hard disk

Connecting to a new MacBook Pro

My last post on things I’m learning during this transition to a new computer buried some interesting ideas in a long-winded story: Update on New MacBook Pro.

Here’s my executive summary on external storage, and ways to connect it to a modern Macintosh.

External storage speeds and interfaces

When I ordered the new MacBook Pro I ordered a Thunderbolt to Firewire Adaptor because I have Firewire 800 external hard disks and new Macs support Thunderbolt and USB 3. In order to use my old external drives with firewire I needed an adaptor. Two of my drives also have USB 3 but I bought the firewire adaptor because I had no experience with USB 3 and my experience with USB 2 has been less than wonderful. This “baggage” about USB has now changed (read on).

I’ve also been shopping for some new drives and wasn’t sure what to get. In doing my research here’s what I’ve learned.

1. Thunderbolt is faster than USB 3 which is faster than Firewire 800 which is faster than USB 2.

2. Thunderbolt and Firewire 800 are daisychainable at the device: an external hard disk/SSD could have two ports (or not) for a pass through connection to another device. USB 2 and 3 are not although multiple drives can be connected to a USB (3) hub. And there are Thunderbolt hubs as well so one might have multiple single-port Thunderbolt drives connected to a hub.

For a MacBook Pro user the pass-through/hub thing is a non issue: the machine has two Thunderbolt ports and two USB 3 ports so one could have multiple single-port external storage devices connected simultaneously.

3. External storage might be a hard disk spinning at 5400 RPM, a hard disk spinning at 7200 RPM or an SSD (solid state drive). There is a significant speed difference between 5400 and 7200 RPM but an even bigger one with SSD which is extremely fast.

When you put all of this together you end up with some general ideas:

1. If you have a 5400 RPM external hard disk, Thunderbolt isn’t any faster than Firewire or USB 3, the limiting factor is the speed of the hard disk which is slow relative to the connection speed.

2. If you have a 7200 RPM hard disk Thunderbolt doesn’t get you any more speed than USB 3 or Firewire but USB 3 is faster than Firewire so if you don’t need to use Thunderbolt for some other reason, its is probably overkill and USB 3 is the thing to use on modern Macs.

The bottom line is that Thunderbolt, while very fast, is probably overkill for most spinning hard disks and if you don’t need some other aspect of Thunderbolt, USB 3 is fast enough and a lot cheaper and more widespread in use in external enclosures.

3. If you have an SSD in an external enclosure Thunderbolt will give you the fastest throughput although USB 3 is close enough so that the extra expense and rarity of a Thunderbolt interface may or may not be worth it. And, buying a 500GB or 1TB SSD is a lot of money. At this point, spinning hard disks are still the way to go for backup or large storage needs until the cost of flash memory comes down more. It will, just not quite yet.

Thunderbolt, USB 3, and Firewire 800 can boot a Macintosh so if you’re making SuperDuper backups that you’d like to be able to boot your computer from in an emergency, any of them will do (provided the external drive controller can do it). Again, the limiting factor on performance will be what’s inside the enclosure: spinning hard disk of one speed or another or SSD.

What I’m doing

I have a 1TB SSD in my new MacBook Pro and I like to have two SuperDuper backups in rotation and one Time Machine backup so for this I’ll need two 1TB drives for SuperDuper and one 1TB or 2TB drive for Time Machine.

I’ve got a number of 500GB and a few 1TB Firewire hard disks (some running at 5400 RPM) and I’m going to start slowly replacing them, mostly with external hard disks running at 7200 RPM with USB 3. Here’s the first one I bought:

G-Technology 1TB G-Drive Mobile Hard Drive with Thunderbolt (and USB 3, 7200 RPM).

I have to say, it’s a great external drive: solidly built, fast, with all cables included. I’m using it for Time Machine and I used the Thunderbolt interface for the initial (2 hour) backup but now I’m using USB 3 for daily backups and it’s extremely fast. I think I could have probably gotten by with this drive which is the same thing minus the Thunderbolt:

G-Technology 1TB G-DRIVE mobile USB Portable Hard Drive (7200 RPM)

The latter drive will be the next one I get although I’m in no rush now because I’m using my older LaCie Rugged drives with USB 3 and they’re working fine.

