Upgrading to OS X 10.8 and a new MacBook Air

Yesterday I unboxed my new MacBook Air 13″ (full-spec) laptop. I used a USB3 disk to backup via Time Machine the old laptop (which maxed out at USB2), and then did a restore using USB3 last night and today it seems that the laptop is ready to use. This is my first experience with OS X 10.8.2 as well – I was previously on 10.7.5. What did I have to change?

  1. I had to re-login to Dropbox, but at least it didn’t have to perform a full sync (there was some data exchanged, but it wasn’t the entire Dropbox folder).
  2. I had to re-login to Google Drive. This required a full sync as the old folder was not recognised as an original.
  3. I had to make sure settings for iCloud were sane again (as there was a popup).
  4. I was asked to re-download MsgFiler and login to the App Store.
  5. I had to change the caps lock key to become a control key manually again.
  6. The Mail.app version changed and it has to reimport/reindex messages again (this takes some 1 hour 15 minutes on my machine with 33GB of mail).
  7. The F4 key for some absurdity goes to an application called Launchpad (that makes it look like an iOS device). I used to have Dashboard on F4 and I much prefer that. It seems the only way without a third party app like Functionflip is to press Fn+F4 to get my Dashboard. I think this is rather silly of Apple – changing muscle memory is difficult.
  8. My scroll continued to work from the old settings (I’m no fan of a natural scroll).
  9. Time Machine allows you to “inherit backup history”, thus using the same drive that brought you over to be the new backup drive.
  10. There now exists a Notification Centre. A little odd thinking that iOS styled notifications have made it here. Do I still need Growl which constantly reminds me that there is a (paid) update waiting?
  11. Seems the screensaver and the lock after it has been enabled needs to be re-enabled.
  12. CrashPlan would not work as you need Java SE 6 so you’d have to install it – seems odd that Apple decided to drop this rather significant piece of software. Then again, considering who drives ownership, and the recent security scares…
  13. sudo tmutil disablelocal – the local backups were enabled again, and I only want Time Machine to have backups to an external disk.
  14. I couldn’t print as there needed to be new printer drivers. Many apps had to be updated in the App Store. Gasp.
  15. Turn off most notifications with Notification Centre. I really don’t want to be “beeped” when mail comes in.

Initial impressions of the laptop? The machine is fast. It has a lot to do with the SSD disk, as well as the 4-core i7 processor. Out of the box, the battery capacity is meant to be 6700 mAh, though I’m getting 6669 mAh. Battery life is one of the strongest reasons why I picked up a 13″ over a 11″ – I just didn’t want to have to deal with flaky batteries a few years down the road… 7 hours brought down to say 5 is manageable, but 5 hours brought down to say 3 is annoying.

Another reason is resolution. Using a 15″ MacBook Pro to a 13″ MacBook Air has no change in resolution for me either – its all 1440×900. It seems 512MB of virtual RAM is reserved for the Intel graphics card (so I guess this Air won’t suffer the same fate as the first ever MacBook Air which was dog slow in terms of graphics).

Its good to note that the Thunderbolt port is also MiniDisplay compatible – all my old cables work. The only catch is that it is no longer on the left side of the laptop but the right side.

Related posts:

  1. MacBook::Impressions
  2. Time Machine best backup option on Leopard?
  3. Software suspend rocks (MacBook Pro notes)
  4. Upgrade to Snow Leopard
  5. Secure travelling with ipfw on OS X?

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