I recently got an M2 MacBook Air to replace my 2014 MacBook Pro. Apple offered to recycle my old machine (and give me a token $90 off my new laptop as a trade-in), which I gladly opted-in to.
However, when it got time to actually wipe my old laptop and trade it in, I couldn’t help but get a little sentimental about it. I’ve used this laptop for nearly a decade – and it was a (perhaps the) formative decade of my life. I did all of my college work on this laptop, studied computer science, wrote essentially all of the posts on this blog (from its inception until ~2021), traveled internationally with it, took it across several moves, used it to secure my first job post-college, et cetera, et cetera.
It was, and is, a great machine. If not for its woefully aged processor and now-insufficient memory, I’d happily keep using it. And I did keep using it, well past its point of obsolescence. I’ve used it for years in both laptop and “clamshell” mode, and the only nontrivial issue I had with it was a swollen battery (which I was able to fix for a reasonable price). But nearly everything else – the keyboard, the port selection, the screen – was basically my favorite hardware that Apple has yet released.
That’s not to say there weren’t some frustrating aspects of it – the worst being that it only had 256GB of internal storage, so I had to juggle external storage for its entire lifetime. I usually kept an additional 256GB SD card in it, using a micro SD card and an adapter that kept it flush with the port. Of course, this wasn’t the best solution, as SD cards aren’t really meant for this type of access pattern. But it worked!
Unfortunately, a couple months ago I realized my MBP was struggling to manage even a single Chrome tab, and noticed that is just was not pleasant to use this machine anymore. I never checked to see if I could update its macOS version past the Mojave that I parked it on, but I wouldn’t trust any of the more recent releases to run well on it. Also, as more tools are optimized for M1+, Intel macs just aren’t long for this world.
I strongly considered keeping the old MBP as a momento of this now-closed chapter of my life, but ultimately decided on recycling it. One less piece of old hardware sitting around, and hopefully Apple actually is able to salvage some materials from it.
I have a fairly strong tendency to become attached to the tools I use over time. One practice that tends to work for “releasing” sentimental objects is taking a picture of it, and being intentional about what value it brought me, and allowing it to go (in a fairly Kondo-esque fashion)
Well. So long and farewell, to my 2014 MacBook Pro. Thanks for your many years of stable service. 👋🙏
Cover: Snowshoeing @ Mt. Rainier, March 2023