As I mentioned last week, I've purchased an 11-inch MacBook Air. I've got a soft spot for great tech that was superseded and I've been using the MacBook Air (dubbed The Flash as all my devices are named for members or parts of the DC universe) over the weekend and today. While it's a decent computer, even though it's a few years old, it was never made to be a primary workhorse. And that means making a few sacrifices in what I install on it. Here's my minimal set up.
The 11-inch MacBook Air I picked up for $400 via Facebook Marketplace came with an old version of OS X. Upgrading to the latest version of Mac OS required a two-step process. First, I needed to upgrade from OS X 10.7 (Lion) to a version of OS X or macOS that is later than OS X 10.8 and then move up to macOS 10.13.
Once that two-step process was done, I had to make some decisions about what I'd install. The easy stuff to forego was OneDrive and a local copy of Microsoft Office. I can use the cloud-based versions when I need those. That helps me save a nice chunk of the serviceable, but limited, 128GB SSD.
As this device is complementary to my main, desktop system, the only apps I really need are
- Feedly - for keeping up with all the newsfeeds I check on throughout the day
- Evernote - it's the app I use for most of my interview recording, writing and research
- Pixelmator - a great alternative, and far less expensive, to Photoshop for image creation and editing
- Slack and Hipchat - for keeping in touch with various clients and peer groups
Other than those programs, I've not installed anything else yet. I'm not loading photos into Apple's app and, while I prefer a third party calendar program over Apple's iCal, I can live with the default app, particularly as it now supports flipping between multiple time zones (you'll need to activate the "Turn on time zone support" option under "Advanced" in the Calendar app's settings). I'll probably need to install Chrome and Firefox at some point as there are some "interesting" bugs in the online systems for a couple of clients that don't play nicely with Safari.
All that has left me with a little over 90GB of free space from the 128GB SSD.
What's the smallest set of apps you need to be productive? If you use a second computer when you travel, what are your must have apps?