I bought an inexpensive USB 3 enclosure for the SSD that was in my old, dead MacBook Pro and it’s working very well:

Anker 2.5 Inch USB 3.0 Hard Drive Disk External Enclosure Case for 9.5mm & 7mm 2.5″ SATA HDD and SSD

I just had to take some brackets off the SSD for it to fit in and once off, it snapped in in a few seconds. It’s now in my SuperDuper rotation and at 500GB, I’ll keep it in rotation until I outgrow it.

The bottom line is that USB 3 seems to be fine for everything I’m using it for. At this point I’ve not attempted to boot and use my new computer from any of the external drives although I plan to do a test with the external SSD later today. I’m quite sure it will be fine. I’m hoping that by the time I need to replace it with a bigger capacity SSD the prices of 1TB SSDs will come down and that’s what I’ll get.

The new MacBook Pro is wonderful: extremely fast to boot and shut down, extremely fast launching applications, extremely fast moving around in Lightroom (where my older machine was showing signs of age) and the retina screen is easy on the eyes with very little (if any) reflection.

The only bumps in moving from old machine to new were the limitations of Apple’s Migration Assistant and my incorrect understanding of what was needed to migrate and the speed and interfaces on my hard disks.

Hopefully these notes will be useful for anyone about to go through something similar. I can’t emphasize this enough: if you’re not backing up your computer you need to get on that, today. If you are backing it up, make sure your backups are working and doing what you want them to do. In other words, test them from time to time.

The Computer Backup Rule of Three

The Computer Backup Rule of Three

Scott Hanselman’s rationale is excellent. I don’t follow all of it but the post and the comments following are all worth reading.

If you don’t back up your computer or your mobile devices you’re looking for trouble, simple as that. Hard disks fail and short of that, operating systems fail.

What I do:

1. I have two external bus-powered, small, portable LaCie firewire 800 drives that I use SuperDuper! with to back up my entire computer.

On day 1 I use SuperDuper! back up to drive 1 and put it in a fireproof box in our basement.

On day 2 I use SuperDuper! to back up to drive 2 and when it’s done I take it to the basement and swap it with drive 1 which comes back up stairs and goes in my desk drawer.

On day 3 I back up over drive 1 (using SuperDuper!’s “smart backup” to just update the new stuff, etc.), then take it to the basement and swap it with drive 2 in the fireproof box.

I repeat this daily, even if I don’t use my computer for anything significant. This way I don’t think about what’s backed up when, I just know that the most I could lose is a day of work.

2. At the same time I’m doing my SuperDuper! backups I’m doing twice a day Time Machine backups onto another LaCie external hard disk (a bigger one to hold the growing Time Machine collection of days).

3. The only cloud backup I have isn’t really backup, it’s iCloud and it’s just my contacts, my email, my calendar, and a few other things. I use gmail (cloud based) and have a .me mail account (cloud based) so my email lives outside of my house.

I’ve been using this method for years and it’s saved my bacon numerous times.

The important thing to consider in both backing up and in deciding which methods you want to use is this: If your computer dies or is stolen, how fast can you be back up and in business. My SuperDuper! cloned backups will boot any modern Macintosh and so, all I have to do is boot my wife’s MacBook Pro with the most recent of my backup drives and that computer is essentially mine with all of my stuff exactly the way it was when I backed it up. Then, I can go to an Apple store, buy a new MacBook Pro (or have mine fixed if it’s fixable) and use SuperDuper! to backup back over it, or, leave the new native system on it and migrate all of my stuff back.

There is no perfect method for doing this stuff, the important thing is to do it and work out a method that works for you and that you’ll use on a regular basis.

MacBook Pro SSD upgrade notes, a month in

About a month ago I put a 240 gig SSD drive in my 3 year old 2.5 ghz MacBook Pro and documented the installation process here. I thought I’d report on how it’s working and whether it’s a worthwhile upgrade to consider.

Speed
There are many factors that affect the speed of a computer and one of them is how full the hard disk is relative to its size. I’ve heard from many people who have hard disks with less than 10% free that their computers have slowed to a snail’s pace. OS X writes temporary files to the hard disk and you need to always have enough free space to accommodate these files.

I didn’t and don’t have this problem; I’m using about 170 gigs out of 240 so have enough extra space for the temporary files. But, this issue is something to keep in mind and just buying a new, larger hard disk (not an SSD) might solve the speed problem for many. Same installation as an SSD.

