Scrivener + MacBook Air = ♥

wr
writerzlife
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:15 pm
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:35 pm Post

I am a new convert to the Apple cult, and while I have had an every iPhone, minus the original, and several iPods, I had not yet jumped completely into the Apple world until about two years ago. Personally I believe that iTunes was created in order to get Windows users frustrated and move to Macs. I got tired of how long iTunes boots on windows and for devices to sync to it.

SO here I am. My first Mac was a MBP, two years old now. I never even looked at the MBA. It was not worth the effort at the point. I thought my MBP was the only laptop I would ever need. 8 months of carrying it around, and learning how powerful it actually was I began to think about something else. The iPad is great, but I didn't get into as a content creation device. I needed more screen and a bigger key board then it provides. But the iPad serves as a single ebook reader and gaming platform, not mention casual internet searching.

When the flash drive MBAs were announced I began to rethink my ideas. I went into an Apple store to play around with a MBA and fell in love immediately. My scenario for both MBA and MBP are as follows:

My MBA is my prime "away from home" device. Since I am away from home I am not creating anything other then my novel perhaps light research as I run into issues. Of course Scrivener is the software for all this, but the MBA is great since it does not take up too much room in my bag, nor weighs enough to make me notice. The times I do pack the MBP I can tell you I notice it. The "instant on" capability is BRILLIANT! Truly a great capability for a novelist. You just sit down, grab your beer, and you are writing. Even though the MBP is fast and boots quickly when you are the creative mindset you don't want to wait and let something distract you. Additionally if you need to leave you can work right up until those precious seconds, shut the laptop, and walk away. If you don't get back to your project for a few days you don't have to worry about running low on battery. its all there waiting for you.

My MBP is at home, and serves as a storehouse of novel information for me. While I have a home server, my MBP is my gateway too it (using Back To My Mac) or to the information I keep there. My MBP is the workhorse, the truck and my MBA does one thing. Write. It may be expensive, but it works for me. There is no software or data on my MBA that does not relate to my writing. It rarely leaves my bag when I get home--unless I wiped the battery out, which has happened once or twice.

At home my MBP gets synced with my scrivener files through Dropbox and I have all my work right there. Lastly my MBP does heavy lifting such as iPhoto, iTunes, and more video creation stuff. I have nothing like that here on my MBA. My music comes from my iPhone or if I am feeling wild I will use Slacker Radio.

I just want to say that this is what is great about Apple's products. All of them can serve all functions in our digital lives, but not in the same way for us. While most other products seek to be the ONE DEVICE, Apple has many devices that have so much overlap that we can pick what works for us and yet still find benefit in using many of their devices. Its more about synergy then just having the one computer to rule it all.

De
Declan
Posts: 78
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 3:40 pm

Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:10 pm Post

Slight change of topic: what is all this I hear about Instant On on the Macbook Air. I have a now aging white macbook and I open it and immediately its on, I close it and leave it. I think I only shutdown about once every 2 months. Is there something new about this on the Macbook Air?

Curious, because at some stage this machine will give up and need to be replaced, so I'm moving into the market gradually.

wr
writerzlife
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:15 pm
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:27 pm Post

The MBA doesn't have the traditional power button. Right next to the disk ejection button is another button with the power symbol. Its just like one of the "chicklet" buttons the rest are.

When you push it the MBA turns on. There is no boot. Its just on.

When you push it again it turns off. That simple. Of course going off you do have to selection sleep/off/cancel but it just goes off.

I clocked it and my MBP will take about 10 seconds to go off. My MBA 1-2 seconds. My MBA even takes about 3 seconds to turn on and my MBP somewhere around 11-12. Maybe small potatoes when you say it but when you are in a hurry it makes the difference.

Of course it is a computer. You bog it down with too much software, too much auto open apps and it will slow it down. But you keep it clean (no desktop shortcuts, or files stored there) and it will just turn on/off.

As a note you really shouldn't always use the sleep function. Over time it will wear on your laptop. I rarely leave my laptops in sleep mode. I always shut them down. The MBA makes this case.

I don't have to wait any more. push the button. Laptop off. close and leave.

Hu
Hugh
Posts: 2444
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:05 pm
Platform: Mac
Location: UK

Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:15 am Post

writerzlife -- maybe I missed this in a previous post -- but 11" or 13"?
'Listen, some quiet night, when you've shirked your work that day. Do you hear
that distant, almost inaudible clicking sound? That's one of your
competitors, working away in the night in
Paris or London or Erie, PA.'

wr
writerzlife
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:15 pm
Platform: Mac
Contact:

Fri Sep 30, 2011 12:25 pm Post

oops. I didn't mention it. I have the 13".

