Newsletter Issue #804: Going All Portable: The Night Owl Speculates

April 27th, 2015

If you’re a regular reader to these columns, you probably know about my normal workflow. I have a desktop Mac, an iMac, and a 17-inch MacBook Pro from 2010. I haven’t traveled so much in recent years, so the portable doesn’t get all that much use, particularly since I take my iPhone into the bedroom and use it to manage email. On the rare occasions where I need a full-sized keyboard and a traditional computing environment, I walk over to the home office to get things done.

I am in the minority when it comes to a typical Mac user these days, however. Some 80% of Macs sold in recent years are note-books, ranging from the MacBook Air to the MacBook Pro with Retina display. That’s a reason why Apple has clearly invested a tidy sum in advancing the portable platform (not that they’re giving up on desktops). While PC makers will depend on Intel’s guidance, in the form of the UltraBook, from which to base note-book designs, Apple actually has to invent stuff all by themselves.

Once upon a time, going note-book meant severe sacrifices, from the tiny screen to far less computing performance. I remember my first exposure to PowerBooks in the early 1990s, when I had to bring the family with me on a trip for several days, but I couldn’t interrupt the work schedule. This was before I actually owned a PowerBook, and so a company with whom I contracted for writing assignments, owned by a close relative, rented me one along with a portable printer. I brought my backup drives with me, and was soon able to recreate a semblance, far from a replacement, to my daily work environment.

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