Kaylee's Last Stand

2010.01.15 in personal

Two and a half years ago, on my way out of CHS and on to RPI, my parents (thank you!) replaced my aging PowerBook G4, Trillian, which had just turned 4. Kaylee, my then-brand-new MacBook Pro, came on the 18th of June, 2007, two days after graduation. Since then, it's been through a lot; five semesters of RPI, a trip to Spain, two GSoCs, three different companion desktops (Trinity, then Jayne mk. I and II), countless trips to Boston and New York, my entire time with Gnome, and over 8000 photographs.

Anyone who knows me surely knows that it's a hard job to be my computer — you'll always be busy doing something, fans spinning at a ridiculous rate more often than not. And while I'm generally very gentle and careful, it's likely you'll fall at least once in your lifetime — Kaylee did, off of the top bunk, no less. But that's ancient history now...

Anyway, Nehalem is coming — if not at the media event in two weeks then within the next month or two. Between that, the fact that this machine is falling apart, and the super-long battery life of the unibody machines, it's time for an upgrade (though I will be somewhat annoyed if the 15" display doesn't get a resolution bump; so much so that I might even consider breaking my allegiance to the fairest size and going for a 17" instead... 1440x900 is so 2007...)

So, tonight I took apart Kaylee for (probably) the last time, to fix as many of the various annoying things that have broken down over the years as I could, and decided to take a few pictures along the way. I'll write a little bit about each one below...

Also, I should note what broke, for future reference:

  • the LCD bezel cracked near the bottom on both sides, threatening to completely sever the display from the computer (thankfully, Dad constructed metal clamps matching the shape of the lid in order to temporarily remedy this)
  • the camera hasn't worked since The Great Fall of 2008 (which happened to be in Fall '08) — luckily, I don't care in the slightest
  • the right fan started intermittently (weeks between occurrences) making strange noises, culminating in an incident yesterday where it nearly stopped altogether (<500RPM, and pulsing) and I had to shut the machine off to prevent overheating (>98°C)
  • the keycaps are totally wearing off; I replaced some of them with ones from my PowerBook, which were still in good shape, but they continued to degrade
  • no feet remain
  • the optical drive won't burn any media nor read DVDs (it will, however, read CDs — I think it's dirty) — this is one of the only things on this list that actually makes me angry
  • the motherboard ("logic board", in Apple parlance) had to be replaced as a part of the whole NVIDIA debacle, and I have no guarantee that they didn't replace it with another timebomb, as at the time, Apple (at least officially) had no idea why they were failing

Mismatched pair of memory; 3GB, in total. When I sent Kaylee in to Apple to have the motherboard replaced, they returned it with the original 1GB stick in it, and the extra 2GB in a baggie...

One of Dad's wonderful clamps, currently the only thing holding this machine in one piece!

The hard drive I installed a few days before The Great Fall. Still working like a charm, and much faster than the original. Also, the original 160GB disk, completely devoid of all other data, would still not have sufficient storage for the combined monstrosity of my Aperture and iTunes libraries.

When I installed the hard drive, I accidentally broke a Chinese-mystery-metal support structure, so one corner of the drive had to stay unsupported. Hasn't been a problem, though, luckily!

A nonfunctional camera. Oh, well. It actually came back to life — completely uncoerced — one day, but only for a few hours.

The right fan — the victim of yesterday's screeching and overheating mess.

My best guess says this (whatever it is) was the culprit in said screeching, overheating mess. It was sitting right in the fan hole when I opened Kaylee up today.

Look at all the dust, clogging the vents! I cleaned as much of it out as I can; I probably should have done this months ago...

The aforementioned dust, in a much more disgusting-looking but much less computer-endangering location.

I'm not totally sure what this is. I found a number of very similar small grey pieces of plastic, all looking like they broke off of something, floating around in the machine. Not even going to ask — I completely failed to find a source.

Unidentifiable sensors on the back of the keyboard slab. I really can't imagine what they might be, as I'm relatively aware of the location of all of the sensors that I know how to get data from... I'm thinking that at least one of them might be the lid-close sensor, but I'm not sure!

Dying keyboard, as I mentioned...

A healthy fan. Yay! And gigantic pixels. Nay!