Me  & My Macs
Dr Richard Holmes is a Research Fellow in the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre at the University of Ulster. He tells us:  “My work involves developing Laboratory-on-a-Chip technology, chemical sensor systems and I teach graphical programming, measurement systems, instrumentation, and computer aided design at Undergraduate level.”

“My MacBook Pro is light enough to carry on my bicycle and powerful enough to be my main computer”

“I currently use a 13-inch MacbookPro (named the EAS Agamemnon) in both my teaching and research, which is light enough to carry on a bicycle and powerful enough to be my main working computer. I use iWork and Office 2008 extensively, but always use Keynote to facilitate the presentation of my lecture material, and GetTube to download YouTube Videos for incorporation in lectures - better than relying on web-access in the middle of a class.”

“Working in a majority PC environment, Parallels is a god-send where PC only applications are required. In general, it is possible to find a Mac alternative, but the ability to run both OS’s makes life very easy.”

“My work requires that I use graphical programming languages (LabVIEW - OSX & Windows), Computer Aided Design (TurboCAD Mac Deluxe / Mac Pro - OSX and SolidEDGE - Windows), Chemical structure drawing software (ChemDraw - which is a Mac app).”

“iPhoto and iMovie are excellent tools to maintain my extensive collection of work related multimedia files and photographs, and ImageJ and MiXScope work wonders with video microscopy. I also use Endnote X1 to manage my reference database.”

At home, Richard has a great setup too. “ An iMac (‘Babylon 5’) forms the centre of our home hub, with two external hard drives (one named ‘Starfury’, and a two partition 750Gb monster called ‘Babylon 4’ and ‘Epsilon 3’.”

“My Home network is formed by two airport express boxes creating an internal network and printer share system. My old G4 iBook (‘WhiteStar’) has been re-tasked to work as a Multimedia player, using the video-out to S-video connector to link to the TV, streaming music and video files, and the iMac DV SE will be used as a file server once I have time.”

  • MacBook Pro 13-inch 2.53GHz Core2Duo
    • Richard uses his MacBook for scientific modelling

  • Apple Airport Express
    • The Belkin Wi-Fi Airbase stand is good enough for a home network

  • iBook G4
    • Now streaming media from his other Macs, this iBook is hooked up to Richard’s TV for movies and more

  • iMac 24-inch 2.13GHz Core2Duo
    • This machine is the heart of Richard’s home setup

This article appeared in MacFormat Magazine, Future Publishing,  March 2010 Issue