Ever since I picked up a MacBook Air I’ve been disappointed in my 17″ MacBook Pro. The Pro has better specs, more memory, more everything. It should be faster than the “underpowered” Air? NO. Maybe it’s the solid state drive or maybe I just ask it to do less, but the Air has consistently been more snappy than the other … until today.
In the latest software update (along with iPhoto and a new iTunes supporting the iPad) Apple pushed out 10.6.3 complete with eighty-something fixes at ~800 MB. Generally when an update comes along, it’s “fine, an update.” It’s just that this one seems to have rejuvenated the poor Pro. Hopefully the feeling lasts … but, just in case, I’m holding off touching the Air for fear it may have improved as well (though I don’t see how it could).
Having languished long enough after it’s tragic death last year, the old powerbook g4 15 is no longer forlorn and left to decay in the closet. I went out and got parts and screwdrivers and such and went to work with trepidation. The only possible way I would have attempted this is the knowledge that it’s way out of AppleCare and … I couldn’t quite make it too incredibly much worse than it not turning on. Luckily t’was mainly the hard drive that was fried, but unlike SDRAM which just takes 4 screws and a shove in the slot, the HD needs a disembowelment and a pile’o’screws for resurrection (namely philips 1/4, 1/8, and a torx T6, and T8). I’m quite used to dealing with the innards of desktops and older laptops but this was a first operation on something like this. The iFixIt site (which I found from Everymac) was invaluable in getting this done. I did encounter some problems. The logic board to screen ribbon cable is incredibly thin and I had no idea how to remove it, ending out snapping one of the side prongs that holds it in (imagine a pc desktop ribbon cable but with a thinness and sturdyness somewhere between saran wrap and an overhead transparency). The other issue was those tiny tiny screws. You drop one and … well, you can’t shake it out because all the innards are loose so it’s like playing that game of Operation from long ago. Take it slow.
The good news is it’s now happily humming away and works as great as ever. I really missed that keyboard. It has a concave shape to the keys which just fit the fingers in exactly the way to make me sigh in contentment (a feeling unfortunally not provided by the japanese keyboard on the macbook pro 17). Hm, that sounded a wee bit geeky. Uhh … would my idle observation of the Finder status bar as I was looking for an app change that outrageous impression? Yeah, guess not …