Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger.

Three years with the Macbook

June 30, 2009

Three years is a long time. In the world of electronics it might as well be an eternity. So you’d think I’d be surprised to report that I’ve been using my black Macbook for a little more than three years. But I’m not surprised at all. Why?

The black Macbook at Panera

Two years ago, near the one-year anniversary of my purchasing this black Macbook I wrote (sorry for the long quote, but please read on):

“I use my Macbook on a daily basis. I’ve put it through its paces. I’ve taken it on several trips across the country and it has always performed perfectly for me. The battery life is sufficient, the screen size is nearly perfect, its extensibility with external monitors and even my television is an added benefit. I have no real complaints.

I’d say the only thing that I would change, now that I’ve used it for an entire year, would be the size of the hard drive (though much larger sizes are now available in current models). The hard drive is only 80GB in this model of the Macbook which is not large enough for me to keep all of my music, video, and photos locally on the computer. Being that I’m using a laptop that may never be possible so I’ll always be tethered to some external drive(s) when I need that data.

I’ve had the opportunity to upgrade to a Macbook Pro but I am going to stick with this Macbook. I may even run it into the ground I love it so much. Even if I did upgrade to a larger hard drive, faster processor, and the ability to have much RAM – I’d probably still stick with the black Macbook. I really like the form factor, size, and weight of this computer. It has been the best computer I’ve ever owned.”

Not too bad a review. Two years later I still have the same, single complaint about the Macbook model I have – hard drive space. Today more than ever 80GB is simply not enough to do, well, anything with media. Photos from my DSLR, on average for a compressed JPEG, are about 3-5Mb a photo. Video, music, documents, podcasts, TV shows and movies from iTunes, etc. all take up a lot of space. If it weren’t for a few external hard drives I’d be all but stuck. But that isn’t the point of this post and you all deal with this the same as I do I’d bet.

After three years of using this Macbook I still feel the same about it today as I did then. It has been the best computer I’ve ever owned. The Macbook looks the same today as it did the very first day I bought it. This isn’t due to my care, but rather to its rigid design. I have never reinstalled the operating system, it has never slowed down, and I have never needed to reboot it due to freezing. That isn’t due to seldom use, in fact I’ve used it nearly every single day for many, many hours a time for all three years, but rather to the Mac OS being simply awesome. I’ve really enjoyed using this computer.

Having said that I’d be remiss not to mention that I recently purchased a replacement battery for the Macbook. The original one simple won’t hold a charge for more than a few minutes. According to Apple’s own documentation they acknowledge the number of times you can recharge the battery – and I exceeded that and then some.

I said, in the one year review, that I’d probably stick with the black Macbook because I like the form factor, size, and weight of the computer. Times change. The black Macbook is no more. Apple no longer offers it. It has been replaced with what is now the unibody aluminum 13″ Macbook Pro. It also looks like a fine machine.

It is time to move on. Eliza’s computer is, if you can believe it, much older than the black Macbook and so she will be getting this computer and I will be moving onto another one. But to what? I’ll leave that for another time.