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      What I also find frustrating on macOS is the fact you need to download Xcode packages to get basic stuff such as Git. Even though I don’t use it, Xcode is bloating my drive on this machine.

      We iOS developers are also not pleased with the size on disk of an Xcode installation. But you only need the total package if you are using Xcode itself.

      A lighter option is to delete Xcode.app and its related components like ~/Library/Developer, then get its command line tools separately with xcode-select --install. Git is included; iOS simulators are not.

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        I’m always surprised when I see people complain about how much space programs occupy on disk. It has been perhaps a decade since I even knew (off the top of my head) how big my hard drive was, let alone how much space any particular program required. Does it matter for some reason that I don’t understand?

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          Perhaps you don’t, but some of us do fill up our drives if we don’t stay on top of usage. And yes, Xcode is one of the worst offenders, especially if you need to keep more than one version around. (Current versions occupy 18-19GB when installed. It’s common to have at least the latest release and the latest beta around, I personally need to keep a larger back catalogue.)

          Other common storage hogs are VM images and videos.

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          $ df -h / /data
          Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
          /dev/nvme0n1p6  134G  121G  6.0G  96% /
          /dev/sda1       110G   95G  9.9G  91% /data

          I don’t know how large XCode is; a quick internet search reveals it’s about 13GB, someone else mentioned almost 20GB in another comment there. Neither would not fit on my machine unless I delete some other stuff. I’d rather not do that just to install git.

          The MacBook Pro comes with 256GB by default, so my 244GB spread out over two SSDs isn’t that unusually small. You can upgrade it to 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB, which will set you back $200, $400, or $800 so it’s not cheap. You can literally buy an entire laptop for that $400, and quite a nice laptop for that $800.

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            $800 for 2TB is ridiculous. If I had to use a laptop with soldered storage chips as my main machine, I’d rather deal with an external USB-NVMe adapter.

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              I was about to complain about this, but actually check first (for a comment on the internet!) and holy heck prices have come down since I last had to buy an ssd

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            I guess disk usage can be a problem when you have to overpay for storage. On the desktop I built at home my Samsung 970 EVO Plus (2TB NVMe) cost me $250 and the 512GB NVMe for OS partition was $60. My two 2TB HDDs went into a small Synology NAS for bulk/slow storage.

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          It matters because a lot of people’s main machines are laptops, and even at 256 GB (base storage of a macbook pro) and not storing media or anything, you can easily fill that up.

          When I started working I didn’t have that much disposable income, I bought an Air with 128GB, and later “upgraded” with an sd card slot 128gb thing. Having stuff like xcode (but to be honest even stuff like a debug build of certain kinds of rust programs) would take up _so much space. Docker images and stuff are also an issue, but at least I understand that. Lots of dev tools are ginoromous and it’s painful.

          “Just buy a bigger hard drive from the outset” is not really useful advice when you’re sitting there trying to do a thing and don’t want to spend, what, $1500 to resolve this problem

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            I don’t know. Buying laptops for Unix and Windows (gaming) size hasn’t really been an issue since 2010 or so? These days you can buy at least 512GB without make much of a dent in the price. Is Apple that much more expensive?

            (I’ll probably buy a new one this year and would go with at least a 512GB SSD and 1TB HDD.)

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              Apple under-specs their entry level machines to make the base prices look good, and then criminally overcharges for things like memory and storage upgrades.

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              Not to be too dismissive but I literally just talked about what I experienced with my air (that I ended up using up until…2016 or so? But my replacement was still only 256GB that I used up until last year). And loads of people buy the minimum spec thing (I’m lucky enough now to be able to upgrade beyond my needs at this point tho)

              I’m not lying to prove a point. Also not justifying my choices, just saying that people with small SSDs aren’t theoretical

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        Yup, it’s actually what is written on the homebrew website and what I used at first.

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      The trackpads are now too large.

      I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the middle of typing something when the trackpad decides that I really wanted the cursor to be a few lines up from where I just was. It’s a large and infuriating number.

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        Yes, I had to disable Tap to Click functionality so that only real clicks are registered.

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          Tap to Click is disabled by default, right?

