road-testing-macbook-air-day-two

Written on November 14 2016 at 17:06 and updated on May 03 2011 at 15:02

Day Two

I didn’t get into any development until the afternoon, when I plugged the Air into Jason’s Cinema Display and started working on Vestible with Tom Stuart.

The first thing I noticed when plugging in the external display is the difference in pixel size makes windows appear to bloat when they are dragged from the Air’s display to the external screen. It’s disconcerting, but regardless the laptop seems quite happy driving the gigantic display.

Some of my TextMate bundles and customisations are missing; that’s annoying, but it’s not the Air’s fault. I try to forgive it.

Tom and I compare speed runs of the test suite for #blue. This is a reasonably comprehensive suite spanning unit tests to cucumber features to javascript tests running in the browser, so is probably a reasonable exercising of the machine. Tom’s 13” MacBook Pro (with SSD) runs the suite in three minutes twenty; the Air clocks in at just under four minutes.

We’re both slightly relieved that Tom’s machine is faster, but slightly surprised by how small the difference in timings is. When I try to run the suite on my 15” MacBook Pro, Johnson decides in a fit of pique to segfault (clearly it is feeling betrayed), but I estimate the suite would’ve run in about two minutes forty. So the question is: does the portability offset that eighty-second drop in test suite duration?

Perhaps just knowing that this disparity exists has planted the seed of doubt, but I now feel that to properly evaluate this machine I’m going to need to switch between the two whilst working on the same project, and even working on the same story. If I don’t try to eliminate the variables, any judgement about using the Air is going to be subjective at best, and I can still feel the sheer charm of the form factor radiating into the room.