Dear Friends,

The cool weather seems to have passed but the rain is still sticking around. I have a strange micro-climate at my house. Because I live on the side of a mountain, my growing season seems to be a few weeks shorter on both ends. While friends are already eating strawberries, mine are green or only have flowers. On the other hand, my arctic kiwis are fruiting for the first time in five years. They produce a grape-sized fruit that is quite good but seems like only once every five years.

Grace flew back from Hawaii on Sunday and after about 20 hours of flying, I convinced her we needed to take a motorcycle ride to find some fresh strawberries. We got caught in a nice big rain storm but got our berries and even though we were soaked, we were laughing and having some fun.

When I read motorcycle magazines, I like the “long-term” bike reports. This is where they report on their impressions of a motorcycle a year or two after they bought it. I thought I would do that for my MacBook Air. It has been about a year since I decided to just have the MacBook Air as my sole computer for work and home. I thought the small hard drive and lack of an optical drive (CD/DVD) would be a big issue, but it has not.

The MacBook Air retains its allure of size and weight. It still gets “ooohs” and “ahhhs” when I pull it out of my bag for meetings. While there have been occasions where the lack of an optical drive was inconvenient, my external optical drive at my office set-up is now gathering dust and serves as a platform for some of my hippo figurines.

At the office, I have the MacBook Air connected to the Apple 24-inch LED Cinema Display. This display has three USB ports and I use them all. One goes directly to my LaCie back-up drive (YOU DO BACK UP, TOO, RIGHT?!), one goes to my Kinesis Advantage Pro ergonomic keyboard and the last one goes to my Targus powered USB hub where I have my optical drive, my scanner and my iPhone cable connected. I use both the MacBook Air display and the LED to organize my work.

When I am on the road I carry another USB hub as well as a Western Digital Passport drive for some added storage. I also carry the USB to ethernet adapter but have only used it once in a hotel that did not have wireless. If I know I am going to be on a very long flight or in an all day meeting, I’ll also pack QuickerTek’s external battery to extend the life of the battery.

With new MacBook Air models out, I’m keeping to my deal with Hapy that I get the newest latest portable and he gets the newest latest Mac Pro. I think that the only significant limitation for me is the size of the solid state drive (SSD), but with a 128GB option now, it’s much better (although it would be nice if the 256GB SSD drive that is available in the MacBook Pro would fit in the MacBook Air). I guess I’ll have to call battery life a limitation as well; I’d like to see a true six hour battery for the Air, too!

My long-term evaluation of the MacBook Air is definitely 4-paws up!

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