Wacom Cintiq Pro, Wacom Mobile Studio, Mini ITX and Intel Hades NUC

I’ve been taking a brief look at what computer equipment is currently available on the market. It’s easy to lose touch of what’s a good buy as technology improves at a rapid pace and prices change equally as fast. For example, I bought my workstation computer a few months back and it’s already out of date, haha.

If my work permit problem is dealt with and I get to work in Canada as I’d like, it’s not viable for me to take a large computer with me (especially on a plane). I originally started looking at the obvious things, such as the Dell XPS and the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and also the Microsoft Surface Book but they’re all quite expensive.

I’d really like a pen

Most of the editing on my photographs is quite bad and it’s something I’ve been working on lately–a more subtle look. I’d like to develop my own style too but that’s a long way off. For this, I can imagine myself using a pen quite a lot… I miss having a pen.

Needless to say, for a 16GB Laptop, you’ll quite easily pay around the £1,500 mark plus an additional amount if you buy a pen. This could be the Wacom Intuos Pro Medium. That’s quite a lot of money–money I don’t have right now.

So I got thinking about computers similar in size to a playstation. They’d fit in a suitcase quite easily, but obviously I’d need a screen. The current generation of Wacom Cintiq screen is actually really, really good. It captures about 94% Adobe RGB if you get the larger model, with 100% SRGB and it has etched glass that’s supposedly meant to be fun to write on and not get scratched too easily. The smaller model is not as colour accurate; however, the Wacom Mobile Studio Pro 13″ is as colour accurate as the Wacom Cintiq Pro 13″. It’s a bit confusing, and I would have liked to see a Wacom Cintiq Pro 13″ with a screen as good as the 16″ model, simple because it’s more affordable.

 

In summation, for less than what a laptop costs, I could buy something like an Intel Hades NUC and a Wacom Cintiq 13 FHD Pro for less than a Laptop and a Wacom Intuos Pro Medium. The advantage is that I’d be able to write directly on the screen, and the screen is probably better than a stereotypical laptop (with the exception of some of the Dell Laptops). The performance would be better too. You can also make machines based around the Mini ITX form factor, not to mention Slim Mini ITX.

The Intel Hades NUC is rather expensive as barebones PCs go, and you don’t necessarily have to get that model. I certainly think it’s something to consider if you’re not planning to take your laptop anywhere other than from a home location to new accommodation.

Another advantage with this method is I could sell all of my desktop equipment, excluding the peripherals, and then use this as my regular machine. I believe it’s certainly powerful enough. This would help off set the cost a bit. Unfortunately, as I’m not sure what’s happening with Canada, I may have to save up, study a bit and then study in Canada at a later date.

I felt like writing about this though because perhaps you’re in a similar predicament and it might help you :).

Working in Canada – IEC

Everyone in England is talking about how hot it is at the moment. I feel like we should never complain when it’s above 30c because we get months of overcast/rain shortly after, hahaha. It is difficult to be at a computer when it’s like this (especially when there’s no air conditioning) though! One thing I really liked about Calgary was that even when it was a similar temperature, the breeze from the river kept you at a decent temperature :).

After returning home, I’ve really noticed little differences like this, and I’m desperate to go back. Unfortunately, the work situation is not simple once you’re above 30 years old.

For most countries, you can apply to join the IEC programme and get an open work permit between the ages of 18-35. However, the UK is different and it’s actually 18-30. As I’m 32, I’m slightly outside of this range. There’s possibly a way to circumvent this by using a third party, but apparently it’s a bit of a lottery. For anyone that’s read my US visa trouble, you’ll know I’m simply cursed when it comes to things like this. Short of being sponsored by a Canadian employer (or a cute Canadian woman… who wants to marry me?), my options are somewhat limited. For that reason, most of my time/energy is spent on this at the moment.

As stated in a previous post, I’d like to completely revamp this website. I am thinking of starting a second site, that way I can isolate subjects a bit better but it’s down to cost really.

