RIP MacBook

by Tabitha Kidwell

One of my greatest pleasures in life is using things up. For example, I relish the moment when I get to cut up open a tube of toothpaste or sunscreen to scrape out the last little bit. You can seriously get like a week’s worth of toothpaste out of there – try it!

So it was that way of thinking that prompted me to try to make my 2006 MacBook last through the year in Indonesia. It’s amazing the lengths I went to to keep using it, actually. It was doing okay when I came here, maybe a little slow, but no big problems.

Then, the wireless stopped picking up wifi, so I bought an ehternet cord and started plugging it in.

Then, the battery wouldn’t last longer than an hour, so I always kept it plugged in.

Then, the DVD drive started making funny noises, but it stopped so I ignored it.

Then, the right arrow key and right shift key stopped working, to I learned to type using only the left shift key, and used the mouse whenever I wanted to key forward.

Then, all my music disappeared from iTunes one morning, even though the files were still on my computer. I just reinstalled iTunes.

Then it started sometimes freezing, so I would restart it.

Then, it started making a noise like a spaceship taking off. This is the moment (you would have thought it would have been earlier, wouldn’t you?) that I thought “maybe something is wrong with my computer.”

And then it started doing CRAZY things: starting in safe mode, not accepting my password, arbitrarily choosing CAPS lock or lowercase, turning itself off whenever it felt like it, highlighting entire documents, making those spaceship noises.

I was still a little hopeful that something could be done to save it, so I took it to Australia to the Apple Store. A really nice employee who was the equivalent of a triage nurse intercepted me before I even got to the genius bar. He sat me down and explained quietly that after 5 years, Mac laptops are considered ‘vintage’ and they don’t even stock or make parts anymore, and that 5 years is about the life expectancy for a hard drive. He suggested I make peace, back up my files, and say my good-byes. He actually said the words “There’s nothing more we can do.”

So I said good-bye to my first laptop. I got it right after the Peace Corps, and may have initially been more excited about the free iPod that came with it. I lugged to wi-fi cafes all over Clermont-Ferrand in France. I let middle schoolers use it to practice French and Spanish and to doodle on the smart board for four years. I wrote all my grad school papers on it and carried it in a backpack when I biked to campus. I dropped it at least 3 times. The edges were scotch taped together. Ants may have been living in there. It served me really well, and it’s actually amazing that it made it as long as it did. I think bringing it to Indonesia and hoping it would last another year is basically the equivalent of cutting it open and squeezing the last little bit out.

Luckily, STAIN Salatiga (my university) has a laptop I can borrow for awhile. Even more luckily, I have enough savings to buy a new computer. And even MORE luckily, my mom is coming to visit in a week, so she can bring me a new MacBook Air from America! (No Apple stores in Indonesia!) I can’t wait! I wonder where this laptop will go and what adventures we will have together in the next 5 years (or more…)!

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One Comment to “RIP MacBook”

  1. hi tabitha i love to read ur story about salatiga…me to hv ben life in salatiga 12year n i hv a lote of story…nice to know ur experience here

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