The MacBook: The price of thin

When I first looked at the MacBook Pro design that remains the template for today’s models (the so-called Fourth Generation design, with the Touch Bar and USB-C) back in early 2017 (a few months after their release), what I saw was a technically impressive, and very expensive laptop. It was a nice subject for a technical review for a magazine, but considering that I was actively pondering a new computer for my music-making activities at that time, I decided in the end it was simply too expensive. To equip one the way I needed it would have approached the $5,000 mark. Think about that for a moment: Five. Thousand. Dollars. For a hunk of technology that sits in your lap. I took a pass, and bought an iMac instead.

I did end-up buying a copy of the very latest MacBook Pro a few weeks ago, something I already mentioned, but after even more time using it, I’m reflecting a bit on the decision — while sort of scratching my head (and marveling) at Apple’s mindset.

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New MacBook Pro: Why is the Touch Bar so maligned?

When Apple first rolled-out the Touch Bar on their MacBook Pro (MBP) line, I had the chance to review a well-equipped MBP for a magazine article. A two week period of hands-on time isn’t enough to truly judge any particular feature, but I was left thinking that the Touch Bar was a complete novelty, something I’d never appreciate — which was a prevailing view at the time in the press. But actually buying a new MacBook Pro recently gave me the chance to live with the feature awhile, and I’ve changed my view.

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Some things actually do come out in the wash… Like my USB key!

For the past few years, I’ve kept my passwords on an encrypted USB key from Kingston, a DataTraveler Vault Privacy that ostensibly has military-grade encryption to keep your data safe. It seemed smarter than just having them sitting around in plain sight, or in plain text stored someplace on the cloud. And, quite frankly, I don’t trust password vault apps.

It was bound to happen eventually, but I left it in my jeans when they went through the washing machine. Oops. And when did I do my last backup, I wondered…

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Questioning my Apple Fanboy-ness

I’ve been a card-carrying Apple Fanboy for what seems like an eternity at this point. For a long time, I resisted; but it was going to work for a company whose standard-issue laptops were MacBooks that changed everything back in 2012. (I’m shocked it’s only been six years, honestly.)

Since then, I’ve bought into the Apple ecosystem hook, line and sinker. I traded-in my annoying Android phone for an iPhone years ago. I wear an Apple Watch. I have an iPad Pro (with the Apple Pencil of course). And I’ve officially lost count of the number of Macs in this house. But the big Apple event yesterday, and all the coverage and details, have for the first time left me unexcited and uninspired.

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Mac hard disk recovery when macOS Recovery doesn’t work

One of the reasons I use Apple Macs instead of Windows is how easy, painless and simple Apple has made it to backup and recover data. Time Machine — the Mac’s data backup functionality — is dirt simple, it just works, and it couldn’t be easier to use. Whether you need to recover a single file, a whole folder, or restore an entire machine, Time Machine has you covered. And macOS Recovery, the Mac’s function to recover from hard disk crashes and/or replacements, leverages Time Machine to make that dirt simple — except when it’s not available because your Mac is too old. So how to get around that…

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A glass of wine and a MacBook Air don’t mix

We have two MacBook Airs in our house. One of them—a basic, off-the-shelf model—travels around the house and goes on the road. It’s only 11 months old, but it’s become a ubiquitous companion, and tends to spend a lot of time on the kitchen island, which also serves as the day-to-day dining table. (You can probably tell where this is going, can’t you?)

A few weeks ago at dinnertime, we were enjoying some wine. As usual, the MacBook Air was nearby, open, and in use. I brought the finished plates around, and in the dim light forgot where the wine glass had been left. Knock. Bang. Oh crap.

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