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THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

A Guide to the New 2012 MacBook Pros

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) confirmed rumors we reported last year about updates to Apple’s product line. Yesterday at the WWDC, Apple announced several updates to the Apple line, including Apple’s award-winning line of MacBooks.


Photographers swarm around a display case at WWDC to get shots of the new MacBook Pro.

The new MacBooks – the first time Apple has updated the MacBook line since 2009 - feature some significant improvements. In fact, Apple introduced several new models, all of which began shipping Monday. Let’s take a closer look:

Smaller, Lighter
The leaner, meaner new MacBook Pro is only .71-inch thick. The 15.4-inch model weighs less than 4.5 pounds.

Retina Display
One version of the new MacBook Pro is equipped with Apple’s Retina display technology. The resolution is 2880 x 1880-pixel resolution, meaning it’s as sharp as a high-definition television. (The MacBook screen boasts a stunning 5.1 million pixels.) To put that into perspective, the new resolution on these models has a pixel count that’s four times higher than it was on previous MacBook Pro models.

More Processing Power
Under the hood, the new MacBook Pros will feature powerful processors. The 15.4-inch model carries the new 2.3GHz and 2.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processors with 6MB of shared cache, not to mention Turbo Boost speeds approaching 3.6GHz. (It can also be configured with more processing power.) The engine on the 13-inch model has also been tweaked: now it’s available with either a 2.5GHz Intel Core i5 or 2.9GHz Intel Core i7, that can be revved up to 3.6 GHz with Turbo Boost. Some models will carry Ivy Bridge processors.

Where are the 17′s?
One noticeable omission is the 17-inch version of the MacBook Pro. Although the 13-inch and 15.4-inch models are being updated, there’s curiously been nothing said about the 17-inch model. Even more revealing, Apple’s website barely mentions it. Meanwhile, the 15.4-inch MacBook Pro retails for $2,199.


The dazzling new Retina-enhanced MacBook Pro boasts a whopping 5.1-million-pixel resolution.

Updated Inputs
As Apple moves toward the Cloud, fans of physical media will notice the loss of an optical drive on the Retina MacBook Pros. However, the updated models all feature twin USB 3.0 ports. In addition, the Retina models will also be equipped with two Thunderbolt ports.

Updates to Air
Models from the MacBook Air line have also been updated. Apple has outfitted them with faster Ivy Bridge processors and better graphics chips.

Being a Technology Innovator
Apple is able to stay steps ahead of its competitors because of the ongoing creativity and technological genius of its workforce. Are you interested in building the next generation of super computers? Developing an interest in science and engineering or computer programming can be a great way to start exploring a career in computer science…and become part of the next wave of technological innovators.

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posted by DMA Jordan in Apple,News Blog and have No Comments

Apple’s All New Product Line for 2012

Steve Jobs had one final trick up his sleeve. Apple will completely overhaul part of its hardware product line in 2012, including the iPhone, iMac, iPad and MacBook Air. The news comes courtesy of suppliers in Asia that are part of Apple’s supply chain.


Could this be the next iPad? The iPad 3 will have retina-quality display and be “super-thin,” based on industry rumors. 

The trade DigiTimes reported the news today. According to a source, it seems only the products above will get the overhaul; the MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, Mac Pro and iPod were not mentioned. Also, the iPad will receive an upgrade during the early part of 2012. The iPhone 5, of course, is due out in the second half of next year. The sources said ”Apple will finalize order volumes for key parts and components” for the third-generation iPad in December — with two million units being prodcued by the end of this year. The upgraded iPad would be thinner and have an even longer battery life.

Recently Apple quietly updated its MacBook’s with faster processing power. Apple also recently showed suppliers two prototypes, code-named J1 and J2. The prototypes showcased higher resolutions, for the next-gen iPad or iPad 3, a display that could have double the resolution of the current model — a 2,046 x 1,536 screen. That would most likely be a third-quarter 2012 release.

