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MacBook Air – how it all started with my very 1st Mac

It’s been a long journey, but as I wait for my latest Mac to arrive, I look back on my Mac journey…

MacBook Air
image courtesy author

It was all so simple then

Yesterday, you may have read my article on the newest of my Mac acquisitions – the M2 MacBook Air. It should be with me this Friday, and yes, I am eagerly awaiting it.

But, after writing that blog, a wave of nostalgia kicked in as I thought back to my very first Mac – an 11.5-inch, 2010 MacBook Air. Until that Mac, I had not really taken much pride or thought about what computer I was toiling away on. Little did I know that tiny little Mac, seen in the picture above, was my gateway Mac to where I am now.

Yesterday, I took sometime, to look at some of the spec’s from that 2010 MacBook Air, and it really does make for amusing reading, as we head in to an Apple Silicon future.

Let’s look under the hood

I considered that MacBook Air to be the bees-knees when I bought it – cutting edge, if you will. It was a Mac!! It had an Apple logo on the lid, and suddenly, I felt creative. Looking now, at what powered it, though, I am surprised I got anything done!

It had a 1.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, and 2GB of Ram…2!!!! And storage was a dizzy 128GB. The display, which was the best I had ever seen back then, was an 11.5-inch, high-resolution, glossy, widescreen, LED affair. It was actually pretty lush, I have to say.

Ports, again, on reflection, were not bad either, with two USB 2.0 ports, one on either side, a Mini DisplayPort, headphone jack and…MagSafe!

Battery life I seem to recall as being ok for the time, but the tech-specs are telling me it only had up to 5-hours of wireless productivity. It was running OS X Snow Leopard, and iLife (remember that?), was included.

Limited as all that may now seem, it meant the world to me…and oddly, still does.

How do you use a Mac then?

I had come from PCs when I bought that Mac. I was routinely only carrying out office work, but something inside me just knew I wanted to be on a Mac.

Out of the box, it all seemed so alien…not start menu in the corner, no clunky, plastic keyboard and no anti-virus or Windows updates either! Nope, this was sleek, shiny, enticing, and full of allure!

The first afternoon back with it, my heart was a little bit broken, I recall. Due to the tiny amount of storage, my iTunes library would not fit on it! This was before the days of iTunes Match etc, so the library was local. Luckily, it was suggested to me that iTunes, as it was known all those years ago, could be directed to an external drive. Apart from the fact I’d always have to have that drive with me and plugged in, problem solved. Next up – actually using the MacBook Air.

Welcome to the Genius Bar

As much as I can hardly believe it now, every Sunday morning, for a good few months, I had lessons at my local Genius Bar. Nothing too fancy – just getting used to Numbers, Pages, Keynote and GarageBand. Funny enough, writing this now, I remember the guys telling me they were intimidated by me, as I always came in with a list of nerdy questions, making sure I used my paid hour constructively. Seems I was always a Mac geek then, huh?

As much as it now seems, cringe-worthy, it was totally the right move. I pretty much took to it like a duck to water, and the more I used it, the more I wanted to use it, and, learn about what a Mac could do.

Squarely because of that MacBook Air, I gained an interest in audio production. Those visits to the Genius Bar, where we looked at GarageBand, properly interested me. Even my first attempts at any video work in iMovie, clearly left their impression on me. The creative side of my brain had been switched on. I felt it was the start of a new chapter in my life. And, so it proved to be. I owe this MacBook Air a huge debt of gratitude.

Look where it led me

All because of that inaugural MacBook Air, I entered the world of radio, safe in the knowledge I could edit the podcasts.

I started a graphic design company, which is still alive and well to this day, and learned how to use Photoshop, In Design and Illustrator. Of course, that meant I had now been introduced to Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite of apps, which eventually led me to Premiere Pro, which I use to edit video for YouTube.

It’s odd, isn’t it, how sometimes, things are just meant to be. Years back, I had no need to buy that MacBook Air. None of my workflow would suggest that was the route for me, but fate just took me down that path.

Had it not, and had I not bought that MacBook Air, then I probably would never have started my design company, had any interest in audio production, or eventually ended up editing video for YouTube.

The list is long

Writing this, I have just seen the notification on my phone that Apple have taken the money from the bank for the newest, and latest MacBook Air. As that sinks in, this is the complete list of my Macs to date – at least I think so!

  • 2010 11.5” MacBook Air
  • 2011 21.5” iMac
  • 2015 27” iMac
  • 2018 15” MacBook Pro (stolen)
  • 2019 15” MacBook Pro (replacement)
  • 2019 21.5” iMac
  • 2022 M1 Max MacBook Pro (with Studio Display)
  • 2022 M2 MacBook Air

Each of those Macs has meant something to me, and served their purpose and role in bringing me to this point at which I find myself at now. The first MacBook Air, and the 27-inch iMac, in particular, have special places in my heart. You know the reasons for the MacBook Air, but the 27-inch Mac, has just done so much both with, and for me. Hell, I was working on it when I got news my mum passed away, designed her order of service on it…and of course, that iMac & I worked at home for months during the pandemic lockdowns. Those two Macs are never being sold, – fact!

Onwards & upwards

Writing and making videos about Macs, tech & audio is something I love doing, and cannot imagine it being a part of my life.

In yesterday’s blog, I mentioned that I intend to mirror the M2 over to my 27-inch iMac. Listening to some podcasts this morning, it seems I can expect good things from the M2 MacBook Air, which is on its way. Crazy as it sounds, I am sure it will be quicker than this 4GHz, Quad-Core, Intel i7 iMac I am writing this on. The fact, hopefully, I can keep this beloved 27-inch in front of me, and it still be a part of my working day, I love.

The display may have the odd, tiny, flat-spot on it, but you’d hardly notice it. On the whole, it is still gorgeous to work on, even if it is now 100 nits less bright than my Studio Display.

I will do an experiment, actually, when the new MacBook Air arrives. I will export a recent video project on this pretty well spec’d iMac, then compare the speed to that of the base model M2 MacBook Air.

From what I am hearing, it seems I made a good move in going with the 512GB SSD on the new MBA, as all the speed issues we’re hearing about right now, are to do with the base 256GB versions. Fingers crossed.

Loving tech as I do, and loving that iMac as much as I do, I still really hope that my new baby smashes it in to oblivion with its render & export times. Technology, by its very nature, should, and must march on at pace. To witness how far it has come in seven years, excites me.

It’s fair to say, I am pretty juiced about getting my hands on this new MacBook Air, but I will never forget the Macs and the journey that led me here.

Don’t forget

I’d love to know if there are any features you’d like me to look at on Friday, when the new MacBook Air (hopefully) arrives. Basic functions and features is what I am after for now.

Speed and performance, will follow in the days, weeks, and months ahead. To start with, though, I’d love to let you know about any burning questions you may have about it, particularly if you are thinking of buying one.

I looking forward to hearing from you…

Getting involved

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