January 15, 2008

MacBook Air Haters: Suck My Dick

I thought of a lot of titles for this post, but, really, the first one that came to me seems the best.

I've read nothing but whining about the MacBook Air on Mac news sites since it came out this morning. Honestly, I just want to shake these people. Not, like, shake some sense into them, but shake them like you're not supposed to shake a baby.

The criticism all basically goes like this: "It's not like a MacBook Pro!"

No, really? Seriously? I mean, they introduced this new product, and it doesn't have the same specs as the MacBook Pro? God, that is bizarre. I wonder why they gave it a new name, and continue to sell the MacBook Pro, then, if it's not going to be exactly the same. I mean, that hardly makes sense, does it?

Ok, fine, there are some people who want, like, an extra battery Pack. But let's admit amongst ourselves that the overwhelming majority of people out there have never pulled the battery out of their existing laptops, and didn't even know or care that it comes out. In fact, if something goes wrong with their battery, this majority -- whom we'll call "NORMAL PEOPLE" for convenience -- will just take the damn machine to the store and get it fixed, whether it's user-serviceable or not. Because we don't want to hassle with it.

And there are people out there who do video editing on their MacBooks and want FireWire. Great! I respect your choice! You should buy a MacBook! It's an awesome machine! If you want to do that! Which I don't!

I've read journalists complain that you can't get at the hard drive in the MacBook Air. What? I have no fucking idea where the hard drive is in my MacBook Pro, and even if you drew me a damn diagram with labels and numbers and gave me a replacement drive I wouldn't open my machine even in exchange for a year with Zooey Deschanel. Ok, yes I would, but you get my point. I'm sorry, Zooey, I didn't mean it, baby.

Some journalists get so close to the truth it hurts, yet miss the large print. "OMG! The unit is all sealed and self-contained like the iPod!"

Yes... the iPod. That huge failure. Also, the iPhone. Stunning disappointment that it was. I mean, jeebus, why would Apple make ANOTHER device incredibly simple? Clearly the market has spoken, and it wants tons of ports and screws and geegaws and flippers... no, wait, no it doesn't.

You guys are TECHNOLOGY JOURNALISTS. You are GEAR HEADS. There is no shame in this, but, come on, recognize that what you think is cool is NOT what my mom thinks is cool, or what an executive thinks is cool, or what a lawyer who just wants to write a deposition on her laptop thinks is cool.

I'm a programmer. I just want a machine I can write software on. Once, I loved gadgets, too, but now I really just want a gadget that (a) works, and (b) is beautiful and easy-to-use. Sure, my iPhone doesn't have as many raw features as my lawyer's Blackberry + RAZR combined (she carries both). But I understand my iPhone, and I don't have to learn it, because it's learned me. I can take a photo in three seconds, and so can she (we tested) even though she'd never seen an iPhone before.

I'm not the freak, here. In this one instance. I'm with the majority. All software developers should be hailing the advent of the computer-as-appliance, because it means we'll be reaching into markets that are afraid of self-service machines.

I can't take apart my Kitchenaid blender. If they come out with a new motor, I'm screwed. It's not upgradeable! And when the motor blows (as it DID... grrr), I have to send it back. I can't take apart my car. When Lotus came out with a bolt-on supercharger, I had to (gasp) take it to the dealer to have it put in. Somehow I survived.

I don't buy a laptop because I want to replace its drive in a year. I buy it because it seems great and meets my needs today. If my needs magically morph over the coming year, I guess I'll sell it on eBay. Or pay Apple to throw in a different drive, or something. Honestly, I think we need to admit that just because machines get faster every year, doesn't mean that the majority of people need faster machines.

In two weeks I'll be writing Delicious Library 2 on a MacBook Air, every day. Because it's simple and beautiful, and I crave those things.

And all you haters can... well, buy one in six months, when you realize how nice it is.

--

Update 2/4/2008: My MacBook Air with 2GB of RAM and 1.8 GHz cores and the SSD compiles Delicious Library 2 from scratch in 1:59.4. My MacBook Pro with 3GB of RAM and 2.3GHz cores and an HD compile it in... 2:04.3.

MacBook Air FTW.

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84 Comments:

Blogger Paul D said...

