Saying goodbye to Mac

July 19, 2010 4 Comments

It’s not uncommon for people to get really attached to their cars. People name them, decorate them, argue with them, give them encouragement and in the process, make memories with them. It’s like a relationship.

Well, that’s what it’s been like for me and my iBook G4. I call him Mac, and we’ve been together for 7 years. He isn’t just a machine or a piece of technology, he’s become a trusted friend and travel buddy.

When Mac made a horrific whirring sound that sounded like death throes, I knew he was gone. And the staff at iTech in Cedar Falls have confirmed it. His hard drive gave out, and it almost feels like a little part of me went with him.

Now before you attack me for being melodramatic about a piece of plastic, let me tell you a little about Mac.

We met my freshman year of college. I spilled some tea on a loaner laptop that my uncle gave me. It wouldn’t start back up, I had a paper due and had been informed upon my arrival at the University of Missouri that ownership of an Apple computer was strongly recommended and soon-to-be required.

So I walked into the school store, hardly knowing what I wanted or needed. And within about 30 minutes, Mac and I were on our way back to the dorm.

Mac was with me when I downloaded my first song. I created my Facebook account on Mac. I built my first website using Mac.

Mac and I went to class together, we stayed up late writing papers.

Mac and I have traveled over three continents. He was with me in Khartoum when I would stay up late, documenting the day’s events when it was too hot to sleep. Mac moved to London with me, when I used to have to sit on the steps outside my flat to pick up wireless from the hotel across the street. In the month between when I moved to Iowa and when my furniture arrived, I’d lay on my sleeping bag in the middle of the empty living room floor and watch rented DVD’s on Mac. Mac has even made an occasional appearance on KWWL.

Mac and I during a liveshot at the Iowa Caucus in Des Moines.

Despite the fact that my hard drive was full, he wouldn’t recognize my iPhone and running 3 programs at once was not possible, I still was determined to keep him. In 7 years he never crashed or had a virus.

I know this eulogy is bordering on the ridiculous, but I can’t help it. For 7 years, Mac was often the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. I haven’t even known many people as long as I’ve known Mac. Despite the shiny new exterior, faster processor and larger hard drive of his replacement, I’ll still miss the slightly scratched surface and tricky clasp on my iBook.

Next week I will officially say goodbye to Mac and send him to the computer afterlife at a recycling center. And I’ll take home his replacement, a 13-inch MacBook Pro.

So goodbye to a faithful companion that lasted longer than most. As silly as it sounds, I’ll miss you.

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  1. Gary Barrett says:

    I would suggest you donate Mac to one of the computer-donation charities that rehab them. That way someone else can love Mac like you did!

  2. jjarvis says:

    Gary – I was thinking about that. But every place I looked at required a working hard drive. Which mine is not.

    If you know of any places that will take my non-working laptop and give it a good home, please shoot me an e-mail.


  3. Leigh Zeitz says:

    I feel for you and your feelings about saying goodbye to Mac. I must admit that I haven’t been as attached to a specific laptop, but I feel lost without a lap computer. I have had one since 1992 and feel helpless without one.

    Good luck and here’s hoping for a smooth transition.

    Leigh Zeitz

  4. amanda says:

    That’s so sad!!! I can’t believe your going to recycle him! Isn’t that kind of mean? I think you should keep him, I would!

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