Could Be Called 'Revenge Of The Comfortable'
Welp, the Surface Book sat on my desk next to my MacBookAir in it's Henge Dock and didn't get used beyond Monday. I had some rough times with it that made me retreat back into the comfortable arms of macOS.
In our previous post I mentioned some things I had to take a look at. How did that go?
Needed an HTTP client similar to Paw
Ugh -- nothing I found was similar enough and I also encountered something that became a recurring theme -- how much work did I want to do in order to master a skill but using a different tool? The answer was "not much".
That's probably a personal failing but at age 45 I'm not sure how much time I want to spend remapping those hard-fought memory mapped skills. I'm sure you are starting to guess what the final conclusion might be.
Connect To External Monitor And Keyboard
I didn't bother pairing the bluetooth keyboard I'm currently typing on to the Surface Book, but getting the monitor connected was. Multiple hours spent trying to figure out what the problem was. Was it the drivers? Was it my old monitor? What the hell was happening here -- mini display port to HDMI works just fine on my Mac. In the end, it would only work when I used a mini-display-port-to-VGA connector. It's 2016 and I was highly disappointed.
This then prompted another hour of me searching around looking at monitors (hey, a 4K one sounds great) to discover it wouldn't work with my current laptop and might not work correctly with a Surface Book (not all apps scale properly).
Better Hosts File Management
"Just edit it with Notepad" -- said by people that never used Gas Mask
Battery Life Is Weird
One of the reasons I thought the Surface Book would be enticing is I could detach the screen and use it as a tablet. That actually worked okay...but I would run low on battery after about an hour of usage. That is way less than what my ancient iPad 3 gives me.
I don't really use my laptop much unplugged, but a tablet that has really poor battery life isn't that great.
Maybe The Best Change Is No Change
Look, I know people are going to think I'm weak-willed about this. Yes, the Win10 platform has made leaps and bounds. I did find it jarring to use, and I was actually able to do everything I needed to do at my day job with it. Bash on Win10 worked great (except for curl not working correctly). Atom was a more than suitable editor. Firefox works just fine on Win10. I could do most of what I want to do on Win10. But I would have to relearn a bunch of tools. I'm not sure I want to do that.
I have to give back the Surface Book when I get back from a work meeting in Hawaii (yes, sucks to be me) in a few weeks, so the decision is far from over. One review I read said don't get it if you have a newish MBP while another felt that Apple had built a great machine for hackers.
Where does this leave someone with a 4-1/2 year old (that's 45 years in internet time) MacBook Air? Even more confused than before.
I don't need the Touch Bar because my laptop will run in clamshell/lid-closed mode approximately 99% of the time. What I really wanted was a MacBook that has 32 GB of RAM. I can't get that right now. But will there be one available in April? I would be super-pissed if that happened after I bought a 16GB one.
I'm still more indecisive about it than ever.