Tag Archives: macbook air

A week with a MacBook Air

Ok, those of you who read my recent post on the matter (and Tom’s more detailed review) will know that, at long last, I succumbed to Mac envy. And when my parents were at a loss as to what to get me as a gift on my recent visit to Malaysia, and I spotted the Air cost 30% less than it does in the UK, I made the suggestion… and yes, I know that even as a grown man I continue to be spoiled by my parents…

So far, there’s a lot to love and a few things I’m still getting used to. I haven’t used a Mac in any substantive way since I had a late model Powerbook G3 gifted to me by a prospective employer back in 2000, so its taking a bit of getting used to…


  1. Multi-touch touchpad. Makes a laptop useful without an external mouse. Pinch and zoom, two finger scrolling, three finger, view desktop, back/forward, application switching… all amazingly natural and a big step towards where I think human/computer interaction is trending.
  2. Boot time (short), hibernation/resume time (instantaneous), performance (good), battery life (impressive)
  3. Design (fantastic), weight (negigible), screen (crisp)
  4. AppStore (needs more integration with other apps, but otherwise…) SPARROW for email is AMAZING, as I’ve also blogged before
  5. Application integration into OSX is less intrusive (thanks to growl and the more icon-driven menu bar) and therefore it feels less clunky than even the very good Windows 7
  6. Most of the apps I use regularly have been ported or have superior versions on the Mac including Skype, Evernote, Tweetdeck, iTunes (obv), Chrome, VLC and Teamviewer. And obv MS Office, although I intend to avoid that one…
  7. I like the launcher… much more intuitive than the Start Menu although a bit fiddly to configure with Stacks in the way that I’d like…
  8. Keyboard! The data card is coming out of the iPad and a USB data card is going to be stuck into the iPad to allow blogging and writing on commutes etc.

Dislike/getting used to…

  1. Learning the subtly different way of doing things (command/alt+shift+arrow for word select instead of CTRL-shift – why?)
  2. No CLI that I can find (how do I run a ping and do that random hackery I’m used to?) Terminal App in utilities folder! Thanks Jimjam!
  3. Finding new shortcuts – I love F2 for rename (enter to rename – too simple! Thanks Jimbo) and CTRL-K to add a hyperlink and trying to figure out how to do these things (amongst others) in OSX.
  4. Search doesn’t feel as well-integrated as it is in iPhone/iPad/Windows7. Need a left swish into Finder. Oh, there it is. Top right. D’oh.
  5. Touchpad gestures a bit temperamental
  6. I can’t find a decent blogging client – Qumana is OK but Marsedit is too expensive and Microsoft haven’t ported Live Writer to Mac.
  7. Flash seems less reliable than on Windows – presumably thanks to the ongoing spat between Apple and Adobe
  8. Software updating is fiddly outside the Mac store and System Update
  9. It shipped with two Apple stickers for me to proclaim my smugness to the world. They’re going in the bin…
  10. As GeowGeow observed, no sim card slot. Therefore, imperfect…

I’ll add to this list as more occurs. Any more tips on things I should do differently on a Mac, please let me know as I’m a long way from mastering this bad boy.

I’m not a complete convert – this is a mixed platform house and we continue to use PCs as well as Macs all over the place. It is telling how central the Internet is to our existence that Amanda used the Macbook for Facebook / eMail and didn’t really notice any significant difference to her normal Windows machines… the era of the OS is dead, the web is the new OS… long live GoogBook ad Facegle!

Curse you, Steve Jobs

My friend Tom (aka Flashboy) has just bought a very lovely 11″ Macbook air which I am currently ogling (and typing this blog post on).


Don’t need, not planning on buying, but seriously, this is one sleek piece of engineering. I still don’t want a Mac as a matter of principle, still like Windows 7, but am teetering on the edge now. This is absolutely beautiful, and the more my operating system moves to the web (and I become a Google/Dropbox head), the less the OS matters.

Damnit damnit damnit.