(Actually this isn't entirely "OT"—off-topic. Read on.)
Regulars know that I'm nearly a year overdue for a computer update, and have periodically been asking for (and getting—thank you) advice about how to upgrade. I've also been informed that my cellphone is 72 years old in cellphone-years, and that it, too, is getting dangerously out of date.
Strangely enough, I'm going to get a iPhone 6 Plus, which is the cartoonishly large version of the new iPhone. The camera has IS, and the screen is large enough to read books on, in a pinch. (Actually I re-read Huckleberry Finn on my iPhone 4s, but sort of just to prove I could. The 6+ is more usable.) I have a friend who just got an iPhone 6 who might think I'm trying to one-up her, which of course would be intolerable behavior on my part were I actually doing something so crass, but I think I'll try to argue that the 6 is better than the 6 Plus because it's smaller and smaller is better; and maybe I can weasel out of it that way.
You cannot buy the 6+ anywhere that I know of at the moment, so that upgrade is in the future.
The computer however is nearly a done deal. My next one will be my tenth Apple computer, I believe. Those have all been iMacs since 2001, when I had one of these bad boys:
...cute, in a sort of Teletubbies way, but not one of my better Macs. The iMac has evolved drastically since then, and my mid-2011 27" iMac has been easily the best computer I've ever owned.
But now I hope I'm going to be traveling a bit more regularly, so I need to evolve too. I just bought a 13-inch MacBook Air with the 1.7 GHz dual-core i7 processor, 8 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of flash storage. I plan to use it at home as my main computer, using it with a 27" Cinema Display, a wireless mouse, and my regular ol' Microsoft Ergonomic keyboard. Then when I a.) want to go upstairs and sit by a window or b.) travel, I can detach it and take it with me. (It will be backed up at home, of course.)
It's an experiment. The smaller hard drive will mean I'll probably move my music and photographs to an outboard drive—but then, I don't need to have my entire archive of either along with me at all times anyway.
The inaugural solo flight might happen this Friday, when I'm off to New York. (A working trip, so no interruption in services, never fear.)
Also loaded and ready to go will be Bill Bryson's One Summer: America, 1927, so I can pretend I'm George Will or Doris Kearns Goodwin. I've read half of all the books Bill Bryson's written, about twenty or thirty of them I believe, some of which have been good (I'm the only person alive who didn't like his book about the Appalachian Trail). I should probably wait for the deluxe illustrated version of One Summer; his books need to be illustrated. But I'm really looking forward to all the chapters about billiards, which was one of the most popular pastimes in America in 1927. I'm sure he couldn't have left that out.
Oh, eventually I will review the camera in the iPhone 6 Plus, I suppose. On the significance of that: no comment.
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(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Simon Grosset: "Just two thoughts: have a look at the Dell 27" displays. Lots of USB3 ports built in and half the price of Apple's offering. And secondly, don't get too excited about reading about billiards in the 1920s. This might be the second Bryson book you don't like...."
Mike replies: Re the display, I forgot to mention that I already have a second Cinema Display, the result of an earlier (failed) experiment with a standing desk. I'll be using that, just because I already own it.
Ned Bunnell: "I have a similar 13" Air and Cinema Display setup and think you'll be very happy with the combination. The Air is more than adequate in handling my image processing needs and the display is beautiful. It's also a breeze to unplug and take the Air with me when I'm on the road. I use several Western Digital My Passport Studio USB drives to store all of my edited photos so I'm not carrying around my photo archives on the Air...just in case. Cheers and enjoy!"
Marcin Wuu: "I believe a good review should be concise and to the point. Here's my take on iPhone 6's camera review: 'Waste of time.' My wife's Xperia Zsomething has a much better (in terms of specs anyway) camera. If I were to do a review of that, it would be exactly the same. Waste of time. Buy a real camera."