I'm certainly not a Macbook Air hater. However, I do see just one thing — the lack of Firewire — as an oddity, if not a complete flaw. It's a chink in OS X's otherwise smooth user experience, without which you can't transfer your old user settings and apps, or hook up a FW DVD drive for installing the odd software package (like iWork or the next version of OS X).

Now, Apple could make up for it by introducing some kind of high-speed peripheral sharing over Bluetooth, so that the Macbook Air can sync with your desktop machine or use its hardware, but they haven't done that.

PS For how many more years is DL2 going to be weeks away?

January 15, 2008 9:44 PM

 
Blogger Guillaume said...

THANK YOU!

You put into words what I've been thinking all day. Techies just don't get it. The general public doesn't want what we want. They want something simple that looks good and just works. They have no inclination to root around its insides just because.

And everything you mentioned is why the Air will be a hit.

January 15, 2008 9:47 PM

 
Anonymous Michael said...

Thank you, Wil. Someone who finally got the point of the MacBook Air.

January 15, 2008 9:49 PM

 
Blogger Joshua Maruska said...

You rock! I really need to buy you a coffee...

J.

January 15, 2008 9:50 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally! This is the most on-target post about the MacBook Air all day.

January 15, 2008 9:51 PM

 
OpenID Jeroen Leenarts said...

Hear hear!

Not to mention the fact that a big corp. like Apple wouldn't spend a hefty slice of research funds into evaluating the livelyhood of this new "appliance" ;).

January 15, 2008 9:57 PM

 
Blogger The Night Auditor said...

It's rather sad that Apple users, people who by and large understand what makes the Mac so damn nice, can often fail so incredibly to grok the purpose of these devices.

Does everyone want to spend hours running scripts to back their shit up? Do we want to spend our time making our media work, instead of enjoying it

January 15, 2008 9:59 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

PS For how many more years is DL2 going to be weeks away?

Actually, I said I'll be working on it in two weeks, not that it'll be done in two weeks.

FogBugz says the beta will be out by February 4th. I don't have the bug reports from the beta yet (surprise!) so I can't project the final release date.

I make no promises either way. I need to make it beautiful, fast, and solid, while adding all these major features. It takes a while.

-W

January 15, 2008 10:08 PM

 
Blogger Dave2 said...

Well said... except perhaps about the missing Firewire port.

Apple rammed Firewire down our throats and pretty much forced its adoption upon the Mac faithful... getting us to buy devices like hard drives and video cameras featuring a firewire connection.

Now, with the MacBook Air, a basic function and an integral part of the Mac experience... editing home video in iMovie... is gone if you own a Firewire camera (and aren't most of them Firewire?). In my opinion, this is a mistake. Video is huge, and Apple shouldn't be abandoning a core functionality like this. Particularly since they were at the forefront of creating it in the first place.

January 15, 2008 10:19 PM

 
Blogger Tim Moore said...

Dave2 Apple is no more abandoning Firewire by leaving it out of the MBA than it was leaving it out of iPods and the iPhone. If you consider the MacBook Air intended as a second computer &mdash a companion to an iMac or Mac Pro, then the missing Firewire is a non-issue. If you want a laptop as your primary computer, the MacBook and MacBook Pros are excellent choices.

January 15, 2008 10:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If this machine is SO great. How come my $1000 laptop is better spec'd? Or are you saying that Mac's are basically for low end users. That is fair enough.

January 15, 2008 10:40 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

If this machine is SO great. How come my $1000 laptop is better spec'd? Or are you saying that Mac's are basically for low end users. That is fair enough.

I dunno, maybe it's because it's freaking thin? I mean, that's my guess. Is that, you know, they had to take stuff out to make it thin. Because it's thin. Is the thing.

What do you think? Might be the thinness? Maybe? Think that might be it? Hmm? Thinness? Think so? Thinky-winky-you? The thin? Could be?

-W

PS: Thanks for continuing to prove my theory that trolls and idiots can't punctuate their flame-bait.

January 15, 2008 10:46 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally dig your affection for both the MBA and Zooey. I made the mistake of posting to a Macworld forum (which now automatically signs you up to get every post by email). My inbox was flooded with people who just don't get it.

Is it my next machine? No, but I don't buy every machine Apple makes. They're allowed a few that don't fit my needs/pocket book.

January 15, 2008 10:53 PM

 
Blogger klipe said...

