Wearing dice on my head since 2008 Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart. Randomly amazed.

Macbook Air (2017 Model)

· by roy · Read in about 3 min · (627 Words)
Categories: Tech Life | Tags:

Friends will know I’ve been wanting to get a Macbook for quite a while now. I have chat messages as far back as 2016 musing about buying a Macbook Pro. I haven’t had a serious personal laptop purchase since 2008. (Side note: Qualifier “serious” because I do have a low-spec MSI laptop I think I bought for cheap some years ago that I’m not really happy with. It’s got a dead battery now, I should probably install it with a more lightweight Linux or something and maybe use it as a torrent device or such?)

My main motivation for getting a Macbook might seem a bit shallow: I want to be able to publish apps on Apple’s app store. Not having a Mac, this particular avenue of software development is closed off to me, so it limits my future freelance work possibilities a bit. Secondary reason being that I am fond of exploring alternative OSes even though I grew up on Windows.

Unfortunately, dropping hints to friends and relatives that I would appreciate being gifted with a Macbook Pro didn’t work. The main thing holding me back from buying a Mac is that they’re really very expensive devices. I eventually decided to bite the bullet myself and I purchased a Macbook Air (2017 model, 256gb SSD) last October. Macbook Air instead of Pro so I could save a little bit of money (it helped to convince myself to buy). Also, I’m a bit of a Mac newbie anyway, so maybe it was better to start with a slightly cheaper model before going all hardcode? I wanted to avoid the more recent MBPs anyway due to reported issues with the new keyboard. The MBA2017 had a bit of a better hardware spec than the newer Macbooks available at the time as well, so went ahead with the purchase. (It so happened that about a month later, Apple announced a 2018 line of Macbook Airs, but you know, choose without regret).

Chocnut for scale

Chocnut for scale

I do have a bit of experiencec using a Mac, since I was on an iOS dev team for a short while back at my old job (where my contribution to the project mainly consisted of proposing ways to clean up the very messy Objective-C code base). Back then I had a Mac Mini assigned to me, and I found myself warming up to Mac OS X easily. I can’t fully articulate why, but it seems like a very nice piece of software. There’s a lot of minor UI things that I appreciate and while Windows 10 already has something close to it, Spotlight still feels special, especially since it’s been around longer. And I really appreciate the sleek aluminum build; unlike many Windows laptops it doesn’t feel shoddily put together. It’s also quite a bit lighter than the work-issued laptop I was previously using.

I think I am generally happy with the purchase, although to be honest I haven’t used it too much because I’ve been cutting back on my work hours since October (which means less computing time is on the move), but it has come in handy on occasion when I’d like to work on things away from my desk. There is a tiny bit of friction when switching between devices with different OSes, mainly that keyboard shortcuts are often completely different - things often don’t map cleanly between Windows’ Ctrl and Alt and Mac’s Cmd, Option and Ctrl. That being said, it is decent enough for programming work - VS Code and XCode both run smoothly, and it allowed me to finally update an iOS app I’ve supposedly been maintaining.

The Macbook Air 2017 is a nice, handy little machine, and I hope to be using it for years to come.