November 9, 2020

It all started from the announcement of the Apple Event.

We know a new laptop using ARM CPU is coming. We know about Rosetta 2, the translation environment between X86_64 and ARM. But given my experience with the Surface Pro X, I have doubt on the backward support readiness for both the performance and application compatibility.

One part of me is interested in the new machine, want to be part of the new era, just like the transition from PowerPC to Intel. But I also realize the lack of need for a new machine. I am working more on the Windows platform nowadays.

November 10, 2020

It's not just one but 3 machines are announced using the Apple Silicon! Macbook Air, Macbook Pro 13" and the Mac Mini. A very sensible selection since these are the model that best suit with portability but less about performance. The battery life promise and speed gain sounds amazing.

But how well does it fare in real life usage? Is the Mac Mini still suffering from the wake-from-sleep issue that Jojit is experiencing? Besides, the machine is capped with 16G of RAM and there's a shadow of curse on 1st generation machine.

Discussed about this with my good friends and there are various reason to consider a replacement - recent broke down, aging machine, etc. Money wise, it is not an outrageous spend and it is still cheaper than an iPhone 12 Pro Max. But with the questions above, it doesn't sounds wise to invest.

Another uncertainty is life expectancy, could it survive 7 years by Fred's standard or is it just 5 by my standard? Having said that, my MBP turns 4 this month and I feel it could still serve a number of years.

November 17, 2020

A quiet week is over and Apple is now fulfilling orders. Review and unboxing videos start showing up.

"Shockingly Good!"

"Evolution Leap!"

"Seriously Fast!"

Those are the comment I saw from early reviewers. Benchmark results, compatibility tests are coming out and both suggests that my original worry is not a concern. Native apps are still in scarcity especially on software development ends. Rosetta 2 is needed to fill the gaps but performance is more than adaquate.

Still, I am telling myself it is not the time yet. At least wait for homebrew to come up with a native build, so does Jetbrains on IntelliJ support with both are claimed to be underway.

November 21, 2020

Why do I want the new machine and what is the thing I want to resolve?

Back to the logical self, I am asking myself what is THE thing I want to resolve since the breaking down of my iMac 2009.

It would be the photos in my Aperture library, the music that I collected over the years which matters most. The challenge is how to backup and consume them. I have migrated from Aperture to Apple Photos using my MBP. The problem for now is the need of hooking up the external drive every time. One resolution is using a network drive, it works even better with my recent WiFi upgrade.

Thus, a NAS is indeed what I should invest in and moving the photos over for backup. On the musical side, I have the Pi4 setup as an Airplay receiver so that music can be streamed over from my Apple devices.

November 22, 2020

This article published on Medium drew my attention. It is written by a dad, explaning and sharing the journey of replacing his Intel based Macbook Air with the newest one using Apple Silicon.

Fanless is a factor that fascinated me; the ability to use it on my lap without burning my thigh. The same thing is mentioned by this gentlemen, who will be using it to write, which again is a use case I can borrow! He is also praising the improvement of the keyboard which is another key factor to me for a decent notebook.

Now, the balance is starting to tilt.

November 27, 2020

QNAP TS-251, my current NAS in use, is storing my photos as well as providing an iSCSI lun for my iMac. The iMac is no longer in function and I have yet to mount the iSCSI lun with my MBP in retrieving the stuff I kept over there.

Today, I am accessing my thought in using the NAS as my network mount, and to check out how my MBP is doing. First of all, I visited the website of Globalsan, the company that develops my iSCSI initiator. They suggest user to be aware of the change in Big Sur which in short their product is not compatible. Good that my MBP has yet to upgrade to Big Sur and I should remind myself from doing so, too.

Another thing I am looking up is disk usage. The photo library is consuming about 180G of disk space and my NAS still got plenty of free spaces. Not to mention on the space to be released upon moving the files from the lun as it is in thick provisioning.

I am also reading report from early adopters who are using the Apple Silicon machine for software development. Homebrew an Docker support in Rosetta environment looks usable. Azul has even released a JDK for Apple Silicon, too.

I am seeing traction on the migration ...  

December 2, 2020

I am working from home today, reading on both technical and local news. Checking out what are the native apps available and start to investigate the possibility in using iOS apps.