"I dunno, maybe it's because it's freaking thin? I mean, that's my guess. Is that, you know, they had to take stuff out to make it thin. Because it's thin. Is the thing."

I seriously think I pissed a little from laughing at this.

Right on the money with this post, as always, Wil.

January 15, 2008 10:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sooooo... you are buying it because it's real thin? That's it?

January 15, 2008 10:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

finally a laptop I can put in an envelope for some reason

January 15, 2008 11:32 PM

 
Blogger vortech said...

Yes, anon. Just like people bought Lexus cars so that they could stack their glassware on them.

January 15, 2008 11:49 PM

 
Blogger pmb said...

I wonder if Mac developers are just permanently ahead of the curve with technology. First we had this crazy "mouse" idea. Then we fought this ridiculous "ease of use" crusade. Now we're all insanely advocating these "do one thing well" devices. Are we really smarter, or did we just burn out on the geeking sooner than our peers?

January 16, 2008 12:03 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Vortech: I like to wash my dishes by driving my Lexus through the carwash.

Pmb: Smarter, better looking, better in bed... frankly we have it all.

January 16, 2008 12:05 AM

 
Blogger nik said...

Sooooo... you are buying it because it's real thin? That's it?

Nah, I'm thinking desktop replacement. You know, games, video editing. I doubt I'll take it anywhere.

January 16, 2008 12:05 AM

 
Anonymous nutsmuggler said...

Finally some sensible reasoning,
Jezz, everyone complaining beause this is not the machine HE or SHE wanted. I think I'll change my policy also, and start complainng eveyrtime a brand I own pulls out a product I don't need. How more statisfactory and joyful my life wil then be!

January 16, 2008 1:02 AM

 
Blogger Keith said...

I was thinking about getting on for development too - I hate having to lug my MacBook Pro around the place, even my 15" model is too heavy for my liking.

The only thing I was concerned about was how it'd perform, what happened to the performance numbers Apple used to post?! I'm on a Core Duo just now so it'd probably be better.

Let us know how it goes, I'm dying to handle one and see just how thin it is for myself.

January 16, 2008 3:36 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Honestly, I am entranced by having the biggest, baddest, fastest X, just like everyone else. But I'm trying to train myself out of it.

I was programming on a PowerBook until Apple gave me my current MacBook Pro. It's roughly five times faster than my old machine. It compiles fast. It runs fast. It boots fast.

This new machine may be + or - 5%, or maybe 10%. I'm not really going to care, honestly. I mean, sure, 5x difference -- that's something you notice. That's a huge productivity win. But 8.5 second compiles vs. 9 second compiles?

Meh.

-W

PS: I should note I still have my honking tower for playing Crysis and stuff. I love me some games. I'm just not planning on playing anything but Peggle and Zuma on this laptop.

January 16, 2008 3:40 AM

 
Blogger bonaldi said...

I don't think the hate is because this isn't a Macbook, it's because it isn't a small notebook. Thin doesn't mean small: we got Yao Ming when we wanted Verne Troyer.

January 16, 2008 3:51 AM

 
Blogger Colin said...

Right there with ya, Wil. I ordered mine today, and I'm finding it surprisingly easy to ignore the naysayers - "So they made a Mac you. personally, don't want? Umm... ok, more power to you."

January 16, 2008 4:30 AM

 
Anonymous Qri said...

When you say: "Because we don't want to hassle with it.". I think you should add: ", like you don't want to hassle the Hoff."

PS: The MBA it's a great machine, when you look at the big picture, like size, weight and performance (and looks). I guess many of us never bought a Sony TZ, so we shouldn't buy a MBA. But a Sony TZ is a great machine and the MBA is even better in that department.

January 16, 2008 5:01 AM

 
Anonymous Pnutus said...

Just curious: Are you getting the HD or SSD version?
I'd like to hear your reasoning behind the choice.

January 16, 2008 5:22 AM

 
Anonymous John C. Randolph said...

BTW, it's not just thin. It's also extremely light, and when you pick it up, the first impression is that it's not at all flimsy the way that the smallest Sony machines are.

One would be tempted to use it to get painted-shut windows unstuck. Not only that, the thing is probably deadly in the right hands..

-jcr

January 16, 2008 5:44 AM

 
Anonymous fiftymillimeter said...

how much do you want for your macbook pro?

