24" White iMac
Because my 1.5 TB is nearly full would it be reasonable to move my pictures to an external drive? Is it possible to keep previews on the internal drive for perusing but have the bulk of the data elsewhere? If so that is what I should have done back when I got the 1.5 TB drive.
I use Aperture but I'm certainly not an expert... I only recently upgraded from Aperture 2 to 3 and I got a good book to go along with it since I consider my self something of an Aperture Newbie. If I am not mistaken Aperture keeps its image previews in its library so one can move images to an exterior drive and the previews will remain in the library. But I use referenced masters/originals vs. the default managed originals, so my image files are outside the Aperture library to begin with... Someone else with more knowledge will hopefully chime-in here with a definitive answer.
Also, recently when I tried to upload pictures to Smugmug I had to restart Aperture in 32 bit mode. It ran much better that way. Is there a way to keep it in that mode?
I assume that when you switch Aperture to 32-bit that it will keep running in that mode until you switch it back, but again, I'm rusty...
One final question. How much would it cost to buy a display similar in quality to my present 24" matte screen? I figured that the cost of a mac mini plus the added cost of a monitor would be prohibitive but that may be a poor assumption.
I'm a Big Fan of NEC displays. I think that they are higher quality than other low and moderate-priced alternatives, particularly the popular Dell displays. As far as I can tell they all have matte anti-glare panels. One thing that I really like is the range of ergonomic adjustments; I almost returned my 24" iMac because I developed terrible neck pain because I could not lower the display. I almost returned it until I cobbled-together a workaround that made it usable. NEC has over 40 models starting at $79. Most displays come with a four-year warranty; in my experience NEC customer service is excellent. The stock monitor profile for my display (NEC 2490WUXi2 which was discontinued and replaced by the 24" model below) is so good I haven't bothered to calibrate the display.
The two NEC displays that come to mind are 23" and 24" models but you can spend less or more to. Here are some links to get you started:
http://www.necdisplay.com/p/desktop-monitors/p241w-bk 24" $749 MSRP
http://www.necdisplay.com/category/desktop-monitors It's easy to narrow-down your choices by starting at this page.
NEC displays are often available at good discounts from Newegg.com, B&H Photo and other online retailers.
I must admit that nostalgia got the best of me here. Actually, in a lot of ways. I have several hobbies where keeping up with the latest technology would be quite expensive. However, being a few generations behind still offers great enjoyment as the older technology crossed a threshold to where it is good enough. When photography went from film to a D50 it was a huge leap. From there to a D5200 is just a little hop. Life is good.
I know all about photographic nostalgia. My first camera was a battered used Nikkormat FT2; I sold it to a friend many years ago but the last time I heard it was still going strong. I still own a mint condition FT2 that I bought at a yard sale around 8 years ago. It was owned by a retired gentleman who put maybe ten rolls of film through it; when it wasn't being used it lived in a safe. I still use Nikkors that I bought new in 1982. I still regularly use a D200; it's one of my fave Nikon cameras. And I have a mint condition Rolleiflex that my father bought in the 1950s.
I've been doing photography as an amateur and then a pro for over 30 years. Maybe it's because I am older but I don't upgrade something unless there is a good reason for me to do so. On this forum people seem to change cameras as often as I change my socks... If a piece of gear is still meeting your needs then there is no compelling reason to upgrade as far as I am concerned. (I credit this way of doing things as being one of the reasons I have a FICO score of 821, I don't owe anyone a dime and I can afford to pay cash for whatever camera gear I want to buy.)
I regularly recommend digital flash meters as an excellent tool for learning metering/exposure skills and because they are easier, faster and more accurate than the alternatives when working with multiple lights, tricky exposure situations, etc. When people complain about the cost (after spending $1800+ on a camera, $1500 on a lens and $500 on a TTL flash...) I have to laugh because one of my meters was purchased in 1989 and it is still in use. High quality gear can be an excellent long-term purchase if you take good care of your stuff. When I couldn't afford something I would save money until I could; I only bought on credit when it penciled-out benefit/cost-wise.
Having said that, if something comes along that provides me with tangible benefits I am on it like a dog on a bone. I may be 58 years old but I'm not stuck in the past when it comes to technology. If it makes my work/life easier and/or better then I am all for it. Otherwise, I prefer to use my money for traveling and having control over my work life. In my distant past I was a wage-slave, compelled to work just to meet my monthly nut (including a credit card bill for some things I could have lived without...) Been There, Done That!