Another year, another Canada trip and another Macbook [Part 1]

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It seems that every year around this time I make another push to try to be a better blogging citizen of the world.  Some years it works, but some years it doesn’t.  Regardless, the first post that spurs me on tends to be a new toy, a new piece of technology and in this case this post trend this year is no different.

The shiny toy of my new affection? – a 2015 Macbook.  I must start this article by saying that I came to Canada this year (as we do every year) with absolutely no intention of buying a new Macbook.  Indeed, only last October I utilized my student discount to purchase a Macbook Pro Retina 13inch which I was more than happy with.  If you leaf back in the articles that I wrote about it, you’ll see that my aim was to see if it was possible to move as much as possible of my daily data to the cloud – as the device I had bought was the 128GB SSD version.  Long story short, it probably is, but for me 128GB was just a little too tight.  This years Macbook comes in 2 SSD flavours a 256GB or a 512GB version ( i picked the later) – something I’ll go into shortly.

So why did I go and change to maybe a somewhat more “limited” machine, after all, my Pro has a dual i5 2.6Ghz processor, whilst my new Macbook has only a a Core -M at 1.8Ghz (Dual core of course).  To tell the truth I’m wondering that myself.  Firstly a big factor in the purchase was the price (or lack of it) – due to the UK-CND exchange rate at the moment the device came in at just under 1000GBP after taxes and fees.  When I’m in doubt on such things I buy them anyway, with the rational that I’m at least 200GBP under the price I would pay in the UK.  Also with the device still in such short supply I can play with it for a couple weeks and if (unlikely) decide to pass it on, know I can get all my money back and a tidy profit.

I went for the upper of the two models the 1.8Ghz/8GB/512GB model.  Expect a few posts to tell you how I’m going.

New Member of the Fleet

Macbook Pro Retina 13 Inch - 2014

Macbook Pro Retina 13 Inch – 2014- The latest fleet member

For a while now, since I purchased my Mac Pro, I’ve been thinking if perhaps the 15 inch Macbook Pro Retina was overkill.  Certainly carrying it around in a camera backpack with a couple of SLR lenses and a DSLR body was proving to be an experience akin to an Iron Man contest- not what I need on an after party Saturday morning.  I have run the Macbook Pro 15 as my main machine for the last 2 years, after picking it up shortly after it went on general sale.  There is absolutely no qualms about the performance of the machine** with a quad core i7 and and no spinning rust drives it flys no matter what I throw at it.

So I decided to abuse my student discount one last time before it runs out and picked up an absolute base spec Macbook Pro Retina 13 inch (that’s Dual Core i5 2.6 Ghz / 8 GB RAM / 128GB of SSD).  In that spec the only thing that genuinely worries me is the SSD, can I copy with only 128GB of storage space – baring in mind I throw around 2 GB MKVs for fun these days, my camera easily shoots 120GB of raw photo files at a time, and VMWare Fusion machines running to 20-30GB.

Firstly the iTunes library is already in the cloud (thats 100GB sorted out) – and whilst I worry a little about not having a connection and thus no files I hope that the unlimited data contract from 3 plus tethering should make this rarer and rarer an occurrence.

VMware wise – my strategy is going to be to utilise the SD card space in the device.  With 128GB SD class 10 cards appearing on Amazon for 50 quid, my plan is to run the VMs off their own dedicated SD card.

The one inescapable storage problem (at least until I have a 200MB uplink) is RAW files from my camera.  To be honest this is a bit of a non starter as I already face the same issue on the current Macbook.  I’ve purchased one of the Execellent WD 2TB Passport drives (USB3.0) – for on the road, and another hooked to the Macbook.  It might be a quick and dirty backup, but it works!  I’ve got a whole other storage and backup solution scripted that backs the whole lot up onto a Drobo FS drive which has redundancy up until 2 drive failures.

If I can’t make all this cloudy restraint work, then I’ll go to OWC for one of these 480GB puppies but I am really going to try to make the cloudy lifestyle work.  I’m interested to see how the workflow will work out in the field, especially with the DSLR- what I might have to accept in alteration to accommodate the space issue I hope to balance out with much improved mobility and grab.

Now – the big question, will I be able to part with the 15inch Retina or just hoard it 🙂