M1 Compile Times

I am currently using a 2017 MacBook Air, and compile times for me can be numerous minutes as I use a lot of images. I am curious if anyone has upgraded to a MBA with M1 and what compile times are like as a comparison? I am trying to decide if I want to upgrade now, or wait until the new touchscreen MBA’s launch.

I haven’t used an M1, bit there’s no guarantee that there’ll ever be touchscreen Macs at all. And if there are, I doubt that the Airs will be the first.

In your shoes I would wait for a generation or two to go by. Debut models often have fabrication issues or other flaws, some of which won’t reveal themselves until a little time goes by. Recall when they switched to that really controversial keyboard design on the MacBook Pro, and about a year after there were so many keyboards failing it was the target of a class action lawsuit? Some people don’t mind getting in the thick of it, and hoping AppleCare will keep them safe, but I’m rather risk averse when it comes to buying something that should last me for 10 years.

This has always been true of Apple, but it’s probably more the case now then it once was. They tend to make solid hardware… eventually, but the first wave is very risky.

That aside, it’s most likely going to be the speed of the SSD drive rather than the chip that makes a difference on compiling. The main bottleneck is the system having to open, read and close potentially hundreds of files, and that can just get worse when you are compiling on the same volume that is running the OS, as is often going to be the case on a laptop. So that’s what I’d look at benchmarks for, when comparing the new MBA to your 2017 model.

My Apple Silicon MacBook Air arrived today. Quick setup and I can say it absolutely screams. 7 Scrivener projects opening in not much more than an instant. Tasks like that it outperforms my fully spec’d 1 yr old 16" MacBook Pro. Compile, very fast. The internal SSD has extremely high speed.

I disagree with AMBERV. I’ve had numerous 1st edition Apple devices and touch wood, not an issue with any of them. The only fail, a SuperDrive in a 15" MacBook that took a 6-7" drop on a airport screening conveyor in Ireland. Seriously who puts two conveyors together with a drop in the middle? Apple replaced without question.

I’m very familiar with service on early model Apple devices and hardware wise there are statistically very few issues, certainly no more (possibly less) than any comparable quality device from any other T1 mfr. AppleCare absolutely will cover any issues and if you are in EU/UK/Aus/NZ you can expect Consumer Law cover for around 3 yrs from purchase. Most of the rest of the world, tough luck after 12 months, but blame your govt, not Apple on that one.

I had no issue with the Butterfly keyboard, though I know some did. It was certainly very intolerant of food crumbs from what I’ve seen out there. I preferred the action as did quite a few people.

I went from a 2016 MB to a M1 MBP last week. Compile times are astonishingly fast (as is everything else).

If I compile a 200,000-word epub with half a dozen graphics and 77 chapters, it takes just a few seconds.

I’ve been watching this closely, and I doubt we will see touchscreen Macs anytime soon. Tim Cook and other top Apple people have said they have no interest in this. Also, I see no advantage to Scrivener by having a touchscreen.

If Scrivener is the most CPU-intensive program you use, the lowly M1 MBA is well-equipped for the task. Personally, I would have waited but my main computer, a 2016 MBA was dying, and the keyboard on my 2011 MBA was getting hinky. The M1x or M2’s may not be out until at least October. They will be faster, and they will be in newly-designed cases. But neither of those things are in any way important if what you use primarily is Scrivener. I’d say make the jump if it makes sense to you.

They say that pioneers get the arrows but the settlers end up with the land.

It could be what AMBERV is referring to is the inevitable teeth-cutting for any new OS version or big silicon change. The change to M1 has been actually very smooth, with only a few tiny issues. It was even smoother than the switch to Intel in 2006. Scrivener made the change to Big Sur masterfully.

Hardware is a different issue. Other than the CPU itself, the hardware in the M1’s is essentially the same as that in previous models, so it is mature and likely has no real issues at this point. Apple did have some dark years from 2016 to 2020, once the legacy of Steve Jobs had reduced to a trickle. At least they finally fired the idiot who thought function followed form and tried to make everything thinner at the expense of reliability and usability.

