Desktop OCD (Why I switched from a 17″ Macbook Pro, to an 11″ Macbook Air)

IMG_1527Recently my employer was extremely kind enough to spoil me yet again and replace a late 2010 17″ Macbook Pro I was using with an 11″ 2013 Haswell Macbook Air.  It’s taken some time for me to define what a laptop should be, and have recently come to the conclusion that a laptop should be light, with form factor conventions that make it wieldy, convenient to take from one location to the next, and facilitate your work and entertainment on the go.

Over the years it’s taken me some time to realize what I need out a workstation, and laptop.  My original school of thought for the past 12 years was that I needed an extremely high resolution for desktop real estate whether it be a workstation or laptop. This was partly because I was battling with what some may consider mild OCD with my workspace and workflow in relation to my desktop scheme, and because I still wanted to play Blizzard and Steam games.  I believed that my desktop application placement had to be perfect, ranging from e-mail client, to terminal, and various other applications.  I was also determined to cram every regularly used application in tight order onto one screen, which is why I originally thought that a 17″ Macbook Pro for my work on the go was a good idea.

By now it should be pretty apparent that I was very slow to adopt multiple virtual desktops with what OSX implemented in Spaces (something that I was already aware of for years with Linux GUI desktop managers) some revisions of Macintosh exotic cat named operating systems ago.  When I started dealing with more Windows administration and VMWare for my job, I found that using multiple virtual desktops was a far more efficient way to work.  Finally, realization set in that it’s okay to have a “messy” desktop and in a sense was relieved by this.  After this minor technical enlightenment, I became increasingly more frustrated lugging around a 17″ Macbook Pro (#firstworldproblems).  It got to the point where I didn’t want to use it in any situation other than sitting at a desk.  Enter the Macbook Air.

Since I’ve been using the Macbook Air for the past 2 weeks, I have realized how well this ultrabook works for me and how impractical the 17″ Macbook Pro was.  I actually enjoy taking the Air to work, and meetings now, where as before I preferred to keep the 17″ Macbook Pro on my dining table, or desk and rarely traveled with it.  As for games, I found that I was hardly gaming after a while.  The other thing that I’m really impressed with is battery life.  9 hours of usage is very impressive compared to what I was seeing before with the Pro.

I guess the lesson learned here on a somewhat deeper level is to practice sensibility more often.  This is something I think I’m still struggling with and striving to be better at in my mid-30’s.

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