Lastly, now I’ve had the chance to look through a few hundred photographs, I can see which ones I like and those I dislike.

If you look at the photograph in the middle, it’s not composed particularly well but I think the mood is quite nice. Yet the last photograph has absolutely no mood or anything, and it makes it a bit boring. My plan of improvement is to try and take photographs with more of a mood. I can’t really describe it very well, but I have something in mind.

Upcoming website plans, changes and photographs

As I didn’t do much of the Great Divide Trail at all, and my experience in Canada changed my thoughts on long distance hiking, I will probably completely change my website.

For starters, the website theme isn’t good so that needs to be altered. I feel it’s disingenuous to talk about long distance hikes much if I haven’t done them and don’t plan to do one. However, I have hiked around the 20 mile per day mark, several times (there were times I didn’t see it as possible, especially when I struggled with 8 miles to start with!) I have camped with my equipment, and I have used my camera/equipment while it rained non stop but also while it was incredibly sunny.

For that reason, I believe I have the experience with the clothing I used and electronics, to give some advice to future hikers. I plan to do some shorter long hikes (several days long), but I can’t see me hiking for several months at a time.

I’m going to be pretty busy as I want to work in Canada (I love the country) but I really want to improve the mess that is this website, haha.

I included the tent photograph, not because it’s a good photograph but I just wanted a reminder :). That whole hike was a weird one but one of my favourites funnily enough. It rained a lot, both up and down the mountain. I got bitten by mosquitoes a lot (lol) and I didn’t appreciate the bear on the way down from the mountain. But it’s a great story to be able to tell friends and family in years to come.

Aperture: ƒ/8
Camera: ILCE-7RM2
Taken: 2018/06/17
Focal length: 35mm
ISO: 100
Shutter speed: 1/125s

Back in England

It hardly seems like I’ve been in Canada five weeks. A lot happened while there. I ended up not doing the Great Divide Trail but instead did some day hikes and explored Calgary a lot. I had a great time! It became rather expensive, so I’ve returned home :).

There were happy days, sad days, and days I felt I really accomplished something. My photographs could be better, haha (I’m just not a very good photographer) but it was really worth doing. I will write about it more and upload some photographs soon :).

Although I didn’t do the Great Divide Trail and will probably never do it (unless they can improve the trail), I used all of my gear for other things and none of it has gone to waste. I faced a bear pretty close up and they’re scary to say the least…

Canadians are really nice people. It really hits you in the face how nice they are.

I start my Great Divide Trail 2018 Canada hike in a couple of weeks

I leave in a couple of weeks to hike the Great Divide Trail in Canada. I’m not sure how it will pan out as I’ve never done such a thing like it before. Terrified doesn’t really begin to explain it, haha.

Once I start hiking, I probably won’t be posting on my site much, if at all, for a while. I’ll post on instagram and write a little comment with each photograph or something :). As far as I know, there’s less WiFi/internet spots compared to the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian trail, so I don’t know how often I’ll get to post.

If I don’t reply on instagram within a month, Sasquatch found me (I put up a good fight, I promise).

GDT – Waterton Lakes Update & instagram & website news

Hey,

I have some good news. The issues with Waterton Lakes isn’t such a big deal after all. I can enter different trails further north and connect with the GDT using the “Font Creek” trail. It looks quite pretty after a quick google and there’s ways to extend it, so it’ll be a similar length hike. Photography, camping and hiking have always been my priorities, and this shouldn’t change that too much!

You can follow my instagram, it’s kinda bare at the moment but it’ll be the easiest thing to post with. I haven’t tried wordpress on mobile though, perhaps it’ll be okay :).

When I’ve improved at photography and have done hikes I’m passionate about, I will probably change my site completely to make it look more professional. At the moment, most of my content consists of gear reviews and I’m not very passionate about writing them. It has made me really, really respect well thought out reviews though. Those must take people ages to make :).