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Thoughts on the Mac - Several Years In

I will state this upfront. The Macbook Air 13” is the best computer I have ever owned.

The tech specs and benchmarks and reviews have all been through posted. This is simply for me to write my thoughts and how I use the air. Plus how it has changed some of my habits. I use my air has my primary home computer and for work along with a standard desktop connected by synergy. Beforehand I had an iPad, with a 27” iMac. I used the iMac for any OSX development along with general usage at home. The iMac was excellent but was enormous and I wanted something portable.

Work and Home

To facilitate home and work, I use two different accounts that use Dropbox for sharing. Anything important goes into Dropbox and I use it for quick sharing between them, it is actually quicker and easier to use this than standard samba folders. Most of my time at work is spent in Apple Mail, Office Lync and emacs. It is unknown if the SSD or Apple Mail is to credit, but it is 10x faster than Outlook at searching. Even faster than my previous love alpine, I would still be using alpine if it handled html and images. At home I have an app that is a few thousand lines of code, that compiles in under 30 seconds. Suffice to say it performs well.

Storage & Weight

I was worried about storage and in hindsight wish I had opted for the 256GB option. I am just shy of 40GB free with most of my photos and virtual machines on an external hard drive. It is workable but I would suggest if this will be your primary laptop get the most storage you can afford. Weight…is amazing! I was using a wonderful Saddleback Leather Messenger, the downside was my cheap STM messenger bag, external hard drive, charger, cables and air weighed less than the Saddleback Bag alone. It also is built sturdy so I can throw the bag around a bit and have no problem. I do not like babying my hardware, nor do I abuse it but I run my laptop, ipad and iphone naked.

Long Term Problems

For the love of all that is holy Apple, radius all the edges. I wish the lines were a bit softer. The keyboard is alright but I am a keyboard junkie and it is simply usable. Thought to be fair it is better than almost any other laptop out there. Unknown on the SSD lifespan, I am pretty religious about backups since I don’t trust SSDs. Lack of good reasonably priced thunderbolt peripherals, I really want to use thunderbolt more but nothing is out that seems reasonable. Support for two external monitors, I really want to use two monitors but other than hacky solutions this is impossible.