Why are people obsessed with MacBooks

What the Mac can do - what do Mac owners actually do with their computers?

When you turn on your Mac and log in, you will see the “desk” in front of you. Depending on how you've set up your Mac, you might see one of your favorite pictures as a background or numerous folders, documents and a series of app icons at the bottom waiting for your click. What do you do next

Often enough, you get sucked in by the routine of everyday life - even when you're sitting in front of your Mac. This may be inevitable in the office. But even in your private life, it's far too easy to do the same things over and over again: Facebook, email, and the same websites over and over again. Your Mac is a powerful creative tool that enables you to do really incredible things. We introduce you to a few people who work on really creative projects. They all see your Apple devices as something like a blank canvas - a basis for turning exciting and innovative ideas into reality.

One idea was to do a live tribute for a popular rock band. Another creative mind took a script and turned it into a highly acclaimed graphic novel. And an illustrator, out of an emergency, found a completely new way to create graphics. These endeavors may be unusual, but they are not entirely absurd. The people we introduce here are just normal people. Of course, they are obsessed with their idea and master their tools almost perfectly. But at the end of the day, you didn't have much more than a Mac to start with.

We hope that after reading this article, you may feel the desire to start your own creative project.

Production of a graphic novel

The graphic novel "Ricky Rouse Has A Gun" tells the story of a deserted US soldier who escapes to China and works there in a Disneyland copy at the gates of Shanghai. At Christmas, terrorists storm the amusement park and Ricky Rouse becomes a one-man anti-terrorist unit - in an oversized mouse costume. “So it's a very serious book,” jokes the author Jörg Tittel. It was originally planned as a script, but quickly turned into a graphic novel when Tittel realized there was no way to get a bunch of copied Disney characters running around in an $ 80 million production. He hired artist John Aggs to help bring Rouse to life. “John drew by hand and then scanned the pictures to color them and add text. I wrote various drafts on my Mac and ended up with a 300-page document, since comic scripts have to describe each panel very precisely.

Then the publisher Self Made Hero (SelfMadeHero.com) got involved. Jörg Tittel says the company was eager to do “crazy things” in terms of promotion. “We got a deal with BitTorrent Bundle that gave you the first 30 pages and a music video I shot in London wearing a life-size Ricky Rouse costume. It was fun trying to get it into a Disney store. The amount of security guards who immediately surrounded us was impressive! ”The customer review has been automatically translated from German.

The video was edited on a Mac and all post-production ran on OS X. Apple products also helped take the graphic novel in a new direction. The iPad comic app Sequential makes it possible to embed making-of videos and comments.

Although both of them have worked with Apple equipment, Jörg wonders if the ubiquity of Apple devices in the creative industry and growing consumer popularity is always a good thing. “Nowadays you are an outsider in the creative industry if you don't have a Mac. With Apple's focus on consumers, however, the pro area falls behind, ”says Tittel. “Final Cut Pro became this weird 'iMovie Plus', and it kind of feels like 1984. Everything is an ecosystem determined by a 'ruler' in Cupertino ”. Jörg Tittel remembers Apple's "1984" commercial by Ridley Scott. He promised that Apple would never be like that. Therefore, he is disappointed with the development and stories about the working conditions in Chinese factories - followed by reports of the gigantic profits that Apple is making.

The content of his book somehow fits Apple, Tittel thinks. “We all have prejudices about China. [...] 'Made in China' was a sign of cheap products, but today it is on almost every Apple product. ”Nevertheless, little has changed in the prejudice.

Jörg has a more positive attitude towards the creative world. Not least when it comes to creating your own graphic novel. “The nice thing about comics is that you can do everything yourself. It doesn't matter how simple-minded your style is, as many really successful graphic novels are autobiographical. You are the master of your own creation - just you and your Mac. You write and draw however and whatever you want. And quality will always find an audience. "

What else Macs can do ...

Global gaming journalism

Video game journalist and critic Cara Ellison (CaraEllison.co.uk) spent 2014 traveling the world writing about game developers. The whole time she was accompanied by a 13-inch MacBook Pro from 2012 (“I should have gotten a thinner and better one, but I was poorer then than I am today.”) “My MacBook is my most reliable piece of equipment - me pretty abuse it but it never really lets me down. I can also start Windows with Bootcamp to play even more games, ”says Ellison, adding that a big advantage was the internationally valid“ AppleCare ”guarantee.

“Whenever something was strange, I could just go to a Genius Bar and sort it out. That was my lifesaver because I write absolutely everything on this MacBook. I wouldn't have been able to travel around so problem-free without it. "

Digital fireworks

The spectacular digital fireworks event PixelPyros (PixelPyros.com) is controlled from a single MacBook Pro. Artist Seb Lee-Delisle says his system is based on special software that was developed in 6 months. In addition, parts of the show are controlled from an iPad.

Working with ancient hardware

Bob Staake (BobStaake.com) illustrates on his PowerPC G5 with a 1.8 GHz processor and Photoshop 3. “Have you ever worn a pair of jeans so perfectly and comfortably that you don't want to wear anything else? That's how I feel with Photoshop 3, ”he says with a laugh and adds that there are no frills. His work appears in The New Yorker and MAD. So it works without an upgrade.

Solve crimes

Ardavan Tajbakhsh, is the CTO of Pyramidal Technologies Ltd. (pyramidaltechnologies.com), has turned forensic ballistic on its head with disruptive technologies. At its heart is a Mac Pro that helps with complex calculations and the capture of evidence with the highest accuracy.

