Should I Give Up My M1 MBAir?


Should I Give Up My M1 MBAir?

And how do I do this?


My seldom used MBAir
Not quite unloved, my MBAir is seldom used. Photo by author

For the past few months I have been thinking about trading in my M1 MBAir. Not for an M2 upgrade, not to switch to a desktop machine, but for cash. Apple would give me $540.00 for it if I commit this morning.

I just hit the button to do that a few seconds before typing this sentence. I’m still not 100% sure that I want to do this, that I should or shouldn’t do it, but I’ve locked in the price for a little bit while I think it over.

I don’t need the money. On the other hand, I don’t seem to need this machine either. We’ve spent many thousands of dollars on home repairs and upgrades this year; that $540 wouldn’t even make a dent in that, but none of it is debt.

Still, interest rates are climbing toward 5%, why not add that money to the pile?

Yes, I know Apple gives me a gift certificate, not cash. But money is fungible: my wife and I will be buying new watches this fall, so using that gift certificate instead of drawing money from savings is exactly equivalent to adding $540 to savings.

Why did I buy this machine?

I bought it because I had a five year old Mac Mini. That ran fine, but I don’t have the desk space I enjoyed before we downsized and moved to a retirement community.

Downsized. I shake my head in wonder when I see houses with less square footage than our retirement home selling for half a million dollars and more, yet here I am complaining about space!

I wasn’t using the Mini much either, but it stored a lot of old files that I want to keep, mostly old posts from various places around the internet. Many of those are twenty to thirty years old and not evergreen, but I want to keep them because, well, because they were a big part of my life, dammit.

I could have transferred those files to media, but I have lost too many things to failed media over the years to trust that. You simply cannot depend on archival storage without keeping multiple copies and refreshing everything regularly.

I also bought the Mini and its forefathers because I write about Apple stuff. I can’t write about something I don’t use, because I don’t write about what Apple says they have for sale, I write about what I own and use, how I use it, how others might, and what I think about it. I don’t report, I opine and/or teach.

Finally, I would like to write apps but I have yet to conquer Xcode.

So I bought the M1. And hardly ever use it.

Why aren’t I using it?

Because I prefer my iPad Pro. It’s more portable.

I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to learn Xcode. I can understand Swift, I understand objects, but the API’s are too much and searching online is hopeless because of outdated information. If I had started with this way back when, fine, but I didn’t and the hill is too damn steep now for my tired old brain. Anyway, who knows? You actually can do some development on iPad and I expect that to get better over time.

And, as it turns out, I don’t write much about Macs and I don’t think it matters. I can live without it.

So how to do this?

Those files. Those posts. What about them?

Well, I have two external USB drives. One is for Time Machine backups. It had a brother that Time Machine alternated with, but it died a month or so ago. The other drive is a recent Carbon Copy Cloner clone.

I also have BackBlaze, a Mac backup that goes to the Cloud.

BackBlaze has several restore options. I can download a zip of my drive(s), store a zip in their B2 cloud for a small monthly charge, or they’ll send me a drive with my data which I can keep for $189 or send back within 30 days. I opted for the cloud option.

Screenshot of Backblaze options by author
Screenshot of BackBlaze options by author

So I’ve started that saving. When it’s done, I’ll also save it and the clone drive to iCloud and Google Drive, maybe even DropBox for safety.

Then I’ll pick through the files and trash what I don’t care about. When I’m done, I’ll almost certainly have room for another copy on my iPad and one on my iPhone.

So I’m doing this?

I think so. Maybe. Probably. I’m more ready now than I ever have been. I might need more time for the B2 upload to finish; if that happens Apple may lower the price, but that’s life.

Thoughts appreciated.


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