A Few Thoughts on the 2016 MacBook Pro Updates

October 31, 2016

The recent announcement from Apple about their new computers was disappointing to me. I’m always trying to figure out how to get the best bang for my Apple buck, and I so I put together this chart. A few observations:

The response has been unlike anything I’ve seen, and almost entirely negative. (Here’s the best roundup I’ve found.) Basically, Apple took an incredibly long time to release computers that are much more expensive and whose actual processing power is underwhelming. If you’re looking to save money on a Mac, you should buy

  • refurbished/used/old models,
  • an iPad or
  • a MacBook Air

Apple’s trackpads are still way ahead of the pack, and this update only increases that lead. The screens on those new MacBook Pros are also supposed to be fantastic. I don’t get too fussy about keyboards, so long as it’s not too cramped. The Touchbar might be useful in some instances, but it seems mostly gimmicky. I think Touch ID on a laptop is a no-brainer, though.

Hard Drive Space

I’ve assumed for years that 512GB of hard drive space is the minimum necessary for a “serious” computer user. But Apple makes you pay through the nose for that extra hard drive space, and they have finally pushed me to accept the fact that the future entails storing my cat pictures in the cloud and not on my computer. Here’s a helpful article on that front (spoiler: Apple makes you pay through the nose for that, too). I’ve never liked recommending that someone put some things into the cloud because of how difficult it is to use and understand. Where did my photos go? How do I edit those photos? How do I get them back onto my computer so that I can put them into a slideshow? And so on. Still, unless you want to pay a premium, it seems that’s the way forward.

An iPad as a Laptop Replacement

I’ve never thought seriously about buying an iPad as a laptop replacement, and this lineup has me thinking seriously about doing that. The problem is, unlike Microsoft, Apple doesn’t let me run my desktop apps on it’s top of the line tablet. More to the point, it doesn’t let me use a mouse and pointer. There are just too many instances when I need a mouse and pointer for that to be a real option. It has me thinking that maybe Microsoft made the right choice in that regard. For my wife, though? If she needed an actual computer, I’d buy her an iPad Pro with a good wireless keyboard.

Worth Switching?

Eh… probably not.

permalink: http://beggarsborn.com/thoughts-on-macbook-pro-updates/

Updates About My Parents

October 17, 2016

10/18/16 - 6:19am EST:

I just received word from my mother that Papa Mbokolo was found alive this morning. Thanks be to God. The funeral for Papa Pierre will be held today. Please keep the family in your prayers.

10/17/16 - 6:45pm EST:

I was able to talk with both my mom and my dad just a few minutes ago. My parents employ 3 guards every night: Papa Pierre, Papa Bokolo and Papa Noel. Papa Pierre has served my family for many years - he knew my grandparents very well. I’m very sorry to report that he passed away in the hospital due to multiple gunshot wounds (may he rest in peace). Papa Noel was able to escape from the thugs, and he was the man who alerted the neighbors so effectively to come and help. Papa Bokolo is still missing. My father told me that crime in the city of Mbandaka where they live has increased greatly in recent months. It sounds like this attack was just a bunch of thugs. There were 5 or 6 of them, and they were armed with AK-47s. There are now 6-8 Congolese police officers patrolling the property. My mother is at home with all the doors and windows locked. My father is there, also, but he may have further work to do tonight talking with family members and searching for Papa Bokolo. Please pray

  • that Papa Bokolo would be found alive
  • for the family of Papa Pierre
  • for comfort and safety for my parents

10/17/16 - 3:26pm EST:

My mom just called back, and we spoke on the phone for about 10 minutes. It’s five hours ahead where they are, so it’s early evening for my parents and has been dark for probably around 2 hours. My parents employ three different guards. One of them came up to the house and informed my dad that there was a large group of people moving through part of their property. My dad asked the guards to go find out more information about what they were doing and why. My mom didn’t know the details, but, eventually they heard shots, and one of the guards was wounded very badly.

My father went out to help the man who had been shot. I don’t know the timeline exactly, but the first, short call I received from my mom came when someone was trying very hard to get into the house. The attempt failed, and it seems that the attackers have gone away.

Meanwhile, my dad is taking the wounded man to the hospital. It’s about 30 minutes away, and the roads are terrible. My mom is locked in her house and in her room, and the neighbors are there. As you can imagine, though, my mom is scared. Please continue to pray for her safety, for my father’s safety, and for the man who was wounded.

10/17/16 - 2:56pm EST:

Many of you know that my parents returned to the DR Congo not long ago. I just received a distressing call from my mom in which she stated that they are experiencing fighting in their area, and that they have locked themselves in their home. The call lasted for less than a minute, so that’s all the information I have.

Would you please pray for their safety? I’ll post updates as I hear about them.

permalink: http://beggarsborn.com/updates-about-my-parents/

As for a rogue, his weapons are evil (external link)

September 06, 2016

Here’s something I wrote recently.

permalink: http://beggarsborn.com/as-for-a-rogue-his-weapons-are-evil/

The Greatest Destroyer of Peace is Abortion (external link)

August 08, 2016

permalink: http://beggarsborn.com/greatest-destroyer-of-peace/

Schools and the State

August 07, 2016

The church long remained one of the regime’s most vociferous critics. The bishops enjoyed the backing of an international network and they also ran the schools. States usually have two means for molding their citizens: the schools and the media. Mobutu had only the media. Congo: The Epic History of a People, by David Van Reybrouck

permalink: http://beggarsborn.com/congo-schools-state/