January 16, 2008 6:01 AM

 
Anonymous Mastercrokie said...

Incidentally and totally off-topic, Wil: is Fogbugz as cool as it looks?

January 16, 2008 6:13 AM

 
OpenID pauldwaite said...

> I do see just one thing — the lack of Firewire — as an oddity, if not a complete flaw. It's a chink in OS X's otherwise smooth user experience, without which you can't transfer your old user settings and apps, or hook up a FW DVD drive for installing the odd software package

Apple sell a USB DVD drive “for installing the odd software package”. If Migration Assistant doesn’t work on the MacBook Air, that could be a drag, but Apple might be betting that most people will buy an Air as their first Mac (nothing to migrate), or a secondary Mac (not a replacement, so no wish to migrate everything).

> with the MacBook Air, a basic function and an integral part of the Mac experience... editing home video in iMovie... is gone if you own a Firewire camera (and aren't most of them Firewire?). In my opinion, this is a mistake. Video is huge

Nonsense. Video is not huge. Almost no-one edits home video. People who edit video do, but they’re in a minority. And if you think lack of FireWire is an issue, you’ve clearly never tried editing video on a 4,200 rpm hard drive.

January 16, 2008 6:20 AM

 
Blogger Dougie said...

For my part, the reason the MacBook Air disappoints me is because I think it's too big. I wouldn't care if it was twice as thick, if they'd just have cut the screen size down. I went from an '01 12" iBook to a standard MacBook last month, and I can't get used to the size. Sure, it's great for watching movies, I guess, but it feels unwieldy.

January 16, 2008 7:04 AM

 
Anonymous rapidscout said...

lol, Even as a techie (I love my extra ports!) I can appreciate trading ports in for something lite and easy to use. What I am curious to see is how well people take the lack of an optical drive. Most people I know are used to popping in their dvd's and watching them with friends, or adding the latest cd they bought to their iTunes/iPod. I understand that Apple has somewhat taken care of this with the ability to 'borrow' an optical drive from another computer or rent/purchase the movie/music straight from iTunes, but I wonder how the consumers will adjust. Also, will Apple start selling OSX, iLife, and iWork as a download, if I want to upgrade the machine? I love the concept, and look regardless, definitely a nice machine all told.

January 16, 2008 7:27 AM

 
Anonymous kdf said...

I really like the look of the Macbook Air, I think it will be amazing to take with me on business trips.

As far as day to day coding goes, is a 13.3" screen too small ?

I use a MBP but added a 30" ACD as I found the 15" screen too limiting.

January 16, 2008 7:34 AM

 
Anonymous rubinelli said...

I wouldn't want to code in AIR simply because I hate small screens, but when I saw it, I thought of all the managers I've had and thought "wow, those guys will love this baby like their own primogen." Depending on how prices go from here, this could be the RAZR of laptops.

January 16, 2008 7:54 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Fair point. I noticed in the diagram Steve put the Air _between_ the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

As in, there's still room _under_ the MacBook.

This isn't a subnotebook. Everyone thought it was going to be a subnotebook. But it's not. It's just a freaking thin, elegant thing.

It's like, you thought you were getting a baby, and instead you're getting a supermodel. Now, some people legitimately want a baby, and I hope they get it some day, but I'm happy with this supermodel.

-W

January 16, 2008 7:56 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

I'm getting the hard disk: the SSD is just too small right now, and I do need disk space -- it's one hard limit I constantly bang against.

And, honestly, if Toshiba or whoever does come out with a 160 GB drive I can buy, I'll have one of my Apple friends pop it in if I can.

-W

January 16, 2008 7:59 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

how much do you want for your macbook pro?

Already sold it, thanks though. I still have an iMac for sale, though, and a couple older Mac minis now that I've upgraded. Oh, and a 30" cinema display in its original box, and a 20" one. And, uh...

January 16, 2008 8:01 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

is Fogbugz as cool as it looks?

I have a real crush on it right now. Last two weeks (since I switched to it) have been incredibly productive.

Of course, it could just be I'm depressed and throwing myself into coding, but whatever works, right?

-W

January 16, 2008 8:02 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Will Excellent Post! I had decided to buy this as I immediately got the point! I too will be writing Cocoa Apps on it and i'm glad apple had the cohones to build it. Question, do you think the 4200 RPM drive will hinder performance too much for coding? Do you plan on getting the fast as all getout SSD?

