My current MacBook Pro with my current manuscript

What is good technology — 10 years of Mac

As the saying goes, you need the right tool for the job. For the past 10 years, my computer of choice has been the MacBook Pro. I bought my first one, a 15-inch early 2011, in March 2012. When that started conking out in 2016, I got a 13-inch 2015 model. My current MacBook Pro, the last of the Intel 16-inch models, I bought in 2020. That’s about four years a computer, which isn’t bad and certainly better than Windows laptops I’ve had that fell apart after two years.

There have been certain constants over the past 10 years.

First, regular OS upgrades. I started with OS X Lion, and I’m now on macOS Monterey. I get new updates every year like clockwork, along with service packs and bug fixes. All for free, and I can install them when I’m ready. With Windows, I never know when upgrades are supposed to arrive. When they do, it’s “Stop everything and install this right now, or we’ll install it and reboot anyway.” And Windows 11. When are we supposed to install it? How do we install it? Can we install it? What does it do besides put the Start menu in the center?

Next, how all the pieces of the Apple environment work together. My Mac works with my iPhone that works with my Apple Watch. I add something to my calendar, and it appears automatically on my other devices. I take a photo on my iPhone, and it shows up on my Mac. I get a message, and it dings on my iPhone and Mac and vibrates on my Apple Watch. And I don’t have to configure anything to make this work. My wife recently got a FitBit. She has to open a separate app to manage her watch and a separate Tile app to find her watch if she misplaced it. No such problem with my Apple devices.

Finally, it makes me a better writer. Yes, I’m serious. Of course, there is great writing software for the Mac, including Scrivener and ProWritingAid. I’ve been able to find software for all my needs, including Quicken, TurboTax, and Microsoft Office. But there are features of the hardware itself that make it easier for me to write.

First is the keyboard. Had I gotten one with the Butterfly keyboard, I would have felt differently. But the keyboards of all my Mac laptops have been comfortable and enabled me to type for long periods of time. The trackpads have always been responsive, intuitive, and didn’t make errants clicks when I rested my wrists on them. (I can’t say the same for Windows laptops I’ve used.) The 16-inch screen of my current model has been a pleasure. It’s clear, easy to read, and gives me plenty of space. I won’t go back to a smaller screen again. And being thin and light does matter. I played with the new 16-inch MacBook Pro with the restored HDMI, SD card, and MagSafe ports, and I could feel the extra thickness. I can live with a dongle to have that additional comfort.

When a computer is comfortable, reliable, and unintrusive, you can focus on your writing. The tool melts away and you can connect with your words. You can devote years to writing a book without worrying if the computer will crash and take your work with it. (Setting up automated backups is easy on a Mac too.) It’s no coincidence that my biggest successes in book writing—Mastering Table TopicsAmiga, and The Remainders—were completed or written in their entirety on a Mac. As I’ve long said, good technology is useful technology. Apple products have been useful to me for years.

I suppose some day I will have to replace my current 16-inch MacBook Pro. When I do, it will be with another MacBook Pro. By then, Apple should be up to the M7 Pro Max Ultra chip with macOS San Rafael, and maybe they’ll figure out how to create a great web cam and Face ID without a notch. Anyway, here’s hoping I enjoy many more years with a Mac.