The butterfly KB was like typing on a block of wood. Like fishing in the dark with a slingshot. Nearly everyone loathed it. The new Magic KB is a dream.

I had my BF KB replaced by Apple 3 days before the warranty expired, and that one only lasted another 3 years.

But it seems Apple is back on track. Catalina was another nightmare, but Big Sur seems like a huge improvement.

Actually that’s a myth. Some of Apple’s best work has been post Jobs and sales/profits have reflected that.

There has been no negative change in reliability, frequency of issues, in fact there have been improvements overall. I state this from a position of knowledge.

While Jobs had moments of total brilliance he also dropped some monumental clangers and most people quickly forgot his flops. One of his most brilliant moments was appointing Cook way back. His mastery of supply chain helped save Apple and positioned it for the growth that continues.

That’s one of the reasons they insist you put all your stuff in the trays and not directly onto the conveyor.

It was in the tray!

Having owned 9 computers from Apple, begining with the 128 Macintosh and including the M1 MBP, and having used their apps daily for 38 years, including professionally, plus owning iPads and iPhones (the only Apple things in their universe I would not buy into were the watch and music/video services), and having paid VERY close attention to that industry …

I state this from a position of knowledge, which is verified by that.

The opposite claim, apparently is not.

Without at least a minimum of a supporting argument, that is really the only conclusion that can be drawn.‘Factoids’ without support are unverified opinions, and unverified opinions are not fact, even when one attempts to state them as such.

It is not a myth. Not even a little bit. One could not be more incorrect about that, I’m sorry to say, especially if in no position to say it without even the tiniest hint of proof, which is so far MIA.

Here is why the argument provided leaks like a sieve …

Sales and profits in no way reflect the quality of products. Not for them, not for any company. One can not measure quality, or usability, or product reliability, or how well they ‘get’ what a customer needs, by sales and profits. Apples and oranges (no pun).

Apple’s value to its customers (not to its shareholders) is based on those 4 things. That is the issue here. If I could hazard a guess, it’s also very likely why Keith decided to create Scrivener on a Mac!

As incredibly important as those 4 things are (not to mention not hiring complete simpletons to design products based on function following form, rather than the other way around), how those 4 things affect sales and profits are only tiny, unreliable metrics, and there are several much more important metrics, including the landscape of competition, the state of technology, the talent available for hire, and the multiple factors that go into purchases (many of which could not be more random or feckless). If quality were what truly drives sales and profits, we would not have been saddled with VHS for a quarter of a century.

That it does? That is the myth. So any attempt at support using that argument is no support whatsoever. It’s much more complex than sales and profits, which could not be further from the issue.

There have been HUGE changes in reliability and usability. Especially in 2016-2020. The recent multiple class-action lawsuits, and Apple finally capitulating on the butterfly keyboard and the battery and display issues, are living proof of that.

Every company has issues. Apple has had dark periods and light periods, just like any other company that takes risks and tries new things.

Was it due to Jobs’ presence or absence? There is no empirical proof, of course.

I’m not trying to deify him. He had his faults, just like the rest of us do. For me, I have a love-hate relationship with Apple, and the honeymoon ended when they bought Emagic and all but gutted Logic, before having it then masterfully rise from the ashes in Job’s last days,

What we know for sure is that he was present for their boldest moves that were successful, and he was absent for at least two years-long periods where they stumbled quite often, at one point, nearly going completely under.

What was quoted from me was never stated as anything more than coincidental. I did not state it as a why, but as a when. I believe it is much more than that. But that part, even if coincidental, is well-proven, well-accepted, and undeniable.

Well that screed said a lot but actually nothing.

The butterfly keyboard while problematic in its initial iteration had from V2 onwards, no higher failure rate than the previous scissor version, but at some point, with so much in the way of consumer confusion (and downright bs on the net) you cut your losses, which is what they did.

