I have to be completely honest, I want an iPad 3 big time. Those that don’t want one feel that way out of principle, not because its in some way not alluring in any sense of the word.
I get it, really I do; as an Apple developer myself I’ve come to loathe their control-freak design standards, their Steve-Martin-as-The-Jerk developer tool that is XCode, the cookie cutter and hugely over-priced approach to computer hardware, and about anything else that makes up the invisible part of Apple that only developer’s have learned to “appreciate”. What us developer’s think and feel about Apple is irrelevant though because these ambivalent practices are what preserves their end-game – ease of use, attractive products they’re always in control of, and efficiency in all things a user does on their devices or computers.
There are a few things I was confronted with as Apple unleashed their newest technological aphrodisiac on the world:
- My laptop sucks and I needed to do something about it.
- That retinal display on the iPad 3 looked kick ass.
- My wife and I are having our first child in T-minus 8 weeks which = expensive little bugger in it’s own right.
iPad 3 was the obvious solution for quandaries number 1 and 2 – of course if money isn’t an issue. The iPad 3 is now right in line with my laptop processing-wise, has an incredible display, and 7 more hours of battery life. I’m not into waiting for technology to be replaced and thus discounted before jumping in – I fancy myself an early adapter which is what makes the fact that I just last year started investing in SSDs (solid state drives) all the more perplexing. Number 3 flat out can’t be ignored – I’d be an asshole if I did and I obviously won’t ignore the monetary implications of a child with regards to my seething need for awesome technology.
Have a MacBook less than 5 years old? Don’t buy an iPad
Some people are just flat out going to buy what’s new – if it weren’t for my kid’s impending arrival I would have as well in the blinding light of their announcement in early March. My intent is to encourage people to look at more cost-friendly and powerful alternatives, namely Solid State Drives (also referred to as SSD or Flash Memory).
SSD’s are superior alternatives to mechanical hard drives that offer holistic improvement to a computer, whether it be laptop, desktop, or server. They don’t have moving parts at all – think of them as really big, awesome USB drives that you just put inside your computer.
- Shockproof – these are a must-have for laptops
- Save and open beefy files much faster
- Blistering read/write access for files and programs
- Utilize programs such as InDesign, PhotoShop, llustrator, Premiere, etc. much more fluidly and without finger-tapping time waste.
- Smaller capacity and more cost/GB, but more efficient energy consumption. You may get 30 minutes more out of your laptop battery with one of these bad boys.
Ghetto-Hamster Wheel Speed Test
You can plainly see from the video though that moving around and doing all the things you do on an iPad – web browsing, check email, view and edit photo albums, access apps, etc. – are done just as well if not better on the 2007-08 MacBook with a high-performance SSD.
$600 (32 GB iPad3 Model) or $160 (128GB SSD for MacBook) – that is the question!
I venture a guess anyone reading this is inquisitive enough to appreciate the numbers and understand them. With the SSD you get everything you need and more in your MacBook and likely add 3-4 years to its lifespan + let’s not forget that typing on the iPad makes me want to hurl said iPad at puppies. A totally avoidable occurrence. A laptop will always have more utility than a tablet like the iPad. One can live without an iPad but how many iPad owners don’t also need a solid laptop at their side? None.
The master marketers at Apple always leave me astonished from a branding perspective but when you have some time to look closer there is always an alternative and the gleam melts off. Apple makes fantastic, solidly built computers that last a long time. My workstation is a tricked out PC, my meeting-with-clients computer is a MacBook so I have appreciation for technology in general.
Buying and Installing an SSD
I have two different solid state drives. A 240 GB Vertex 3 in my workstation (eh its alright, wish I would have gone with Crucial) and a 128GB Crucial m4 in my 2008 MacBook Core 2 Duo 2.2GHz. To get started do the following:
- Plug your SSD into your computer first – via empty port or through a data transfer kit. Update the firmware before you proceed so you know your SSD will be good for a while (in terms of firmware). The Vertex 3′s were notorious for shitty default firmware that caused blue screens, updating the firmware completely resolved the issue.
- Backup up your important files and system image to an external hard drive.
- Shut down your computer.
- For Desktops: you’ll need a 3.5″ adapter bracket – some come with one, some don’t. Just be sure you factor in a 3.5″ adapter when installing an SSD on your desktop. I’ve got 4 drives in my computer, the SSD and three other mechanical 7200 RPM HDD’s. Clearing the primary HDD is very important to the process – be sure that is done before reallocating the operating system to the SSD.
- For Laptops: Back up files as normal. You’ll also want to reformat your hard drive prior to installing the SSD so its completely clear for security reasons. When that’s done power off, remove the primary drive and replace it with your 2.5″ SSD.
- Hook the SSD up, power on the machine, and boot from your operating system disc – this applies for both OSX and Windows operating systems.
- Follow the directions to install your operating system on your new SSD then you’re good to go!
The point of all this
For the love of God use what you have for its duration and make calculated improvements before you start looking at an overly-hyped, expensive piece of technological artwork as a legitimate alternative. Let’s be clear, its not – it’s shiny and sexy, nothing more. SSD’s are a thing of beauty just like the iPad but without all the flashy circus around.