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My Mac experience 2+ years later

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apple-logo.pngI can’t believe it’s been nearly two years since I purchased this 11″ Macbook Air. I enjoy it just as much (if not more) than I did the first time I booted it up. The hardware is still functional and each OS X helped improve my Mac experience whether it was through improved performance, battery life or functionality. The only thing that would convince me to upgrade would be a 12″ Macbook Air w/ Retina Display.

Succumb to Safari. It’s good for you.

One of the first applications that I installed on my Macbook Air in 2011 was Google Chrome. I didn’t even consider the possibility that it would be an power hungry monster that would drain my battery quicker and heat up my Macbook. I thought my Macbook was operating as intended.

It wasn’t until OS X Mavericks and the inclusion of the “Energy Impact” column in the Activity Monitor that I realized Google Chrome was the culprit. As soon as I switched to Safari, my Macbook Air now lasts up to an hour longer and it no longer heats up like it used to.

I still keep Chrome installed for edge cases but this little revelation helped me realize the importance of tight software and hardware integration. If I were on a Windows laptop, I’d consider the effects of battery life between Chrome and Internet Explorer as well.

Apps to Live By

These are the must have applications that I will install with every Macbook:

  • RightZoom – It changes the default behavior of the “maximize” button to mimic Windows’.
  • BetterTouchTool – It looks like a very useful utility for mouse and touch gesture customizations but I only use it for one thing: Windows Snap functionality.
  • The Unarchiver – It’s a tool used to unarchive things.
  • Caffeine – Helps quickly switch from “Power Saver” and “Always On” modes.
  • AppCleaner – Helps properly uninstall applications
  • Seashore – Like Paint.net but for Mac

If I have those applications installed, I’m happy. I would love to have the first two applications be made obsolete by Apple including those functions into OS X itself but I don’t see Apple copying Windows. That would be very un-Apple.

Synergy

What I love most about my Mac though is the eco system and synergy between it and my iOS devices. Being able to reply to iMessages and receive Facetime calls on my Mac may sound insignificant but it’s something that I miss when it’s not there. I wish there was an iMessage client for Windows. Yes, I could just pick up my phone or tablet but if I don’t have to? That would be nice. Ties like these help keep me in an eco system.

A convert?

I’ve become a laptop snob and I embrace it. I keep a periphery look out at the Windows Ultrabook landscape but I would never buy another laptop that isn’t a Macbook. It’s tough go back to plastic after experiencing the comforts of aluminum and glass. I’m not saying Macbooks are perfect though. I wish my screen wasn’t an TN P.O.S for example. But I recognize and appreciate what the cost difference between an comparably specced Windows Ultrabook brings me. It’s luxury computing and I’m okay with it.

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