Reason why is because of Tower. The GIT client which I was using is providing a native apps but I need to pay for the subscription in upgrading to the newest version. What can I do without paying and I start to wonder if I can using Working Copy instead. Not at the moment but they are working on it now. It is indeed a good thing since the use of iOS apps could widen the choices of selection. For instance, Evernote is something I used a lot but I doubt if I will ever see a native version but I could probably use the iOS version.

Watching the imprisonment of Agnes Chow and Joshua Wong makes me wonder if anything could still make a sense now.

December 3, 2020

Today is the day.

Mac Mini vs Macbook Air. Afterall, a notebook is more usuable to me. I don't want to remote desktop to a Mac Mini in getting works done. Also, portability is what I am looking for. But I don't exclude the chance of getting a Mac Mini later. Connectivity with NAS and using it as media station could be the reason for me to get the mini later.

So here I am, basket with a device containing 512G of storage. Partly for the additional of storage but more about the additional GPU core. Maxinig out the RAM since it is not upgradable. Ordering it today since the date for delivering starts to shift past Christmas.

December 8, 2020

Is that a right decision?

Backed the grinder by Goat Story finally and I am asking myself if the spending justify. Given the pandemic, the desire to emigrate, money saving is essential.

So I look at my order again and see if it can be cancelled. I can remove the Apple Care but not the whole order. I leave it for now, let me think again tomorrow.

December 9, 2020

Read my mind.

Received a message from bank about a payment from Apple, which is the charging of the AppleCare. They probably know I am struggling and now it's a point of no return. So this is it, I can only return the whole thing if I really want to (cancel my order).

As a side note, Apple released their own headset today, selling at a premium which is way over the price point of the same league by other player (think Sony WH-1000XM4, Sennheiser Momentum 3). Stock is already running low and people want to be the first adopter.

This is how modern economy and marketing works.

December 11, 2020


Doing my regular check with the Apple Store app in the morning and I've noticed it is now in the state of "Preparing to ship". Does it mean it will ship out soon?

And when I am working in the afternoon, I received the following push message,

"Your order is shipped"

Oh yeah! The machine is on it's way, so I know which day I should be working from home next week. HA!

The release of the M1 CPU has accelerated the application development further in supporting the ARM platform on the desktop arena (the love from the linux community is more on the server end). The development is not only for the Apple Device but benefits the Surface family, too. x64 emulation on Windows is just announced and Adobe is releasing Lightroom for the ARM platform for both Windows and MacOS as well. I love to see the growing of native support.  

December 12, 2020

Pandemic brings a lot of challenges to the supply chain industry - the time it takes to deliver stuff, ensure a steady supply of goods. This is affecting both big and small players and Apple is of no exception.

I am discussing about the HomePod Mini with my friend and upon checking for price and availability, I am surprised to find it out of stock in both Fortress and even the Apple Store. ETA for delivery is mid January!

This reminded me the conversation with Kim on yesterday, about the just announced AirPod Max which is already out of stock and ETA would be 14 weeks!

Are people having so much money to spend, or just because of logistic issue in fulfilling inventory? I have no idea.

December 13, 2020

Given the machine is on it's way, it is time to plan on things to do and applications to install.

Since VS Code has yet to release an official native build. I am looking for alternative. Funny thing is, the timeless editor BBEdit is already ready. I knew it (and use it) since the good old days of Mac OS8. I think I will give it a try while waiting for the release of the official VS Code.

Writing apps are sorted since both Ulysses and Bear are both natively supported.

SSH client is another tool that I used a lot. Termius doesn't seems to be ready as an universal app but iTerm2 is. Maybe this is what I should look into?

1Password is already providing a M1 build, this is nice since I use it a lot.

Probably I will figure out more down the road.

December 14, 2020


Shipping status is updated and it has arrived Hong Kong since last night! Very likely that I shall receive it tomorrow!

Another refresh at 10am, I am shocked in seeing the status showing that the machine is now with the courier!

Ding dong at 11AM and it is delivered to my home. I am literally holding it with me now! I am not yet ready to turn this on, I have it still shrink wrapped with the protective films.

In my lunch break, I have it unwrapped to check what are the peripherals that come along. Turns out it's just the USB-C cable and a small power adapter.

I am still un-prepared to hit the start button ... see my full review soon!