MacBook Air, let me count the ways…

…that make me love you to pieces. :)

(Note: This is my first Apple computer. I was using PCs for at least 19 years before making the switch.)

  • Weight. 1kg vs my previous laptop which was 3kg.
  • Battery life. 3-5 hours of run time vs my previous laptop’s pitiful 10 minutes. (Even when it was new I only got a maximum of 2 hours.) And standby actually conserves battery life, whereas with my old laptop it seemed to consume basically as much power as when it was on.
  • Size. I have the 11″ model so screen size is compromised, but in return I get ultimate portability. The whole thing is about 50-60% smaller than the paper notebook I used to lug around uni.
  • Speed. 8GB of RAM and a solid state drive make a veeery nice combination.
  • Start up. The boot sequence takes only a fraction longer than waking from sleep and both are incredibly fast. It would take a good 10 minutes after turning on my old laptop before I could actually do anything with it.
  • iPhoto 11. Ah I just love it. It’s such an easy way of storing and viewing my photos, has basic but useful editing functions and communicates nicely with flickr.
  • A working wireless adaptor. My previous laptop decided to ignore the fact it had a physical wireless adaptor fairly regularly, requiring a restart to remind it that it was in fact there – no such problem any more.
  • Keyboard shortcuts. Now that I’m used to Mac OS shortcuts they are actually making my life easier. No more 5 key ALT sequences to produce special characters!
  • File search. Fast and very effective without any silly animated characters.
  • Connecting to other computers. It’s easy now! I never really worked out how to network my PC laptop to anything, and I don’t need to work it out with Mac OS because it’s just easy.

Things that I thought would bother me after moving from Windows to Mac OS but actually don’t:

  • Not being able to get to the desktop. I don’t even use the desktop for anything any more because I can access all the apps I need to from the dock or launchpad. If I do want to get to the desktop there’s a nifty gesture to throw all windows to the side, or I can hide everything for a neater look.
  • Not being able to access any window from the taskbar. My command-tabbing and command-tilde-ing are so natural now I don’t need to worry about it.
  • Programs not having a background. I usually hide everything except what I’m working in anyway (unless I want to accesss two different programs at once), and if I don’t want to see windows behind the current program I make it full screen.
  • Using Finder instead of Explorer. In the past I’ve always found Finder a bit fiddly but after a week of using it constantly I think I actually prefer it now. It’s just a matter of what you’re used to.

The only niggles, if anything:

  • Copying a file path and file name. I can’t seem to work out how to do this in one step – I seem to have to copy the path name and then the file name to create a complete link. Never mind, it’s not really essential.
  • Screen resolution. I can’t blame the laptop for this – my short-sightedness is getting progressively worse :'( and I find myself needing to zoom in on most web pages to be able to read them comfortably. At least I can zoom in, which is helpful – I just don’t like the fact that I need to. :P (Feels like it’s almost time for reading glasses, the thought of which I’ve always dreaded. I already have to wear one pair of glasses, I don’t want to have to wear two – or bifocals…)
  • Word processing. I don’t do a lot of word processing but I’m used to the control I have with Microsoft Office and I don’t think I’ll get that with Open Office. Then again, perhaps it won’t be too bad.
  • e-tax. The software used for completing an Australian tax return is still not available for Mac OS.
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