Reviewing the Tom Bihn Cadet Bag for MacBook Air

When I recently tripped in Times Square and nearly fell flat on my face, the one thing that saved me from a smashed pelvis was the Tom Bihn Cadet bag I use every day to protect my 11-Inch MacBook Air.  My iPhone and computer and teaching materials were in my Tom Bihn bag and, even though I fell, full-force on that bag, nothing was damaged except my ego and a few scrapes and bruises won on the way down.

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Consuming the Adobe Creative Cloud

I  have been using Adobe products for over 20 years.  For many years, I was on the yearly upgrade cycle and, even as a previous purchaser, the upgrade fees for the Adobe creative suites easily cost over $600-800 USD per year.  That was quite a hit for a young author and designer fresh out of graduate school, but if you wanted to play with the big boys, you needed big boy toys, and Adobe is, and has always been, the web and authoring standard.

Over the last few years, with the churn in the business from a purchase model to a renting model at Adobe, I’ve patiently waited on the sidelines with my hardbox copy of the Adobe CS4 still in everyday use — about three generations behind the leading curve — and CS4 has served me well.  The new Adobe “upgrades” have seemed incremental and confused, and I was happy to keep skating along with Photoshop and Dreamweaver CS4 until two things happened.

First, I purchased a new MacBook Air that had plenty of room to install a ton of new software and, second, Adobe announced the end of boxed editions and were going rogue and “online subscription only” from here on out using a monthly and yearly for-pay model.  Two days ago, I signed up for the new “Adobe Creative Cloud” and I am totally thrilled with the decision.

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The Boles Blogs Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Mid 2013 Review

Yesterday, I took delivery of a brand-new Apple MacBook Air 13-inch computer.  I decided to leap on this upgrade for several reasons.  First, I love my Apple MacBook Air 11-inch model and it has been my main machine for 18 months, but it was starting to show its technical age.  The SSD drive was only 256GB and memory, at 4GB, was in short supply when it came to the work day.  Google Play Music live streaming would stutter and go bump in the night.   I am now back to true multi-tasking with this spec’d out machine.  My 11-inch MacBook Air was suffering from a lack of space and mind.  You can see part of my Apple family below.  The 13-in MacBook Air is in the center, my old, non-retina, iPad is my clock on the left, the 11-inch MacBook Air is nearby for comparison, and my beloved Thunderbolt display is on the right.

Continue reading → The Boles Blogs Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Mid 2013 Review

The Tom Bihn Ristretto Bag Review for My 11-inch MacBook Air

I am a big bag lover.  I am constantly on the move to find the perfect bag for every moment.  It’s rare that you can find a single bag that can unite your days.  It’s more likely you’ll have to use a purpose-drive purse — I mean “Man Bag!” — to help sort and protect your day.

I always wanted to try a Tom Bihn bag made by hand in Seattle.  I have always liked the whole mission and purpose of the company —

At TOM BIHN, we design and manufacture sophisticated laptop bags and cases, laptop backpacks, messenger bags, briefcases, travel bags, checkpoint-friendly bags and accessories in our own Seattle factory. We offer eye-catching designs and unusually attentive customer service. We use the best quality materials, superior construction and Tom’s 30+ years of design experience to build a better laptop bag. Our bags are available for order through this Web site with worldwide shipping or at our Seattle retail store.

— and when my new MacBook Air 11-inch showed up needing some protection, I knew the time was right to sidle up and settle down $120.00USD to the West Coast for a Bihn bag especially made and designed for my tiny beauty.

I present to you the Tom Bihn Ristretto for the 11-inch MacBook Air:

Continue reading → The Tom Bihn Ristretto Bag Review for My 11-inch MacBook Air

The 27-Inch Apple Thunderbolt Display Review

If you do a lot of work on the web, having a large display can really help you get a lot of work done in a faster fashion.  More screen space means more multi-tasking.  More multi-tasking means you get more work done for the dollar hour than you can when restricted to a single workspace.

Even though my 24″ Apple Cinema Display died after two years — it has now been fixed by Apple under AppleCare warranty — I wasn’t completely shorn off the Apple tree.  In fact, I rather loved the new “Thunderbolt” technology that was invented to give faster communication between computers and devices.

When I decided to get a new 11-inch MacBook Air with Thunderbolt technology, I knew I had to also go for the 27-inch Thunderbolt Display to round out the new experience.

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The Dual-Core 1.8GHz Intel i7 Core and 256GB Flash Apple MacBook Air 11-Inch Review

The month of October 2011 has been a monster when it comes to dealing with Apple.  My 24″ Cinema Display died.  Two iPhone 4s beauties arrived.  I have a new 27-inch Thunderbolt Display in tow and a sweet, 11-inch, MacBook Air in hand along with all sorts of other extra accessories like the Magic Trackpad, SuperDrive for MacBook Air and an Apple Bluetooth keyboard.  I feel as if I’ve been living in the online Apple Store and the 14th Street Apple Store in Manhattan has become my third home.

I wanted a MacBook Air since they first appeared a couple of years ago.  I like my notebook machines to play a role as my sole computer and the MacBook Airs — until now — have always been underwhelming and underpowered.  Sure, they looked great, but they were slow and more novelty than serious workhorse.

That all changed when Apple allowed some pretty keen built-to-order specs for the tiny, 11-inch, MacBook Air — like upgrading to a dual-core 1.8 GHz Intel i7 Core and a 256GB Flash drive — I bit on those upgrades and in exactly seven days I had a new MacBook Air straight from China.  Apple now uses FedEx Home for deliveries — and I hate it — the good old days of only two years ago had all accessories and computers from China shipped via FedEx for 10:30am delivery.

The first thing that strikes you about the MacBook Air is that it really is tiny and thin and knife-life.  Love it.  I knew I wanted to go small.  I wanted the 11-inch display instead of the 13-in display and I do not for a moment regret getting the tinier screen.

Continue reading → The Dual-Core 1.8GHz Intel i7 Core and 256GB Flash Apple MacBook Air 11-Inch Review