4200 RPM is teh suck part of all this, no doubt. My old OLD laptop had the slower drive, and it was a pokey machine, no doubt. Hopefully it won't be unusable.

January 16, 2008 8:04 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Most people I know are used to popping in their dvd's and watching them with friends

Me too, but I have seven or eight Macs in my house now, and the iMac that runs the TV is in charge of DVDs.

I realize I'm unusual in this, but I think it's not unreasonable to think people who want this machine have a different machine running their TV.

I feel like I should miss not being able to watch a DVD on a plane, but I've never actually done that. I always have work to do, and I hate DVDs so much I generally buy things on iTunes or download them, or just wait to watch them later.

-W

January 16, 2008 8:07 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

As far as day to day coding goes, is a 13.3" screen too small ?

I find the older I get the less screen I need to code -- not that it's not nice, but I don't NEED it. I do have a huge-ass display at home as a backup, but I end up coding way more in bed with my (remaining) cat than in my office with the second display.

January 16, 2008 8:09 AM

 
Blogger Tim Moore said...

Apple sell a USB DVD drive “for installing the odd software package”. If Migration Assistant doesn’t work on the MacBook Air, that could be a drag, but Apple might be betting that most people will buy an Air as their first Mac (nothing to migrate), or a secondary Mac (not a replacement, so no wish to migrate everything).

According to the product page on Apple's site, migration works over wireless.

January 16, 2008 8:24 AM

 
Blogger Colin said...

I look at the title and content of this post and think, "Is this a man I want selling me Delicious Library upgrades?"

And the answer is Yes.

Sure, "suck my dick" will probably ruffle some feathers (watch out for the stickers), but the whole thing is just so spot-on I can't help but bask in its glow. Someone capable of thinking things through? Like, holy shit, Scoob, it's a miracle!

I'm personally convinced most of the tech writers have since been replaced by corporation-owned robots. How else do you explain lauding crappy products (Zune 1.0, anyone?) while being unable to comprehend another product's target market?

Even if you're an evil robot, Wil, you write damn good software, so I won't hold it against you. As long as you don't rise up against your customers.

January 16, 2008 8:26 AM

 
Blogger Jim said...

Wow. I was feeling pretty ambivalent about the MacBook Air until you told me to suck your dick.

Asshole.

Now I hate the Macbook Air and you.

Good work.

January 16, 2008 8:27 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Jim:

Sorry to have offended you, personally. When I wrote that headline I didn't know you.

-W

January 16, 2008 8:35 AM

 
Blogger c.libre said...

The MBA looks like a great computer, but I don't see how the lack of a user serviceable battery can be dismissed so easily. If I need to go without my iPod or my blender for a week or so, it's not a big deal. But if I need to give up my computer for even a day, that's a day during which I can't do work.

January 16, 2008 8:39 AM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

If any part of your X breaks and you can't repair it, and you need your X for business, you're S.O.L.

The battery is no different from the backlight or the trackpad, except that we're used to being able to replace them, so we feel strange when that's gone, but, honestly, it's just another component.

Yes, it sucks when it fails. It sucks when any part of it the computer fails. I think most people will want to make the trade-off of elegance and simplicity for user-serviceability in this case.

-W

January 16, 2008 8:44 AM

 
Anonymous George said...

Compare the Air to a Dell M1330

The Dell offers everything the Mac fails to provide, all for about a pound more. It may not be as shiny as the Mac, but at least you won't need to purchase a new laptop in a year when your "needs magically morph".

January 16, 2008 8:47 AM

 
OpenID caylanlarson said...

ive got a problem, the price. no doubt the mba form-factor is here to stay, but it's a little ahead of it's time compared to storage/ram space requirements.

January 16, 2008 9:12 AM

 
Anonymous Vincent said...

I just hope that Apple won't use those envelopes for the shipping of those beautiful "Macbooks Air". *grin*

…and Wil, thanks for this great post! You made my day!

January 16, 2008 9:59 AM

 
Anonymous SuperADAM said...

and I hate DVDs so much

Has delicious library got you a little on edge?

January 16, 2008 9:59 AM

 
OpenID karl said...

I'm one of those write code, edit video, record music, photoshop pictures, change out the hard disk guys on an MBP and an MP (and the more pixels, the better).

