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Thinking about Lightweight | DesignNotes by Michael Surtees

Thinking about Lightweight

typing away from home

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be lightweight. I’ve also been considering how I can challenge my own assumptions, not just through statistical data or hunches but through a third combination that is a healthy balance of the two. Part of this reflection is because I’ve moved where I sit down with my MacBook Pro—actually I’ve changed my MacBook Pro along with where I plug it in. I’m leaving Behavior for something that has been ten years in the making. I still have a couple weeks left working on my dream project but that phase is wrapping up. I’m now working 24/7 at Gesture Theory. I’ll talk more about that in a week or so… I’ve also evolved where I do my thinking at home. I gave myself a better place to sit and to stare out the window when I feel like it. While this post isn’t about talking about that move, it has me thinking about what is lightweight. This time last year, if someone had asked me if I would be willing to give up my MacBook Pro for an Air, I would have laughed at them. Yet today as I stare out the window watching the snow as I’m typing away on my awesome MacBook Air. The thing is faster than anything I’ve ever used. Programs open instantly. The number of things that I can do in less than a minute is kind of obscene. With the MacBook Pro that I use (less than a year old), it takes longer to open one program than it does for me to check my RSS feeds, tweets and email.

Now that things are set I have the luxury of looking back at the process that got me to here. While I could make something happen with bad hardware, using my Air is an easy reminder to me that something powerful doesn’t have to be heavy nor what people consider what is standard. While carrying around my Air, iPad and GF1 in a blizzard looking for office space I became observant of something that I never felt that I had to worry about my MacBook Pro. With a simple slip I could easily crush a couple thousand dollars worth of equipment. The files will always be backed up so that’s not the issue, the gear is insured so that’s not an issue—but I still don’t want to destroy something that is preventable. Now I’m considering some sort of bag that has a hard shell. Ironically now that I have something incredibly lightweight I’m now considering options to make it heavy. Slightly ironic. For now I’m just trying to be careful with it.

Now that time isn’t a factor my shift in thinking becomes a lot more about planning. I’m figuring out how to make everything click now that most of the layers of resistance I’ve been working through have been chipped away. It’s an awesome responsibility to realize this. I get to set the speed. Now I have to keep my eyes open to the things I know I don’t know.

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  • http://egobsd.org/log/ candice

    A well-padded backpack with padded dividers will do quite nicely.

    I say this from experience, having slipped on ice and fallen flat on my back on top of a laptop without hurting the laptop at all, in a good bag. I don’t miss Rochester weather.