For me the SSD speeds up booting the computer, launching applications, and almost every process that used to slow me down. It has made working with this computer much like working with an iPad or an iPhone 4 with their fast A4 processors. While the speed increase is not earth shattering and some with unrealistic expectations might be disappointed, I notice it and it’s significant enough to make me feel the upgrade is worthwhile.

My friend Edward, who has a current generation 15″ MacBook Pro with i7 processor and plenty of memory and a 7200 rpm hard disk came down for a visit and we did some informal comparisons with our two computers side by side. My SSD equipped computer booted faster than his every time although booting applications was about as fast on his computer. No doubt the newer processor and graphics chips in his computer would run circles around mine given certain processes but in fact, my computer fared quite well running the kinds of things we both run: Pages, Lightroom, Safari, Reeder and other small and modern OS X applications. Both of us were amazed that a simple upgrade could boost performance that much but in fact it did and does.

Sleep
There is only one issue I have with this upgrade and it may be a deal killer for some because it may affect battery life. It may be that I need to change something on my computer to make this work right but so far I’ve not found it.

Even with the Energy Saver system preference pane set to put the computer to sleep in 10 minutes and the “Put the hard disk(s) to sleep when possible” if I walk away from the computer with the screen up the display will sleep but the rest of the computer never goes into sleep mode. I can force it into sleep mode by closing the lid/screen or choosing “Sleep” from the Apple menu or hitting the power button and choosing “Sleep” but it will not sleep on its own with the lid up.

I’ve reset the power manager and the parameter ram and done about everything I can to wipe out whatever old settings were stored in the computer about sleep but so far nothing has helped here.

This may be of no significance anyway because, of course, there is no hard disk to spin down, but my guess is that the computer uses power differently in sleep/hibernation mode than it does when its awake.

I was curious about this early on and posted about it here. I got a comment from a MacBook Air user who said that his Energy Saver screen remained the same; talked about hard disks when in fact, there are no hard disks installed on the Air. Still, the Air is using flash memory differently and no doubt has hibernation/sleep routines built into its ROMs that a MacBook Pro with an SSD upgrade doesn’t have. I wonder if a MacBook Air has a fan? Anyone care to comment.

No doubt this issue has an affect on battery life if you walk away from a “running” machine with the lid up. Our house is dusty enough (wood stove) that I tend to close the lid on this computer when I’m not using it putting it to sleep properly (LED pulsing, etc.). The bottom line is that while it’s an issue, it’s not a deal killer for me because I’m starting to use an iPad to read my feeds with Reeder (excellent) and this computer, while still being used as a portable doesn’t have to have killer battery life on planes because I have an iPad for that.

Battery life
The ads say that an SSD improves battery life (other than this sleep issue) and while my report is only anecdotal, I do think its true. The battery life in my normal use of the computer is certainly better if I stay away from Flash sites, don’t watch video, and refrain from pushing the computer by running Lightroom and a few other applications simultaneously. These days normal use of a computer involves all sorts of things including running the occasional video. Even if battery life is the same for me its not a deal killer because I use my iPad on long distance flights and because I use this computer plugged in on my desk as much as I do unplugged away from it (as I am now). I’ve been sitting here in the living room for about 2 hours and I have 54% battery left. That’s not too bad actually and no doubt more than I’d have had left pre SSD upgrade.

Quiet and fans
Without a hard disk spinning the computer is a lot quieter and this is meaningful to me. However, my computer’s fans now seems to be running all the time (related no doubt to the sleep issue). The fans make almost no noise but you can hear them if you put your ear up to the keyboard. When I first heard this and wasn’t sure what it was I installed the iStat Pro dashboard widget to track what was happening and lo and behold, both right and left fans are running at between 1500 and 2000 rpm almost all the time. This is nothing compared with what they do when the machine is overloaded with processes and they make a lot of noise but it’s something and may be responsible for the sleep and battery issue I’m having.

While my friend Edward was here with his current i7 MacBook Pro we checked out the fan noise on his machine and in fact, his fans were running all the time too. His machine is newer so the bearings on the fans made less noise but iStat Pro (which I found out about from Edward) showed that both of his fans ran continuously.

This made me curious and I installed iStat Pro on my wife’s MacBook which seemed to be running silently at times and in fact her fans are running all the time too, more quietly than mine but they’re running.

Just to be clear, the fans don’t run during sleep but on my computer, since I have to put it to sleep manually the fans will continue to run as long as the lid is up and I’ve not forced it to sleep. This is no doubt the cause of battery drain and maybe the reason my computer won’t sleep properly.

