MACBOOK AIR IS ALMOST – Marilyn Armstrong

I hate setting up new computers. Regardless of what benefit I hope to get from it, the process is boring, annoying, and full of “What do you MEAN that’s not my email address? Of course it is. ”

Then, there are updates. You think only PCs have updates? Have you gotten a new Mac recently? Not only do they have updates, but they take a really long time to install.

Just like PC updates, the machine gets increasingly funky until you give in and do the updates. After which it purrs nicely.

Without getting too nerdy about it, the browser — Safari  — is primitive compared to Chrome. It’s annoying and slow.

Spring from the kitchen

Essentially, the Macbook Air 13 is a stripped down computer. It’s very light and has great batteries. It is so portable, I think the cover on my PC is heavier. It won’t get viruses. Well, really, Macs do get viruses (shh). Also, these lightweight portables do not have quality video cards or room to put one in. If that’s what you want, this is the wrong computer.

The Macbook Air also comes with a 512 GB SSD hard drive which is the top end of their hard drive scale. Kind of small.  Any graphics work will have to live on an external hard drive. Not my first choice, but manageable. Mainly, I hope it won’t crash and burn if I use Photoshop Elements with Topaz filters. That would upset me.

Forsythia

If you need to do serious graphic work on a Mac, you should get a desktop. A big one with a graphics card that understands hard work and how to do it. The irony is that Macs were designed for graphics work and are the primary choice for editing in television studios. The laptops are not the same machines.

The Air should be fine for writing and editing and light processing. After I download Apache OpenOffice, of course. It is a sweet machine for people who have a limited needs for graphics and want something that won’t wrench their shoulder out of its socket. Which my laptop does.

With each year I survive, my ability to haul heavy loads gets more limited.

Maple leaf buds

Now. About Safari.

Seriously? That’s the best Mac can do? I’m disappointed. But to be fair, it was designed to work very well on Mac’s laptops, use very little of the battery power — and keep the temperature down. Unlike Microsoft Edge, it does work. Not as well as Chrome, but it is a functional browser.

I have a hot date with the installation folks at Apple tomorrow. I hope for better answers and in particular, an optimistic response to the graphics manager I can use.

44 thoughts on “MACBOOK AIR IS ALMOST – Marilyn Armstrong”

    1. I know I CAN use Chrome, but Chrome does two things that are bad for Macs: they use a lot of battery quickly and they heat up the machine (by heating up the batteries). Yes, you can use it, but not all the time. Not unless you want to knock your batteries dead. Apparently, it’s the heat that’s the worst part. You can always recharge, but heat and computers is bad for both the batteries and the attached machinery.

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    2. Also, I think the original Mac Air was bigger. The newest ones are quite small. 13 inches and VERY lightweight. They are what they are. The MacBook Pro was too much money for me — and it still didn’t have the graphics card I would need to use it regularly. For that, we need a desktop and I’m not going back into my office for the day. The freedom I’ve gained from a laptop is monumental and world-changing. There’s no retreat!

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      1. I’m surprised your air had that much memory. i couldn’t find a new one for over 250 gigs. Mine is 13 inch and very light. They went down to 11 inches originally. That’s what I wanted…

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        1. It was the biggest I could get. I had to find the “advanced” options and these choices were buried there. So I also got a somewhat faster machine and the biggest drive they offered. It’s a sweet little machine. Limited, but sweet.

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        1. Good choice. If I had someone around here to fix it, that’s what I would’ve done. But I bought an external 1TB drive as a companion. It’ll do. But I have a great — and hilarious — Apple Help story. Whoever was it that said you never have problem with an Apple or Mac? Shoot them.

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          1. What a teaser. Are you going to tell your story? I wrote a love poem to my Apple tech guy who spent 3 hours with me and when I had to leave called me back that evening and talked to me for another hour.