I also used to love my Toshiba Libretto and made good money developing with it, although it was pretty constrained.

I'm not getting one, but for you web-mail-iChat-iTunes-iCal types and you ssh-to-the-server types who want something light and thin, it looks great.

January 16, 2008 10:00 AM

 
Anonymous solipsism said...

The only reason i would want a user-replaceable battery is so I can have multiple ones on the long international flights I oft take. However, 5 hours isn't much shorter than the MacBook and two additional batteries I take with me. Hopefully, we'll get an external battery that plugs into the MagSafe port that will offer, at least, another 5 hours.

I would have also liked to see HSDPA built in, but since the US market is so split on 3G technology I can understand why that wouldn't have been something to seriously consider. At least their are USB dongles to consider.

Besides that, this machine is absolutely perfect for me. I am the the target consumer for this device. I can't tell you the last time I used the DVD drive, FW port or more than one USB port on my MacBook. An ultr-light machine that doesn't skimp on the CPU speed, display or keyboard size... and people are bitching!

January 16, 2008 10:28 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

FANBOY!

Your Lotus Crisis has a replaceable battery, Asshat.

January 16, 2008 10:36 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[blah blah]
my Kitchenaid
[blah blah]
Lotus
[blah blah]

Someone likes to define himself with brands...

January 16, 2008 10:43 AM

 
Blogger Thomas said...

A computer, for the man on the street is the only device they have that even pretends to have any sort of user serviceable element to it, yet some people seem to think that its somehow a feature that without makes them entirely useless. I've never once considered wanting to break into my dvd player, my tivo, etc and upgrade it because I buy it for what it does. I expect a device to have a certain life and to be cost effective for what I will use it for, how much I will use and so on.

Personally a Macbook air is too expensive for me to justify buying, currently so is a Macbook Pro. I have a 24" iMac and that suits me fine.

Some people seem to think that when Apple launch a new machine that it has to be all things to all (wo)men and that if it's anything less then it's a total failure.

January 16, 2008 10:55 AM

 
Blogger Iraê said...

That post was amazing! It's about everything I was about to say if I had a blog. Amazing! You rock!

The only addition I would make is: I love music. And I need additional storage. And thats why Apple released the Time Capsule in the very same day. This is the most important addition to the MacBook Air lunch IMHO.

January 16, 2008 11:05 AM

 
Anonymous JM said...

The fact is that we do not want another MacBook. MacBook Air is a nice macbook, but we really desire something between iPhone and a Macbook air. something without keyboard but capable of using a bluetooth keyboard (get the idea ?), something with a "app" (call it springboard row) for ultra mobilit and mac os when you use the keyboard and mouse. Since I use my mac I really desire this

January 16, 2008 11:37 AM

 
Anonymous Philby said...

I was not really considering buying the MBA... until I read your beautifully reasoned and worded post. Now I'm wavering.

I even like the title of your post -- but then I'm Eurotrash, so that may explain this.

Oh, and: thanks for the hearty laugh. Your reply to Mr weasely-anonymous-troll is.just.perfect.

January 16, 2008 11:37 AM

 
Anonymous Glenn said...

The battery almost always dies a slow death. You'll know when you'll want to replace it well before you have to. You'll be able to pick your time and place.

The MBA doens't meet my needs (not that I have the funds anyway), but I think it is pretty awesome anyway.

January 16, 2008 11:51 AM

 
Anonymous His Shadow said...

"Yes... the iPod. That huge failure. Also, the iPhone. Stunning disappointment that it was. I mean, jeebus, why would Apple make ANOTHER device incredibly simple?"

Simple and to the point. There is nothing on the market like the Macbook Air. That means, People, it is not valid to whine about how it doesn't have stuff that other Apple products have. It's different.

January 16, 2008 12:14 PM

 
Anonymous jayk said...

As it stands I go through powerbook batteries in about 16 months. If the Air extends that to 24 just because of fewer cycles (because it wastes less power running firewire and ethernet ICs or whatever), then the cash I didn't spend on another damn battery would mean I could probably just get a whole new laptop instead of having the battery replaced. I'm ok with that.

I wonder how many people would buy the Air, who can't touch type, and thus might have a real need for an illuminated keyboard. (As opposed to a "ooo blikenlights" need.) That really seems like something else they could've tossed.

