It’s a quiet Saturday here at the Desert Compound. The weather is gorgeous. The sun is bright, there’s a bit of a breeze, and it’s not overly hot.
Truman is enjoying the quiet of our home and taking a nap in the middle of the floor. True to form, he prefers to be close-by instead of being on top of us. He’s definitely not a snuggler. I enjoy his ambivalence that is so cat-like.
When I was younger I noticed when folks said “life gets better as you get older”. They were absolutely correct. I’m comfortable with who I am and the way I look and the way I feel. Sure, the body doesn’t do everything it used to do (a bike ride would probably kill my knees right now) but I’m in a great place and right where I should be.
It’s kind of weird to think I have favorite photos that accurately represent who I feel I am on the inside. However, this selfie from 2009 captures my essence of the timeframe, and seeing this photo today makes me smile.
Having documented nearly half of my life in the blog thing (which is no longer in a trendy thing to do) can be an interesting experience. Every once in a while I’ll talk about something that has happened to us in the past and there will be a disagreement on the specificity of the events. Occasionally I’ll turn to the blog and see if I wrote something about said event. It’s a 50/50 chance as to whether I wrote anything about what we’re talking about, but as I start strolling through blog entries nearing two decades old, I realize that I’m basically the same person I was 20 years ago, albeit with remarks around different stages of technology.
I want to know when everyone became so damn important that they had to yak on their cell phone whereever they may be. Are people so full of themselves and so self righteous that they think that they need to be available to their public every single, solitary second of the day? What happened to a little “down time”? The morning commute was your chance to organize yourself for the day, maybe win a contest on the radio and breathe in the sunshine and exhaust fumes. Now everyone is busy making appointments with their metrosexual stylist, yelling at the kids for making toast with the clothes iron and calling ahead for Dunkin Donuts buckets of coffee all via their cell phone.
I think the comparison is similar to what Bea Arthur discussed in one of her last interviews, comparing Maude Findlay from “Maude” to Dorothy Zbornak from “The Golden Girls”.
“They were the same height, but Dorothy would probably tell Maude to calm down a little bit”.
It has been my attention to take a “modern” approach to my personal computing needs. I have an M1 Mac mini from 2020 for my desktop setup, and I’d do everything on my 12.9 inch M1 iPad Pro. Apple encourages users to try this approach and I was willing to give it a whirl. I tried this before with my old iPad Pro and I find the experience a little limiting when traveling.
I had my iPad Pro as my primary computer on my last trip back East and even though Apple insists the iPadOS can do everything I need to do, there were limitations. I’d go to a website to take care of some medical paperwork for my mother and it wouldn’t work. Multitasking is never easy, even with the latest updates to iPadOS. The setup worked 80% of the time and as we start traveling more, I need a setup that works 100% of time.
I finally convinced my husband I needed a laptop. I’ve been playing around with the idea of going to a non-Apple device again and focusing on a Linux setup. Even though there has been huge progress with Linux on the desktop over the years, again, I’d find myself becoming dissatisfied with that setup and knew I’d still be wanting a proper Mac laptop. After all, MacOS gives me the full UNIX experience I’m looking for with the terminal always being available.
Enter my new M2 MacBook Air.
For the first time in my Apple existence, I stepped away from the standard “Space Gray” and decided to go with their Midnight model. I also went up a notch from their base offering in the space and went with the 10 core GPU and 512GB SSD version.
I’m absolutely amazed at how fast this machine is. And it is gorgeous, oh so gorgeous.
Some unboxing photos.
I never owned a Mac that had the “butterfly” keyboard. My last MacBook Pro was the very last 2015 model they offered before switching to the butterfly keyboard. I set that loose a couple of years ago when it looked like it wouldn’t be easily supported by the latest versions of MacOS. My husband had a butterfly keyboard on his first MacBook Pro with Touch Bar (I don’t remember the year). His current machine, a 13-inch M1 MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, was purchased a year ago for his birthday and is still blazing fast.
The “M” series of Apple’s processors are absolutely amazing. I have always been impressed with the performance of my M1 Mac mini. Anything I threw at it was not a problem. When I used the machine for work during COVID, with video calls and multiple applications, and compiling software, and everything else, the computer didn’t break a sweat. It’s going to be repurposed for Jamie to use in his music studio, replacing a 2014 iMac he’s been using for a very long time.
This new M2 MacBook Air leaves that M1 Mac mini in the dust. I did not expect to see such a speed increase. This computer has been an absolute delight for the past 24 hours.
The setup was not as straightforward as I would expect from Apple. A few months ago Apple offered “Advanced Data Protection” for iCloud. This added an extra layer of encryption so that absolutely no one could access my data while in iCloud. The new feature requires the latest version of the relevant operating systems. As you can see in the last screenshot, the first thing I needed to do was upgrade my brand new computer from macOS Monterey to MacOS Ventura. Ventura made its debut last fall: five or six months ago.
Because of Advanced Data Protection I was unable to add my iCloud account to this new computer. That left me with two choices: add a temporary account so I could update the machine and then jimmy around in the users’ panel to add the “real” account or turn off Advanced Data Protection on iCloud (lowering security) so I could add the computer, update the computer, and then turn on Advanced Data Protection.
I tried the former, but ended up getting into a dead-end when it came to user management. This resulted in some fast searching to bring my computer back to factory settings and then I opted to go with option two. As a computing security zealot that is probably more paranoid than necessary, I found this approach unsettling but I went ahead and did it anyway.
The second solution worked and once that was done, I had everything up and running as I wanted within a couple of hours.
Aside from that hiccup, this computer has continued to amaze me with its performance. One thing I love about MacOS is that I can get to the terminal prompt and do all the UNIX (Linux-type) things I want to do but still have the MacOS experience riding on top of everything.
Overall I’m very pleased with the new computer. Aside from the few hiccups that seem to common around Apple these days, things are quite good and I’m a happy camper.
I often wear my AirPods Pros when I’m out for a walk. I don’t wear them when hiking, but if I’m walking the neighborhood or on a nearby trail I’ll listen to a podcast or some music. I’m also a fan of Apple’s “It’s Time For A Walk” series with their Apple Fitness+ service.
For the past several weeks I’ve been hearing intermittent static and white noise-like sound when I’m firing up these first gen AirPods Pros; Mike suggested it sounded like a manufacturing defect he had read about a while back and suggested I take them to the Apple Store.
I did that today.
After a few minutes with the kind man behind the Genius Bar, he took my pods into the secret room for some tests. A few minutes more and he came out, informing me I now had two new AirPods Pros in my existing case and he gave me instructions on how to charge them and get them paired to my iPhone.
My walk this later this afternoon was a delight and there was absolutely no issues with my AirPods Pros. They were covered under a quality program of Apple’s and they replaced them without request and without hesitation.