Bottom line
Even if I never solve the fan/sleep issue I still think this SSD upgrade is very worthwhile. The performance increase from the SSD has allowed me to put off buying a new computer for a year and has made this machine fun to work with again. That’s worth the $500 price to me and I recommend the upgrade to anyone who’s in a similar position.

SSD and Energy Saver in Mac OS X

energy_saver

Now that I’ve installed a solid state drive (SSD) in my MacBook Pro I’m wondering if the checkbox about spinning down a hard disk to save energy has any meaning anymore.

Maybe a more interesting question is, does that checkbox even exist on a MacBook Air? How context sensitive is the Energy Saver System Preference pane?

This may sound like splitting hairs but given that an SSD mimics a hard disk (is installed instead of a hard disk in the same slot) while the solid state memory on a MacBook Air is soldered to the main system board, energy saver might treat an SSD differently from the MacBook Air’s solid state memory.

Anyone out there with an Air care to comment on this? Does that highlighted checkbox even exist on a MacBook Air?

MacBook Pro Hard Disk Replacement

MacBook Pro Hard Disk Replacement

As some of you may remember, I dropped my MacBook Pro a little over a week ago and killed its internal hard disk. I ordered a replacement from Other World Computing and installed it and aside from some dings on the case I think I’m back up to speed with this computer.

Testing the Internal HD
It wasn’t until I tried to erase my internal hard disk (running from an external backup) by writing zeros rather than a simple erase that I was able to determine for sure that something was wrong with it. I was able to erase it and test it without problem with disk tools but subsequent use showed me there was something wrong. Writing zeros confirmed this. I thought, incorrectly, that writing zeros or “zeroing all data” was a matter of security (not simply killing a directory but killing all data) but in fact, it’s also a test of writing to every track and sector of the hard disk. Once my friend Dale aimed me in this direction I found that Disk Tools choked about an hour into the writing of zeros: it found a track it couldn’t write and sat there clicking. I then knew the hard disk was shot and I’d need to replace it.

Which Replacement HD?
Other World Computing has numerous SATA internal hard disks that will work in a MacBook Pro so the question was, which to get?

The hard disk that I had in it that I was replacing was a standard, Apple installed Seagate Momentus 100 GB 5400 RPM drive. OWC sells Hitachi/IBM, Seagate, and Toshiba replacement drives. Whatever I got had to not only work in the MacBook Pro (any of these will) but it had to be compatible with Apple’s energy conservation software, it’s motion detection software, and given that MacBooks and MacBook Pros run pretty hot, whatever I got ought not be any hotter than what I was replacing.

I decided to stick with Seagate as I knew it would work with Apple’s system software so the question was, 5400 RPM which is what I was replacing or 7200 RPM which is a substantial performance increase. Given that I’m about to install Aperture on this computer, I considered the 7200 RPM drive as it would give me faster performance for what is undoubtedly a disk-intensive application (Aperture does a lot of reading from and writing to the HD as it moves through images as on large RAW files not everything will fit in memory or even in a memory cache). However, my guess was that 7200 RPM is a hotter drive than 5400 RPM and I noticed that Apple offered it in their 17″ MBP but not in their 15″ as standard equipment. This might be simple product segmenting: higher performance on larger, more expensive machine to push people into buying it but it also might be that the chassis on the 17″ is big enough to absorb the extra heat.

In the end, I went with almost a direct replacement: 120 GB Seagate, 5400 RPM.

Instructional Video
I’ve heard that HD replacement in a MacBook is very easy, there’s a bay under the machine and it’s like putting in memory.

HD replacement in a MacBook Pro is more complex and the machine has to come apart. Under normal circumstances this wouldn’t bother me but given that I’d dropped and damaged this machine I wasn’t sure how precise the fit and finish was anymore and it wasn’t all that great before this accident: the case was coming apart at the seams. However, I had no alternative as I had to either do this myself or let Apple fix it with AppleCare and given that I’d dropped it, it would have cost some money, more than the part alone.

OWC has QuickTime videos on installing their parts in just about every type of Mac including a longish video on the MacBook Pro for putting in memory, a hard disk or a new optical drive. You should download and watch it if you are considering doing anything to the innards of your computer as it will show you exactly what you will be doing on your own.

