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Issue 13.4 ('"El Capitan"')
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MacBook For Who

Is Thin and Light > Speed and Expandability?

Issue: 13.4 (July/August 2015)
Author: Sam Rowlands
Author Bio: Sam is a pixelMancer and codeWeaver at Ohanaware.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 12,781
Starting Page Number: 29
Article Number: 13405
Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

Apple's new Macbook is a visually stunning masterpiece. It's like the iPad team got told to make a laptop. It's so thin, light, and the Retina screen is absolutely gorgeous. It reminds me of the first MacBook Air: nice little machine, but not my cup of tea. (It had a small screen—at that time I was using 24" iMac—and used some really underpowered processor... why would I need or want such a thing?)

But these next generations of thin, light, and pokey machines have limited resources and power, making them ideal base testing machines. Until I purchased a 2008 MBA, I would get crash reports from users running our photography apps on these machines and my first reaction was always: "What a masochist! It must be like trying to tow a caravan with a lawn mower."

Our software performed terribly on this machine (as it had no graphics card and a slow processor). Yet the machine itself had some charm, and quickly became my trusted sidekick. More importantly, it forced me to redesign the internals of the application for if our apps could perform nicely on this little underperformer, they'd work swimmingly on everything else.

Investing the time to accommodate this machine improved performance of our applications, performance that I didn't even notice was an issue on a 24" iMac (or 2006 MacBook Pro).

So here I am, working on a 2015 MacBook, a machine that has a certain charm to it, thinness that's pretty amazing, and the performance of a lawn mower, but I'm safe in the knowledge that once our latest apps are performing nicely on this machine, they'll perform nicely elsewhere.


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