Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names. — John F. Kennedy
Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm. — Winston Churchill
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center. — Kurt Vonnegut
The MacBook Air was a jaw-dropping, if somewhat compromised product when it launched in January 2008. It was thin and svelte and beautiful to behold, but it was limited by woefully underpowered processors and a battery life that bordered on shambolic. Beyond this, it was prohibitively expensive for the mainstream. For a machine that was so clearly aimed at the ever-ready traveller, it was, in many respects, a promise unfulfilled.
Fast-forward to 2011 and the latest MacBook Air is a very different beast. The issues that made the original such a disappointment have now been comprehensively addressed: the processors are quick, the boot-times are near-instantaneous (largely due to the exclusive use of flash memory), the battery life is much improved and although not cheap, it is a much more affordable option for the everyman, with the 11” model starting at £828.59 (or £729.60 if you’re able to claim Apple’s Higher Education discount).
That is not to say that it is a perfect machine; with the cost of flash memory still high, the entry-level model has only 64GB of storage, which, although sufficient for the novice or secondary user, can soon be swamped by those with even moderate photo/video/music collections. In some respects, frugality is the order of the day - to keep the essentials on the machine, and trust the rest to either the cloud (Dropbox and Box.net are excellent options) or an external hard disk. Furthermore, the lack of an SD Card slot on the 11” model means that you’ll still need to use an adaptor or cable to transfer photos onto your machine - something which adds friction to an experience that we now expect to be largely seamless.
Today’s MacBook Air is still not a machine for everyone, but then it doesn’t need to be. If you want more storage on your Mac, but don’t want to pay a fortune for it, you’ll have to consider the MacBook Pro, which still offers more conventional hard drive options, an optical disk drive and more besides.
But if you’re after an almost effortlessly portable, quick-enough for most needs, relatively affordable notebook that you’ll never notice weighing down your satchel, then the new MacBook Air is something that is hard to overlook - it may not be perfect, but it’s amongst the most enticing ultraportables on the market. Perhaps this time form really did follow function.
I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again. — F. Scott Fitzgerald
I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love. — Mother Teresa
I know a sweet suburban girl,
She’s witty, bright and brief;
With dimples in her cheeks; and pearl
In rubies set, for teeth.
Beneath her glossy raven hair
There beams the hazel eye,
Bright as the star of evening there
Where the yellow sunbeams die.
Her breath is like a flower blown,
In fragrance and perfume;
Her voice seems from the blissful throne
Where their harps the angels tune.
Her waist is just a trifle more
Than a cubit in its girth;
But when there my arms I throw,
I’ve all there is of earth.
And when she turns her dimpled cheek
Toward me for a kiss,
I lose expression—cannot speak—
And take all there is of bliss.
Samuel Alfred Beadle
Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. — Theodore Zeldin
Olympus has had a penchant over recent years for releasing achingly beautiful, if somewhat flawed cameras, designed to appeal to those for whom the method and tools for shooting pictures need to be every bit as stunning as the photographs that they aim to produce. With the recent release of the Olympus PEN E-P3, it seems as though they might have finally given photographers a tool that is desirable, usable and without too many compromises of form over function.
Although superficially similar to its predecessors, the E-P1 and E-P2, the improvements to the package are significant: a vastly snappier autofocus; a screen that is bright, sharp and usable in direct sunlight, and a built-in flash that obviates the need for a standalone unit when venturing out to shoot more discreetly. This camera still isn’t flawless, but it’s far less dogged by the compromises and disappointments that riddled its beautiful, although flawed predecessors. The price may still be premium, but the justification for valuing beauty just became a lot more acceptable.
Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go. — Oscar Wilde
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. — Leonardo da Vinci