MacBook Pro 15″ (intel) Video

Given that I was going to be taking this machine apart I copied the video to my wife’s iBook so I could re-watch and review it there as I did the procedure (you can see the iBook in the image above). If you’ve opened up computers before and are relatively handy, this video is all you’ll need to put in a replacement HD. It’s excellent and very reassuring to watch.

Tools
I thought I had all the tools I needed but alas, I found I was missing a Torx T-6 screwdriver so I ended up ordering this excellent kit from OWC:

Newer Technology 7 Piece Screwdriver Kit

You only need two of the seven screwdrivers for this job:

Torx T-6
Phillips 0

It’s also useful to have a tweezers, a long bladed pocketknife and a clean white towel to work on. I took notes and labeled each pile of screws. Be aware, there are many screws that need to come out and many are different and need to go in the right places. Keep them sorted.

Take it apart
I won’t go into all the detail as the video will give you enough of that but my notes may be helpful in addition to the video.

Make sure your computer is backed up if possible. If your HD crashed and you need to do data recovery in it, do it before going further. I’m assuming here that you’re on top of this.

Also, leave the new hard disk in it’s anti-static bag so as not to mix it up with the old hard disk you are removing.

1. Shut the MacBook Pro down (don’t sleep it) and unplug all cables and power cord. The computer is closed and latched.

2. Spread clean towel out on a clear work surface. A large dining room table, well lit is perfect.

3. Turn the computer over and remove the battery.

4. Remove various screws on the bottom: memory cover, inside battery compartment.

5. Remove various screws on the case around the perimeter, back and sides. Open the computer and keep the screen as near to vertical as you can, not all the way opened.

6. Gently pry up the top keypad/touchpad but be aware: there is a ribbon cable attaching it to the motherboard so do not yank it up, just loosen it as the video instructs.

Note: this was the toughest part for me as my computer had been dropped and the fit wasn’t good anymore. A new or un-warped computer should be a lot easier.

7. On my computer, the ribbon cable was taped onto the motherboard. Simply pry up the tape and unplug the end of the ribbon cable from its connector on the motherboard. Make note of where it plugs in, it’s a very small rectangular connector that’s hard to differentiate from other components next to it. Put the keypad/touchpad aside, out of the way.

8. You can now see the hard disk in the bottom left corner. It is held in place by a simple 2 screw bracket but there are various wires tucked in around it.

9. Gently lift up on the wires and plastic pieces tucked in around the hard disk to expose two screws on the right side attaching the plastic bracket to the computer’s chassis. Make sure you’re looking at the correct screws, you don’t want to take apart the actual hard disk itself.

10. Unscrew these screws and be careful not to strip the wires that are now in close proximity. Also, be careful lifting them out; if they fall back in and roll under the hard disk it will be awkward to get them until you get the hard disk out.

11. Gently undo the hard disk from its power/data port in the back. It’s a wide ribbon connector fixed to the back end of the chassis. As you do this, also, un-stick the ribbon cable from the top of the hard disk (it’s just taped) so you can loosen it in back. This is delicate so be careful.

12. Lift the hard disk out of the machine. Make note of how the plastic bracket is oriented and installed on the right side of the hard disk.

13. Remove the plastic bracket from the right side and the 4 screws holding the rubber shock absorbing system. Keep them close by as you will need them for the new hard disk. As you do this, be aware, again, of how the plastic bracket is oriented.

Warning: don’t mix up the old, possibly damaged hard disk with the new one going in. Immediately put the one you just took out someplace out of reach and sight.

Take a deep breath, get a drink of water, pee. The rest is reversing what you just did.

Put it back together

MacBook Pro Hard Disk Replacement (detail)

In the image above note the area on the left where the internal hard disk goes (now removed). Also note the shock absorbing rubber mounts about to be attached to the new hard disk as well as its bracket.

13. Open the anti-static bag holding the new hard disk and hold the hard disk in your hand with its label facing up and it’s ports facing back (the label will be upside down to you in this orientation).

14. Attach the 4 rubber mounts to the new hard disk and clip the bracket onto the right side.

15. Lift up on the now loose brown ribbon cable under which the new hard disk will go and attach it to it’s power and data connector in the back.

16. Gently nudge it into place so that the right shock absorbing rubber rings are in their correct place and you can see through on the right to screw the bracket in place.

17. When everything is wiggled into place, screw the bracket down and reattach the sticky ribbon cable on top of the new hard disk.

