Running on Air: Bill Barnes

I came across Bill Barnes web site called Not Invented Here and a post he wrote more than a year ago about using his MacBook Air for work.  I reached out to him to see if he was still using it and he generously offered to respond to my questions.  

According to his bio on his about page “Bill spent two decades in the software industry working a variety of jobs from coding to speechwriting before becoming a professional cartoonist.”

I personally think one of the more interesting things is that Bill uses his Air for both the creative side (creating the comics) as well as the business side (coding and general business management) of things.  

  
1. Who are you? What type of business are you in, what do you do?
 
I’m Bill Barnes, co-creator of the comic strips Not Invented Here and Unshelved. I also do a little coding for my businesses and that of a friend.
 
2. Which model MacBook Air are you using?
 
I have a fully loaded (1.8ghz/4GB/256GB) mid-2011 11″ MBA
 
3. Why did you select the MacBook Air over other Mac models? 
 
I moved to the MBA from my mid-2009 13″ MBP because I travel every 3 weeks or so and wanted a lighter load. The only thing I regretted about returning to Mac from the PC world was the lack of ultraportable options. The original MBA was too limited, and the revised MBA was close but not quite there. I briefly considered the 13″ MBA, but then I sat down in an economy section seat and realized that for me the 11″ was the way to go.
 
4. How are you using your MacBook Air to run your business ? 
 
Aside from my iPad it’s my only computer. I draw my comics with Photoshop, design my books with InDesign, code in Rails using Sublime Text 2, and in ASP.NET MVC on Windows 7 using VMWare Fusion. I run my businesses on iWork and QuickBooks, and deliver keynotes at conferences around the country using, well, Keynote.
 
5. Which has been the best thing about using your air to run your business?
 
That I don’t hesitate to take it with me on every trip, and as a result I have fought a number of business fires that would otherwise have gone on raging for days. The cherry on top is that, while on the road, I use my iPad as a second screen using AirDisplay, and the combination of the two is still smaller and lighter than my previous computer.
If you are not familiar with the comics it is well worth it to go over and check them out. Thanks Bill !

Running on Air: Myke Hurley

To me it is very fitting that the first post of the “Running on Air” series is from the person who sparked and inspired the idea for the series.  During one of the podcasts I was listening to, Enough, Myke Hurley of 70Decibels stated that he was running his whole podcast network from his 11″MacBook Air.  That stopped me in my tracks. 

This was proof that the MacBook Airs were powerful and portable enought to do anything.  

If you are not famililar with 70Decibels it is a growing “network of podcasts for geeks, tech-folk and the perennially curious”. Currently the network has 12 shows with more in the works. I am a fan of the network. All the shows are really well done but some of my personal favorites include: The 512 Podcast, The Bro Show, Cooking with Brett and Myke, Enough, Home Work and The Pen Addict. The newest show was added just last week called Bionic.

I asked Myke to tell us more about how he uses his MacBook Air.

1. Who are you? What type of business are you in?
I’m Myke Hurley and I own and operate the 70Decibels Podcast Network.

2. Which model MacBook Air are you using?
I’m using the second generation, 11″ MacBook Air. I have the 1.6 Ghz i5 model, with a 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM.

3. Why did you select the MacBook Air over other Mac models?
My main reason in going for this model was portability. That was what I wanted out of the Air line. And there’s no Mac more portable that the 11″.

4. How are you using your MacBook Air to run your business?70 Decibels Headquarters
Previously, I did 100% of the operation of the Network on the MacBook Air. That included the recording, editing and posting of the shows. I have since moved this to a Mac mini becuase I need FireWire and an Audio in and out to work with our new mixer set up. However I still do all of the show notes and site work on the Air, as well as dealing with my general computer duties, like answering email, surfing and answering these questions!

5. Which has been the best thing about using your air to run your business?
The power and portability. It blows my mind that a machine of this size, that I can take everywhere is so fast and capable. I have never had any performance issues with the Air and I plan to use it for some time to come!

Thank you Myke for the insight and showing us what you do!

If you know someone who is running a business or using an Air to do something cool please have them send me an email or contact me on twitter.