Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Forget the removable battery, what about the easily removable hard drive? (Get well soon, trusty mac!)

Get well soon, trusty Mac

Last Wednesday my MacBook Pro's display stopped working. Actually, it might be the logic board since the fans do seem to start but nothing else happens: it needs to be sent to an Apple Service. (It could also be that wide-spread NVidia problem MacBook Pros had, who knows).

Anyhow, I had to migrate some data to a new machine I received this morning.

I have bought about a month ago an Intel SSD hard drive so I already knew how to dismantle the laptop. This time I just had to swap the hard drive of the replacement machine with my own SSD drive and I was back to work. Well, one hour later anyhow.

User serviceable

This whole experience made me think how convenient it really is to have user-serviceable components. As laptops basically replace desktops, it's important to be able to access hardware in your laptop.

Actually, not everything is important, there are 2 big things that matter: RAM and hard drive. RAM access is just a nice to have feature since adding more RAM is the best upgrade one could make. CPU and GPU would be nice to have, but not high on my list.

Hard drive access is crucial though, because your work isn't actually on the machine itself.  Your work is just the hard drive. Having swapped the drive into this new laptop I'm back to work just like it's the same machine (if you ignore the annoying German keyboard).

So, it's a bit weird to think about these new MacBooks that are unibody and seem to be harder to dismantle. Taking your machine to a service for a battery or hard drive replacement is odd: in Timisoara this means I have to send it via post 600km to Bucharest, and it's not cheap either.

Plus that all this doesn't take into account the importance of data: I wouldn't want to send my laptop with the work data on it. Even if I were to use FileVault, there is something unsettling about knowing your data is exposed like that.

The right to private data

The right to private data should be as important as the right to privacy. Just because people buy a laptop they shouldn't give away the right to private data. I don't really need a replaceable battery, I don't mind Apple keeping the old battery if they need to replace it. But I need a replaceable hard drive.

So, instead of a removable battery, laptop manufacturers should actually make a removable hard drive. In a few easy steps any user should be able to pop-out his hard drive and then send the empty laptop shell to service worry free.


Tora said...

Oh, the second one broke too... Sad. It seems me and Apple don't really get along.

Emilian Bold said...

Yeah, I am pretty sad about that laptop, I was starting to like the little fellow, especially after the hard drive upgrade which made it snappier.

Hopefully they'll be able to fix it. I mean, pretty certain it can be fixed, it's just a matter how expensive it is -- might not be worth it. We'll see...

I'm not sure if you have a bad touch for Apple machines or they are just getting crappier. Having "Pro" machines fail on you after 1 or 2 years seems to point towards low quality.

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