Sat, Sep
2
2017

The Fourth Computer

Sat, Sep 2, 2017

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It has been 11 years, 10 months, and 20 days since I switched from the Windows universe to MacIntosh, but who’s counting? Today, we said goodbye to the oldest MacBook in our family, a 2008 unibody aluminum model purchased 8 years, 5 months and 4 days ago. I managed to sell it for $150 to a young man in Hamilton.

It had been the workhorse of the family, but things get old, software gets updated, and requirements get more onerous. I upgraded to a MacBook Air, and then to the current MacBook Pro (now over two years old), while Erin got herself her own MacBook Air, and the children got our hand-me-downs.

The unibody MacBook was showing its age. Its trackpad stopped working, so we replaced it with a USB Mouse. Then its wi-fi card gave up the cost, so we purchased a USB wi-fi nodule. Finally, it got so slow at running Minecraft that we set it aside and tried to buy Daughter the Younger an inexpensive computer to play with.

That didn’t work out. Windows has moved on since I departed, and the new system is so alien to me, I can make neither head nor tail of it. It also doesn’t play well with Minecraft for OsX. Worse, the computer we bought, an Acer 2-in-1 combination tablet/laptop was flimsy and underpowered as all get out. Daughter the Younger abandoned it in frustration and took to borrowing Erin’s laptop whenever possible.

Finally, this week, at Erin’s suggestion, I went on Kijiji and found somebody selling their desktop iMac. Their model was from 2010, and somewhat underpowered compared to our latest laptops, but it looked in good condition and the seller only wanted $500. After some negotiation to find a time to pick up the iMac, I got it in the car, brought it home, and set it up in Erin’s writing shed.

It works quite well, and will probably be even better when we upgrade the current 4 Gb of RAM to 16. It’s everything Erin needs to write while she’s in the shed, and Daughter the Younger can use Erin’s laptop during those times, though Erin has been quite clear that the laptop remains hers when she needs it, like on business trips.

The whole thing was a bargain considering that I also sold the old MacBook for $150 and the Acer for $100. Apple has taken a lot of criticism, much of it justified, for failing to keep up its design excellence when it comes to its latest models, but I think it says a lot about the overall strength of Apple that a seven-year-old iMac is still perfectly serviceable for this writing family, and an eight-year-old laptop with a bum trackpad and broken wi-fi will still sell for more than a Windows computer purchased not more than a year ago.

Take that, Windows!

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