new (for me) notebook computer on the way

Those of you who know me know that I think my MacBook Pro is the best computer I’ve ever owned.  It’s turned out to be super versatile, reliable, and easy to use.  And it’s fast enough that I can do video editing (even HD) on it!  So I realized a few months ago that I don’t even really need my old Power Macintosh Dual G5 anymore.  That was my first Mac, but it’s got the old G5 CPUs instead of the newere Intel CPUs.

So I put up the PowerMac on eBay for sale, and the auction just ended last night.  Meanwhile, in case you don’t follow such things, Apple just released a new line of MacBook notebooks a couple weeks ago.  I had been saving my pennies for literally months, anticipating way back in the spring that Apple would be “refreshing” their notebook line this fall.

I was so excited about the new MacBook Pro product releases.  The “unibody” construction where the whole case is cut from a single piece of aluminum is really cool.  And I like that it actually has 2 graphics processors in it,  And that there’s a model that comes with 4 GB of RAM pre-installed.  I really wanted to buy one, but then I learned that it only comes with a glossy display.  For whatever reason, Apple has eliminated the matte display option from their notebooks.  I guess they figured that since people like the glossy display on their iPods and iPhones, they’ll like them on their MacBooks, too.

But for me, it’s a deal breaker.  I test drive one at the local Apple Store, and the glossy display is literally so reflective I could shave using it as a mirror if I wanted.  When I was using the display model, I could see every light overhead, everything in the room behind me, and my own big fat face superimposed on the video image.  It’s terrible!  I tried every angle possible, and there was just no way that I could focus on what’s on the screen without having reflections distracting my vision.

So instead, I decided to buy a refurbished MacBook Pro much like this one from right before they switched to the all-glossy product line.  I got it from the Apple Store at a several hundred dollar discount, and then added on the AppleCare service package just to make sure they’re obliged to support it for the next three years.  I also ordered new RAM chips so I’ll upgrade it from 2 GB to 4 GB as soon as the parts arrive.  It won’t be as solid or fast as a new glossy one would be, but it was a grand cheaper and still significantly better than the MacBook Pro I’m using today.  Plus it’ll have that look and feel and smell of “newness” to it.

Once I transfer all my files off it and clean it up, I’ll sell the old one on eBay.  I found that the MacBook Pros have been holding their value very well, so I expect that this whole upgrade will only cost me a few hundred bucks when all’s said and done.  And that’s about what my PowerMac sold for on eBay.  So in essence, I’m trading two old computers (one of which I don’t need) in for one new one.  Not bad, I say!

And it fits in perfectly with our ongoing effort to downsize and simplify our lives, so that makes me happy.  Spring cleaning for the mind.


  1. I just learned the weirdest thing. You see, the refurbished MacBook Pro I bought was supposed to come with the stock 2 GB of RAM, according to the relevant web page on Apple’s site:

    I wanted 4 GB of RAM, so I ordered 2 2 GB RAM chips from When the new laptop arrived, before I even turned it on, I swapped out the RAM with the new ones I bought.

    However, now I’m looking at the RAM chips that were in it before and I see they’re both 2 GB chips. So I paid for 2 GB of RAM in the MBP, but they sent it loaded with 4 GB, which I promptly replaced with a different 4 GB. Strange. I guess I need to sell the spares on eBay or something…

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