Bicycles and MacBooks

Post at — Aug 14, 2023

Wheeling across the keyboard at the speed of a Space Horse

Space Horse

Recently, I acquired a new 14" M2 MacBook Pro for my business. I haven’t used a MacBook as a daily driver since I left Apple a couple years ago. Instead, I’ve used various Thinkpad’s running BSD’s or Linux as daily drivers.

I forgot how easy it is to be productive on a MacBook. Apple has made incredible strides in taking away the friction of working within a computing context. “A bicycle of the mind.” so to speak in the parlance of Steve Jobs.

Bicycles have been an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. The efficiency of human transportation on a bicycle is unparalleled. Bill Nye beautifully explains this concept in his article here.

For the longest time, I rode cheaper hybrid style bicycles without too much thought. It was just a way to get around and get some exercise. Then my wife and I left Cupertino and moved back to our hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Dayton has paved bicycle paths galore and so we began biking longer and longer distances.

At first we used our older hybrid bikes to go the longer distances and noticed that pain quickly followed in our aging joints. Instead of stopping biking longer distances, we decided to give new bikes a try. So we test rode and purchased two bicycles from local shops:

The newer bikes had a tremendous impact on our ability to ride longer distances. With their upgraded components, the friction involved in pedaling was significantly reduced. This made it much more comfortable to be in the saddle for miles and miles, eliminating most of the pain and discomfort.

Which brings me back around to the MacBook. While I love working in on a BSD based OS on my Thinkpad T480, the little conveniences and well thought out designs on the MacBook that reduce the friction of producing work really add up over time. The keyboard on my M2 is easily the best laptop keyboard I’ve ever used. The trackpad is intuitive to the point I don’t have to think about it. The processor is amazingly fast all the while taking sips of battery power. Seriously, I can use the laptop all day without recharging.

Tied together with macOS (and much of BSD’s userland as soon as you open Terminal), the MacBook makes a very sound working environment for production of nearly anything you can create with a computer (music, video, images, blog posts, software, etc).

Obviously this is my extremely subjective opinion and your milage may vary depending on your computing needs / preferences. I remember being very productive while we lived in Cupertino and I have to think using the Space Horse equivalent of a computer had something to do with it.

Nowadays, I just toss my M2 MacBook into my backpack, hop on the Space Horse, and pedal my way into a producing great things without feeling too much joint pain.