It wasn't the screen that I was after, but the RAM, processor and memory bumps.

jg
jgould
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:16 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Circleville, OH

Mon Oct 03, 2011 11:43 pm Post

I'm looking at an 11" Air to supplement my 13" MBP for school. Sure 4.5 pounds is light, but 2.3 pounds is lighter... Add in text books and you have an equation for a back that hurts...

I just added an SSD to the MBP, so I essentially have a 13" MBA in an MBP Case...

Still weighs 4.5 pounds...

J.

br
brett
Posts: 533
Joined: Tue Jul 11, 2006 3:17 am
Location: yet another Portlander

Sat Oct 15, 2011 7:05 am Post

Thought I should update my post from last month and relieve the anxiety of everyone breathlessly panting to know which new Mac I finally decided on.

To recap the usage scenario:

• MBA spends 90% of its time plugged into 24" Apple Cinema display.

• I have an iPad for note taking at libraries, in interviews etc., and the little apple bluetooth keyboard when I need it.

• I'm a writer and like to be able to see two docs side by side.

• My eyes aren't so sharp anymore.

• I wanted 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM.

The choices: a Mac Mini (and use the iPad for my mobile writing), an 11"MBA or a 13" MBA.
I eliminated the Mini option pretty early, though that would have been by far the least expensive one. I tried writing a big story on the iPad and just found myself too frustrated with IOS's well documented limitations, including the absence of a Scrivener version.

I came into the Apple Store leaning toward the 11" MBA. I was fully aware just how much difference a few ounces and inches can make; that was what made me get a second generation SSD Air two-plus years ago. And it would save me $100 over the similarly equipped 13" Air. Side by side on a table at the apple store, the 13" looked gargantuan by comparison to its little sibling.

The helpful Apple store staffer agreed, but asked me about my usage scenarios, and he pointed out that since I mostly work at home these days, the 11" advantages of lighter weight and smaller size would be fewer, simply because I wouldn't be carrying it often. Of course, that also negates the value of the 13" larger screen, since I won't be looking at it much. But when I am traveling, I really like being able to display two docs side by side without scrolling frequently. If I'm just taking notes, as opposed to writing a story, I'll probably be using the iPad anyway. That goes for any situation where every ounce counts. I know I'm going to be writing stories on the road several times in coming months, so the larger screen pushed me toward the 13". I don't carry the Air around that much even while traveling -- it generally stays on a desk in my ol

He also cited the many advantages of the 13": longer battery life, slightly faster processor, less hand cramping potential with keyboard, larger screen. All for $100 == a pretty good value, I'd say.
But the clincher was picking the two laptops up. I really couldn't discern a meaningful weight difference between them, even though I know the 13" is a half pound heavier. Given that I'd be using the same backpack/briefcase no matter which computer I got, I just couldn't see an advantage in the 11" smaller size and lower weight.

I have to admit that my heart really wanted the 11" MBA because its form seems so perfect and also, frankly, because I was already selling a two-year-old 13" MBA and it would have been nice to come home with a different computer, and to save $100. But I could tell that I'd be scrolling a lot if I used it on the road (I really had to boost the magnification to read without eyestrain). And the weight just didn't seem to matter; it was much different than when comparing a plastic MacBook or MacBook Pro to the air a couple years back. There, the quantitative weight disparity made a qualitative difference in usage. I'm not so sure that's the case with these two. And if I really need something small and light for note taking, I always have the iPad.

So I wound up getting another 13", though of course its performance dramatically surpasses that of my old Air . Actually, I haven't used it as a laptop yet -- just with my big screen. I'll probably use it as a laptop for a few days later this week after some my major deadlines are done. I have 14 days to exchange it for an 11" Air so I want to see how the 13" works as a laptop in that window.

I bet I would have been quite happy with the 11" but the 13" seems to make more sense for my needs and circumstances, particularly having the big display and the iPad. Thanks to all who posted advice in response to my original question. Now, time to get back to deadlines and figuring all these fancy new Lion tricks!

jg
jgould
Posts: 77
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:16 pm
Platform: Mac + iOS
Location: Circleville, OH

Fri Oct 28, 2011 9:12 pm Post

I picked up an 11" Air on Wednesday to help save my back from the weight of my text books. I am all set for Nano to start and me to really put the screws to this brand new machine. So far I am loving this machine and while I'm good at making it beach ball by asking took much of it at once, it handles my workload pretty well...

Looking forward to knocking out a novel on this little gal.

Josh