Let’s be really unprecedented and say nice things about OS X twice in a single month. Well, and diss the Air a bit.

26 days uptime

For those who aren’t Unix-command-line-enabled, the graphic above says that the combination of OS X “Leopard” 10.5.1 and an August-2007 MacBook is in at least one instance really fucking solid. And let me tell ya, I work this little sucker hard. The Web browser, its nakedness exposed to the Big Bad Internet, develops severe mental-health issues every few days and has has to be destroyed in order to be saved; other than that we just cruise along.

Those who (like me) have been through many computers over the years will tell you that there are certain hardware/software combos that hit a resonance frequency, work hard and get out of your way and are there when you need them. I cast my mind back and there’s one per decade, more or less: an Eighties NCD X Terminal hooked to a ton of big ol’ Unix boxes; a Toshiba Portegé running Win95 in that decade, and now I think Black Beauty is this decade’s It Computer.

MacBook Air? In its shaky first-ever release? At a time when the product sweet spot, namely the solid-state disk, is

  1. overpriced,

  2. undersized, and

  3. a textbook example of the Product With Moore’s Law On Its Side?

Surely you jest.



Contributions

Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Matt (Jan 17 2008, at 22:06)

You're right, there's good hardware, there's bad hardware, and sometimes you get a piece of equipment that seems to fit your needs and integrate itself in to your being like a Borg implant you wish every computer could be like that.

My October 2007 Lenovo X61 Tablet is that computer for me this decade. I have never been happier with a laptop, and once I figured out which parts of Vista to disable (SuperFetch, that annoying defragger, etc), it "just works", I can even go weeks without a reboot (simply amazing for Windows). The battery lasts forever, it's fast, it's light, it has that fantastic multi-touch tablet screen. It's my dream machine until those Borg implants really do come along.

It just seems too good to be true.

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From: eric (Jan 17 2008, at 22:30)

I'd be curious as to your virtual memory usage after all that time as tiger on my system likes to leak virtual memory.

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From: dietrich (Jan 18 2008, at 00:05)

Which browser is causing this trouble?

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From: leopold (Jan 18 2008, at 00:09)

fale@ubuntu:~$ uptime

10:43:59 up 364 days, 5:30, 15 users, load average: 0.04, 0.13, 0.09

this is my workstation for doing embedded development (cross compiling for arm, arm-linux kernel development and so on)

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From: Wim (Jan 18 2008, at 00:20)

Ah yes, a solid computer is something you don't come by that often. I've had two in my life so far.

A 486DX2 from some German no-name brand, and my currently hard working Thinkpad X31. The first one did eventually catch on fire, so I'm not sure it counts. But it did serve me reliably for a good few years.

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From: Joakim (Jan 18 2008, at 01:47)

I'm on my 42'nd day with Leopard on my new Mac mini :)

Just thinking about installing some updates.. I have a hard time understanding why QuickTime needs to reboot the whole computer.

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From: David Smith (Jan 18 2008, at 06:04)

Don't know if that's exceptional for a Mac - it's pretty good for Windows XP. My memory of the last box where I really stretched uptime (a Sun Enterprise 250 primarily running a big Apache site) that I administered ten years ago) we'd reboot it annually...just to be prudent.

Guess kernel rot happens at differing rates.

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From: Vitaliy (Jan 18 2008, at 06:39)

MacBook Air is awesome.

The mistake that everyone makes is comparing a subnotebook [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subnotebook] to a regular notebook. The very point of the machine is to be ultra portable, while sacrificing power and peripherals to gain that.

There is a whole market for these machines, especially amongst people who are avid travelers. For the subnotebook realm MacBook Air is actually very competitively priced, as it was pointed out by Engadget numerous times. Sony's subnotebooks start $2,100, Toshiba and others are in the same realm.

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From: Eric Meyer (Jan 18 2008, at 06:48)

Yeah, the Air definitely looks like one of those computers that will be completely freakin' sweet about two years after its debut.

Even today I find it tempting, as the combination of size and weight makes it an incredible travel machine. Though there's the part of me that's worried it might snap in half along the shorter axis if bent too far-- like, say, while being crammed under an airplane seat during the landing phase of the flight.

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From: Sam Penrose (Jan 18 2008, at 12:59)

The disk is an implementation detail, not a sweet spot. The sweet spot is of course that the MBA is always connected to the Internet.

Oh, wait.

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From: Bob Aman (Jan 22 2008, at 07:39)

Virtually every Mac I've ever owned or used posts uptime numbers that are very similar. I'm currently at 5 days uptime, but that's only because Software Update needed to reboot the machine.

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author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

January 17, 2008
· Technology (85 fragments)
· · Mac OS X (118 more)

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