Welcome Back, MacBook

The MacBook Pro I’m typing on is a 2013, 13″ model with the lowest end specs – 128gig of SSD, 8gig of ram, and the slowest processor (but still blazing fast for most tasks even today).

It’s a superbly built machine. I remember when I first opened it up from the pristine box and holding it for the first time, it was a surreal sensation. How can a laptop be so strikingly beautiful?

When I opened up the lid and the screen came to live, words appeared so sharp, pictures so vivid, that I was totally blown away. Doing everything on it just became that bit more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, it went bonkers when I updated the MacOS a year ago. Just after the update was completed (or did it not?), it did the customary reboot with the black screen. And it has remained that way since.

The orange indicator flickered when I plugged the charger in. After a while, it disappeared altogether. I was wondering if the charger, the cable, or the battery has failed. When I switched it on again, the fan started spinning so loudly I thought the machine was going to take off. Still nothing on screen, pitch black.

I casted it aside. By then, it has became a good-to-have-device. I never needed it to do serious work. Most of my needs were already well served with the combination of iPad and iPhone anyway.

The MacBook has remained in the cupboard, neglected. A few months back, I decided to resurrect it. To send it for diagnosis, to understand the actual problem. Not too sure what prompted me to do so, but it turned out to be a wise decision after all.

I popped by a repair shop with raved reviews near my home, where the friendly technician concluded it was motherboard failure, a common occurrence for this model. Changing it would cost $350. I weighed the value of getting a new model against changing the motherboard. Or if I’d get along fine without the laptop. Eventually, I decided to go ahead with the motherboard replacement.

Seeing a previously unusable device come to life before me was gratifying.

It’s not just a laptop. It’s a loyal companion that witnesses several life events with me. It has been a constant when all the gadgets around – iPhones, iPad, and the likes – changed.

It has been with me through my move to a new home, marriage, and having a kid. I reminisce the days when my wife (then girlfriend) would play Dungeon Defenders late into the night.

While others have wax lyrical about how tablets are the future of computing, I’m happy with my laptop. Touch screen may seem natural to most, but I’m content with using a trackpad, especially on a trackpad as precise as the MacBook’s.

While the keyboard of recent years MacBook played out like a nightmare, typing on this keyboard is a pleasure. They keyboard on this MacBook is everything the current models aren’t – the key travel, tactility and durability – it’s perfect.

And this laptop has all the ports I need – 2 USB ports and SD card slot. Dongles not needed!

It has also reignite one thing: the invitation to write.

Since typing is such a joy on this machine, I just open iA Writer and punch the words away. Writing no longer feels like a chore, something forced. It feels like old time again, where I’d write and share at every opportunity.

Thank you and welcome back, my MacBook.