intel Core processors, True Tone technology, and the Apple T2 chip. The 15.4" models now feature 8th Gen Intel Core i7 six-core processors, which are up to 70 percent faster than 2017 predecessors, while the 13.3" models now feature 8th Gen Intel Core i5 quad-core processors, which are up to twice as fast as the previous models. The 15.4" models now utilize DDR4 onboard RAM and can be configured up to 32GB for optima...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Intel, NEC, Computers, Intel Core, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Gen Intel Core, Amazon UKAmazon Germany

How To Use a Standing (or Sit-Stand) Desk

My messy desk in the sitting and the standing position It's well known by now that sitting at a desk all day isn't good for you, and standing desks—also called sit-stand desks—have exploded in popularity. To the point that it might be considered a fad. But I love mine. There are a lot of options. You can get just the leg set, and then you can have a local cabinetmaker craft a custom top in whatever size and whatever kind of wood you prefer (in our area we have loads of Mennonite woodshops tha...
Tags: Photography, Computers, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon UKAmazon Germany

Wednesday Open Mike: Remember Moms

Great gift idea for Mother's Day: B&H has the Apple 9.7" iPad (2017, 32GB, wi-fi only, gold) on sale for only $269. Your Mom is worth it. I love my iPad. I have five Apple devices. Of those, by far the worst is the one I have to use most of the day every single day, the 2012 Mac Mini that I use as my work computer. It overheats and crashes frequently and it's not all that powerful when I'm doing things in Photoshop. Why Apple can't make me a competent basic computer in a smallish (but not overly...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Computers, Retina, News And Occasions, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Linus, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon UKAmazon Germany

A Brief Plea to Apple

Boy, does this feel like a grain of sand in the Sahara. It doesn't even amount to a hill of beans. Maybe one bean, at best. However, we have several readers who work for Apple, so maybe one of them can get this to the right department. A seemingly minor thing, but I'm in dire need of a timed Do-Not-Disturb mode for my phone. I go to meetings of my fellowship most nights, put the phone on Do-Not-Disturb mode when the chairperson prompts me to do so...and then forget to turn Do-Not-Disturb back of...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Computers, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Sahara, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon UKAmazon Germany

Learn Something New Every...Post

Well, it's going to take me a long time today to catch up with all the comments from yesterday (sorry; I've got the flu), but I have to say that I learn something with almost every single post here. Who knew that there was a little tiny button on the address bar of my very own browser called "Enter Reader View"— Which turns this— Into this— I spend roughly a fifth of my life in my browser, but I didn't know that*. I can't say there's any site I would consign to the purgatory of Reader View pe...
Tags: Photography, Computers, Isaac Newton, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Merle, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Maria Popova, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, New Every Post, Mike Every

Weekend Special: Alert!

I know it's the weekend and I'm supposed to be working on the book (working title: The Best Digital Camera—with Tidbits on Life, Love, Loving Life, Learning Photography and Knowing Thyself—is that zany enough? It's for those of you who contribute to TOP through my Patreon page, and it will be free to you...when it's done...eventually...), but I felt I should say that today is the LAST DAY of B&H Photo's slammin' Cyberweek Apple sale. B&H, which I believe is the biggest Apple vendor on the plane...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Computers, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon UKAmazon Germany, Life Love Loving Life Learning Photography, Cyberweek Apple, HP Lenovo Dell

Epson Expression Home XP-440 Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner and Copier Unboxing Review @EpsonAmerica The ultra compact, wireless all-in-one for easy, creative printing. Packed with convenient and practical features, the Expression Home XP-440 Small-in-One printer makes everyday printing a breeze. Its hi-res 2.7″ color LCD makes setup and navigation easy. Use the built-in card slot1 to print borderless photos PC-free. Plus, affordable individual inks mean you only need to replace the cartridge that runs out. The compact XP-440 allows you to print from virtually anywhere, with or...
Tags: Reviews, Facebook, Instagram, Seo, ISO, Computers, Epson, Chris Voss, Epson America Inc, Epson Expression Home

