MacBook Air and WWDC

Here’s one more post on my new MacBook Air and other Apple-related thoughts.

When the old MacBook went south, I was initially considering dropping macOS entirely, just getting a new Windows laptop, and simplifying my life a bit. I opted not to do that for a few reasons, including my realization of how hard it would be to switch away from macOS without a working macOS computer. I would have wanted to copy some files from the old MacBook to my Windows machine. I had an external Time Machine backup, and an SSD in the old MacBook that might or might not have been damaged. The external drive was probably formatted with HFS+, while the internal drive would have been APFS, encrypted.

There are Windows tools that let you read HFS+ drives, like Paragon’s HFS+ for Windows and Mediafour’s MacDrive. Both of those tools are adding APFS support, but it looks like they’re both in preview/beta right now. And it looks like neither would be able to read a FileVault encrypted drive. As for Time Machine, Paragon doesn’t support it, but MacDrive says it does. So, overall, I think that getting files off the Time Machine backup and/or the internal SSD might have been a little dicey, if it was even possible.

And if I was giving up on macOS, I’d really need to give up on Day One, since there’s no Windows client for that, and it wouldn’t be worth it to me if I could only use it on iOS. If I did that, I’d want to migrate my old journal entries into Evernote, but it would be hard to do that without a Mac.

Likewise, migrating my contacts and calendar data to a new solution without a Mac would probably have been possible but annoying. So I guess the lesson here is that, if I decide to give up on macOS, I should do it while I have a working Mac and not when I don’t.

On a related topic, WWDC is next week. A number of people have chided me for buying a new MacBook Air when there’s probably new hardware announcements coming at WWDC. My response has generally been that (1) I’m not sure that’s true, (2) even if there is new hardware, it probably won’t be available until fall, and I can’t wait that long, and (3) given the direction Apple has been going in, I’m probably better off with the older MacBook Air than any newer hardware.

This article from Ars Technica indicates that there probably won’t be any big MacBook-related hardware announcements next week. And this article from The Verge questions whether or not Apple might address their MacBook keyboard issues at WWDC. (Answer: probably not.) So I think I’m still better off with this old-style MacBook Air, with it’s familiar and usable keyboard, it’s two USB ports, one SDXC port, and good old MagSafe power connector. (And a Thunderbolt 2 port, but I probably won’t have much use for that.)

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