I’m fairly tech savvy, but today, I admit defeat.

My MacBook Pro 17″ (Early 2011) is officially a dead slab of metal.

Time of death, 10:35pm Saturday 23rd September 2017.

It’s a good thing I backed up my data in the early morning with a view to install a final operating system update. Not this time. With a lingering boot loop, I reinstalled Mac OS Sierra several times in the hope to start a clean slate.

When that failed, I returned to the life-extending solution to bypass the dodgy discreet graphics card, though strangely, it made no difference this time. I then altered the process, which then resulted in the screen to make its ugly return due the flawed graphics card from AMD. Now, the screen doesn’t display anything.

I essentially bricked my Mac laptop of 6 years. Nonetheless, it was on the way out anyway. I am somewhat chuffed to have squeezed an extra 13 months beyond my 5-year warranty. It’s a shame I didn’t buy the laptop down in England, otherwise I would be entitled to 6-years warranty according to the UK Consumer Law.

Ironically, my China-owned Lenovo ThinkPad X220 (also a 2011 edition) that I purchased from eBay for £150 is still in good working order.

I am now eyeing a Lenovo X1 Carbon (5th Gen, 2017 edition) with a 5-year warranty, purely because of the military-grade build quality and stability of Windows 10. The X1 Carbon is also appealing because the 2017 model works very well with Linux distributions, compared with previous revisions. I understand the X1 Carbon (5th Gen) is merely a dual core processor, but my workspace outside the house is rather light, with the odd photo editing and web development. I have a customised workstation that can churn the heavier stuff like video editing.

In particular, the reason why I am targeting a Windows laptop is because its the Windows operating system that allows for specialised security software to be installed for penetration testing and educational purposes, which is my growing area of interest (and wannabe expertise). The Mac is great for people who freak out with IT problems and you don’t know how to resolve a technical diagnosis. Sadly, the Apple I came to appreciate is not the Apple that we have today.

I will see how long I can survive my dual PC setup. The workstation is using Windows 10 Professional. Meanwhile, my Intel NUC (Skull Canyon) is utilising Ubuntu 16.04. I really don’t want to be burning money on another laptop at present, especially with CES 2018 just round the corner.

My current priority is securing a newly-paid role and throwing money into a Kingdom-focus vision instead.

The one thing that I will want to salvage with my former MacBook Pro is the data stored on my 2TB external HDD, which can only be read on a Mac (due to the Mac formatting). I will need to invest in a 2TB external HDD to copy over the data, so I can re-partition the Mac drive and format it to NTFS for Windows and Linux use. I will likely store the other 2TB in an undisclosed secure location.

I also want to export my diary entries from a Mac exclusive app called DayOne. Fortunately, I can export my catalogue of entries to a searchable PDF, which is good. The only snag is that my only available copy is on my dated iPad and it’s a hog to use, as the developers decided to upgrade the app to use iOS 11 exclusively. My iPad 3 model is still stuck in iOS 9, and I’m not in a position to fork out further money for another iPad right now, nor do I need a new model right now.

*Achieved local backups of the DayOne app through Mac OS installed on VMWare.

The other thing I will need to salvage from the Apple ecosystem is to transfer software licenses from 1Password.

*Currently porting to LastPass.

LastPass appears to be a better platform for me, as it uses 2FA (Two Factor Authorisation) to gain entry to the portal and it supports Yubico technology, which adds another layer of security through using YubiKey drives. LastPass is also cross-platform, but it betters 1Password, as it supports Linux. I understand 1Password is cross-platform across the standard Mac and Windows, and iOS and Android. However, there is no way I can access iCloud outside of Apple products, which is sadly a deal-breaker for me.

Fortunately, these are minor issues. My primary workflow consists of applications that are cross-platform between Mac and Windows. So for me, that includes Microsoft Office 2016 / 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, Affinity Photo and Designer, and Avid Media Composer.

Other common apps like Spotify and iTunes are cross-platform anyway. I have also been using Journey, which is a cross-platform journal app (Mac and Windows). I discovered it on Android at the start of the year and it helps me to reflect on the go. It’s not as fancy as DayOne, but the developers are smart (and open-minded) to diversify their app across different platforms, unlike DayOne who are chasing the Android limelight only now.

The only bummer regarding my dead MBP laptop is that I don’t really have access to Xcode to explore Swift programming for iOS. It’s annoying that I may soon be drifting away from working with Apple products.
*Achieved this through Mac OS installed on VMWare.

I have already removed my Samsung SSD 850 Pro 512GB from my MacBook Pro laptop, alongside the 16GB RAM. I will likely use the RAM to upgrade my ThinkPad X220, as I have a custom BIOS that overrides the 8GB RAM limit. If only modern Apple products would empower customers to upgrade components instead of creating a mass closed-ecosystem. So much for Apple’s ethos to protecting our environment, as they literally sell and promote disposable technology. Nuff said.

As for my MacBook Pro laptop. Well, it is now packed away inside its original packaging and it will remain on top of my bookshelf. I may choose to source a logic board and a new graphics chip to resurrect it, but I have more pressing issues to achieve in life than jump-starting a slab of metal.

~Richard