It's that time of year! That exciting time of... new stuff? In this week's article, we'll take a departure from the normal coding and design writings to explore why getting a new laptop seems like such a big thing in my world.
I feel somewhat guilty about buying a new machine when the current one still works. However, it's time, and it has been for a while. The old one has been through a lot. I replaced the CPU fan years ago. The screen has a handful of scratches, and the charging cable is frayed. It only works after a bit of finagling. Most of all, it's painfully slow. My current laptop is a 13" Macbook Pro from late 2013 — the base model. This means it only has 4 gigabytes of RAM. That doesn't cut it anymore, and nowadays, it's really starting to struggle.
Here is a snapshot of Activity Monitor with the Brave browser (5 tabs), Notion, and iTerm as the only open applications. To think... I used to run Homestead and Vagrant on this thing! I'm not even sure how that worked. Maybe browsers weren't so memory hungry back then. 🤷♂️
Seven years for a laptop, though, it has had a good run! 🙌
After Apple announced its new processors last week, I decided it was time to upgrade finally. I ordered a new 13" M1 Macbook Pro with 16GB of RAM. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow.
A few of the reasons I'm hyped about the upgrade:
Look for future articles where I'll document the process of setting it up, redoing my VSCode settings from scratch, and outlining struggles I encounter with the new ARM-based processor architecture. Hopefully it works without much effort, but I suppose that's the gamble of being an early adopter!
There are a few special plans and tasks I hope to accomplish with the new machine. First of all, I'm going to redo my entire VSCode setup from scratch. I'm not talking "start fresh and install mostly the same extensions," I mean getting down and dirty with every part of the keymap, settings, etc... The one editor setup to rule them all and utilize it on my desktop via settings sync. It's good to re-evaluate your tools periodically, and this is a perfect opportunity. I'll be sure to write an article with all the gory details.
The next order of business (past getting a PHP dev setup going), will be to edit some videos out of the mountain of drone footage I have sitting around. There are tons of flights I haven't even watched. Stuff like flying through low clouds, crashing into trees, diving down huge cliffs, and skimming rivers should make for some cool compilations.
Past all of that, I've got tons more design and dev stuff to pursue and a bunch of new ideas to explore. Stay tuned; it's going to be an exciting couple of months!
Now that I've received the snazzy new machine, I wanted to share a few first impressions regarding the hardware and setup process.
I've only been using it for a day so far. Overall, the experience has been awesome! It's a great machine and if it lasts even half as long as the old one, I'll be thrilled. There are a few (happy) surprises I had with the hardware.
The first thing I did was to update the OS to the latest version —
11.0.1 at the time of writing. While that was updating, I removed all the default apps I never use, like Numbers, Pages, Keynote, and iMovie. Also, the dock was cleaned up. I prefer the dock to only show currently running apps, and to automatically hide, so those settings were changed while the update was going.
Next, a few must-have apps.
Right Command + hjkl
Complex Modifications, and then clicking
Add Rule, and getting the "Modern Space Cadet" rule set from the internet. Note that I don't enable all of them, just a couple.