The Mac Isn't Dead Yet

Big (big) news in the computer world is that a trio of Apple execs led by Phil Schiller, the world's highest-paid CMO, held a highly unusual and atypical gathering, with, in Schiller's words, " no black cloth that’s going to come off something right now." An interim, between-product-announcements update press meeting. The context, according to a long but interesting article by Matthew Panzarino at TechCrunch, "is that Apple’s dedication to the Mac has taken a bit of a philosophical beating late...
Tags: Apple, Photography, CMO, Computers, Cupertino, Macbook Pro, Matthew Panzarino, Phil Schiller, Mac Pro, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, John Paczkowski, Bill Evans, Schiller, Craig Federighi

Computer Note (and Front Flip) (OT)

When is a time capsule not a time capsule? When it's a Time Capsule Whew! Well that was a narrow thing, and nervvy. I became aware about a week ago that my main backup drive, a 3-TB Apple "Time Capsule," had developed hardware failure of unknown extent and unforseeable consequence; the discovery put me on notice, and on edge. The Time Capsule is  a Wi-Fi router with a hard drive in it for making automatic backups using Time Machine, "Time Machine" being the backup software application that co...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Jay Leno, Computers, Britain, Switzerland, Alberta, Time Capsule, Time Machine, Blog Notes, Mac Mini, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston, Bruce, Mike Mike

Computer Update (OT)

Since I have gassed on in the past about my computer shopping, I thought I would post an update. After several months of running the 13" MacBook Air as my desktop computer, it became obvious that it was having a bit of trouble in that role. The trouble? The MacBook Air can get no air. Its tiny little stylishly miniaturized fan would kick on and dutifully make noise, but, without anywhere for air to flow amidst all the slender slimness and styleyness, the waferlike little wedge would just get hot...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Samsung, NEC, Computers, Ssd, MacBook Air, Voldemort, Mac Pro, Louis Vuitton, Michael Johnston, Mike, Harold, Michael C Johnston, Cubs, Upstate New York

Wednesday Open Mike: I Just Need It For Work, Mr. Cook Sir

Here's my problem: Tim's Apple doesn't seem to make the desktop computer I need. Seems strange to say. Here's my concern: that maybe Apple has cast itself as a "lifestyle" company to such an extent that it has forgotten that some of us need computers for, um, work. (Sounds so grubby, doesn't it?) To some degree, computers are appliances. Lifestyle is well and good, but I still need a computer. I worry that Apple is gradually losing the basic mission. If you want to pick your own monitor (I chose...
Tags: Apple, Photography, Cook, NEC, Computers, Jony Ive, Michael Johnston, Mike, Tim, Michael C Johnston, Jony

Ergonomic Keyboards (OT)

Alas, I have to return the beautiful Déck mechanical keyboard, the Francium Pro. I love it—the keys are made of material that doesn't show wear or get shiny; the letters are molded in with a different color of plastic (called "two-shot" molding) so they can never wear off (a chronic problem with the old Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 I've been using for the past dozen years); the base is a metal plate and the thing is beautifully solid; and the Cherry MX brown key switches offer a wonderful, ...
Tags: Photography, Microsoft, Computers, Cherry MX, Off-topic Posts, Michael Johnston, Michael C Johnston, Gordon Lewis, Kinesis, Logitech Trackman Marble Mouse

The Inevitability of Unintended Consequences (OT)

...Does anyone know how to prevent fly-by-night foreign merchandisers from placing unwanted advertisements as "invitations" on your Apple iCloud-linked personal Calendar? Sheesh. I hope I don't end up having to disable my Calendar, but I will if this can't be stopped. Unacceptable. Mike P.S. Speaking of computers, my maiden voyage of using the laptop as a main computer was concluded when I got back from my Thanksgiving trip. Seemed to work fine. It was easy to detach it, carry it along, and then...
Tags: Photography, New York City, Computers, Michael Johnston, Mike, Michael C Johnston

The New NEC Monitor

Hub of far-flung TOP Empire / Purpose: Take over known Universe, install Butters as Emperor. Result: Things would be better Miracle of miracles! I did manage to get the new monitor all set up, and most things seem to be working more or less right. Although, as you can see, wire management still leaves something to be desired. The subwoofer doesn't help. And the fact that the desk goes up and down is a complication. Key to the illustration: Pencil sharpener that unlike most pencil sharpeners...
Tags: Photography, Microsoft, NEC, Computers, MacBook Air, Sierra, Time Capsule, Blog Notes, Photo-tech, Michael Johnston, Tom, Michael C Johnston

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