Recycled Computing

Second Thoughts on the 2010 MacBook Air

- 2010.10.29

Yep, I actually touched one. Picked up the new 11" MacBook Air (MBA) andturned it over.

The most important event, however, is that iFixit got ahold of one and took it apart.

5-point Security Torx screwhead
5-point Security Torx
screwhead on MBA.

And therein lies the problem: It is not very user friendly when itcomes down to do-it-yourself repair. For instance, it uses 5-pointSecurity Torx screws, which you probably don't have a screwdriverfor.

Maybe we shouldn't expect much from such a thin computer; maybeApple's design department has gotten just a little too much power inits tiny, artistic hands; or maybe our society has "advanced" to thepoint where we are totally at the mercy of unknowable "tech gods" whospeak only in a strange "tech talk" which consists of initials ofstrange and mysterious processes.

Why am I going on this rant?

Stuff Happens

It's my car-truck. I went away this weekend to visit my daughter onher campus in another state. We're driving from spot to spot, runningerrands, and we stop at a "farm stand" (it was indoors) to pick upvital components for the average college student's diet. It was at thatpoint that my Honda Ridgelinedidn't start.

I don't want to say anything bad about my neighboring state, butthere was a general shortage of men with real pickup trucks in theparking lot. (Ridgelines are not trucks, trust me.) Being the residentof a New England state, I naturally have jumper cables. A nice womanwith a Saab reluctantly helped me try to start the Honda, but nogo.

I then called a towing company. This larceny on wheels showed up andspent a great deal of time trying to convince me that the battery wasokay and that there was a problem with the wiring. He towed off myHonda and left me carless. It was naturally on the weekend, and hisshop wouldn't open until Monday.

Monday I showed up and discovered that the problem was . . . Ineeded a new battery. So I spent money for towing and replacing thebattery. I spent two day's at a Red Roof, since I had to wait untilMonday for the "repair". I was out of a car until my son could drivehis car down from his college. All because the tow operator didn't tellme that the battery needed to be replaced.

I can replace a battery. I wasn't more than 10 minutes away from aWalmart and could have purchased a battery, installed it, and been onmy merry way.

When you don't control the technology, the technology controlsyou.

Do It Yourself vs. Pay the Expert

What does this have to do with Apple computers and you? I own an oldPismo laptop that is soeasy to work on that it isn't funny. If the hard drive goes, I canreplace it. My screen is going pink, but I can find a donor Pismo andreplace it in 15 minutes. That computer is user-friendly.

My irritation is that Apple has done a 180 and moved towards a "lockbox" (thank you for that phrase, Vice President Gore) where you have toreturn it to the factory to do anything to it. And my real irritation -I'll admit it - is that I lust after that 11" MacBook Air. It is sooooosexy and small. It runs OS X, and the screen is very crisp andclear. It is much better than the PC netbooks out there, but darn it,why do I have to pay out nearly 1 large for a stripper model and thennearly 400 smackers more for the model I really want.

Insult to injury, I can't update it myself! Yes, Apple tech hasalways had a higher price tag, but this is just a little too high. Andwhy can't I replace the RAM and hard drive?

I just can't let lustworthy technology overwhelm my practicalnature. LEM

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Today's Links

Recent Content

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's store


Open Link