Super Thin is In
Don’t put off that iPad 2 purchase just yet. While DigiTimes has good sources throughout Apple’s supply chain, the trade publication has been wrong in the past, including the recent iPhone 5 bait-and-switch that Apple pulled, opting instead for the iPhone 4S.

The display rumors and the rumor that even the MacBook Pro will adopt a more MacBook Air-type of styling (called “super-thin” by some industry analyst) seemss to play to those next-gen rumors.

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments

Shooting and Editing From Soup to Nuts

My classmates and colleagues and I have a particular way of speaking to each other when we discuss film and filmmaking, and after three years of film school the language we share is fairly rich and fairly idiosyncratic.  One of the expressions we like to use is “from soup to nuts,” which means from beginning to end (back in the early 19 somethin-or-others, a meal at a restaurant started with soup and ended with nuts).

How long is the movie, from soup to nuts?

How much is the camera package going to cost, from soup to nuts?

Wow!  She took first prize at Sundance!?  How much did she win, from soup to nuts?

You get the idea.  You’ll notice that the three examples I gave all have to do with money.  That’s because, to be perfectly honest, film school is an expensive endeavor.  I’m sure I speak for all my classmates when I say that we wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.  We’re doing what we love, we’re getting better at doing it, and we’re surrounded by people who support and believe in our work, and we know that once we enter the professional filmmaking world we probably won’t be in such a comfortable environment.  That’s not to say, though, that everything about filmmaking is prohibitively expensive.  The actual equipment one needs to make a film, from soup to nuts, is very affordable.  Chances are, you already own the major components.  They are:

A video camera:

Most new video cameras shoot onto memory cards.   The new handheld, consumer grade cameras yield a really impressive image, and they shoot in HD, but cameras that shoot on standard definition mini-DV are great, too.  They’re just as easy to use, they have all the ports necessary to edit footage, and the fact that you’re shooting onto tape gives you the added security of having actual masters, meaning a tangible copy of the original footage you can archive.

A computer with at least 100 gigs of hard drive space:

For the Digital Filmmaking for Teens courses we use Apple computers because Final Cut Studio, the editing and finishing software we teach, only runs on Macs.  I personally have a MacBook Pro with 4 gigs of RAM, and it edits High Definition footage like a champ.  Before that, though, I had a PowerBook G4, and if I didn’t start getting professional editing work that requires a more robust processor I’d still be using it.

For now, a computer with a lot of hard drive space, at least 100gigs, will suffice.  But once you start getting serious about your film projects, you’re going to want to invest in an external hard drive.  Something in the 250 gig range is perfectly acceptable.  Just make sure that the drive spins at 7200 rpm and that it has a FireWire port (as opposed to just a USB port).  Glyph hard drives are really reliable and come with a great warranty.  Here’s the drive that just about everyone at NYU used during first year.  You’ll notice that it works out to less than a dollar per gig:

Glyph Hard Drives

Editing Software:

We teach Final Cut Studio at Digital Media Academy, and it is in my opinion the best editing software on the market today.  The interface is very intuitive because most of the editing is done on the timeline; you trim the clips, move them to where they belong in the story, and before you know it you have a movie.  Final Cut Studio comes with the programs Color (a great color correction tool), Compression, Live Type, and DVD Studio, which is such a powerful program that I’d pay up to $500 dollars for it if it were sold separately.

Blank DVD’s:

To screen your movie!  Look for bundles of DVD-r; they also work great as back-up storage media.

And that, from soup to nuts, is what you need to make a movie:  a camera, a computer, editing software, and blank DVD’s, and much of this equipment can be purchased at DMA at a considerable discount.  In my classes, I make it clear that the important part about making a movie—the writing and storytelling—is free.  It’s entirely within you.  Now, with cameras, computers, and editing software at such reasonable prices, the expensive part isn’t all that expensive, either.

I am teaching DMA’s Digital Filmmaking for Teens courses at Harvard and Brown University this summer. 

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posted by DMA Jordan in News Blog and have No Comments