Saturday, March 10, 2018

SSD on Macbook Air and El Capitan

At work, I was given a 2011 13” Macbook Air with 4GB ram and 256GB storage space. This isn’t my main work machine, but one that I can carry around much more easily when I’m on call. Setting this machine up has been a lot of fun because I’ve had my main work machine since 2010 and there’s been all this extra stuff installed on it. Installation of things is a whole lot simpler than before. There’s brew. There’s virtualbox/vagrant for running other stuff.

But even then, 256GB doesn’t go a very long way. So I’ve upgrade the box with 1TB ssd. The speed has been pretty amazing. The ONLY thing left to gripe about is that I can’t upgrade the ram. It’s been soldered in. Yes, it does save space and reduces heat, but it still sucks that I can’t upgrade.

I also use this machine around the house and as an air display target.


We are fortunate to have a good size house around 2200 square feet with 2 stories. One of the bad things about having a larger house is that wifi always sucks somewhere. I've gone from several iterations 802.11g, n, ac and even ethernet over power lines and bridges. Nothing gives me the feel of anything close to a wired network cable. So my main servers are always close to the router. My main workstation is upstairs. And I've invested in many of the same devices upstairs as downstairs because downstairs was always far away.

Recently, I've decided to look into wifi systems again. I've heard good things about Eero, Google Wifi, and Netgear Orbi. Looking through the website reviews, I see that the general consensus is that Netgear is the best choice even though it technically isn't a mesh network. The Orbi has the highest throughput speeds and the main drawback is the price. It is on the expensive side, but I decided to give it a try. I ordered from Amazon and it got here in two days thanks to prime shipping.

I quickly installed the device and it really was as easy as the reviewers said. There are two pieces of equipment, the router and the satellite. The router can be turned into an access point. After setting up the router, adding the satellite is as simple as setting up an Echo or any other hardware that uses wifi.

And let me say that all the problems I used to have with wifi are now all gone. I used to get okay connectivity with slower than expected speeds. With the mesh, everything just works, and SO much faster. It is well worth the price. For some people, I get that this expensive wifi doesn’t offer much more than just extra speed. But if you need that speed, there’s currently nothing better.