Review: MacBracket lock bracket for Apple’s MacBook Air

If you own a MacBook Air, you’ve probably noticed that it’s missing something that almost every other laptop in Apple’s line-up (and those from other manufacturers as well) does have: a Kensington lock slot. So if you need to lock up your MacBook Air to secure it at a coffee shop, at university, or anywhere else, you’re out of luck. Fortunately, MacBracket is here to save you and your MacBook Air.

The MacBracket is a metal bracket that slides into your MacBook Air’s hinge and has a Kensington lock slot on one end so you can attach a lock to it to secure it to a desk. The MacBracket is made of a high-quality alloy by a company in Germany. It retails for €19.90 (about US$26) plus shipping and can be purchased directly from MacBracket’s site or through the German or UK Amazon stores. It’s available in two versions – one for the older 2008 and 2009 MacBook Air models and another for the models made in 2010 through the present. The version I have is the latter to work with my mid-2011 11-inch MacBook Air.

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Review: Acme Made Skinny Sleeve for Apple’s MacBook Air

Image courtesy of Acme Made

I’ve always loved the look and feel of Apple’s aluminum laptops and while they’re pretty sturdy, they’re not immune to scratches and dents, even when they’re carried inside another bag. Though I have several laptop bags with dedicated compartments, my 11-inch MacBook Air is small enough that it can fit into other bags I have that lack a dedicated space for a laptop. For these bags, I wanted a slim yet protective sleeve for my MacBook Air and chose the Acme Made Skinny Sleeve.

There are ton of sleeves out there for the MacBook Air but the Acme Made Skinny Sleeve caught my eye for a few reasons. First, it has some additional reinforcement built into walls of the sleeve to provide even more protection against dents. Second, it’s a very slim, low-profile sleeve that adds little bulk to the already-thin MacBook Air. Third, though I’m not the kind of girl who’s drawn to pretty colors, I really liked the dark eggplant color available as a nice alternative from the black cases and bags I usually buy.

So far, the Acme Made Skinny Sleeve is definitely living up to my expectations and is keeping my MacBook Air protected, all while looking sleek and professional in the process and I have only a few tiny gripes about it. Read on or watch my video review after the break to find out more.

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Walking while working: my treadmill desk set-up

I first heard of treadmill desks a few years ago through a feature segment on a news program and was immediately intrigued by the idea. I was, and have always been, concerned about my health (and waistline) as I get older and worried about the sedentary nature of my job – spending a lot of time sitting at a computer (gym membership and volleyball leagues notwithstanding) does nothing to help me keep my girlish figure. This, combined with the fact that I love french fries, made me determined to get a treadmill desk at some point in the future.

Fast-forward several years to the present when I now have a job where a treadmill desk would be ideal since I work from home and though I love my Aeron chair, I finally had the time and resources to put together my ideal treadmill desk set-up. Read on for the details about the design process and my now-complete set-up.

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Love and an 11-inch MacBook Air

While at CES, I was incredibly lucky and won a new 11-inch MacBook Air at a NetShelter event on my last night there. Upon entering the party, we were asked to throw a business card into a bowl and I happily obliged. And then I immediately forgot about the drawing as soon as I got inside the nightclub and located the open bar where there was a bartender who was willing to give me as many on-the-rocks margaritas as I wanted.

After I had managed to make several of those fantastic margaritas disappear, the party was paused for the drawing I had forgotten all about. The first prize given away was an unlocked Samsung smartphone and the second prize was a Sony Vaio. When my name was called for the MacBook Air, I raised my arms in Rocky-victory style and screamed. And I did a little happy dance, which approximated Kermit the Frog’s frantic arm-waving stage exiting maneuver on the Muppet Show, on my way to pick up my prize. I’m pretty sure I made an ass of myself. I blame the margaritas.

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A new Mac mini for me!

Remember how I talked about getting a 12″ PowerBook to have as a “back-up” Mac a little while ago? I really loved that form factor and was really intrigued by one I saw for sale on MacRumors.com, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I really should go with an Intel-based Mac and even get something a little more powerful than my MacBook Air if I could. One of the new iMacs was first on this new list, but those are out of my price range, particularly for a secondary computer. So, I kept searching and came across a Mac mini someone was selling for a good price.

Here are the specs of the refurbished Mac mini I ended up buying:

  • 2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo
  • 4GB RAM (upgraded from the stock 1GB RAM)
  • 350GB HD (upgraded from the stock 120GB hard drive)
  • Integrated NVIDIA graphics processor
  • Superdrive

I had honestly forgotten what it’s like to have a CD/DVD drive built-in and admit that it’s a welcome change to my MacBook Air.

The original owner had done the upgrades to the hard drive and RAM and included those at no additional charge. He had purchased it refurbished earlier this year for $499 and sold it to me for $450. It’s still under warranty until May 2010 as well. All in all, I feel like I got a very good deal and am quite happy with my purchase.

The Mac mini got a clean install of Snow Leopard as soon as I received it and I’ve attached it to my 20″ cinema display and paired it with my aluminum Bluetooth keyboard and Magic Mouse. I’ve actually decided to make the mini my “main” computer, though I’m having a bit of trouble making it happen, purely out of indecision on my part. My MacBook Air will be the Mac I take with me when I leave the house, of course, and will be my main workhorse when I travel. So how much do I remove from the MacBook Air to free up some hard drive space and truly make the mini my new main Mac? This is the dilemma I have.

I’ve moved most of my work-related documents and such to my iDisk so I can easily work on them from either computer. But what about my iTunes library and photos? I’m thinking I’ll use the mini as my main iTunes library repository and will remove some media from my MacBook Air to free up space. Regarding photos, I think I’ll be doing the same. Regarding my Documents folder, I may investigate moving this completely to my iDisk if I have enough room there. I’ve set up my iDisk so that it keeps a local copy of everything on it on each computer and then syncs periodically so I can access the latest version of a document on either computer as needed. I’m a little worried about this since iDisk has acted up on me before, but so far, so good.