I have adjusted my humble streaming setup a bit. I saw a fellow co-working streamer’s camera view, which is more of a top-down desk angle, and I really liked it so I put my Sigma ultra-wide angle lens on the Fujifilm X-E4 and tried to replicate it. I think I like this angle better.
I’ve also added a “critter-cam”, which is a second camera (my GoPro Hero9) which is dedicated to showing whatever pet happens to be around while I am streaming. 😁
I also changed my stream URL. Please come join me at my Twitch channel if you need a virtual co-worker, or just want to see Yuzu, Anko, or Lani.
Today I bought a new MacBook Air to use as my main computer. I’ve been using a Dell XPS desktop computer for several years now, and it has been great (and is still running nicely), but it’s a bit slow when working with video, especially 4K.
Instead of buying another Windows PC, I decided to join the rest of the family and get a Mac. Part of the reason was that I have an iPhone and iPad already, so it would be convenient to align my laptop with those. Another reason was that I could support Mariko better whenever she needed help with her MacBook Air (we now have the same model computer). And lastly, it is super-convenient to be able to write text messages using Messages on the laptop! Yes, that is HUGE.
I was worried that configuring a new machine to my workflow would be complicated and a huge hassle, but actually it was very easy. Not only are most of the applications the same between Windows and MacOS (and can be downloaded easily), but starting “fresh” and not copying over all the data from my old computer is refreshing. It feels like a very light and streamlined computing experience not having all that data sitting on the laptop’s hard drive. I still have everything on the Dell, plus two hard drive backups, but I’ve copied the things I regularly access to OneDrive/iCloud so that data is handy.
As for video editing, I am planning on using DaVinci Resolve exclusively. I used it briefly on my Windows machine, and I really liked it, but it kept crashing. With the new laptop, I should be able to use it with no problems! My other main use is photo-editing, and I’ll use the Adobe photographer subscription (Lightroom and Photoshop).
One major bummer I encountered was that when I upgraded MacOS from Big Sur to Monterey, the USB hub I was using lost functionality with the USB-A ports. The HDMI and USB-C parts of the hub still work, but I cannot attach my wired keyboard and mouse to it anymore. This is a known bug and there are numerous posts about it. I just wish I knew about it before I updated! Anyways, I am able to plug in my wired keyboard to the other USB-C port on the MacBook using a cheap adapter I got from Daiso, and I have a Bluetooth mouse on the way. So that problem will soon be moot, however I am hoping an OS update will fix the hub problem so that I can use the old USB ports for attaching my camera and USB thumb-drive.
Overall, I am enjoying using the MacBook Air. It’s very fast!
Today I got a new phone. It’s a green iPhone 12 Mini, and my first iPhone ever. I’ve been using Android phones since the first one (the T-Mobile G1 / HTC Dream), but thought I might as well switch things up this time. My Moto G6 was showing a bit of age and was getting sluggish, especially when using Android Auto in the car. I looked at other Android phones but decided on the small iPhone. I like the design and the size. It’s very cute!
I’m still getting used to iOS, but it’s not too sharp of a learning curve. And Apple Carplay seems to work very well in the Subaru! Maybe my next phone will be Android, but who knows? It’s nice to try something different once in a while.
Koa’s band traveled to Midland, Texas, to participate in a competition today and Mariko and I decided to purchase the live-streaming service so we could watch the performances and the awards ceremony.
It was pretty cool to have the all-day event on our TV (using Chromecast) so we could “keep in touch” with Koa. Midland is over five hours away by car which made going to watch in person a little out-of-reach for us so the live-stream service was nice, even though the quality wasn’t great.
One of my daily habits is to jot down a few things about my day into a daily logbook, and I have now switched over to a digital system using my iPad and Microsoft OneNote. Going digital with the logbook parallels my going digital with my sketching which makes sense since the Apple Pencil is such a wonderful device for both drawing and note-taking.
One reason for going digital is because of convenience. I usually have the iPad with me so I can take a note in the logbook within a few seconds. I can write with different digital pens/highlighters, erase effortlessly, doodle, and create unlimited pages. And if I want, I can switch from writing by hand to typing using the virtual keyboard.
Another reason why I am going digital for my logbook is that it meshes well with my process of decluttering. Regarding note-taking, I can now streamline my fountain pen collection and notebooks as well as my art supplies. It’s kind of a quick switch because just last year I started buying more fountain pens and decided on a good notebook system, but decluttering is so liberating that I want to extend that to my stationery as well. It’s a win-win for my present lifestyle. Convenience and less clutter! It’s funny, but I sometimes like to have cool things, like my fountain pens, but I am increasingly getting more joy out of not having those things.
So why did I decide on OneNote as the app for my logbook? Sure, there are several highly-regarded note-taking apps for the iPad such as GoodNotes and Notability, but I wanted something that wasn’t tied to the Apple eco-system. That left Microsoft OneNote as the top contender, and it ticks off a lot of the checkboxes for me. It has an organization system that makes sense, a good handwriting experience with a decent selection of virtual pens, excellent price (free!), and it’s cross-platform which means I can access my logbook on my Android phone and Windows computers as well. I wish it had a dot-grid option for the background, but that’s not a deal-breaker (and it’s possible to make my own).
I’m only a week into using it, but it looks like it will work out nicely. I have one “notebook” called Daily Journal, and within that are pages. I use one page for a whole month, which may seem like an odd way to do it, but OneNote’s pages can be huge, so I think a whole month’s worth of log entries will fit no problem. And having one tab/page for a single day would create too many tabs. Plus I like to see several days at a time with my paper logbook, so it makes sense to carry that over to the digital logbook.
It’s kind of cool that I have my sketchbook and logbook on the same device. Plus of course my calendar and all my books (Kindle app). For me, the Apple Pencil was the catalyst that brought it all together. I’m not an Apple fan, but the iPad/Apple Pencil is a really awesome combination. I love it!