tech revisited

A while back, I mentioned some of my concerns around my tech setup and the various machines involved. That was September and it’s now June and little has changed. The need hasn’t disappeared and I’m missing the portability of my old laptop, that ability to access all my stuff wherever I am, without being entirely reliant on the cloud. Some things I can do across all devices, some things need my main machine at home, a mac pro tower.

One important tech change is that I do have my new hearing aids, and got the final ear molds for them a couple of weeks ago. Working well so far and will blog about them later. Substantially less obvious than the old pair…undecided if this is a good thing or bad. I will be also be upgrading my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone to the new S4 in a month or two.

I’ve been looking at various laptop options including offerings from Samsung, ASUS, Apple, Lenovo and others. In my 7 years on vendor side, I went through several iterations of IBM/Lenovo thinkpads and remain ever fond of them. I also like some of the work being done with ultrabooks and laptop/tablet hybrids. I’ve especially liked the hybrid nature of my transformer prime.

an older setup, pre-tower

I will not be retiring my prime as it’s good for meetings and notetaking, not to mention reading the paper, and at the moment, occasional blogging. However it lacks true multitasking and hasn’t been particularly great as a development environment. The tower is fine if I’m in one place all the time but it’s not easily portable. Consequently I have decided to go for a dedicated laptop. Though a concern with laptops is that it means all my secure stuff will often be with me and thus more easily steal-able.

I suspect I have mostly decided on an 11″ Macbook Air. It’s still the case that some mac stuff annoys; on the other hand, I will be able to load mac software I’ve bought eg iPhoto onto the Air. The 11″ Air weighs just over a kilo and still feels good in the hand. On the downside, the mac pro hasn’t always played happily with my logitech equipment including trackball and wave keyboard.

I was ready to buy last week but I thought I’d better touch base with friends who are into apple and check development cycles. Sure enough, there’s a big Apple conference next week and everyone is anticipating several announcements including updates for their laptops. I’m now in a holding pattern and hoping that the Air includes Intel’s new Haswell chipset. It would be nice if it had the retina display but that’s not expected this year. I’m also hoping that the updated model will be available sooner and not later.

update: just noticed that Sony have released a new Vaio with Haswell and the 11″ version weighs 870g! Hmmm…

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