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      I bought a 13” M1 MacBook Pro, 1TB SSD/16GB of RAM.

      Compared to my old 16” Intel MBP, it’s a completely different beast. A large difference has nothing to do with the M1 itself, but I do find that 13” fits more with my portability needs than 16”, so I like that just from that perspective.

      The thing is silent. It’s incredible. It’s room temperature if not plugged into an external monitor and barely (almost imperceptibly) warm with the external monitor connected.

      Battery life is crazy. Went and sat outside to work yesterday and had the screen at full brightness, wrote code and listened to music, did a few Zoom calls, and the battery was at 89% after all that and leaving it powered on but asleep in my backpack overnight.

      The only issues thus far:

      • I miss being able to run Intel VMs on my laptop; that’s obviously something I knew wouldn’t work going in and it’s not a huge deal. (Honestly, the latest version of VirtualBox for Mac had been crashing so much that I wasn’t using it all that often anyway, and there were some serious data corruption bugs in VMWare last I looked, so I wasn’t really running as many VMs as I had been.)
      • I’m trying really hard, solely out of a purist standpoint, to avoid installing Rosetta 2. I want to see how long I can go. Most everything I use works fine, but my company’s VPN client (OpenVPN) still needs Rosetta. I’ve gotten around it by having my old laptop around if needed. OpenVPN has said they’re going to release a fully native M1 version in the near future, so we’ll see…
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        I’ve been using the same model as you since December. Rosetta is fine, by the way; I don’t notice any performance difference between Intel and native binaries, just a slight first startup delay if it’s a particularly large one. I was similarly pleased with the 13” in the end, even though I worried it might be too small. My old 15” Intel MBP looks like a massive eyesore next to it, and weighty as heck too.

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        Take a look at Tunnelblick or Viscosity and see if those can meet your OpenVPN needs.

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          Tunnelblick still requires Rosetta for its UI, but I’ll definitely give Viscosity a try, thank you!

          (Again, my opposition to Rosetta isn’t dogmatic or even justifiable. It’s basically a game I’m playing with myself at this point.)

          EDIT: Yep, Viscosity works great, thank you!

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      I’ve been using an M1 for a while now. Screen, battery, and performance are great (but performance is not spectacular, there is still a lot of lag, just a lot less than you’re used to). Would have liked a USB port. Didn’t like the software. There’s no proper package manager (wasn’t very pleased with brew) hotkeys are very weird, no ‘snap to left side of the screen’, safari misses many features (like print selection or changing html), I have to reinstall the printer drivers after each update, and I often get random error messages in the terminal.

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        I have to reinstall the printer drivers after each update

        Something I unfortunately didn’t know until quite recently: most printer/scanner driver packages for Macs are worthless, because macOS already knows how to talk to most printers and scanners. Especially most scanner drivers are bad to install because there are better scanning packages available that just use the OS’ own scanning framework.

        (I wish I had found this out years ago)

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        I have to reinstall the printer drivers after each update

        Are you sure you need printer drivers? I’ve used Macs for 20+ years and various printers, and can’t remember the last time I had to do that (though I remember quite well being annoyed at having to do it on Windows). Are you not connected over USB or three network?

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          Good suggestion, but I really need them to enable ‘manual duplex’ printing.

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        safari misses many features (like print selection or changing html)

        What do you mean Safari can’t change HTML? The developer tools can do that and more.

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          Ah, so it’s an extension, that makes sense!

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        wasn’t very pleased with brew

        Have you given MacPorts a try?

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        and I often get random error messages in the terminal.

        Curious about this one. What kind of error messages?

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          I should have said ‘warning messages’! But what I get a lot is:

          objc[849]: Class AMSupportURLConnectionDelegate is implemented in both /usr/lib/libauthinstall.dylib (0x1fce89160) and /System/Library/PrivateFrameworks/MobileDevice.framework/Versions/A/MobileDevice (0x1166202b8). One of the two will be used. Which one is undefined.
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        no ‘snap to left side of the screen’

        Check out https://rectangleapp.com/

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      My own update:

      I have a ‘personal’ M1 Air and I’ve just started using one for work.

      Battery life

      I’m 6 hours into my working day. I haven’t had a break - and I’ve been solely on battery.

