Artsy Rants

A Little Peek into Where the Magic Happens

  • February 13, 2016

Whatever’s in the glass, make it a double.

I had some down time this weekend which I’ve been spending tidying up my Studio. After I was done, and took stock of my now-decluttered digs, I thought it would be fun to share it with you.

First picture is of my workstation area in general. The rest of my Studio is taken up by bookcases, filing cabinets and guitar stands and isn’t nearly as interesting to see as where I actually do my thang.

The monitor on the left is a 32″ curved Dell. Apple has really dropped the ball on modern display technology so I had to turn elsewhere for a primary screen up to my standards. The right-hand monitor is an Old Skool 27″ Apple Cinema Display from the pre-Thunderbolt days. Taking up a chunk of desktop space in the middle there is my Wacom Intuos 4 tablet, and in the background is my MIDI keyboard; that and my MIDI digital guitar are my tools for laying down fun custom tracks using my Cubase Digital Audio Workstation software. Oh, yeah: and the obligatory stack of this week’s mail I haven’t gotten to yet.

The chunk of wood almost off camera? A carving of the Old Man of the Forest that my Dad made and recently gifted me. I’m still looking for a good place to display it.

This next shot is a close-up of the heartbeat of Spinland:

Mac Pro

It ain’t Chevrolet!

That’s the Apple “iCan” Mac Pro, along with the supporting hardware: an 18 Terabyte Synology disk array (big black box behind the Mac Pro), an Apple Time Capsule router/backup drive, and an 8 port gigabit network switch to handle all the related traffic. The Mac Pro and Synology alone use two gigabit ports each. Wicked fast data transfers, which helps when I’m pumping renders into the Synology 20 frames at a time.

This is a look at where I stash my Old Skool 17″ MacBook Pro when I’m not using it to do work away from the Studio:

MacBook Pro

Is it eating that mouse?

It’s over five years old, which is ancient by computer standards, but has a built in optical drive, 3 USB ports, a real Ethernet port, and that sweet 17″ screen. None of those features are now available in Mac laptops so I’ve sunk no small amount of cash in keeping that baby alive and happy. In its little nook back there it enjoys a power jack, a USB cable feeding a powered hub elsewhere on my desk, and a gigabit Ethernet jack. On the big screen you can see the laptop’s screen; I sometimes press it into service doing stuff and via screen sharing I can use it as though it were right in front of me, yet only need the one mouse and keyboard on my desk.

And last, but not least, here is the sole non-Mac computer I own: a cute little Intel NUC I built from a kit, running Windows 10 Pro:

Intel NUC

But does it blend?

The artfully-placed pen shows how tiny it is, yet it sports 8GB of high speed RAM, a 500GB SSD, and an Intel dual core i5 CPU. I’ve been ramping up my motion capture capability and there just isn’t the support in the Mac world for the hardware and software so I gave in and added this machine to my arsenal. Just like the MacBook Pro, I control this box remotely via screen sharing to my Mac Pro and a software utility that lets me share my Apple keyboard and mouse when I need to do stuff on it.

Not depicted is my Mac Mini Server that handles the interface between the Studio and the outside world, including the VPN that lets me connect to all my equipment while on remote locations (it’s also my Myth TV box to record television shows over the air because I’m a cable cutter). It’s tucked away in a server cabinet downstairs and isn’t really where I could get a picture. At one point I was hosting three different web sites on it but that sort of thing has long since become cheaper and easier to manage on a regular host provider account.

And there you have it: Spinland Studios Revealed. Tah-daaaaaaahhhhh!

Spinland Studios, LLC is a high-tech branding and marketing studio in the Mohawk Valley of Upstate New York. We leverage the power and magic of 3D modeling and animation to take your company’s image places you can only imagine. Defy conventional marketing and bring your brand to life! Visit for more information and examples—then hire us to boost your company’s marketing image into the 21st century!

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