Well, if you follow my blog (or watch the show), you’ll know that I picked up a second Intel based Mac Pro when the new Mac Pros came out a few weeks ago. I just had to take advantage of the great savings available by getting one of the “End of life” Mac Pros, basically picking up a non “Nehalem” 8 core plus 16GB memory for the same price as a new iMac.
The master plan was to use the second Mac Pro as a dedicated video editing machine, keeping the existing Mac Pro as my general purpose desktop machine but combing both machines as a virtual cluster when encoding. In order to make the best use of my 30″ monitor, I setup a KVM to share the monitor between both machines.
After a couple of weeks, a couple of observations…
The KVM works well but has proved to be extremely disruptive to my workflow. Although the idea of a dedicated editing machine is fine, I’ve found that I don’t work that way in reality. When editing, I still need to do other tasks and found myself switching to the desktop machine much more than I anticipated.
I ended up with just using the KVM to switch the monitor but still ended up with 2 mice and 2 keyboards (yes I know about Teleport and Synergy) and really, it’s become more of a pain than I anticipated.
I really missed the three monitor setup I had with the original Mac Pro and found reverting back to a two monitor setup (albeit, two monitors on each machine due to the KVM) to be a retrograde step.
So I’ve had a re-think about the current setup.
What I think I’ll do is to revert to a single desktop for both my normal day to day computing and video editing, and go back to the three monitor setup. However, I still want the second Mac Pro for encoding duties so that’s going to replace the current G5 tower used by my wife, and I’ll probably sell the G5 tower.
Just a slight change to the mix is the introduction of the new MacBook Pro, ordered to replace the MacBook Air. I’ll configure the new laptop to do all podcast publishing duties including publishing my RSS feeds (via Feeder) and publishing my ScreenCastsOnline website (using Rapidweaver). This will enable me to make sure I can still publish when travelling without having to transfer all the settings from my desktop machine to the laptop each time if I know I’m going to be away. I’m also hoping to do a lot of work over the next few months updating the ScreenCastsOnline website so if it’s on the laptop, I can do it from anywhere (even the living room!). Updates to the blog are covered as that’s based on WordPress so I can update that from any machine.
I’ll probably also change the configuration of my iPhone so it synchronises with the MacBook Pro rather than the desktop machine, again, that’s always been a pain when preparing to do any travelling.
Another big area of change is in my backup strategy but I’ll save that for another blog post!