so if you aren’t following me on twitter, you may not know that i got a laptop in the mail yesterday.
my new toy is a 13″ macbook with osx tiger, 2gb ram, 60gb hd and 2ghz (actually i think maybe 2.2 ghz) processor. i got it on ebay for a total of $710 including fedex shipping. i’m pretty happy with it, considering when i got it, it moved like molasses. in the snow. in antarctica.
here’s the deal:
the auction was for an as-is laptop. i’ve been looking for one with 2gb ram for a long time, 2gb being my requisite. i’m going to use this for work stuff, so i needed something that could handle big photoshop files. this seemed perfect, it had a buy it now (that i missed) price of $700 which is cheaper than anything i’d seen in the months of looking (usually they’re $1300 at the bottom end). the only problem in the description was that the cd-rom drive was a bit sketchy (it is).
seeing that this was my one big chance, i bid and won (after being outbid at one point and then having that bid be retracted for unknown reasons). well it arrived yesterday. w00t. there was, of course, one problem that i discovered when i booted it up — i literally could not do anything. no wonder he was selling it on the cheap and emphasised the as-is part. so i did, in windows-geek vernacular, an FFR (format > fdisk > reinstall), except in mac-land it’s just an erase and install. this is where the twitchy cd-rom drive gave me some headaches and ended up in my near-brick experience. it was 70% through reinstalling the os when it just hung there not moving. so i rebooted and, well, let’s just say, don’t ever do that. not that i could’ve really done anything else because it was stuck anyway. i was able to get the install going again after googling some apple boot commands and in an hour or so, i had a fully functional macbook.
this brings up an interesting point: the previous owner must’ve been plagued with spyware, malware, or a virus or something. naive me thought that macs were somewhat immune to that sort of thing — certainly there aren’t many viruses written for macs. then again, he was pushing the point that the laptop came with ilife and microsoft office — it’s conceivable that it was an office macro virus thing that was causing problems, but i don’t think so. i kinda think it was spyware. which reveals some major security flaws in safari — even though i did notice firefox installed (i can only imagine it came as too little too late). it didn’t really take a whole lot of tech savvy to come up with the reinstall everything idea, but i imagine that was the main reason he was trying to unload this perfectly good laptop (with kind of an iffy cdrom drive). either that, erin says, or he was loaded with pr0n. it’s almost disappointing that i didn’t get to do an investigation (not that i could anyway). which is another thing — most of the laptops i’ve seen on ebay say they’ve been wiped to their original factory condition, but this one didn’t — and that’s a bad thing. not for me of course, i could have identity thefted his credit card info, passwords, usernames by scouring the history and cache files left behind. but, you know, i’m nice and i didn’t want to and i just wanted a clean system anyway. but still, that’s a major risk. so people, if you are selling your computer or laptop on ebay, erase your stuff, yo. i mean seriously. it’s bad.
anyway, i’m pretty excited. i’ve been saving and waiting for this thing for a long time. and i’m pretty happy that i turned what looked like it might have ended up being a wasted investment into a fully funtioning machine.
but chris, you say, i thought you were a pc guy. or at least a linux guy. what gives?
well, i never explicitly said i only use windows. or linux. and i’ve long said that if i had the cash i’d get a mac because i think osx is awesome. the best thing apple could have done was to base their operating system on unix, and the second-best thing was sourcing intel for hardware. now i’ve got 3 (actually 4 if you want to differenciate windows xp and vista…which i do) operating systems on various machines i use regularly. sweet. and now i can be one of those somewhat annoying people you see in coffee shops with their macbooks — the glowing apple like the eye of sauron watching your every move, chastising your windows-ness. it knows, the glowing apple knows. it mocks, as if to say “i, of the highly superior operating system, laugh at your futile attempts at user friendliness and intuitiveness. fear me and my ever-growing masses. come to the all-white side and bask in the neon glow of our ipod headphones and backlit iphone 3gs.”
also, it seems as though i am fully equipped with a webcam now. as most of you pc users probably don’t know (i didn’t), macbooks apparently come with a webcam shoved right above the display. so, if i so desired, i could do a vlog. now, i wouldn’t want to do something silly like that, but i could. if i wanted. it was a bit disconcerting as i’m turning around to finish up the install and put in my username and stuff and suddenly i see myself staring at myself (actually, staring a couple inches lower than myself) when it asked me to take a picture for my account profile. not sure when this will come in handy — not even sure how to use it yet — but it’s there. it’s interesting, but i probably won’t use it (unless i do do a vlog, or if i bring back the pic of the day).
— posted from a mac —