New Year New Computer

Howdy, y’all, and happy new year! What’s new in ’22? For starters, I did a thing. It’s part of my recent computer workflow upheaval. I’m doing some switching even though I tried to avoid it, but it makes sense. I still love to use my iPad, though certain things work better on a full computer like our Windows 11 gaming laptop. One thing led to another and…I ordered a MacBook!

Hopefully, my new Mac will arrive tomorrow as scheduled for delivery; I’m eager to start using it. Like my family’s shared Windows laptop, the MacBook is a “full computer” with multi-windowing and multi-tasking beyond what the iPad can do. It’s keyboard is always attached and has a palm rest, unlike my tablet. On top of that, it’s an Apple device like my iPhone and iPad, so I can stay all-in with the Apple ecosystem (almost totally). For me, that’s a big win.

Over the past month or so, I leaned towards using our Windows laptop more because it’s better at productivity and other things that my iPad simply can’t do. That said, the Win11 PC setup was not ideal to me because it’s shared among several family members and it caused me to try using cross-platform apps or services, breaking me out of my comfy Apple walled garden, you know, where it’s all magical unicorns and rainbows and such.

We needed another computer in my family for one of my sons to use in his digital photo class this upcoming Spring semester, and I wanted my own ”full PC.” I searched for the best Windows laptop deals and always found them compromised in at least one way: not enough memory, missing the right ports, battery life too short, etc. Nothing clicked; I was reluctant to pull the trigger on any Windows laptop since I wanted to ensure my large financial investment would pay off for years. Then my budget increased, allowing me to buy the newest M1 MacBook Air from Apple’s refurbished store.

As an ultrabook, I think the M1 MBA is the best deal for me, especially since it lets me firmly cement my feet in Apple’s platform foundation. My AirPods and Apple Watch and iPad and iPhone should work well with the MacBook. Most important, though, will be the multi-tasking and windowing, which most folks have relied on for decades, along with what’s acclaimed to be stellar battery life and performance in a small and lightweight package.

The MacBook will be my own while one of my teens gets to use it in a class. This also means all my kids can learn to use a Mac, a PC, or a Chromebook. Speaking of the latter, my current Chromebook is going to my wife, and her Chromebook will become another for the kids to share. It looks like our household of seven people will at least have one main computer for all to use and eventually a personal device for each (beyond a smartphone). Now if only we could get internet faster than DSL… (we hotspot to our 4G/LTE phones a lot; 5G is still practically non-existent).

Yeah, I’m excited. The last, and only, Mac I ever owned was a late ’09 MacBook, the polycarbonate white one with a Core 2 Duo CPU and 4GB RAM. I was running OS X Mountain Lion, and things have advanced a lot since then. The M1 MBA ships with macOS Monterey, and it allows iOS apps to work, among other tricks. I hope to stick with this computer for many years.

That’s one way to start a new year, switching to a new computer. At least it’s more fun than beginning a new fitness regimen. I’ll try to not get Cheetos dust on my magic keyboard.