January 16, 2008 12:42 PM

 
Blogger klang said...

I am a programmer. I don't think the MacBook Air will have any problems running emacs and a ssh connection.

I want one!

January 16, 2008 1:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to look up who Zooey Deschanel was. I'm glad I did :)

The MBA looks like an incredible device, an I think it's where the MBP will be heading towards in 2 years time. But during those 2 years, the MBA won't be an Apple's sale champion.

January 16, 2008 1:16 PM

 
Blogger Lori said...

Finally! A machine I'm not expected to be able to diddle with myself. I'm a software engineer, not a hardware geek.

January 16, 2008 1:30 PM

 
Anonymous Raquel said...

As much as I love nice design and am a usability geek, I can't help but read also in this post, other than just the pros of the new MacBook Air, also a deep 'fanboism'.

I can understand you like usability and smooth design, but saying stuff like 'my other cellphone has more functionality, but I still use my iphone' makes you sound a bit... obsessed. :)

Me, I'd like to own a MacBook Air, but would buy a cheaper laptop, with better specs over it anytime, and still save money in the process. Sure, the design and usability would probably not be as good, but I still would take the functionality over that, even with the bit of extra weight. Especially since I don't really require a interface to be so easy to use that a monkey could understand it.

Maybe if I'm ever lucky enough to become filthy rich. Then I might buy several Apple products just for the design. :>

January 16, 2008 1:39 PM

 
Anonymous jimmy said...

So well said, thank you! I definitely agree that "Normal People" really don't remove their batteries, change out their hard drives, or any of those reasonings for the Air being flawed.

Heaven forbid we'd get another iPod or iPhone that's simple and elegant but oh! no removable parts! Oh noses! The Air is doomed to fail just like those did! What no? Successes you say?

January 16, 2008 1:56 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Your Lotus Crisis has a replaceable battery, Asshat.

Yes, truly, way to ignore the point. The battery in the Air is also replaceable. It's just not user-replaceable.

I *could* replace the battery in my Lotus, it's true. I have no intention of doing so. Or motivation to do so.

My point is that a lack of user-serviceable parts on a machine that I don't intend to service is a non-issue. The Lotus could have a user-replaceable steering wheel, I wouldn't care.

-Wil

January 16, 2008 3:06 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Someone likes to define himself with brands...

This is a discussion about a famous brand, and I think it's relevant to bring in other successful brands to show how people react to the same decisions in those brands.

If you were trying to create a new product, would you not look at the works of Nike and Kitchenaid and Subzero and Tesla... I mean, honestly. Give me a break, ok?

-Wil

January 16, 2008 3:08 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

To answer a bunch of comments I didn't publish:

The title of this post is meant as a sort of jocular humor. Nobody is expected or even invited to suck my dick for reals.

Thank you.

January 16, 2008 3:09 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Maybe if I'm ever lucky enough to become filthy rich. Then I might buy several Apple products just for the design. :>

I think the thing to consider is, maybe having a deep overriding concern for design it the thing that made me successful, and allowed me to buy multiple computers.

-W

January 16, 2008 3:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re: Time Capsule.

Why can't somebody write something that batches up my deltas when I'm out of range and commits them when I'm back in range? Why's that so hard to do? At least I get my deltas that I can roll back to.

Am I missing something?

Robert

January 16, 2008 3:22 PM

 
Anonymous Chuck said...

I suppose I'm a MacBook Air-hater. But I actually like the MacBook Air. I just think paying $1000 more than a MacBook for a worse Mac (seriously, this thing is about as powerful as my current PowerBook G4) is a friggin' ripoff. I mean, it's not as though the MacBook is poorly designed or clunky — at least I've never heard anyone say so — so I don't see what the advantage of the MacBook Air is. Did you hate the MacBook?

As a side note, if anybody is thinking about buying this, I'll be happy to sell you my PowerBook G4 for $3,000 and you won't even have to wait two weeks.

January 16, 2008 3:46 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"i know, why don't i only allow the posts that i want to see on my own board...and the negative ones i do allow i'll have carefully selected to be ones i can win, then disallow any response to...."

Fair & Balanced?!

Well, it's just how Apple run their own Discussion Boards...(hi to all you Bridget Riley 17"PB owners out there...)