Metal sculptures

Ian Turnock (IanTurnock.com) uses his iMac, Photoshop and Illustrator to assemble drawings and pictures into geometric shapes that he then gives to a specialist to cut out of metal. The “Eye of the Hurricane” shown is an aluminum sculpture with a diameter of 1.3 meters.

Mac on land and at sea

Roz Savage (RozSavage.com) was the first woman to row across three oceans alone. Her MacBook and iPhone were essential for business planning and logistics, communication, and “staying sane” by listening to audiobooks. Today she works as a "life coach". Your iPad is always with you.

Enable a concert

This project started with a simple invitation. The curator of the Brighton Festival was keen on an hour-long performance based on music by Joy Division. The composer and sound artist Robin Rimbaud (scannerdot.com) became the "creative catalyst" who worked with the band Three Trapped Tigers and the famous Heritage Orchestra. The result was “Live_Transmission” (JoyDivisionReworked.com), an ambitious audio-visual performance.

“They gave me a free hand,” says Rimbaud. He and visual artist Matt Watkins started looking at photos of Salford (where Joy Division was founded) and singer Ian Curits. Rimbaud composed music that "sounded like Joy Division and was in harmony with the original pieces, the harmonies and melodies". And he adds, “The last thing I wanted was cover versions.” The demos were reworked with members of the Three Trapped Tigers and orchestrated by composer and arranger Tom Trapp.

A Mac was there from the start. "What I find interesting: When I use a Mac, I don't see it as a computer - I just get on with my creative process," says Rimbaud. Initially, the demos were played from his MacBook through the studio PA as the band added more layers of sound. Adam, the drummer, used his own Mac for samples and patterns. Rimbaud adds that it was so fluid and easy to work, which was also continued in the live performance. “The opening track consisted of long-drawn-out set pieces from 'Transmission' that were changed beyond recognition and I sent the sounds directly into the mixer with a Novation Launchpad. In other places I recorded harmonies and melodies. On the last track, everything ran through my Mac, including the vocal samples. "

Such a performance may contradict what we expect from a person with a laptop on a stage - even if they are surrounded by an orchestra. But Rimbaud loves how modern technology transforms him into a kind of “minimalist anti-hero” who travels the world, puts on such huge shows and yet has little more than a backpack with him.

The show shows that “digital” doesn't mean that everything has to be pre-produced. Rimbaud describes the fact that others make music to what he is doing as "very organic" and at the same time as "quite intimidating" because there is always the risk that he will record samples at the wrong time. Rimbaud created a reference to the original music without copying it and combined the almost infinite technical possibilities with handmade music.

“Technology can only help you up to a certain point,” says Rimbaud, “and there is always the risk of getting caught up in old patterns or getting lost in the multitude of possibilities.” One should never forget that music is something that we all share and that it is one of the few art forms where multiple people can share their creativity. "I got the process rolling for this project, but I shared it with the rest of the group - and the Macs made it as seamless as possible - which is very important."

Illustrations with the nose

When people work too hard, something starts to hurt. When illustrator Michelle Vandy (LookNoHands.me) tried too hard, her arms rebelled and in the end practically stopped working. “I got the opportunity to do an architecture internship and was thrilled to be able to work in my chosen field of activity for the very first time. But I got too enthusiastic, ”she recalls. Long days were followed by long evenings and after a few months she couldn't even touch things because her arms were so painful.

Michelle began to wonder how she could spend a lifetime in architecture if she couldn't hold out for a few months. While on sick leave, she came across an inspirational quote: “You cannot control the world around you. The only thing you can control is how you react to it. ”That drove her to look for a solution.

First experiments with dictation software and supporting technologies came to nothing. Next, she tried a combination of the iPad and a stylus in her mouth - and then discarded it. Just like trying to draw with your feet. But then she made her breakthrough. “I still remember very well,” says Michelle. “I got bored at home and was trying to figure out how to use my computer without arms. I had a trackpad and thought I could just use my thumbs to lift it up and touched it with my nose. I clicked and swiped and it felt nice. So I took a box, put it in front of me, propped up my arms and held the trackpad in front of me - and I've been using a similar system ever since ”.

It wasn't Apple's Magic Trackpad in the first version, but Michelle quickly switched. Your current setup consists of a Magic Trackpad and a Monfortto table tripod.

“The Apple trackpad was more expensive, but it also responded more precisely to my gestures,” says Vandy. So she was soon not only using her nose, but also her lips. “I figured out all of these different techniques without really thinking about them. In Photoshop you use two fingers to move the drawing area. You can do that with your lips too. You can simply open or close your mouth to zoom! There are so many things on the Mac that you can do with your face! "

Fortunately, Michelle's disease (RSI, colloquially called "secretary's sickness") doesn't affect her neck. On the contrary. She has found that her "nose pad" use has improved her posture. "It forces me to sit up straight."

For Michelle this has resulted in various new opportunities. She now works for Omada Health (OmadaHealth.com) in San Francisco, where she mainly creates illustrations for the web, print and apps.

For anyone who feels that technology is limiting them, Michelle has one piece of advice: “When you are creative, your skills are in your head, not your hands. Your hands are just a tool. If they don't work, you just have to find another way with another tool - don't let a single tool prevent you from doing what you love.