I spilled water on my main computer. It’s currently sitting in a plastic drawer along with about 2 kilograms of Basmati rice. Let’s change the subject.
Back in 2010, I bought my first Apple computer. Say what you will about the Apple ecosystem and its retention policies, but this thing is a beast. I’m typing on it right now. It booted macOS High Sierra from a teeny little Samsung T5 external SSD that I got recently, and decided to Carbon Copy Clone my main system’s macOS image into as part of my regularly scheduled backups. Pics or it didn’t happen, you say?
An aside to the meticulous folks at Bombich: Nice touch on making Carbon Copy Cloner aware of its own inception!
I like to name my computers. Like
hostname NAME name them. I named this
computer hesap back in 2012, which is Turkish for “calculation” or “bill/check”.
It has lived up to its name more so than I could possibly imagine at the time.
If you look at the calculation of how many computational hours, AKA money and enjoyment, it’s bestowed upon me,
then yeah: it’s some good math. Second best purchase I ever made, next to a
“Ok, internet stranger> what’s so special about this?” you might be thinking. “You took good care of an expensive laptop and had it sitting around for a few years and it works. Great!” I can hear you sarcastically projecting. Here are some highlights from the checkered biography of this “laptop”, as you call it.
A Brief History of Hesap
- Purchased in the spring. It had a faulty M key that Apple fought me on replacing (and lost). Pristine condition at this point. I kept it in a case and everything.
Hesap is purring right along as my daily driver (note the aforementioned case).
- For reasons that are outside of the scope of this post, hesap was slammed into a wall at least 4 or 5 times (while open and running) and literally ripped in half with someone’s bare hands. She was then discarded to the floor and left to bleed out overnight. For the curious, this incident involved an acutely depressed person downing an entire bottle of Glenmorangie. That’s all you get; I’m not here to judge anyone.
- The next day, staring at my laptops, and holding one of them, I depressed the power button what I thought would be one last time. A chord in the key of C Major rang out. It was alive. I plugged it into an external monitor, and it ran without hindrance.
- I brought my laptops to the local PC repair shop to see what they thought. Approximately $350 and several weeks later, I had a built-in screen again (albeit without the little plastic cover that hides the hinge).
Here’s hesap helping to write a site survey and advance for a (fictional) week-long visit by a meat industry executive with some unknown enemies (sideways!). No issues 2 and a half years in with a shiny new display.
Throughout most of 2014, I was the director of computation for a startup that did video production in Kathmandu, Nepal. We had a Mac Mini as our office server, running VPN, AFP, Bit Torrent Sync and Dropbox, and network login facilities for a team of 5 editors. 100’s of Gigabytes per week had to be transferred between hemispheres. In a country with immense load shedding and slow internet, we had to have backups for the backups. Hesap acted as a fill-in server when the Mac Mini had a problem or when the power was out for so long that the APC died. Even when it wasn’t serving, I was working about 27 hours per day at that time, so it basically was not powered down for a little over a year.
- - First water damage I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at a cafe near Kupondole in Lalitpur taking a break from the office to write an enormous bash script to automate initialization of WordPress instances on a CentOS VPS. In my caffeination, I knocked over a one litre bottle of water, sending its contents straight into the trackpad. The cursor started rapidly jumping in every direction, and I did a hard shutdown by holding the button down and took a few hours off. It came right back to life later that day. Maybe I should have named it Eliot Ness.
- Return from a brief hiatus Late in 2014 I acquired a MacBook Air, named hava, and gave old hesap a much needed vacation. But that vacation would be short-lived. My housemate spilled a delicious curry all over hava and fried the logic board. To add to the hilarity, hesap had recently developed a new problem. The left side of the track pad had popped out during a rough taxi ride through a contraction zone. The physical click mechanism didn’t work, so without a mouse I had to line up the pointer with the System Preference to enable tap to click, and stand on the trackpad on my right big toe to get a click. After that it wasn’t much of an issue.
- For reasons again outside of the scope of this post, I got stuck in Turkey for months longer than expected, and all of my worldly possessions were reduced to those which I brought in my suitcase. I ended up having to trade my entire (moldy) MacBook Air to an Apple Abi for a new battery for hesap, whose battery had exploded. Then, to force the new battery in past the frame damage caused by Glen in 2013, I quite litrally took a hammer to it on the floor in my friend’s living room. It worked. It was at this point that punishing hesap became something of a hobby.
- I was on the Blue & Gold Ferry heading into Marin to visit a client, and had to do a bit of work on the way. It was a beautiful day, so I sat at the stern and fired up hesap. Incidentally, the back of the boat is where gallons of water are spewed unto once the vessel has reached cruising speed. A minute later Hesap was coated in a fine yet pervasive mist of splashback; she didn’t so much as flinch. It’s almost as if the water damage back in Lalitpur had been a catalyst for an immunity to liquid.
- Hesap was starting to act funny from time to time; mainly it was rebooting suddenly when under heavier loads, such as running a VM. In hindsight I think this was software induced, but I had just started a new role that required serious uptime on my part, so it was time to buy a fancy new box that was unlikely to break> a 2015 with Retinah Display. Hesap was relegated to a partial retirement, occasionally handling some grunt work like large file transfers or acting as a home VPN/file server. As the cloud grew, it became less and less relevant to keep a second computer running.
In addition to the aforementioned, there are numerous other incidents I am omitting - drops, spills, working outside in the rain, and such. Twelve list items is enough.
After almost exactly three years of retirement… It Works! I mean, I certainly hope my 2015 wakes up with a sane mind later tonight, but yeah; there are some things I actually miss about this old thing.
Things I Can’t Say About My New Model
- The keys actually have travel! Not only am I typing slightly faster, but it’s also way more satisfying, almost at a mechanical keyboard level.
- It has tons of cheap and fast storage. Circa early 2015, I ripped out the optical drive and replaced it with a 1 terabyte hybrid HDD/SSD. The main drive was also upgraded to a smaller SSD for the OS and main applications. The new model ha 128 gigabytes because at the time even 256 gigabytes was disgustingly expensive. The new model can’t be upgraded like this because it doesn’t have an optical drive to begin with, and the SSD it came with is soldered on to the motherboard.
- It has a CD drive. This one isn’t bold because while technically true, I don’t care. Good riddance.
- It has 16 gigabytes of RAM. I bought a nifty kit from OWC that the MacBook actually recognized and utilized, despite Apple’s claim that 8 is the max. This kit isn’t available for my new model, again due to the soldering and such.
Flaws But Not Dealbreakers
That being said:
- I’ve really become accustomed to the HiDPI displays of late. It’s weird to actually see pixels.
- It gets really hot. My wrists are sweating after a couple hours.
- USB 3 makes everything else feel tortoise-esque.
- It’s not much of a laptop now, because if you’re wearing shorts it will electrocute you. But no biggie, I placed a warning label on the bonnet:
It looks like hesap will continue its copious chronology of computation for countless years to come. Here’s to you, old chum. Pay no mind to the naysayers who proclaim you to be a superfluous, fancy, expensive thing; they look not far into the future.