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Norsk versjon 🔗 Three Macs on top of eachother on a table outside in my garden.

Advice for students and non-techies

These things move up and down – but the fall of 2022 is an excellent time to buy a Mac. Apple’s new processors (the M1 family and the M2) makes the machines very fast, while being very efficient. The latter leading to great battery life and quiet operation (if you’ve ever had a computer that sounds like it wants to take off and fly into the horizon, you know that’s not always the case). This doesn’t mean there’s no great Windows PCs on the market! However, the days when you had to overpay to get an apple on your computer, is passed – so for most people I would recommend getting a Mac (especially if you own an iPhone). There are still several reasons to get a PC, among them:

  • If you would rather not pay $800+ for a laptop
  • Know that you use software not available for macOS
  • Use the machine a lot for gaming
  • Or you just know that you prefer Windows to macOS

But this isn’t a Mac vs. PC article – let’s get to the advice!

Storage and memory


Norsk versjon 🔗

Here's a remake of backgrounds from this thread that I made since the links were dead. These were inspired by u/rzalexander and made with free illustrations from illustrations.co. I've tried to adapt the illustrations to iOS 16's new home app, so that the text and icons are visible.

I've also made companion backgrounds for use with iPad and Mac. Since those windows resize all the time, using two tone and illustrations was a no-go. So they are just one colour backgrounds (I have one using the dark colour and one using the light one. I've used the latter). Three screenshots of different rooms with the backgrounds I've put together. They are purple, blue and red-ish, with illustrations matching the type of room. Screenshots of the same rooms with their Mac/iPad background counterparts. I've made backgrounds for 13 different rooms (3 versions for each room).


Norsk versjon 🔗

And what Apple means when they say “Retina”

I’m pretty sure the Apple Studio Display is overpriced. Still, the discourse after its announcement has been plagued by people not quite understanding the difference between 4k and 5k on a 27-inch display. It’s just one kay difference – why can’t you just buy a 4k screen that’s cheaper, brighter and/or has a higher refresh rate? Why do some Apple fans crave this extra kay so much?

Marc Edwards, of Bjango, wrote an excellent piece on this, and I especially like the visual examples of 5k vs 4k on macOS. As a maths teacher, I find this problem interesting, and in this article I will bring some light to this issue the way I would to a high school class. Perhaps this makes it easier to understand why the issues Edwards highlight appear.

What’s in a kay?

To narrow things down, I’m just going to look at 27-inch screens with a 16:9 aspect ratio (so no super-wides here!). Let’s compare the three most normal resolutions at this size: 1440p, 4k and 5k. Humans are notoriously bad at comparing numbers. Every day there’s a new tweet trying to help us understand the difference between a million and a billion by remind us that:

  • One million seconds ≈ 12 days
  • One billion seconds ≈ 31 years

So, it’s forgiven that people think 4k and 5k are pretty close. However, 5k resolution has a lot more pixels: Diagram showing the number of pixels of 1440p, 4k and 5k.