Clearing the Air

So apparently my MacBook Air review has hit both sides of the spectrum. There are those that think it's one of the most balanced reviews yet, and those that think I'm a fanboy. Nick Farrell's own definition of fanboy (posted in a comment on this blog) is "someone who disengages brain whenever they look at a product. Apple is largely dependant on peddling products to such types who refuse to see that the outfit c

So apparently my MacBook Air review has hit both sides of the spectrum. There are those that think it's one of the most balanced reviews yet, and those that think I'm a fanboy.

Nick Farrell's own definition of fanboy (posted in a comment on this blog) is "someone who disengages brain whenever they look at a product. Apple is largely dependant on peddling products to such types who refuse to see that the outfit can do any wrong." If that were the case, why would I write the sidebar on the migration issues at all? Why would I include the negative comments on the Air in the review, and score it below "Excellent"? I suppose that's berating the obvious, however. The fanboy sentiment cuts both ways though -- there are people like Nick that view everything from a particular company in a negative light, regardless of facts or merit.

These accusations come with the territory -- if you give a product a positive review, you're a shill for that product. If you review it negatively, you're a shill for the competitor. If this were actually the case, I'd be a rich man indeed.

I do think that Mac OS X is superior to other operating systems for a variety of reasons, from usability to security, and so on, but my main workstation runs Fedora Core 8, and my servers run FreeBSD or Linux. Most of my laptops are Macs because they give me a very functional native UNIX-based environment in a portable package, never crash, instantly wake up from suspend, and perform very well under load. I view time taken dealing with OS issues, viruses, malware, drivers, and so forth as time wasted, and I have precious little time to waste these days. The day that changes is the day I move to something better -- but there isn't anything better right now. That's why I run Mac laptops along with a few Dells running Linux.

I've seen some forums discussing the review, complete with folks running the numbers on the 50GB file transfer, claiming that I was getting only a few MB a second during the transfer. I was getting 10-11.5MB/s during actual file transfer (as I mentioned in the review), with the remaining time taken up with the other requirements of migration such as configuring user accounts, replicating settings, and whatever else is necessary to completely (and successfully) migrate one system's state to another. Raw transfer time was probably closer to three hours, and I'd transferred nearly 60GB of data when it was all said and done. I also find it odd that of everything I wrote, this sidebar has become the hotpoint. It's specifically about the migration assistant, which is a tool that I've found to be incredibly handy and a significant timesaver, but one that not everyone uses. In fact, it's only tangentially related to the Air. I do really wish that Apple had coded it to let you pick specific folders to transfer as part of transferring a user, but the thirty seconds it took me to do that manually was hardly a cause for concern.

The whole point of the review, sidebar, and my additional comments was to point out what the MacBook Air is, not what others seem to think it should be. Much like a comparison between a Ford F-250 and a BMW Z4 is relatively worthless, reviewing the Air in comparison to even a MacBook Pro is worthless -- they're two completely different products for different needs and markets. That's the whole idea.

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If you want to view the Air as just another laptop, that's fine -- you're just missing the point.
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