January 16, 2008 4:14 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Fair & Balanced?!

Did I promise anyone that they could use my website as a way to promote their agenda? No, no I did not.

Did I specifically make a post where I've explained that I don't think everyone has a RIGHT to comment here, and I will moderate, and if you don't like it you should maybe start your own site?

Yes, yes I did.

Did you not really do much research before you came here, and then you made some lame point, anonymously, and you're being a little bitch because you didn't get to see your graffiti put up?

Yes, yes you are.

-W

PS: Why are flamers always anonymous? Is that fair and balanced? You have a much greater chance of getting published if you use your name.

I use mine.

January 16, 2008 4:56 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Am I missing something?

Unless I misunderstand you, you're missing what Time Machine does, which is what you describe.

-Wil

January 16, 2008 4:58 PM

 
Blogger kevin said...

Order mine, because I "get it", and "want it"!!! Thanks Apple I've been wait over 2 years for this supermodel.

January 16, 2008 6:13 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if I work for 5 hours and I change my file every hour and I'm not at home or near and external drive won't I only take a snapshot of the most recent version of the file when I'm back in range thus losing all those deltas?

Robert

January 16, 2008 6:15 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

Time machine:

I think you're right, under the current system -- unless you partition your disk and have Time Machine back up from one disk to another, which I admit is lame.

The architecture of Time Machine does allow what you describe, but it didn't come out in the implementation yet.

Since ZFS (buggy still, yes, I know) has this kind of thing for "almost-free" I expect Time Machine will gain this functionality in the near future on ZFS volumes.

-W

January 16, 2008 7:06 PM

 
Anonymous Vintagegrrl said...

Yes, I 'get' it. It's a bloody expensive 'secondary' computer. Seriously... AUS$2500? Yes, it's thin. Yes, it's light. But for $2500 I'd be wanting a machine that does more.

I'd rather spend sub $1k and get an Asus Eee PC for a secondary computer.

January 16, 2008 8:25 PM

 
Blogger Wil Shipley said...

I'd rather spend sub $1k and get an Asus Eee PC for a secondary computer.

Well, I can understand that, and I certainly don't fault you for it.

For me, my primary consideration is having Mac OS on the computer.

Also, this really isn't a subnotebook, like the Eeeeee. Let's call it an executive notebook. I think there's still room for Apple to come out with a wee subnotebook, maybe with a touch screen...

-W

January 16, 2008 8:32 PM

 
Anonymous CB said...

Thank you, Wil, for speaking my mind. I couldn't have said it better. A lot of techies and tech "journalists" are for the most part whiners and cross-eyed.

Thanks for having the balls to set it straight.

January 17, 2008 1:03 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My problems with the new MBA are many and varied, so let me elucidate:

Thin isn't where its at.

For a machine that is targetted as a second computer, to be taken on the road and used when away from office or home office, it sacrifices too much to be usable. The thinness is nice, although nothing new, but to achieve such a slim form factor, they have removed many useful features, like a removeable HDD. I carry two drives with me when on the go, one has Windows for the office and the other has OpenSuse for home and recreational work. That is something I would need in a machine.

Also, the screen is too big for the machines purpose. I could quite happily have something fatter but with a smaller screen as that form factor fits into many more places. A machine with a 10", screen for example, would fit nicely into my briefcase or manbag and would not require too much table space on the busy commute to work. Anything bigger is making the machine take up a similar footprint to a regular notebook which I find too big to carry around in most cases.

Whats ethernet:

I have yet to work for a company that allows people to use wireless networking. Most jobs I take pass around sensitive information about people which is required by law to be kept secure. Wireless networks are inherently insecure and without an ethernet port, this machine is of no use whatsoever for me. Sure, some people will be happy to own a machine that they cannot plug into a wall socket, however I would submit that those people are too busy debating how good they look with the machine than thinking about how useful it is.

No user servicable parts

The battery is a massive bone of contention for me. As someone who carries 2 9 cell batteries with me I absolutely need to be able to change them to ensure I do not have to interupt work to charge my computer.

This a computer not a toaster or a washing machine. If the battery is flat I want to be able to switch it out for another one. If the battery dies, I want to be able to replace it myself without having to pay somebody in a service centre to do it for me. Not having that ability is appaling to say the least.

January 17, 2008 2:05 AM

 

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