Tech Daddy

January 27, 2010

What better day to start a blog column on Apple related gadgets, computers etc than on iPad announcement day! But before we get to the next great thing from Apple lets back up a bit.

My name is Jay Rymal and I’m a Mac.  Ok no, I’m not actually a Mac, but I do enjoy using Apple’s products.  When I’m not blogging about technology I’m a parent alongside my wife Bonnie, raising our two kids (we have a 5 year old girl and 7 year old boy).

I am a technology enthusiast-a natural born geek my wife would say.  I’ve been a life long fan of any gadget with buttons, batteries and sounds that go ping.

Now that I’m an adult and a father I’m constantly thinking about how to incorporate technology into our family and how it will change and ideally improve they way we live our lives.

Over the last year, as the CTO (Chief Technology Officer) of my family, I have migrated us from a very long time Windows PC oriented lifestyle to a fully Apple/Mac powered household.  It all started the way many ‘switchers’ start out, the iPod.  First we owned one, then two, then each of the kids got their own.  Then I replaced my aged ‘Gaming PC’ with the clear window in the side and the blue light glowing from inside (circa 2002) with an iMac.  Then came a couple of iPhones and finally the Apple TV.

Why did I choose to finally make the switch and frankly spend a lot more money for our Mac than for a comparable Windows PC?  Video editing.  That was my killer app, the one reason I knew that nothing but a Mac would do for me.

Here is my story of how I came to this conclusion.  I’ve had a 20 year exposure to the Mac but due to lack of compelling applications and the higher cost, I wasn’t interested in switching.  In the early part of the last decade I managed the local Mac dealer for a few years.  This I gave me plenty of hands on time with the iMovie application that comes with every new Mac (along with a suite of products under the iLife banner).  The times I’ve used iMovie I found it easy beyond compare when it comes to taking the video from a home video camera and doing something useful with it.

A month before my son was born in 2002 I bought a MiniDV camcorder, knowing that we would want to document every cute thing he was going to do.  Seven years pass, another child joins the family and we keep hauling out the video camera at every birthday and Christmas, egg hunt and Halloween.  However all I did with the videos was fill up one MiniDV tape after another and put them away in a drawer.

The idea was to create nice home movie DVD’s that have all the boring stuff cut out and presents the events of our kids’ childhood in an interesting and easy to watch format.

Working in the computer hardware and software industry I had full access to just about any consumer level video editing software package for the PC I wanted, so I tried them all.  However many I tried, nothing was easy to use and often these produced sub par videos.  I could never find anything on the PC that matched what I had used   Getting the video on to DVD was even more painful.  So I gave up editing and just kept filling the tape drawer.

In March of 2009 the timing was right, Apple just announced a new 24” iMac at a lower price and they updated the iLife software with all new features.  So I was able to convince my wife that it was a good idea for our family to make the switch to Mac.

The first thing I did was import all my pictures, music and documents.  That wasn’t too bad, since I had been using iTunes on the PC already and images are easy to move over to iPhoto.  The big task was taking 7 years of video tapes and copying them to the Mac.  It took me over a week to get it all done.

Now I have to confess, I’ve only made a few videos and no DVD’s.  With the web technology we have now there just doesn’t seem to be the same need to create your own DVD’s anymore.  However both my kids enjoy watching the raw footage of all of this video.  It’s available to them with only a few button presses on the remote that comes with the Mac.  My daughter especially, she can spend hours watching herself and her brother as babies.  When my wife saw all the videos her maternal instinct kicked into gear, so she was banned from watching them for a while.  We’re good with just two kids, thanks.

For now, my videos are all backed up and as they get older I will plan to create short vignettes of their lives as we continue to add more video every year.

Video is just one of the many reasons why I love the Mac but I’ll save those stories for future articles.

In upcoming blog entries I plan to share with you my experiences and thoughts on how technology has integrated with my family and how it can change how we live for the better.

Feel free to send comments or questions to jayrymal@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Blackfish

Jay Rymal has been in the computer industry since 1986.  Working in sales, marketing and technical roles at various computer retail, manufacturers and distributors.  He has run his own on-site computer help service in the Oakville area helping people use technology.  Jay likes to spend his offline hours in the summer sailing with friends on Lake Ontario.

http://www.wondermoms.ca/id78.html

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Comments
6 Responses to “Tech Daddy”
  1. CynthiaK says:

    I finally made the switch from PC to Mac a month ago and, despite a few things to get used to initially, i have been enjoying it a great deal. The “creative” apps have been especially fun – garageband, in particular.

    It took a bit to feel the investment in the pricier MacBookPro was the way to go instead of my PC laptop, but I’m now a convert and I’m not looking back!

    I haven’t tried iMovie yet but after reading this post, I will definitely get on that very soon.

  2. Rod H says:

    Awesome start to the new Blog – I’m following a similar path converting the family “infrastructure” and ramping up MobileMe good luck!

  3. princessersatz says:

    As the ‘wife’ component of the above article, I have to say the move to the Mac has definitely been a good move for our family. The kids love the Mac, use it all the time, and it really has made doing creative things much more accessible (even when my lack of comfort and familiarity get in my way, usually Jay or our 7 yr old comes to my rescue).

    It should be said that we also have PCs running in our house (a requirement of our day jobs) and it’s incredibily beneficial that our kids are equally comfortable on both platforms and switch seamlessly between the Mac and the PCs.

    I fully respect that a Mac may not be for everyone, for any number of reasons. There was definitely investment up front, of money and time, but I can say that now, a year later, it truly has been worth it all and I wouldn’t want things any other way.

    Great blog post babe!

  4. Hey, thats a great list of tips. Picked up a tip or two from itthanx.

  5. here says:

    Thanks! This helped a bunch! I’ve seen a few
    rather confusing sites lately, this cleared up a lot confusion I had.

  6. Great Post. Really it will help lot of people. Thanks for the post.

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