TechnologyTell

A MacBook Air’s journey halfway around the world

Sections: Laptops, MacBook Air, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, Originals

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It’s been entertaining tracking my new MacBook Air’s progress as it made its way halfway around the world via UPS. Its trek began at some unnamed location in China and ended in Nova Scotia, with many stops along the way.

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When I ordered the MacBook just before midnight on Black Friday, the projected delivery date was Tuesday, December 10. However, by Friday morning, it had reached the UPS terminal at Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, about 140 miles from the patch of boonies where I live. I figured it was going to beat the estimated TOA, but I didn’t expect UPS to be knocking on the door at 6:32 Friday evening with the box in hand—more than four days sooner than promised.

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Pretty cool, and the whole Apple delivery process is really amazing when you think about it. I assume Apple does warehouse some hardware stock in North America to supply Apple Stores and authorized resellers, but maybe their supplies are executed the same way only in bulk quantities. Whatever.

The MacBook Air itself is pretty cool, too! At this writing, I’ve got it unboxed but haven’t yet started it up, or even peeled off the protective clear plastic film.

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The packaging, by the way, is really impressive. I haven’t unpacked a new Mac since the iBook I bought way back in 2002. The 17-inch PowerBook and the MacBook that followed were Apple Certified Refurbished units that arrived packed well, but in brown cardboard boxes, not nearly as top-drawer as this new MacBook Air’s packaging, which definitely enhances the unboxing ritual experience.

I’ll still need to migrate my applications, files, and settings over from my stalwart late 2008 model unibody MacBook before I can do any work on the Air, and I prefer to do that without hurrying. I’m not going to clone the MacBook’s hard disk contents, as my old Carbon ported from PowerPC software will be useless on this new machine, which has OS X 10.9 Mavericks loaded up. Mavericks can’t run 10.6 Snow Leopard, which still gets plenty of uptime on my old MacBook, which dual-boots 10.8 Mountain Lion as well. That cord-cutting is something I’ve been dreading for several years now, as there are still some apps in my production suite for which there are no really satisfactory non-Carbon replacements. That said, I’ve run enough in Mountain Lion (I skipped 10.7 Lion altogether), that I’ve settled on workarounds that are usable, albeit not ideal.

Anyway, I’m going to take my time and enjoy the orientation ride, as well as the speed and that 12-hour battery life.

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