Freshly Squeezed OpEd: Hear that? It’s The Sound Of Me Flip-Floppin’… yet again

Nov 18, 2020 | OpEd | 0 comments

Let me bring you up to speed. Several months ago I decided to switch to an iPad-centric computing lifestyle. I don’t do much video or music production nowadays, I mainly write reviews and dribble such as this. Although I am toying in dabbling in video and music composition again in the near future.

I currently own a Late 2015 21.5” 4K iMac with a dreaded 1TB Fusion drive. After a couple years, it started to act a bit janky. As time went on, the jankier it became. When the new iPadAir 4 was released to rave reviews I thought here is a portable, affordable tablet that’ll let me dip my toes into creating once again.

So, I decided on a plan to jettison the iMac and hunt down the best deal possible over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

As my iMac is now booting off an external Samsung 1TB SSD external drive, I thought I would look for trouble by performing a Nuke & Pave on my internal Fusion drive and give Big Sur a whirl. Dangle something bright and shiny in front of me and I’ll follow you anywhere.

I know people long in the tooth who have been using Macs for decades who are not sold on the new macOS. Fear is rampant that all the OSs are going to merge. Pish-posh.

My feelings are two-fold. First, you make all the OSs have a uniform design so that people who have no interest whatsoever in becoming tech-savvy could pick up any Apple device and see things that looked familiar, thereby making the device less frightening and more inviting. The learning curve would be greatly reduced.

(As an analogy, think of a car. You wanna be able to hop into that technological marvel, drive to the store and pick up some potato chips, then return home to binge-watch Ted Lasso. You have no interest at all as to what fuel injection is and how it operates. You only want it to to do what you need it to do.)

Second, the various systems will never merge into one. They each have different use scenarios. Doesn’t mean you can’t borrow some of the best bits from one and graft them onto one or more of the other systems. If something works, use it.

I decided to dive in head first. My first impression was the UI was very easy on the eyes. Sitting at my computer was enjoyable again. The OS was modern looking. Liked it a lot. Guess I’m in the minority but I prefer the rounded edges of all the panes.

Next, it was ridiculously fast. Even on a five-year old machine, when I awoke it from sleep, every app snapped to attention. Can’t say that about Catalina.

There were big improvements in computational audio, video, and photography, as well. You could tell that Apple had been doing their homework to reach this stage.

Then came the turning point. “One More Thing.” The M1 was shiny and new and dangling in front of my face. What’s a poor boy to do?

I immediately went to Apple’s site and checked out the specs. I then checked out to see how much I could get for a trade-in. Next, I read article after article about the M1 and watched hours of YouTube video content creators picking their jaws up off of the floor. They were astonished. The entry level MacBook Air was playing in the same neighborhood as their expensive 16” MacBook Pros?

Courtesy: Apple

Sold. Ka-ching.

The plan now is I don’t need the beastliest of machines out there but something powerful like this is more than I’ll ever use. I have a Magic Keyboard and Trackpad so these are taken care of. I have a great set of desktop speakers. I only need to purchase a nice 24” 4K monitor and we are set.

Do I usually buy first generation? No. In fact, this iMac is like all the Macs I’ve ever owned – a refurb. But the promise I found in Big Sur and the power of the first-gen non-mobile silicon chips hooked me within minutes. The You Tube creator’s testimonials only cemented the deal.

Apple then Apple reeled me into the back of the boat where I lie fly-flopping’ with a huge grin on my face.

Will all be sunshine, unicorns, and lollipops? Of course not – it’s first-gen. But I wanna be there for the beginning of the ride, if only to say, “I was there.”

©2020 Frank Petrie


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