The Joy of Owning an Eight-Year-Old MacBook

Illustration for article titled The Joy of Owning an Eight-Year-Old MacBook

At today’s Apple event, executive Phil Schiller called people who own computers that are more than five years old “sad.” That was a silly thing to say, Phil!

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My MacBook Pro is eight years old. That’s it right up there. Looks like a MacBook right? But then you look a little closer, and you’ll notice a few dings—a pretty normal thing for a laptop that’s almost as old as Twitter.

Illustration for article titled The Joy of Owning an Eight-Year-Old MacBook
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Then, you look even closer and realize that the display isn’t sitting so straight on the still sleek unibody design.

Illustration for article titled The Joy of Owning an Eight-Year-Old MacBook

Then, you open it up, and holy shit what happened here?

Illustration for article titled The Joy of Owning an Eight-Year-Old MacBook
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I’ll tell you what happened. I love my MacBook too much! I love it so much that sometimes I think it’s better at balancing on fire escapes than it actually is and it goes tumbling all the way down to the ground. After that incident, it felt like the machine was getting slower, but I couldn’t afford to part with it just yet. I loved it. Also, new MacBooks are very expensive.

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So I did some research that led me to max out the RAM, install a solid state hard drive, and wow did I love my ancient MacBook that suddenly felt like a brand new MacBook. I kept loving it too hard, though. One day I picked it up by the display and squeezed a little too hard—think Lennie in Of Mice and Men—and I cracked the glass on the screen.

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Still committed to keeping this machine alive, I bought some special tools so that I could install a new pane of glass on my beloved MacBook. Let’s just say I fucked that one up pretty bad and ended up ripping the glass off completely which lent the computer a rather attractive cyborg sort of look.

Illustration for article titled The Joy of Owning an Eight-Year-Old MacBook
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Are there downsides to owning a MacBook for eight years? Sure, there are. My battery life is approximately 19 seconds long, although I do plan on replacing that next. The Superdrive stopped working years ago, and I want to take it out to make the whole thing lighter. That said, the computer will still do everything I want to do without melting down. I’m writing this blog post on my eight-year-old MacBook, and I even edited these photos in RAW format using my eight-year-old MacBook.

But do you know what’s truly a shitty thing? In recent years, Apple’s started to solder more and more guts onto the logic board so it’s getting damn near impossible to repair them easily by yourself. Maybe Phil Schiller is sad for people like me who feel capable of fixing their own computers, since that keeps a few hundred dollars out of Apple’s coffers every time we find a way to hack a solution. I won’t have that option when my MacBook finally dies, and then I’ll be the sad one.

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Illustration for article titled The Joy of Owning an Eight-Year-Old MacBook

In the meantime, I find great joy in using my freakishly old MacBook. We’ve been through a lot together, and even when I hugged it too hard, I knew the MacBook would keep powering on.

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Your company built a good machine, Phil. So please stop making fun of it.

Senior editor at Gizmodo.

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DISCUSSION

aaverett
TheChafing

Calling people who own old computers sad seems like an especially silly thing to say for someone whose customers like to trumpet about how long their computers last.

Also, you know you can replace the glass, right? The display itself may be scratched if it’s been open for any length of time, but that too is replaceable, and not terribly expensive. I had the same mid-2010 era MBP, and I think it cost me about $120 to replace the glass and the display itself. In my case, it was the actual display that had failed, though.