About Kurt Griffith

The Owner and Creative Director of Fantastic Realities Studio, and the primary author of this blog. A career graphics pro, has been a Designer, Illustrator and Art Director since 1980 B.C. (Before Computers).

The Promise of a Silicon Leap Forward

M1 iMacs

the M1 iMac, make no mistake, this is a Consumer Machine.

I have not been the most diligent blogger, but will drop something when the itch grows too much to bear and spills from my fevered brain. Of course the Pandemic has been nothing but interesting…, and now the household is finally vaccinated and we’re cautiously starting to get out of “The Box” and resume interacting with the local community again. Of course as the mischief of the gods would have it – barely a month after I dropped a chunk of cash on a “new” used upgraded Mac Pro – the lockdown hit. The subject of a previous blog post, if you’re interested. But the studio did get rather slow, and sadly, a couple of clients, and I think at least one vendor closed their doors. Others took their work in-house, and some went “radio silent.”

I suppose during more down time than I was entirely comfortable with I could have blogged more. But I devoted the the unexpected free time to learning about streaming, using Zoom, honing my skills with Video and Audio production, messing about with my drums, and of course all the house things. Domestic harmony while In The Box is a good thing.

But as we rolled into the back half of the year, something dropped that made a bit of a splash. Or rather, a tsunami in the tech universe. Apple announced Apple Silicon, in the form of the M1 chip. Then these chips were put into the iPad Pro, Mac Mini, the MacBook Air, 13” MacBook, and most recently, a new 24” iMac, with an … well, interesting new design. Thinner, of course, and colors, tho’ the white bezels esthetics are clearly not for everyone. Continue reading

On the other side…

We are truly all in this together, and it’s been a hell of a trip…

Back in March of 2020, I posted to the home page letting site visitors know that as a home-based business, Fantastic Realities Studio Would remain in operation. As I am fond of pointing out, so long as we have a roof, power, and remain connected to the ‘Net, we can work and continue to serve our client’s graphics and design needs. We’ve the capability to conduct meetings online via Facetime, Google Hangouts, or Zoom.  A lot of skill sets and technologies that I had put in the “that’s interesting. I should check it out sometime,” suddenly fell into the “I need to learn this stuff right the heck now!”

I suggested that people “hunker down, take care of yourselves, stay safe, care for each other. Please take all appropriate health precautions and practice good hygiene and steps to prevent illness as recommended by the CDC. We‘ll get through this!” I had assignments, things to study, household chores and projects, and doing some live streaming. There was food in the pantry, and our pretty little rural mountain town was not a hot spot. We were good. It’s Spring. But that was in early may of 2020… Continue reading

The ”Horizontal” Upgrade

New Mac Pro 2012

“New” tricked-out Mac Pro 2012, user files uploading from a Time Machine Backup.

Shortly after the New Year, before Coronavirus – when tech folk were still considering the New Mac Pro, my hand was forced. My #2 Workstation, an older, used 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 was starting to show evidence of it’s advancing age. It would shut down or would randomly restart without prompting. Often it would not wake from sleep without a hard restart. Uh Oh. And so I went down the home IT checklist and Did All The Things. Repair permissions. Reset PRAM. Reset PMU. New PMU Battery. Reseat the graphics cards and RAM modules… Nope Nope Nope. Thankfully the hard drives seemed to be okay. And shortly after I posted the previous entry, I added the following comment—

Well, imagine that. In the midst of this process, my workstation #2 – an older used 2008 MP, has been getting cranky and seems to have a failing logic board. So now these numbers have grown a whole LEVEL of REAL. What I am considering is the “horizontal upgrade.” Workstation #2 is retired, and Workstation #1 (mid 2010 MP) becomes #2. And we replace Workstation #1 with a used or refurbished 2012 12-Core Mac Pro. We trick the bitch out with SSDs, a CHUNK of Ram, Big Storage, and a better GPU…

Should hold us a few more years. But if Apple would just pour the specs of the iMac Pro into a user-upgradable tower – Those bitches would FLY out of the Apple Store.

After exhausting my bag of tricks, and I’m not a chump, my local tech shop confirmed my suspicions, Failing Logic Board. Ugh. And, oh well. Replacing the board would be more costly than the value of the machine, a machine that was becoming increasingly obsolete. Given the studio’s revenue, as I mentioned in the last post, a New Mac Pro was absolutely NOT in the cards. Continue reading

On The New 2019 Mac Pro

Apple Mac Pro 2019 and Pro XDR Display – Photo: Slash Gear

Been a while, and I am back, since this issue is on my immediate horizon.

I make my way as a working Graphic and Web Designer in the green hills of West Virginia where I relocated from the NYC region in 2014. In that time, the Mac computing landscape has changed immensely – and not changed much. But you KNOW that the New Mac Pro would catch my eye, and appropriate pro kvetching. It’s design, it’s features, it’s engineering, and it’s blink-worthy pricing, all very worthy of discussion.

Am I going to get into it? As a mid-tier working-class Design Guy – Oh, Hell Yes.

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Reconsidering Facebook

Take a Break. Facebook Sreen Shot

I take a bit of time off from Facebook’s toxic noise.

Good gods, I really should posting more often. However, I might cast some of the blame to the topic of this very post. Facebook. Lately, I have been keeping Facebook at arms distance – with hazmat gloves. Other than my duties as an Admin or a Moderator on various Pages and Groups, including work for clients, I have largely been leaving Facebook the hell alone, or at the very least, trying to limit my dosage.

Over the past two years, especially since the Trump era, Facebook has descended from a somewhat weird and warped community space, to a terrifying echo chamber of screaming, flames, and snarky memes. It’s essentially devolved to two tribes of monkeys with different colored asses flinging monkey poo and shrieking at each other at the top of their lungs, and not noticing they’re in the same cage. I characterize myself somewhat left of center, like many art people, leaning liberal, but have some conservative views too. I suppose, I follow –  “Tax fairly. Spend wisely, Try to balance the budget. Defend the nation. Protect the people. Equality before the Law. Help people where we can. Show respect for others differences. Stay the hell out of my worship and my bedroom, and your liberty stops the moment you stretch your arms and put your finger in my eye.” For this, acquaintances on the F-list seem to lose their freakin’ minds – on the Right and the Left.

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