Day of M1

At the end of December, 2020, my Mac desktop configuration transitioned from a 2013 27″ iMac to a new M1 MacBook Air.

The desktop configuration consists of:

  1. The new M1 MacBook Air
  2. Monitor – LG 27UL600-W 4K
  3. Twelve South BookArc for MacBook
  4. OWC Thunderbolt 3 14 Port Dock
  5. Western Digital 5 TB External USB Drive
  6. Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard for Business
  7. Apple Magic Trackpad2

I am about to reach the one month mark. All is well. In fact, all is better than well. One benefit that I did not consider was the ability to install and run IOS applications. There were several iPad application that I had wished I could run on my Mac. Now I can.

Most IOS apps are unique with no native Mac app equivalent. A few have a Mac app version, but the iPad version is superior.  One such app is WeatherBug.

Now, I can unplug one USB-C cable and take my “desktop” with me.

ARM’ed And Dangerous

Well, Apple did it again.

In 2013, Apple upgraded the MacOS to Mountain Lion MacOS 10.8). At the time, I was using the original Mac Pro from 2006.

To my chagrin,  I found that the new OS required a 64-bit Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) module. The Mac Pro 2006 supported 64-bit instructions, but, for some reason, sported a 32-bit EFI. Go figure.

So, I retired my Mac Pro; replacing it with a new 2013 27″ iMac.  But the replacement came after an extended struggle wherein I added hardware and performed customizations that allowed MacOS Mavericks to debut on my Mac Pro. I was happy at the moment, but this happiness dissipated when I had to contend with maintaining compatibility with OS updates. I surrendered to the inevitable and purchased the iMac. Now I could run the latest MacOS and the reduced power draw lowered my monthly utility bill by $50. Problem solved…until now.

In the fall of 2020, here comes MacOS Big Sur with a bevy of new features… and a bevy of older Macs that fell off the support table, including my 2013 iMac.

I toyed for a while with the “customization” that would allow the installation of Big Sur on an unsupported Mac. I even downloaded the tools and made an attempt, but could never get this or that to download. In addition, the “customization” would have to be re-applied every time Big Sur pushed out an update. I did not want the hastle.

Apple taketh away, but also giveth in the form of the new ARM-based Macs introduced at the end of 2020. I chose the get a new MacBook Air with upgrade to 16 GB RAM and a 1 TB SSD. I traded in my 2018 MacBook Air to cover the costs of the upgrades.  I did not like the 2018 MacBook Air, too noisy and too little power to do much more than surf the web and read email.

Now, I am ARM’ed And Dangerous. I am using the M1 MacBook Air both as my desktop and laptop. The iMac is still hanging in there due to lack of support by the M1 for OS virtualization; Parallels, VMWare, VirtualBox, etc. I require the support for work-related operations. I am hoping the virtualization comes to the ARM-based Macs. At present, I use the iMac via Screen Sharing to run virtual OS sessions.

A new era has started.