100% Mac Shop
Since I didn’t have WiFi and I wasn’t able to get any work done, I did some writing.
It all started back in 2007 when I acquired my very first Macbook. It was the first generation with the Intel processor and I liked it. Alot. It’s been one of the most reliable PCs I’ve had and is still in active use today.
Jump ahead to 2009 when I got my iMac. 20″ to be exact. It’s been my workhorse, being used to generate countless websites, blog posts, photos and hours of video. As it stands, it’s about the 3rd most reliable PC I’ve ever owned and if it lasts another 2 years I will jump to the number 2 spot.
For the record, the PC I have ever owned was one I built myself. A PII700 running all Intel internals with Samsung drives and Windows 2000. Got about 5 solid years of use out of that before I upgraded to something a little speedier.
I title this post 100% Mac Shop because I have always had a copy of Windows running somewhere. Either in VM on the iMac or Macbook, or in the shape of a laptop or netbook. Friends, I am here today to let you know that is no longer the case.
Instead of getting a mobile device running Windows (and saving a bunch of money) I decided to go mobile on the Mac. And not a Macbook Pro either. A 13″ Macbook Air. Thin, light and limited on storage. A machine that I know will take advantage of dropbox and iCloud. A machine that I will use primarily for editing text (or coding WordPress themes). A machine that has enough space to offload photos and videos from week long events. And if I run out of space, there is always FTP or dropbox. A true portable machine.
I will be using this for light photo editing. I might even attempt video editing on it as well. For video, I’m going to almost bet that it will not be the greatest for encoding, so I will save that for the iMac.
Toss in my iPhone and there you have it! I’m all Mac. Only took me 5 years to get here too!
The Sunday Post #107: iStuff
Back to back Sunday Posts? I know that’s never happened before and there is a very good reason for that. But first.
On iPhones and the Macbook Air
Recent addition to my quiver is the 13″ Macbook Air. I looked really hard at the 11″, aka the iPad Pro, but decided the larger screen and SD Card reader were a worthwhile $100 upgrade. Timing couldn’t have been better either as I picked it up barely 24 hours before I had an event to cover with a fair bit of travel. Here are a few quick notes.
Fast – Did I say fast? Yes, fast. The best way to describe how fast is by using iPhoto. On my 13″ Air, from click to fully loaded is less than 2 seconds. On a brand new 13″ Macbook Pro (with roughly the same number of photos) from click to to fully loaded was 12 seconds. The speed makes itself known everywhere too.
Battery life – I’m not sure about how long it will actually last, but I think the 7 hours claimed is pretty close to being accurate. Not to mention, when the lid is closed, this baby is sleeping and sleeping hard! Over night battery useage with the lid closed so far has been zero.
Portability – It’s not as light as the 11″, but close enough. And it’s thinner than my iPhone. Yet, it doesn’t feel flimsy or cheap.
The Screen – Something you don’t notice right away, but after you use it for a bit, you start to notice that the screen on this is pretty great.
Comments are open if you have any questions about the Air.
And, for the first time, really, I actually used my iPhone during an event. Now that I’ve had it for a few months and have my groove down, it’s the perfect device for that kind of work. I was able to do things mobile that I always had to rely on external devices to do. For the first time I went to an event with only 3 devices (and it could have been two); an iPhone, my Canon DSLR and Macbook Air.
I’m excited to see what I can really do with these in the field this year!
Driving to work this morning, I thought I would give iTunes Match another try. On my iPhone, I navigated to my songs and hit the shuffle button at the top of the screen. First song up played for 30 seconds then paused for about 10 before playing for another 20 seconds and pausing. So I turned it off, stopped for gas and gave Twitter what for.
I then resumed my drive to work and hit play one more time.
The next 8 songs played without a snag. Until I hit next too early, then it was play/pause/repeat all over again.
