Apple finally released new laptops, about four to six months after they should’ve. Still, the upgrades are impressive and if you’ve been on the fence or otherwise waiting, now’s the time. As usual, Apple’s hard drives are too small and their hard drive upgrade prices are usurious. People who want a Mac laptop and don’t want to pay full price should see sweet discounts on used and refurbished models in the next couple weeks.
I’m still using an iMac as a primary computer, so the announcements don’t affect me much. And my most important piece of Mac-only software is Devonthink Pro, which I still use according to a variation on this scheme, originally conceived by Steven Berlin Johnson (though he no longer uses DTP).
Otherwise, many writers swear by Scrivener. I wrote The Hook in Scrivener, and due to the structure of that novel it was extremely useful. But for most novels I don’t find it essential; I don’t think most scenes can (or should) be reshuffled at will, which probably limits its utility.
Scrivener’s appeal for nonfiction projects is much more apparent to me. A couple months ago I finished the Grant Writing Confidential book manuscript (details to follow), and if most of the book hadn’t already existed in the form of blog posts I would’ve used Scrivener as an organization tool.
In other laptop news, Dell has been producing Linux-native XPS laptops for a couple years, as does a smaller manufacturer called Purism. Given Apple’s lack of interest in non-smartphone products, it’s not a bad idea for Mac users to keep an eye on what everyone else is doing.