Well, that escalated quickly…

Ok, so not really. I’ve been thinking about this for a month or two now. I’ve replaced my 2016 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar with, well, a 2013 Mac Pro…and I’m not looking back.

“But John, you travel! How will you work while you’re on the road?” you may be asking. I can’t tell you how much I like my iPad Pro. That’ll be upgraded to a 10.5” shortly – I think that’ll be just right.

Here’s the thing. My job role is changing. Much of that is driven by me. I want to get off the road. I have a new house (and acreage to maintain – that takes time!). My wife and I are raising our grandson. I need to be home more.

Some of it is definitely being driven by the business, too. Education is working on some cool video-based products. And I have most of a studio set up already. It lines up nicely with what I want to be doing.

So if I’m not traveling so much, what am I doing? I’m creating. I’m actually hoping to make this a much more frequent destination for my time. I spent the two months after VMworld kicking out an NSX Micro-Segmentation course. Nothing fancy, but you should go check it out if you haven’t had any NSX training – I think it’s great! Right after we got the first delivery of that out of the way, I made a temporary move to our Curriculum Development team. We’re cranking out new NSX classes, and we’re trying to make ‘em awesome. So there’s a lot of work going into that.

But is that all? Of course not. VMware Learning Zone is a big thing for us right now. You should check that out, too. I’m recording content for that (when time allows). Nothing major right now, but definitely more in the pipeline.

And then, with all of this content creation work I’m doing, I got Scrivener back out, and actually started learning how to use it in earnest. This is one of the greatest things I think I’ve ever found. I can create content until I don’t want to create anymore, and I can do whatever I need to do with it. I think more importantly, it’s helped me start actually organizing thoughts into consumable snippets, and gives me a platform on which to build.

So this has driven me to a change in my daily driver. Earlier this year (once the hype chilled out a bit), I got my hands on a sweet MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. And I _love_ it. I’ve read lots of complaints about the Touch Bar, and whether it’s useful – I hope Apple will be launching a Magic Keyboard with Touch Bar soon. Seriously.

The MBP doesn’t quite fit what I need right now. I bought an OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock to go with it. Which is spectacular. I’ve got my old Thunderbolt Cinema Display rocking out a big screen, and I just picked up a Dell U3417W as a primary display. I do kinda miss the HiDPI joy of Retina displays, but the amount of real estate I have now is unreal, and I’m ok with the tradeoff.

The tradeoff I’m not cool with anymore is the lack of resources for portability. My MBP has 4 hyperthreaded CPU cores, and they’re fast. But they’re not enough for me. I also maxed this thing out at a whopping 16 GB of RAM. Still not enough. Storage, I bumped to a full terabyte, and that’s groovy, but I’ve also got my Synology hanging around in the background for more space if I need it.

With all of this content I’m working through (and the tooling and processes we use), I have a full-time Windows VM I have to run, and I want that to be responsive, so that’s chewing up more than half of my resources right now. And then there’s Camtasia, Logic Pro X, and any other editing tools I need when I’m doing audio or video. And Mail, and Scrivener, and more than one web browser, and whatever else I’m running.

So I took advatage of Other World Computing’s online store (and Black Friday/Cyber Monday), and found a heck of a deal on a trash can Mac Pro, adding another 2 Xeon cores and twice the RAM of the MacBook Pro. Sure, I’m getting what should be considered an old machine, but for what I want to be able to do, it makes a ton more sense. The current Pro certainly doesn’t fit everyone’s use case, but it works great for what I want and need it to do. And I can add memory. Holy crap I miss having that flexibility!

Will I be frustrated late in 2018 when a new Mac Pro is launched? Sure. Am I upset that I’m not waiting another few weeks to get my hands on an iMac Pro? Nah, but that’s an envy-inducing rig right there. I wonder if I can make a business case for my next machine refresh at work………..

Do you know what I’m gonna miss, at least a little bit? Of all things, USB-C. And the Touch Bar, but since I’ve been using the MBP essentially as a desktop, that’s been hidden away from me for a couple of months. But I’m really digging USB-C, for all it’s little gotchas. I like it. And I won’t have any more of it until I refresh this new (old) machine in a while. By then I’m sure we’ll be on a whole new USB spec. And Thunderbolt 4.

Anyway, I’m back to the desktop for a while. I can do everything I need to on the road with my trusty iPad Pro, Pencil, and Smart Keyboard (oh, don’t forget the Spotlight).

What’s out there looking forward? Content. Content on all things NSX. And whatever else I come up with. And I’m going to try to put some here. I’ll see you on the flip side!

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