I want music on my phone. I don’t want to stream it, I don’t want to listen to previews, I don’t want a streaming service. I want my music. iTunes Match, for all of the awesome it can be, is still not living up to it’s full potential. At least it’s not for me.
So, off it goes.
I don’t get Spotify
First, G+ had everyone excited. I’m still excited about it in fact. Then a new hotness became available that everyone went super duper crazy for. Spotify. And, to be honest, I don’t get it.
It appears to be a recolored version of iTunes with streaming capability. There is a mobile app that you can download and pay $9.99 a month to use. You can sync your iTunes library too if you have a premium account, plus a few other features.
Streaming on the desktop is speedy and the sound quality of the tracks is pretty good. No complaints. I haven’t gotten into the desktop app fully, mostly because the strength of Spotify, or the piece that every is going crazy about, is the premium mobile streaming service.
I’ve never been one to ‘rent’ my music. I guess I’m a little bit old school in that I still like to own (a questionable term to be sure) my music. I’ve switched from CD’s to digital downloads, but I still mostly download complete albums that I can use to build playlists that I sync to my ipod.
“But”, you say, “Spotify lets you stream your tracks to your mobile device db”.
Which I can already do on my phone using either the Amazon cloud service or Google music (which I haven’t tried yet). I need to check the new pricing on Amazon, but I have 20gb of online storage for $.99 a year. Google music is practically free too. There isn’t any discovery there, but I can listen to my music on any device I want.
So is the big sell for Spotify discovery? If so, ok, cool. I get that. In fact, as I write this, I’m using it to stream some Depeche Mode (unlike Pandora, I can listen to any tracks I want it seems). For this it seems pretty capable.
Or is the excitement about this for mainly iOS users that don’t have a way to sync, wirelessly, to their phones? That would make sense. And make sense that Spotify is released in the US prior to iOS 5 and Apple’s new iMobileMeDropBox service is released, which, I would think, would render Spotify moot.
I think it’s a nifty app. I also think that $10 a month a bit much to pay to have music streamed to a device. But, as I have already mentioned, I don’t get it.
What is it about Spotify that you are super duper excited about?
Working Toward Device #13
When last we spoke about my never ending problems with cell phones, I had just received my 2nd Droid Incredible (Dinc). The first was crashing after a call. No big deal. Replacement arrived 2 days early. I was up and running again in a little less than an hour.
Then, starting last week, this phone started acting up. It also exhibited the same crash-after-a-call problem that my last Dinc had. A problem that was easily corrected by putting the phone to sleep and waking it back up again using the handy dandy switch at the top of the phone.
That stopped working last week as well.
Today, after finishing a call with Verizon Wireless, my phone crashed so hard I had to do a battery pull to correct it. Luckily, I even got the sleep/wake switch to work as well.
I was on the call initially because I’m a few days behind on my bill, a fact I will be correcting on Friday. Since I had them on the phone, I figured it was a good time to review my plan since I’ve been making changes to it for the first half of the year (mainly not having teh lad on it anymore). My new friend at VZW looked at my minutes used for the past 3 months (less than 400 billable per month) and said I would be a good candidate to go to the $59.99 plan. Sweet! That’s $30 less than my existing plan, which will pay for my data (still unlimited BTW, but more on that later).
And since she was so helpful, I thought I would bring my telephone woes up to her. She said I would need to call back on a different phone to do troubleshooting and texted me the number to call. While that was happening, I think she was reviewing my account a little bit more (besides minutes and data used) because no sooner did I get the text message with the 800 number to call I received a 2nd with her email address.
She said to me, when I’m ready (about 2 weeks), to email her back and she would get me going on an early upgrade!
Did I ask? Nope. Did I get angry? Nope. Was she super professional, very nice and extraordinarily helpful? YES!
I swear I never get bad service from VZW. I’ve said it here many times before. Anytime I have a problem they fix it, more often than not the first time without having to talk to more than 1 person. Ever.
I’ll be getting an iPhone sometime in July. Stay tuned for details