New MacBook Pro

The first and biggest take away is "Don't keep stabbing the screen with your finger!" as it is not going to work, you need that slidey trackpad thing and it takes a while to adjust that's for certain.

The history of this is I need a Mac for coding, and when leaving the UK I disposed of my beloved iMac and went all in on iOS, with a MacMini with a clone of the iMac installed as a back up and as a compiler for SASS and tools like GIT. Since then I have bought a monitor, some jobs are just easier on a Mac, writing code for one, there really is nothing like Sublime Text on iOS, and accessing the MacMini via ssh on the iPad just felt clunky and a solution for a problem I did not need to have.

However recently I have become more and more frustrated with the Mac Mini, it struggles with certain programmes, I had to delete Atom editor which is electron based, for one, after an IMac with a fusion drive it all seems very slow. What I have learned is to tailor the software to the machine, for example Affinity photo runs, Acorn photo editor runs much faster, Bartender the menu bar utility struggles as well.

I have also taken to working at least a couple of hours a day in a coffee shop, or several, even though I am very lucky with my personal location, getting out with a change of scenery, and being forced to focus in a coffee shop seems to have worked well and honestly is actually fun. The 12.9 iPad Pro with smart keyboad is absolutely great for this, I basically do all non coding work, blogging, social media, admin, accounts etc. in the mornings and code in the afternoons, and in this context the ability to swap the iPad for a laptop when needed makes sense, and gives me the freedom to code from anywhere at any time.

What is lacking though is the "joy" factor. The MacBook pro is a beautiful machine, I have set it up, configured it to my needs with the software I use but the iPad just seems more modern and futuristic. This may pass as I use the MacBook Pro more, we will see, currently though I reach for iPad by default, and still get a buzz trying to find new ways to achieve tasks with automation and new apps.

I now intend to reformat the macMini, strip the apps on it down to the basics, remove all the legacy libraries and apps like vagrant, which I have experimented with and dropped and have hopefully a lean clean and faster machine. I also have to invest in trying to get the most out of the MacPro touch bar which should be fun. I decided to buy a 8 month old refurb from Apple UK, I saved over £450 on the price of a new machine, and even with DHL shipping to me abroad, I saved a massive 700 euros from the local retail price, which allowed me to buy a higher specced machine than I otherwise could have.

So that's the current state of play at The Old Designer empire, my partner Mandy continues to love her iPad Pro, any original moans have long since gone now she has gotten used to it. Currently we are both sitting here in 27 degree temperatures looking across the local bay to the sea and typing away frantically. Mobile computing certainly rules!