hardware

Learning to Work with Fewer Pixels

Well that was a weird year. While 99.9% of the past year was terrible the one thing I did enjoy was working from home in my own office with a desk, chair, and monitor that I like. I made some tweaks to my office setup after the pandemic lockdown and I couldn’t be happier with the arrangement. I bought a Jabra wireless headphones based on a recommendation from a friend.

The M1 Mac Experience

Have you heard enough about the new M1 Macs? Of course you haven’t, that’s why you’re here. I’ve been using the new MacBook Air with M1 ARM processor for a few weeks. It has been mostly great. The battery life is unbelievable and it’s a very powerful computer. There are a few problems with my transition from Intel to M1 but they are minor. What Works 99% of everything I’ve needed to run on the M1 works.

Back to the Backpack

I used a large shoulder bag for many years. You can find my first review of this bag way back in 2013. That bag is still in terrific condition1, but my daily activities changed. 18 months ago I bought a Tom Bihn Brain Bag and have thoroughly enjoyed it. This isn’t my first Tom Bihn bag. I also own the Aeronaut 45 which is a wonderful travel bag. I’ll write more about that, and travel in general, at a future point.

Orbi WiFi

I’ve used the Orbi WiFi system for several months. With the demise of the Apple wireless base stations I figured this was a good time to write about it. Let me start with two disclaimers: I don’t use most of the advanced features of the Orbi The Orbi is an expensive WiFi solution that may not be for everyone Mesh networks have become consumer products. I ran my own Frankenstein’s monster of a network before buying into the Orbi lifestyle.

The Matias Laptop Pro Keyboard

The value proposition of the Matias Laptop Pro Keyboard: Bluetooth It has “Alps-inspired” keys Ten key-less format Supports Apple system controls N-key rollover support USB Charging with pass-thru 13.26” x 6.5” x 1.38” $170 If you’re still interested, here’s my review of using the keyboard as a replacement for the Apple wireless keyboard. The Matias keyboards are more like Apple Extended Keyboards than the Cherry or Brown switch keyboards that are all the rage these days.

The New iMac Pro

It’s an adjustment. I haven’t had a desktop Mac since my late, great, Mac Pro from 2006. Those were some good times but it was also a relief when I replaced it with a portable MacBook Pro. I remember thinking that I’d never go back to having a desktop computer. Laptop computers (as we called them in the old days) had reached a performance threshold that meant they could do “real” work.

Rubber and Wood

I don’t own a HomePod but I do know rubber and oiled wood don’t often make a good match. Rubber (and plastic) are hydrophobic and just love to soak up oils. This is what an Apple Extended keyboard does to an oiled wood desk.

iMac Pro Performance

I’m following posts like this one from Jason Snell very closely: Once again, that’s a little more than half the time. It’s enough for me to declare that for jobs optimized for multiple processor cores, this base model iMac Pro is nearly twice as fast as the top-of-the-line 5K iMac from 2014. I’ve also been looking at the Geekbench scores but I think this Bare Feats post summarizes the performance comparisons best.

The Brydge Keyboard for iPad 10.5

Give me a keyboard and I will give you 10 problems with it. I love a good keyboard but I can also type equally bad on just about any keyboard. I’m not a speed writer. I touch type about 50% of the time but I still look at the keyboard often. I don’t use the correct hand posture but I do use a consistent finger placement. So with all of those caveats out of the way, here’s my review of the new Brydge keyboard for iPad (and an accidental review of the Apple Smart Keyboard Cover).

Apple Sets a Baseline for Hardware in 2017 With the AirPods

Sure, I’m a little down on the AppleTV and the new MacBook Pro. But already in 2017 Apple has released one of their very best products, and it only costs $150. Street Cred I own way too many headphones. I have closed-cup, open-cup, noise canceling, expensive studio monitors, and cheap ear buds. I’m not an audio-quality-phile but I do listen to an inordinate amount of audio during the day. By my estimates I listen to audio a minimum of 12 hours a day and most of that is done with headphones.