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  1. i have had my MacBook now for a few years and love it. I have never used a virus Programme on it. I am perhaps not too demanding of my Mac and use it daily for my WordPress prompts. I have no problem with safari. Perhaps because I have the best of both worlds and also have a windows computer, also a newer model. What I like about my Mac is that I do not have to hang it on the plug, its very quick ready to use uploading and new Programme that is done by uploading and costs nothing

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      1. I just checked on my model, because it was a couple of years ago when I got it, but it was the best they had then.
        Modellname: MacBook Pro
        Modell-Identifizierung: MacBookPro11,3
        Prozessortyp: Intel Core i7
        Prozessorgeschwindigkeit: 2.5 GHz
        Anzahl der Prozessoren: 1
        Gesamtanzahl der Kerne: 4
        L2-Cache (pro Kern): 256 KB
        L3-Cache: 6 MB
        Speicher: 16 GB
        Boot-ROM-Version: MBP112.0145.B00
        SMC-Version (System): 2.19f12
        Seriennummer (System): C02NC656G3QD
        Hardware-UUID: 9822D4EA-271E-5E31-9984-DC55F1
        These details probably say more to you than me, but I am happy with my machine

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        1. The only thing that list isn’t telling me is what version of a graphics card it uses, but I’m assuming it’s a “standard, middle of the road” card like all the other Macbooks use.The very upper-end Macbook Pros offer you the choice of an NVIDIA card (like the one in this machine), but that was almost $3000 and it was out of the question for me.

          I checked ALL of them out. If there had been a huge difference at an affordable price, I might have gotten the Pro, but it wasn’t a big enough difference. The cards were bigger, but not by enough. And that’s why you do pictures on your PC. That’s why I am going to use the PC for MY pictures, too. The Mac will do a few things when I’m away from home and be my “next to the bed good night” computer when we aren’t travelling — which means like an hour or two a day of use, tops.

          Even the biggest Mac Pro has, compared to the TB and and quarter (1 TB regular D drive and 256 GB SSD) — AND 16 GB of RAM and another 8 GB of video RAM — this thing will handle anything that I am likely to use it for. Not real video, though. For that, you just can’t use a laptop. You need the bigger machine and a lot more of pretty much everything.

          When Garry was working, one of his engineers offered to build me THE MACHINE that would run the world. It seemed a bit of overkill at the time. I didn’t know how useful it would be another few years down the road … and it WAS a desktop, not a laptop.

          The irony is that desktops are cheaper than laptops. A LOT cheaper and they don’t run on batteries — AND they have built-in fans (you can add EXTRA fans, too) — so they will take a lot more abuse than a laptop. They are much easier to rebuild, too. Those big cases leave you room to add more hard drives, DVD burners … and things that haven’t been invented yet. But to use it, I’d have to go back to being alone all day in my office and I don’t want to do that.

          We make choices, I guess. But I miss the desktop more than I thought I would. Even the “least” of them was more powerful than most of the more expensive and newer laptops.

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  2. Sounds good but I’m too entrenched in the Windows thing. All my external drives are NTFS (Windows) rather than exFAT (general) formatted for a start, and writing to NTFS from a Mac is a bit fiddly, apparently.

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    1. I bought ONE Lacie drive for the Mac. I have five BIG externals for the PC. I think the Mac is going to be what I intended – a relatively light use machine for traveling. It’s not going to take the place of the PC. It can’t do it anyway. It doesn’t have the stuff it would need. The only thing that could take the place of this would be built-to-order desktop. I have to be much more sensible about the battery usage. After a lot of reading, I’m horrified to realized that I’m probably how come the batteries burnt out. I’m lucky the whole machine didn’t fry.

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      1. I do recall that powerful graphics processing units are very power-intensive. I think it was those on the early Xbox 360s which got so hot they melted the contacts.

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        1. I had an old Digital laptop that almost melted ME. It got hot enough to cook on. They have come a ways since then, but they still get a lot hotter than most desktops … and it’s one of the things I really miss about The Big Computers. I don’t miss being stuck at my desk all day long, though.

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    1. It’s part of the purchase package. Mostly, I have a lot of questions to ask and I hope I get answers I can live with. But effectively, the machine is set up. It’s just missing applications because one of them, I need to buy and another, I have to download. But I want to talk about graphics before i do anything. After all this, I don’t want to blow up the baby.

