Tag: system upgrades

The surefire cure for clicking hard drives

When the hard drive clicking began, I started looking at replacement machines. But after the upgrades Old Reliable has endured, I figured why send it to the glue factory now?

Four and half hours to clone, with the fabulous Carbon Copy Cloner, and four and a half minutes to install.

solid state drive

MG signing off (because the clicking sound is gone, along with most all other laptop noise too)

New shiny on the cheap

That was then:


This is now:


I’d always thought it wise to upgrade laptops before plunking down vast amounts of spare change on another. An entire day spent staring at some database manipulation progress (or lack thereof) altered that approach. I ran out and bought one at retail, and that single move probably saved a man-week. Tossed eight gigs in right away, and didn’t look back.

Thirty-six months later, I loath moving to a slab without a user-replaceable battery. Doubling the memory (again) was a side thought, but at a net cost of $80 has made all the difference.

MG signing off (because history inevitable repeats itself, no matter matter much you want to avoid it)

If I can’t hack it I can’t buy it

For the last few months I have been debating a laptop purchase. I’m running a four year old MacBook Pro 2.33, with a 120 gig hard drive and 2 gigs of RAM. It was time.

Unfortunately, I’ve also found the need for a more portable device, something I can type away on when out of the office, but with minimal added bulk (Editor’s note: MG is bulky enough on his own). I debated the iPhone 4 (with accessories) as well as the iPad, but knew I would have to swallow hard with a new laptop AND one of those.

I did the research, analyzed the cost benefits of several options and combinations of options, then wound up taking an entirely divergent route. I applied screwdrivers to the MacBook Pro and did some upgrading myself.

MacBook Pro 2.33

This is not to say I won’t wind up with a more portable device, but I had one serious problem with the Apple products – they are just not hackable. The biggest point: I can’t put whatever software I want on the iStuff – I’ve got to go through the iSwoons Store. Secondarily, I can’t switch batteries on a new MacBook Pro – another deal killer. The finest new machine is running at around 2.66 Ghz, so mine really isn’t that far behind. Further, I’m prone to thinking that solid state drive prices are going to plummet in the next few years – the feeling is we’re not far from seeing SSD prices that are similar to the mechanical drive prices of today. SSD will add to battery life too. The end result of my analysis was buying just a little more time.

For $75 I wound up quadrupling the storage capacity on this old aluminum slab – a new Hitachi 500 GB went in, and it runs at 7200 rpm too. Another $35 got an extra gig of RAM. Yea, I’m stuck with the old 3GB limit, but so what – that’s a 50% increase over what I’ve got today.

Will $110 buy me another 24 months on this machine? I’ve already made the bet – what do you think?

MG signing off (to relish in new found speed and storage capacity)