Aging Machines Part 2: Mid 2010 MacBook Pro Core i7

I’ve owned this computer for 4 years. Originally released on April 13th 2010. It’s been a workhorse.

I purchased the Core i7 with 500GB HD for ~$2000, which is not cheap, but it turned out essential to my enjoyment of computer work that in turn sparked my interest in computer science! So just to get some advice out of the way. It’s worth it to spend a little more on getting a computer you love, especially if you know you’ll be using it everyday.

Gif of Macbook Pro
Trying out Lens Blur Parallax generator! Snort: http://depthy.me/#/

Moving on, this computer has aged very well, but I’ve helped keep it fresh. Before I even had it, I purchased a hard-shell case and an invisible shield. Having a case for your computer is a little dorky, but after spending $2000 dollars I wasn’t going to take any chances.

The first two years with the computer were flawless. It looked great, worked great, the battery was strong, and the software was moving smoothly. Around the third year I began to notice flickering and the computer was crashing more regularly. I read through forums that suggested all sorts of things to delete and clear out and that helped for another year with monthly maintenance.

It was also in the third year when I was noticing the battery lasting 3ish hours instead of the original 4ish. That meant more outlet finding and power brick carrying.

Now I’m on the 5th year of the computer’s life, and back in October Mavericks came out for free! And my computer was one of the oldest to be eligible for an upgrade. So I balked until I had some money to upgrade the SSD and RAM. So in December when I accepted a job at Microsoft I made the $300 investment installed more RAM and removed my old hard drive and installed mavericks on a fresh SSD, which helped a ton. Its fast and can handle Mavericks, and starting with a new SSD was great for my senior classes because I could try all sorts of different development environments without worrying about gunking up the computer too much. I actually restored it two more times to dial in a well organized environment! All in all, a very wise investment, but the battery was another story.

Dented Macbook Bottom
Little Dent

It has severely suffered, I get less than 2 hours of battery life now, which isn’t terrible, it just makes working on the go a little difficult. Also the outside of the computer has taken some damage. There is a dent on the bottom part of the chassis and tiny scratches can be seen on the screen. The keyboard, especially the space bar, is showing its age. The fan has also been running much more frequently recently, which might be Mavericks fault. Its been running really hot, so hot sometimes I can’t put it on my lap.

June will be this computers 5th birthday. At $2000 dollars originally with $300 in upgrades. The cost of this computer per year is 2300/5= $460 a year. That’s quite a bit of money, but I can see this computer getting another 3 years! Its still in great shape, especially with a battery upgrade or proper fan cleaning.

All told this computer has aged very well, WITH proper care. If you have any questions about upgrades or recommendations for further upgrades please let me know.

Picture of Macbook pro
Such MacBook

Next week on aging devices: Kindle Fire!

Do your electronics age? (Part 1: Nexus 5)

Mine do.

I have a 2010 Macbook pro that I’m currently typing on, and I love it to death. It’s been with me my entire 4 years in college and we’ve only gotten into one major fight.

But time takes it’s toll on all things, and I wanted to compare three of my aging devices to show how to balance longevity and relevancy. Computers aren’t like heavy duty boots. They go out of style and can’t always be restored, but they can be repurposed which is another fantastic topic! What I’m saying is, sometimes its worth making the investment in something nice, and sometimes its not. Maybe it is smarter to get the cheap thing and let it fall apart, or repurpose than shell out $2000 for quality you don’t need.

The three devices I’ll be comparing are: Kindle Fire 1st Edition, 2010 MacBook Pro, and Nexus 5

I’ve had the Kindle fire for over three years, its the first edition with none of the frills and all of the amazon. The 2010 i7 MacBook Pro with upgraded RAM has been in my backpack for 4 years, and the Nexus 5 for 6 months. Though different ages time has had an impact on all these devices. I also think this time period reflects how long into a product cycle you been to look for an upgrade.

Starting with the Nexus 5:

Every 6 months another cool phone comes out and you begin noticing all the flaws in your current device, and the new one has a better low light sensor, a better screen, and a better battery, and a new gyroscope, and the newest software, and a new e-ink display on the back and on and on until you just get so fed up with yours you decide to spend the extra money and not wait until your contract is up. Or you drop your phone, with only 6 months left so you decide to just pony up the money for the new device or steal an upgrade from your mom. Either way my device is aging.

Hardware

The battery is weaker. It used to make it all day without needing to be charged, but because of background apps, software not being as efficient as possible, and the tendency for lithium based batteries to lose capacity. The phone will make it most of the day unless I navigate for more than 30 minutes or play music or play music for an hour.

The devices also has scratches on the screen, they are very small, but noticeable in a bright room. There are also scratches on the corners of the device from dropping out of my pocket. Also, the camera doesn’t seem as crisp. Overall however the device is in great shape the buttons all function the camera is great, nothing wrong with the speakers or microphone. Overall, hardware wise, it held up very well.

Hardware Durability: Very Good

Software

Nexus software is all Google, and though rooting is fun, I wanted to keep this device purely Google just to get an understanding of what Google is prioritizing in mobile computing. This device has great software, stable smooth, simple. It uses the amazing Google Now seamlessly and is easily configured. I do have a whole list of separate interface complaints for this device, but the software has been performing very well. I have been experience recently that certain times the camera will freeze or not function especially after using snapchat. Also, when changing apps sometimes the double takes, where the device will flash momentarily to a previous screen will occur. Also memory accessing has become slower with the amount of photos on the device, and memory is running short. But, once again, this device has aged very well, better than the Galaxy devices I’ve used.

