AMITIAE - Tuesday 29 December 2015

Cassandra: Ideas on the MacBook and iPad Pro in Relation to Comments from Brooke Crothers

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


Some who read the Cassandra pages will be aware of the delight I have found with the MacBook and more recently the iPad Pro. These are lighter devices than my usual tools, but they allow me to focus on what I want to do. This has been particularly so for the iPad Pro: when I work on this, I just do the task I want and forget what device or operating system I am using.


On Forbes, Brooke Crothers reports on similar experiences he is having with the MacBook, particularly how - with suitable adapters - he is able to use this small, slow-CPU device to do the same sorts of tasks he would with a desktop computer. Like me, he has ignored the naysayers and just got on with it. Where his experience has been improved is in his acquisition of the USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter.

USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter

I do have one of these adapters, but use it less as I do not have access to a suitable monitor. Instead I use the USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter more as this allows me to connect to the types of projectors we have in classrooms here. I can also link the MacBook via Apple TV (not the new type) to my flat-screen TV.

USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter

The Thai links for these two adapters are:

I look at his approach as a confirmation of what I am beginning to learn: what he calls the "bridge burning" philosophy now coming from Apple. This is something I first noticed with the Mac Pro and its relatively small SSD installations with generous provision of ports.

With the MacBook, it is not simply being able to put all connections through a single port, but this bridge-burning extends to other Macs also: combining smaller and nimbler SSD disks with external disks and the cloud for storage of data. The cloud and speed are also important with the iPad Pro (and other iPads). With both the 1.1 Ghz MacBook and the iPad Pro I was up and running in minutes because of data in iCloud. I had also experienced this rapid set up with the Mac mini I bought a few months ago.

I made two changes to the standard specifications when I bought that Mac mini: 256 GB SSD and extra RAM, bringing it to 16 GB. That little machine flies. I take care of data and backups with two 1TB Seagate disks, permanently attached via USB ports: one for content, one for Time Machine; and in the Time Machine setup I made sure the external disk was included in the backups. Normally external disks are excluded, but can be dragged out of the panel in Options so they will be included. That does not apply to the Time Machine disk.

Mac mini plus disks

Brooke also makes an interesting comment - approaching the same question from a different direction - when he discusses the adapters, which allow "Apple to create something that's more akin to a mobile device (i.e., an iPad) than a laptop". I had been looking at the iPad Pro as a device so like the MacBook that it made almost no difference which I put in my bag each day.

As a way to examine new ways in which these more mobile devices may work, I bought a Seagate Wireless Plus disk this afternoon. These connect to the Mac and to iOS devices.

See also:

MacBook Pro and iPad Pro

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life.



Made on Mac

For further information, e-mail to

Back to eXtensions
Back to Home Page

All content copyright © G. K. Rogers 2015