18. Nestle the various wires and plastic stuff back into place around the now secured hard disk. Check the area to make sure things are flush so the keypad/trackpad can fit back on. Make sure no wires are bound or rubbing.

19. Place the keypad/trackpad in place so you can reconnect the ribbon cable. It’s awkward in that you need to hold it at an angle so the ribbon cable will reach. Reconnect the plastic connector making sure it’s pushed down on the right place on the motherboard. If there was tape, push down on that to hold the connector in place.

20. Gently lower the keypad/trackpad into place and starting from the front (away from the screen), snap the screw guides into place. Work your way around, not forcing anything until everything is flush an connected.

21. Close the screen and latch it.

22. Turn the computer over and replace all inner screws, memory cover and all bottom case screws.

23. Replace all perimeter and back case screws. You may need to squeeze down on the lid to hold the keypad/trackpad in place so as the screws line up. Do not force or over tighten these screws. Back off if they’re not fitting as you may have things misaligned.

24. Replace battery and you’re done.

Endnotes

The machine will not boot from this blank, unformatted hard disk so you’ll need to boot from your external backup.

Plug power cable back in and connect external hard disk that you will be booting from.

Turn on computer and boot from external.

Use Disk Tools on external to format the new hard disk. Don’t forget to partition it using the GUID partition table as it’s an Intel-based Mac.

Once it’s set up use SuperDuper! to copy your backup to the new internal hard disk.

When that’s done, set startup to the new internal hard disk and boot the machine.

Enjoy your new hard disk and let me know if you run into problems I might be able to help with.

MacBook Pro survives fall, sort of

Two mornings ago while carrying a cup of coffee and my relatively new 15″ MacBook Pro, I tripped over a box and went flying. I wish someone had been there to take a picture as I know it was a spectacular fall. The sound of the computer hitting the wooden floor was so loud that Anne thought a bookshelf had fallen over. I’m pretty sure I was completely airborne and parallel to the floor before I crashed down.

We drink our morning (Peet’s) coffee out of large Starbucks tumblers with closed tops so only a bit of coffee spilled but the computer hit hard. Very hard. Worse than a mere drop from 4 feet, it had much of my weight attached to it. Oh god.

I survived physically although my 55 year old psyche is definitely battered. “Old people fall down but you’re not an old person… uh… you fell down…”

Right, let’s not go there. The computer, which was sleeping (HD heads park in sleep) got some dings and the case is warped but the screen did not shatter and when I opened it it woke up like nothing had happened. Lucky me, or so I thought.

Portable Computing
I’ve had PowerBooks as long as Apple has made them and one or another has traveled all over the world with me and until two mornings ago I’d never dropped one, spilled coffee on a keyboard, or done a thing to cause these important parts of my life any distress. Since I got involved with computers in the late 1970s, whatever computer I’ve had has been the center of my life and once I moved from desktops to laptops the computer has become even more entwined in my life. I like it this way and my wife likes it this way. With a desktop computer I’d be in the office most of the time; with this computer I can sit in the living room with her reading Salon or google news while she reads or knits. This computer is not a second, portable computer, it is my only computer, and as such, the absolute center of many aspects of my life. I know how valuable it is, I treat it well and back it up and love it “up one side and down the other.”

Fit and Finish
Another complicating factor in this situation is that the case on this MacBook Pro has been slowly coming apart at the seams. Nothing huge but the fit and finish on the top edges/corners where the sides intersect with the top of the keypad area has been a problem ever since I got it and it was getting worse. This is the second MacBook Pro I’ve had; the first one was returned in less than a week and exchanged for this one for the same reason: the fit and finish on the case was just not right. I decided to live with this one as exchanges and data movement is a drag and there had been a “bump” in dealing with our local retail store that Apple corporate had to step in and make right (they did and they were wonderful).

AppleCare
So, now that I’ve dropped the computer whatever issue I had with the case is pretty much blown as there is now a lot more case damage than there was “naturally” before. I repeat, it amazes me that the entire thing didn’t shatter so while I am less than enthused about the fit and finish of the case, I am delighted that it withstood this fall.

Given that this is my only computer, it’s not like I can just send it off for repair. And, I have AppleCare which I love as it’s been very useful to me over the years, but, a fall like this is not something they cover so a repair is gonna cost me. However, the case is just cosmetic so what the heck, I can live with a beat up case. Continue reading