The Macbook Gets Retired

My Mac run has just officially come to a close. Writing this post is the last action this Macbook Pro (yes, the free* one) will see on my beech-and-steel desk before being sold.

After nearly two years of helping to keep my house warm and keeping me company during those lonely overnight shifts in the NOC, my Macbook Pro is leaving today for its new home at a graphic design studio.  This all comes courtesy of what is perhaps the sloppiest, most poorly-written Craigslist ad I’ve ever posted.

Parting with a laptop, especially one that’s been used to document a significant portion of my life, is never easy.  This particular laptop saw me through the end of my wireless career and the beginning of my IT career.  It got me through the final months of college.  It hosted far too many CounterStrike and UT2k4 tournaments to count.  It survived innumerable spyware- and virus-laden websites thanks to OS X.  It provided hours of entertainment through Front Row and the included IR remote.  It was my central base of operations, the one thing I could count on, the one central repository of every bit of data I’d ever need no matter where I went.

And now, for the low, low price of only $1000 — or 50% of its original retail value — it’s gone.  That’s actually pretty good depreciation for a laptop, and something for which Macs are well-known.

For the record, I don’t buy into the whole Mac Fanboy / Steve Jobs Rules The World BS.  I find Apple Smugness ™ incredibly obnoxious.  Buy a Mac because you like the price / performance / design / OS; don’t buy a Mac because you think it’ll help your Starbucks cred.  Mine worked well, but given the above-average cost and hardware limitations, I think this is going to be my last Mac.

That’s the funny thing about laptops; they’re all made by a handful of manufacturers (in this case, Quanta; some of the other big players are Asus, Clevo, Compal, MSI, and Chembook).  With that in mind, the generic laptops you find for $1000 at CyberPowerPC or iBuyPower are the same ones Dell and Compaq (and Apple, even if they do strip off a few USB ports and one mouse button) sell for $1800+.

So I’m laptop-free for the moment.  The $1000 brought from the Macbook Pro is covering the cost of new cabinets for my kitchen (I have a small kitchen, and Ikea is awesome).  For now, I’m pulling my ancient Athlon XP out of retirement (from the days of Executive House!) and kicking it old-school with my 19″ flat-CRT monitor.  Maybe XP, maybe Ubuntu, but not OS X.

Not now, anyway.