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The personal site of Jamie Knight, a slightly autistic web developer, speaker and mountain biker who is never seen far from his plush sidekick Lion. View the Archive

Topics: Autism Development

Trying the 13" Retina MacBook Pro

I have a love hate affair with my current home setup. You may have noticed a trend this last year. I have been trying out different Macs to find the perfect combination. Yeah, its a little sad but for a techie its both interesting and “worth it“! Since i stopped being self employed i have been struggling to find the “perfect“ setup.

Right now, i have an 11“ Air for my personal stuff and presenting, and a 27” iMac for occasional freelance work and media stuff. They are a good combination. However, i have ended up with my digital life scattered all over the place. The iMac has two different OSX installations* hosting 3 different user accounts. In trying to create separation i have created a mess.

The 11” Air is showing its age**. I wondered if its time to go back to having a single machine for everything.

One box

For years, i had a little white 13” Macbook i used for everything, it was fast enough.

My needs peaked in 2008-2011 when i was studying, running + Lion and using a Mac Mini as a TV system. I constantly had 3 different Macs on the go. My media server, my personal / studying machine, and my work machine.

When i became employed, i sold my work machine and condensed the work machine and media server into an iMac. I’m now wondering if its time to fold all of my computing into a MacBook again. Completing the circle!

I’m not going to need it.

I suspect i have a lot of “optimisations” i’m simply not going to need. For 2-3 hours coding a prototype i really don’t NEED a 27“ Display. For knocking out a blog post on a train or notes at a conference a smaller laptop is nice but the different between the 11” Air and 13” rMBP is slight.

Even with my media, since getting Sky TV the Apple TV is used rarely. I don’t buy many blu-rays or DVD to convert so performance there is nice, but not essential.

Two Weeks

The Air and iMac combo is nice, i could spend a small fortune upgrading either of them. However, instead i am trying to consolidate. Hopefully this MacBook can do it all***. I have two weeks to find out.

(*) A snow leopard install which is a preserve of my old “freelance work account”, all my old client data / project files. A new “Mountain Lion“ install for media serving and general browsing and stuff.
(**) I stupidly brought the model with 2GB ram, not 4GB, safari now runs a like a dog :(
(***) This is my third attempt, the last two attempts (a 2012 MacBook Air and a 2012 Mac Mini) both ended with returns.

Published: 13 January 2013 | Categories: , Permalink

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