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The first days with the M1 Max MacBook Pro and Albatross - The Weekly Retrospective Issue #10

Brock Herion
Brock Herion
Welcome to issue #10 of The Weekly Retrospective!
This might actually be the time this newsletter is called The Weekly Retrospective. You see, I’ve been thinking about rebranding it to fit a little bit better with the content that I like to create. The content would remain largely the same. I still want to focus on sharing cool things that happened, anything learned from them, any resources that were interesting, etc. but I feel like the branding is a little bit weak. I will definitely be addressing this in the coming weeks!
In issue #9, I teased about a project that I started. I’m in a good spot this week to go a little bit more in depth on it. I also was surprised when my 16" M1 Max MacBook Pro arrived a week early. I’ll be sharing my initial thoughts and impressions of the machine so far.

The Week of 11/07/2021 - 11/13/2021
We had our first “snowfall” of the Chicago area this week. When I say “snowfall”, I really mean a little bit of snow the quickly turned to ice. Normally, snow is pretty exciting as it means Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming. To me however, it spells out the dread that we will soon be having to shovel our way out of blizzards, battle with black ice and slick roads, and all kinds of other not fun things that make Chicago the least ideal place to be during the winter.
With my small rant out of the way, let’s jump into the big stuff from this week!
I got my MacBook Pro a week early 💻
I ordered a new 16" M1 Max MacBook Pro the day after they were announced. I had a few reasons for doing so, but was pretty disheartened to see that it wouldn’t be arriving until November 18th. Well on Thursday this week, I got a notification from Shop that my order was out for delivery. The machine was here by lunch and I had it completely up and running that evening.
My old laptop was a 13" Intel MacBook Pro. It did it’s job and did it well, but it was sort of becoming a burden to travel with. Not because of its size, but because of how productive I could be on it. We ended up traveling a lot more than expected this year, which meant I had to work off my laptop. I can say that the experience wasn’t great after awhile. Being cramped up in various hotel rooms, airports, and even hospitals, having the tiny screen was really not a great experience.
I order the new one because I wanted a bigger screen certainly, but also wanted to take advantage of the M1’s insane battery life. So far, after three days of working normally on this device, I’ve only had to charge it once. My day-to-day workflow involves having to RDP into my workstation, writing and note taking on various things I’m studying, and working on-device with NodeJS and .NET. I can’t help be impressed with only needing to charge once over the past three days whereas my old device was needing about once or twice a day if I used it over my desktop.
The other thing that’s immediately clear to me is that this CPU is not messing around. Applications take no time to load, the machine is snappy and responsive, and boy is it fast. I already was impressed with Next 12 and it’s build times, but combine that with M1 and I spend less time waiting for my changes to compile and more time getting code out. A few seconds doesn’t seem like a lot but it adds up in the long run. I can’t wait to do some performance benchmarks in .NET and to try out some Rust on this machine!
I’ll be putting a full review of this up on my YouTube channel at some point, most likely after I use it for a week or so, so stay tuned for that!
So about this Albatross thing 🪶
About a week or two ago, I Tweeted about how people bookmark something on Twitter and then they forget about them. I was basically shit-posting, but then the Tweet actually gained a fair amount of genuine interest. There seems to be a common issue with being able to organize bookmarks. It’s so easy to save something that you want to share with somebody else or something that is meaningful that you want to come back to, yet it’s a rare occurrence where that idea goes through as intended. And it’s not just Twitter that has this issue. To some extent, Facebook and Instagram suffer the same issues as well.
How does one sort through all the noise on social media to find, save, and share the posts that provide meaning to them?
This is where the idea for Albatross comes in. I’m building a platform to solve this issue of managing saved social media content. Starting with Twitter, then eventually Instagram, Facebook, and others, users will be able create different categories for saving their content to. Think of it like a Pinterest board for your social media.
The second part of this is being able to extract value from a post. Does a section of text resonate with you? Maybe you have a link that you want to revisit? I want to provide you with the functionality to extract and comment on or take notes on a post. More-so, I want to build out a system to export that data to tools like Notion and Obsidian, wherever your main hub is for taking notes and storing information.
Of course there are other ideas I have for this as well, but my main goal right now is to create a landing page and to integrate with Twitter to get an MVP rolling. As things progress, I will of course be providing updates on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. My goal is to have a landing page done by next week and to get an MVP up and running by December.
It’s an ambitious project, but one that I feel like can provide a lot of value. I’m looking forward to tackling the different challenges as they come up and to build a project like this. This will be a first for me, getting to integrate with so many different tools and API’s.
I can’t wait to build this and share the journey with all of you!
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Brock Herion
Brock Herion @brockherion

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