Been feeling very nostalgic recently, especially participating on social media's Throwback Thursdays and Flashback Fridays on our Instagram page (now defunct). While a basic post would do justice, I'd feel it's better to publish and write a full blog entry about it. Presenting my first personal laptop and Macintosh computer: Looking back at my very first MacBook Pro! I feel like it was less than 5 years ago that I just got it; That's how long it's been.
(If you want to know the exact model of my MacBook Pro, you can read the full specs here, as it is the A1150 model.)
It was late 2008, and during the summer, I was shopping high and low for a Mac computer. I nearly settled for a used iMac, the white "plastic" version, but realized I needed mobility. I was still a college student that time, yet despite doing occasional freelance video work, it look a long while for me to save and find an appropriate price to me to snag my very first laptop. Prior to that, I was using a Sony VAIO RS-320 desktop computer, given to me as a gift from my parents during high school as they saw my love and passion for video production. A few days after my birthday, someone was selling a MacBook Pro, in like new condition, at a nominal price with a fresh new charger and a carrying case. I opted in, and the seller was nice enough to walk me through a fresh installation of OS 10.5 Leopard operating system. My pursuance into a new system, embedded from a Unix structure, was actualized and a whole new exploration was about to take place.
It's about to be October 2020, and this computer still boots up normally. Sometimes, near the bottom of the screen, it has some burned-out pixels (it disappears sometimes), but it still works. Despite the assumptions, and the time Apple® was reported to purposely shorten the lifespan of their devices to force users to purchase a new one which was later proven in court, the longevity of these computers all depends on the user taking good care of them. People hate hearing that response, but I'd say the same to video gamers who place cold drinks on their PS4s and/or their Xbox Ones, then wonder why they stop working. You might as well use your laptop keyboard as a pitcher to mix and serve drinks.
Anyway, with this old laptop, originally released in 2006, not only held through all the years using it, but this machine was able to withstand everything I loaded on it. I installed and edited using Adobe PhotoShop, Final Cut Pro [5.1] managing both SD and HD footage, created some 'so-so' animations using Apple Motion, and even partitioned the hard drive to install Ubuntu Linux—the gateway to exploring the beauty of Computer Science, namely game programming, website management and general software programming. Back during this time, Mac had a lousy support for Java, so I ended up teaching myself the C programming language. I took that opportunity to get myself familiar with the Linux system, its terminal, the gVIM text editor, all while being able to switch back to the Mac system to get whatever video projects I had planned. Despite the wrist area being too flat and prone to heat while typing, I used to put cheap Pokémon stickers to ease the discomfort—even when writing and publishing pages for my website, which, interestingly enough, started as a portfolio website (it wasn't mobile friendly at all!). I did run into some trouble, but it wasn't significant to the point where I feared that I had to invest in a new computer (Leopard would occasionally glitch, and sometimes the Apple® logo wouldn't show). As the years came by, the beautiful Unibody MacBooks were shipping and while it looked sleek and neat, I barely batted a second eye. Nevertheless, as I continued to maximize my video production, I knew I needed a more powerful system, and in 2011, I began looking at the Mac Pro to handle a lot of my HD projects that time. In the meantime, it was also the time I began pondering going into computer science, let alone the sciences, and the speed this MacBook Pro had led me to re-think my career path. Say what you want about programming on a Mac, but because of its Unix-based features, it was hard to ignore, let alone fully pursue. (I ended up taking another gamble at video production for the next 8 years.)
"Wow, really, Kris? A computer made you question your career choice?" It's a very absurd answer to admit, but because of the things I learned, and exploring the beauty and comfortability of Linux, it wasn't just a system to do browsing, do online chatting and checking your social media accounts. Testing and running the tools available to freely navigate Unix-like systems was an experience I will never regret, making me love computers even more. As I was near graduating college, pondering my path wanting to do programming of all sorts, my parents reminded me that even at the tender age of 4, I knew how to run and operate a command-line DOS computer (an IBM 386, and a Windows 3.1). I sort of remembered, personally, but because my mom worked for a company that was heavily specialized in computer systems, it was no surprise. That was also the time my dad and I became more attentive to computer technologies, what new computers were being released, special features and other gadgets. As for my sister, she got a hold of her first iPhone and became hooked; She's a huge fan of Apple.
The battery life on these computers were terrible, as mine only held up for no more than 6 months (yes, I purchased it brand new). From that point on, even during classes, I'd go out of my way to use the AC adapter. I even used the TextMate text editor to write down my notes that time (I reserved MacVim strictly for practicing programming and web production).
The only thing I was not able to properly install, via partition, was a flavor of BSD Unix, be it FreeBSD, DesktopBSD, DragonflyBSD or even MidnightBSD. I never found any solution(s) so I stuck with Linux anyway. On the Windows side, it was the time when Windows 7 was released, despite the public's disgust toward Vista, but I never made the time to purchase a copy and install it on my MacBook Pro. Besides, I had a fun time using Windows XP, and always had an irrational reason to move on from that operating system because it worked and was stable for me. While folks would've suggested using Parallels or VirtualBox, I usually used the Bootcamp method, via rEFIt, and ran a secondary operating system that way. Once again, it was a tough thing to ignore when using the Mac to its maximum potential, to the point where installing, testing and using systems that specialize in programming computation really triggered a wake-up call in wanting to work with computers for the rest of my life. (Having jumped back and forth from video production and stuff, especially due to the pandemic, it was yet another huge reality check for me, personally, and will strictly focus on such path. I just don't see myself making my mark in entertainment anymore, as I outgrew it now. I just want to work with and hang around computers all day, every day.)
Currently, having fully installed Leopard with no partitions, my old MacBook Pro serves as a back-up option to run older software. Heck, it has the defunct Yahoo! Messenger still installed (that's how long ago it was, the last time I used it). Besides that, the fact that it still boots up to desktop to this day warms my heart, knowing that this "time machine" was a portal to all the awesome things I learned and practiced doing during its usage—majority of them was computer programming. Even the smell gives me nostalgia—the smell of old hardware operating and running, like being in a classroom stocked with older desktop machines from the nineties. My patience and the opportunities that this system supported led me to open and embrace my love for computers much further, and I'm forever grateful for that.
I truly want to thank the seller, whom I forgot the name of, for pricing the MacBook Pro reasonably, and thank Apple® for a great system they've built to make this happen. I love computers, and will forever hold my interest in computers, whether it's desktops, laptops, micro-PCs or tablets.
What was the first laptop you purchased and own(ed) that secured your love for everything about computers? Let's talk in the comments below!