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The System is Down - A Recovering Physicist's Apology

About The System is Down

Previous Entry The System is Down Sep. 24th, 2010 @ 08:08 pm Next Entry
My poor Macbook Pro.  I bought it my second year of JET making it about 5-7 years old.  Those 7 years have seen it lugged back and forth over the Pacific a couple time, move around the US, and pretty much be on 24/7 in that time period.

About a year ago, the battery died.  That's okay; I run it off AC current 90% of the time anyway.
About half a year ago, I was putting batteries in my mouse and dropped it directly onto the track pad, messing it up so that there is really only one "sweet spot" where the click still works easily.  That's okay; I have a mouse anyways!
Today, I put a DVD in the drive, and it spit it out.  I put another in, and it spit it out.  It looks like the optical drive has failed.  That's... damn.

I'm kind of in a bind right now.  Doing a quick peek online, to fix the problems looks like it will run me $500 easy, and I'm not sure a 7 year old computer is worth that work.  I love this computer, it's a tank, but it's also an ailing tank that may need to be taken off the front lines.  But here's the problem:
1)  I'm a poor grad student
2)  I'm saving to visit my friends' wedding in England
1+2=crap

I don't know what I'll do.  I was thinking of getting a mac mini as a media center for my TV, so, this computer (if I get around to fixing the drive) could do that role quite well, so that could work.  I don't know... I've had a crappy week.

Hey, Life, boo!
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From:willwrite4books
Date:September 25th, 2010 04:00 pm (UTC)
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I'm not exactly sure of your setup, but maybe you won't need to fix the optical drive. I know, I sound like Mike, but hear me out. If you connect your Macbook to a wireless network such that you can just transfer audio and video files to it when you want to listen to or watch something, you won't need discs.

And if you didn't want to bother with wireless nonsense (because as we know from failed New Year's Eve LAN parties, that's what it ends up being!) couldn't you just use a portable drive to copy videos and whatnot to the Macbook hard drive?

Those are just two solutions. Sure, either one will occasionally make for some extra steps such as ripping discs when they could've just been inserted into the optical drive, but it will also save you 500 bucks--money you could put toward a new system of some kind while your Macbook does its thing as your media center device.
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From:biggrumpy
Date:September 27th, 2010 03:34 am (UTC)
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Yeah, the core components work fine, so replacement doesn't need to occur anytime soon, but the hardware is just old and its having trouble running games. Essentually 7 years is a long time to go without an major upgrade anyway.
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From:djstomp
Date:September 25th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC)
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Another option is to buy a new internal drive and replace it yourself. Early MBPs are not super fun to work on, but it's possible. Take a look here.
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From:biggrumpy
Date:September 27th, 2010 03:33 am (UTC)
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I could also by an external drive. Not optimal, but could work.
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From:djstomp
Date:September 27th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
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Yeah, that would be the least expensive option.
From:vicicast
Date:April 15th, 2011 01:29 am (UTC)
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Great read! I wish you could follow up to this topic

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