      • I’ve been in Teams calls nearly all of this time - with video on and screen sharing.
      • Using mainly Outlook in Firefox, plus OneNote and Slack apps.
      • Code42 backup has been using 50% of a CPU core in the background (it’s meant to be paused - there’s some bug).
      • There’s also a ton of ‘endpoint security’ software on this laptop as it’s from work.
      • My eyes need a bright screen. I usually run my 2015 15” at full brightness. I’m running this at about 50%, which feels like about the same output to me.

      After this, I’m at 20% battery according to the meter.


      Nearly everything is incredibly snappy-feeling. Teams occasionally has a tiny bit of lag. On my 2015 15” there was a lot more lag.

      Teams is great in many ways but it has some major performance problems. Colleagues on Windows tell me it’s the same.


      The keyboard feels like a cross between the 2015 era and the ones that came after. It’s perfect, IMHO.


      Just as good as the 2015 model - but bigger. I haven’t noticed any issues with picking up the sides of my thumbs as I type.


      There isn’t any. There are no fans! This is one reason I was very keen to get this particular laptop.


      When I plug into my big external monitor, it gets hot. When I don’t, it’s cool - not even warm, even when on Teams calls.


      There are 2 USB-C ports on the left. I have the Apple adapter that has USB-C female, HDMI and USB-A. When at my desk I’ve plugged power, HDMI and a mouse in here (I use this when drawing diagrams or doing a lot of drag+drop). HDMI runs at 60 Hz on my monitor, which is good (my 2015 model only ran it at 30 and I had to use DisplayPort).

      I’ve plugged an ethernet adapter into the other USB-C port. I like to be sure that any connectivity problems aren’t due to wifi interference.

      On the other side there’s a proper headphone port. I like to use Apple wired headphones for calls, and have a few pairs from years of iPhones, so this is perfect.

      Doing tech stuff

      On my personal M1 Air I’ve installed all the various tools I use and they’ve all worked flawlessly so far:

      • XCode (you’d hope this would work!)
      • PyCharm
      • Rider
      • DataGrip
      • yEd
      • VS Code and plugins
      • erlang and Elixir

      Disk space

      I don’t use a huge amount of disk space. Most of my ‘files’ - which are really just archives of stuff I may never need but need to keep around - are in cloud storage and only on my local drive temporarily.

      I also don’t work on projects that eat huge amounts of disk space. 256GB is enough for me here.


      I bought the 8GB, 256GB version for home use and given how good it is in every aspect I care about, it seems like a huge bargain. I’m evaluating my work model (16GB, 512GB) before we roll them out to teams and so far it’s looking like we could save a lot of money and also have much better hardware than we were getting with the Intel models.

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        I also have the power/HDMI/USB-A adapter, plugged into a USB switcher so I can use my mouse, keyboard, and wireless headphones on my MacBook Air or gaming computer. And I get around 250 MiB/s to my external SSD when I use it through the switcher, vs 1 GiB/s plugged in directly, which is tolerable for me.

        I mention this in case it’s useful for anyone else needing more USB ports, and more computers. Many USB switchers are buggy, or don’t support USB 3. Finding a good one took some trial and error.

        I’ve plugged an ethernet adapter into the other USB-C port. I like to be sure that any connectivity problems aren’t due to wifi interference.

        With my TP-Link AX50 I get gigabit speeds to my internal network, and 600 megabit to the internet. Latency is comparable to Ethernet. 802.11ax seriously rules. I do however have direct line of sight to the access point, so YMMV.

        it seems like a huge bargain

        8-core GPU, 16 GB RAM, 1 TB SSD was $1649. Over $1k less than my previous MacBook Pro. 10/10 pricing.

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      Currently waiting on delivery of my Air. I’m just so damned happy that soon I’ll have a laptop that doesn’t burn your lap.

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      Do we really need an update only three months later?

      The article is talking about battery life three months after as if it had been under heavy use for years - I’m not sure there’s a point in making a follow-up so soon?

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        Next follow-up in a year.

    8. 1

      Basic spec M1 Air are starting to sell for £700 (€820) on eBay UK in allegedly new-ish condition