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    1. I’m going to talk to them today. I have questions. The machine is pretty much set up, but I need to buy a Mac graphics engine (probably the inexpensive Photoshop Elements) and the free (I LOVE them) OpenOffice. I also need to ask how — if at all — I can transfer stuff from the PC to the Mac, or more to the point, transfer stuff from backups to the Mac. From ship to ship, not a problem, but backup to machine? Might be.

      Also, things have changed with the news OS. These aren’t the same machines.

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        1. Like all newer machines, the changes are good and bad. They are less powerful in some ways, but much smoother in the way they function and they do more stuff than they used to. But the batteries are more of an issue than they were and heating up the Mac carries a warning: be careful. It’s not that you’ll have to recharge more often. It’s that a long session with Chrome or Photoshop will heat the batteries to 80% or more and that isn’t such a good idea. The suggestion was to use Chrome, but not for everything and not all the time.

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          1. I’ve been using mac notebooks since 2004. I’ve loved every one I’ve had and I have never had a single problem other than one dying 😦 Before that, I used a desk top. I got my first MacBook pro in 2008. It’s still my favorite.

            All my other MacBook Pros went to other people to live when I wanted a new machine. I have two right now. This one, which is new and another that is 5 years old. There was no reason for me to buy this one, but at the time I was afraid my other one might die (it didn’t and wasn’t anywhere near death).

            I don’t use my macs on battery power often. This is the first one I’ve had that heats up — and it only heats up when I’m using it on my lap. A long session with Chrome will NOT heat it up. Photoshop might; I don’t know. I advise keeping it on a flat hard surface as much as possible and keeping it plugged in when you’re doing memory intensive work.

            My friend has a MacBook Air like yours. It’s a really nice machine, too. I hope you will enjoy (key word) using it!

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            1. Now that it’s working like it should, I’m sure it’ll be great. Until I finally got to talk to someone who knew what I needed to do — which took about 15 seconds — I spent 3 hours needlessly reinstalling the entire operating system. It’s pretty funny, actually. This will be a fine machine for its intended purpose. It isn’t going to be the powerhouse the PC is, but it will be just fine for writing and editing and most basic stuff. I’m going to wind up using their embedded graphics app because I’m not subscribing to Photoshop and there isn’t much else out there for a Mac. I was surprised by that. I was sure there was going to be a lot more. Times have changed. It used to be that most graphics applications were made for the Mac.

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              1. Until Apple put the Intel chip in the Mac, people didn’t buy them regardless of how good they were (are). Software developers went where the market was and it wasn’t Mac.

                I’m sure you’ve browsed the App Store. 🙂

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  3. I’ve never tried Chrome before, but have been using Firefox as an alternative to the horrific Internet Explorer (And now Edge). I still remember Netscape from back in my senior year of college when I first discovered the internet. Browsers have come such a long way in two decades…

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    1. Chrome is great. The idea of having to work without it actually quite painful. Whatever you want to do, Chrome does it. Seamlessly. I’m trying Firefox myself because I like to have at two browsers on my machine, in case one gets nipped by a virus. But Firefox seems determined that I use it on my mobile phone and I don’t USE my mobile phone and effectively, don’t have one. So I might go to Opera, instead. I liked Opera — it was like a small-town Chrome.

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    1. It took me two days and a complete — and entirely unnecessary — reinstallation of the operating system — but its working fine. Now. The problem is always the same: you need to talk to someone who really knows what they are doing. Until that moment, you are lost, so lost.

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      1. So true. Im sorry this happened to you.Adams not looked at my site yet, he’s waiting in case they screw something else up and we can fix the whole damn thing in one go. It’s like therre’s a bottle neck somewhere. Something managed to change my site and it screwed the entire thing up. Short of reformatting the site, I doubt it can be fixed and that takes time. I happen to like the look of the site and I don’t want to chanage it particularly. Its his time and effort and he’s injured so I hesitate to ask atm.

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    1. That’s because the graphics card is so minimal. If you could put a big card in it, it would work much better. Mainly, the Mac laptops are small and in some ways, stripped. It makes them highly portable and easy to use, but they aren’t powerhouses.

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