So, when the MB broke down recently I was left with an easier decision about upgrading. The new HDD is a clean install of 10.5. There’s a lot of work to do finding and downloading apps, passwords, unique Windows-ish settings etc. The MB was deficient in two areas. Neither were a factor when I got it. One was memory. It originally came with 1 gig and I upgraded it to 3, the max. This helped out quite a bit, but the current ones max out at 4 gig. The second was the built in video card, which uses the CPU and main memory and is a plain 2d business class device.
Over the year I’ve had it my usage and needs have changed. This little thing is now my main machine and I need more out of it. The big driver is Virtual Machines or VMs. I can run several flavors of Windows in one or many different VMs. This is a priceless feature at work and has been handy at home for building Windows applications.
VMWare Fusion had just come out when I bought the MB and since then has expanded from working with WinXP and Win2K to Win95, WinNT, Win98, WinXP, Win2K, and Vista w/Aero. Each VM consumes memory locked away from other apps. And for graphical 3d elements in WinXP and Vista a 3d video card is required. So, the MB is a little constrained for this.
So, I went to Mac of All Trades and got a quote of $600 for it. That’s about half what I paid 1 yr ago. Now I just have to box him up in the original package, which I kept.
His replacement is in limbo. This is the time of the year when Apple announces upgrades and everyone feels that it is time. There’s also the chance of a big change. I’ll hobble along for a month or so until I find out. Then get a clearance or new box. Maybe. It’s a hard temptation to resist.
My eye is currently on the entry level MacBook Pro (MBP). It has a 4 gig max memory limit, 200 gig hard drive, separate nVidia 8600 256 meg gaming video card, FireWire 800, aluminum case, backlit keyboard, and 15″ screen. Though the midlevel MB is very tempting. It has a weak 3d video card, 4 gig memory limit, 160 gig hard drive, glossy plastic case, $700 less, and is 1″ smaller on each side. I like smaller. Either way a 4 gig memory upgrade is needed and doing it myself will save $60.