MacBook Air #5: the Air comes home

Beijing Metro line #1. Guomao station, March 6 2008. Illuminated sign roughly 3' x 8':

The MacBook Air, made in China (like virtually all other laptops and notebooks), comes back to its birthplace.

Two extra Air-related points:

Performance comparison. Recently I installed the same Windows program on my Windows Vista ThinkPad T60 and on the MacBook Air, under VMWare/WindowsXP. The program required me to restart Windows after its installation. Below, details on how long that restart took. No programs were running at time of shutdown. Time measured from pressing Restart button until computer fully functional:

- Vista ThinkPad: Time 0:00, press "restart" button. 1:50, computer fully shut down. 2:50, "welcome" screen first visible. 3:00, desktop first visible. Time 3 minutes and 40 seconds, wifi connection restored and programs usable.

- MacBook Air with VMWare/XP: time 0:00, press "restart" button. Time 0:28, shutdown complete, WindowsXP session rebooted, wifi connection restored, and all programs active.

This difference could be hardware, it could be software, it could be the "virtualization" run by VMWare, it could be XP vs. Vista, it could be anything. Just reporting the results.

Transferring Outlook files. As mentioned earlier, I have a decade-plus worth of correspondence and info stored in Outlook .PST files. One option (which I'll pursue once the new Office2007 install disk I've ordered arrives): installing trusty old Windows Outlook on the Mac under VMWare. The other option, which I've now tested: using the formidable $10 (!!) utility O2M to convert .PST files to a format usable by the Mac Mail program, Entourage (the Mac version of Outlook), and other mail programs. Seems to work just fine. Hmmm.

Of course, the Mac Air is not the only one coming to China -- or advertising in stations along Beijing's Line 1.

Beijing Metro, Jianguomen station, February 28 2008:

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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