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  1. If you just need a few barcode, you could use a free generator like this one http://online-barcode-generator.net It lets you enter your value, choose an encoding type, and will export in SVG vector format. that was just the first site that appeared when I did a web search for "generate barcode vector"
  2. I use both Photo and Designer on a Mackbook Air with no problems, so you should be fine on your Mini. :)
  3. I have just been using Inkscape for tracing. it does a passable job. then I transfer the results to AD to work in a less clunky environment. Only downside is that I cannot get Inkscape to work on OS-X so I have to run it in a Linux VM. Its never just easy. :)
  4. I'm not sure but you might want to run Disk Utility and "repair permissions". this sounds like a permissions problem and doing that repair helps with a lot of file problems on Macs.
  5. With such a simple image, you might end up better off if you recreate it in Designer. That will let you handle the transparency layers of those blue ribbon things and have much cleaner edges to the image than the bitmap will allow.
  6. One thing that throws people off when exporting to bitmaps is the "resample" method. The default is "nearest neighbor" and the produces a very jaggy result. If you choose Lancos 3 the results are smooth. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2186143/Screen%20Shot%202015-08-11%20at%204.18.58%20PM.png
  7. Would a font aimed at musical notation work for you? I haven't worked with any but in doing a search, I see plenty available. https://www.google.com/webhp?q=music%20fonts#newwindow=1&q=music+fonts In regards to your original question, Affinity Photo is closest to PhotoShop. Affinity Designer is closer to Illustrator but with considerable ability to manipulate bitmaps, too. You might start with Designer and only get Photo if it turns out you need the additional features. Both AD and AP could work with a design using a musical font.
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