Batterygate, the concept was correct, the failure was in not announcing it and giving the option to turn it off if you preferred. They did implement that and a free battery replacement program, yet still people sued on the money for nothing principle that is common to class actions.

I’m not going to address each aspect of your ramble but will say, Cube, iPhone 4 Signal, Maps, and others, all under Jobs watch. The fact that forums, conspiracy theorists etc rabbit on about supposed failings (and the Steve Jobs myth) doesn’t make anything undeniable

I repeat, I am speaking from direct knowledge rather than just wild conjecture. Your 38 years as an Apple user is less than mine by quite a few years (development of 3rd party boards for Apple II), so you lose that pissing contest. My Apple involvement goes well beyond that, which is all I will say.

I’ve been an Apple user since before there even was an Apple.

I was a member of the French Resistance back in the early 1920s. There wasn’t much for us to do for the first couple of decades of our existence so we spent most of our time dabbling in IT hardware engineering and the design of operating systems. It’s a little known fact that “Steve Jobs” (real name Stevenso Jobbeo, an Italian from a small fishing boat 2 km off the coast of Naples) and “Steve Wozniak” (real name John Wimple, an Scotsman hiding in Gibraltar from his highlands family hell bent on disowning him) STOLE the ideas and technology for their first computers from us. They even stole their company name from the first few letters of our early Resistance motto that was embossed on the front of every laptop and smartphone we produced: “Appliquer le pression et la passion”. Of course, they took advantage of the confusion and disruption of WW2 to move to the US, have major cosmetic surgery to de-age themselves, and steal the Resistance tech.

Which is all to say that I have more experience than both of you combined as an Apple user, and that enables me to say with not a shadow of doubt or fear of contradiction that:

  1. Some of Apple’s 1st gen tech is great straight away and some is not as good. You can’t draw blanket conclusions from it being the first generation of something. Apple’s first iPhone touchscreen was amazing. Apple’s first magsafe connector was amazing. Apple’s first Retina screen was amazing (in my experience).
  2. The machines today are designed and manufactured by different people from the ones back in 1923, and by different people from the ones built back in 1998. There comes a point when your personal experience has marginal value in illuminating the current generation.
  3. You will always get a better computer by waiting a year. But then you’ll be without that computer for a whole year.

I haven’t bought a new computer since 2013. I figure if I wait long enough, I’ll be able to buy a better computer than anyone else on the planet.

Well, my up-specced M1 MacBook Air arrived earlier than originally said, and is now updated to 11.2 .

It arrived with a big sticky fingerprint on the top right of the screen, but with help from Apple I got it removed—it was so bad I thought it was a flaw!—and apart from that all is good, and it’s very speedy.

I do have a problem with the sensitivity of the trackpad, continually invoking “force touch” as a result of my tremor. Also, I’ve just realised I’ve got to change the world/fn button in the bottom left corner from switching keyboards … I keep touching it by accident and find myself switched to typing Chinese! :slight_smile:

Apart from that, my beefs so far are with Big Sur. I like to keep a minimal dock, with only finder, trash and icons for open apps/programs. But although I have removed all the other icons from the dock, when I use an an app and then close it, it’s icon remains in the dock and I have to Ctrl-click again and choose “remove from dock” every time. The other irritant is that when invoking an app using Spotlight, the pane that opens no longer displays the list of recent files. Bah humbug!


Bravo, bravissimo!

Ah, but are you a ‘special’ Apple user, like me? :laughing: :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

Mr X,

open the dock preferences and uncheck “show recent application in dock”. That should reduce your level of frustration a tad…

Screen shot of the setting:
[attachment=0]Screen Shot 2021-02-03 at 4.54.32 PM.png[/attachment]

Oh he’s special. He is ALL KINDS OF SPECIAL!

Jaysen, thanks. I don’t know how I missed that … maybe because of the different dialog including menu-bar control that I spent time working out whether I wanted it on or off.


Mr X

At this point I believe I have met my “usefulness quota” for the year. I shall now return to piratical dolphin alien abduction theories.