Software Durability: Very Good

Aging has not been a major part of this device’s 6 months of service, and I believe that’s a great thing. For $350 dollars without a new contract you can have a reliable, simple, and hard working device that you will not want to leave halfway through your contract then instead find yourself trying to root it again at 3am wondering why in the world you listened to that guy on YouTube and now have a bricked phone you won’t be able to fix until you get a Ph.D in Software Engineering. What I’m trying to say is, making the investment on a good phone is wise and will save you headaches in the long run.

Nexus 5 Overall: VERY GOOD!

Here's a photo of the tree outside my house taken with the Nexus 5. Actually most the photos on this site were taken with that camera!
Here’s a photo of the tree outside my house taken with the Nexus 5. Actually most the photos on this site were taken with that camera!

What to Bring to an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament

What to bring to an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament:
The Spirit of the Game
Water Bottle
Jersey (Light & Dark, double check w/ team)
Socks (2 per day + 1)
Underwear (2 per day + 1)
Compression Shorts
Cleats
Comfy Shoes
Sunscreen
Warm Coat
Rain Jacket
Comfy Shirts
Extra Shorts, Shorts
Sweat Pants
Headlamp
Lantern
Sleeping Bad, Sleeping Pad, Pillow, Tent
Cash + Extra Cash + Gas Money
Advil (Generic)
Nail Clippers
Drivers License, Costco Card
Warm Hat
Gloves
Spirit Prizes
Snacks (Cliff bars, fruit (not bananas), nuts)
Snacks to share & Gum
Music/Speakers + Charger
Musical Instruments
GoPro (Extra Battery, Extra Memory Card, Charger, Tripod, Mounts)
Waterproof Container/Dry Bag
Garbage Bag
Firewood
Chair
Cooler
Costume Accessories/Face Paint
Sharpie
Book
Cell Phone + Charger + Car Charger + External Battery Charger
First Aid Kit
Team Emergency Info
Cones
Disc Bag
Toiletries (Tooth Brush + Toothpaste + Deodorant + Allergy Medicine + Shampoo + Soap)
Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Baby Wipes
Water bottle
Muscle Roller
Keys
Homework/Flashcards
Cards
Fun Game Ideas, Sticks
Ducktape, WD-40, Multitool, and Jumper Cables
Towel (Most massively Useful)
Whatever else you carry
Discs
and your friends will already be there!

Moving to California

On June 23rd I’ll be moving to San Francisco.

I’ve never lived in San Francisco.
I’ve never lived in California.
I’ve never had a career.
I’ve never ridden a motorcycle.
I’ve never commuted an hour to work.
I’ve never had to pay $300 a month for parking.
I’ve never been on a business trip.

But that’s all about to change… and I’m stoked!
I can’t wait to go to California!
My whole life I’ve been thinking about living in California. Every visit something fun would happen. My grandpa is from California, that’s where my great-grandfather and grand-mother emigrated when they left Ireland! I want to experience the city.

I feel like I should defend myself for wanting to live in California that I need a reason. It’s ironic I happen to me moving there at a time of anti-technology sentiment, especially in the downtown area. I feel like I’m contributing to a problem, and I have to find some way to justify it. Also, the cost of housing is the highest in the nation?! Whoa, that’s kind of a coincidence too. What is happening in San Francisco that is driving the prices so high? I hope I find out.

Tahoe
Tahoe

A couple ideas for a fellow yuppie transplant:

Where to live?

Apparently San Francisco’s neighborhoods have “Personality”:This article from the Bold Italic was helpful

Finding a place is tough, I liked this website for quick browsing just to get a gist various areas, and they provide information about the surrounding neighborhood: Trulia

This guy, Jason Evanish, breaks down moving to the city nicely: How to Find an Apartment in San Francisco

How to pack?

Packing is not easy or cheap. I’m still working on this one if you have any advice please share. I’ve been looking at these Portable Storage Unit companies, and I can’t tell if its worth it, and there are so many, and the quotes are tough to get, and I don’t want my stuff that bad anyways…
Pods
U-Haul U-Box
Mayflower
ReloCube

Ahh man that would be a good idea for an app, a moving cost calculator. Compare moving options, describe how much needs to be moved, how far, how much storage time, and how much work you are willing to do.

What Luggage to buy?
As a burgeoning Evangelist, I’ll probably be doing some travelling, and as a future colleague of mine said, “Buy good luggage”. I’m heading her advice and doing some research now.
This bag from TUMI seems helped me get an idea of what features to look for in cheaper pieces of luggage: TUMI
The video helps as well.

Getting a motorcycle?
According to my cousin and her boyfriend getting a motorcycle is the way to go. In California they have lane splitting which means you don’t worry about rush hour or staying alive. California has a good DMV website, and the checklist for getting a motorcycle license is clear, and to save money on your insurance and to not take the driving test at the DMV you can take a Basic RidersCourse.

Happy Derpy Dog
Out of Context Happy Derp

I hope this helps someone out.
Let me know if you have any questions!