I should probably have that looked at

’tis the season for broken laptops.  Last month, I took in my laptop-turned-server with the broken video chip and expired AppleCare.  Fortunately, it was a known defect and they covered it, even with the expired warranty.  My main computing device, an older-model (Rev. B) MacBook Air (also with expired AppleCare) has been slowly deteriorating over the past few weeks.  You see, the hinge is breaking:

When open, the screen is a bit floppy.  When closed, there is a several millimeter gap between the lid and base.  For comparison, this is the good hinge on the other side:

It looks like the hinge problem is a known issue, but I’ll have to take the machine in to see whether or not they’ll cover it for free.  If not free, I am going to have to think long and hard as to whether to get another MacBook Air or switch to a Pro.  I love the size, but the glossy screen (with no option for matte) and nonstandard parts (specifically, the soldered-in memory and nonstandard hard drive with nonstandard connector) have caused me problems a few times in the past few years.

Posted in: Dear Diary Gadgets

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Brian Enigma

Brian Enigma is a Portlander, manipulator of atoms & bits, minor-league blogger, and all-around great guy. He typically writes about the interesting “maker” projects he's working on, but sometimes veers off into puzzles, software, games, local news, and current events.

2 thoughts on “I should probably have that looked at”

    1. I loved mine when I first got it — but when the hard drive crapped out and I wanted to upgrade to an SSD, I was less than happy about the 1.8″ (or whatever it was) drive with proprietary ZIF plastic ribbon connector. And when they lowered the system requirements of Aperture to run on the processor, I wasn’t too happy that about the lack of memory upgrade options.

      I still think it’s a great machine, and the more I do work over SSH and VNC, the less powerful of a laptop I need. I’d like an iPad-with-keyboard to be my solution for everything, but there’s still some light-duty coding I do in my spare time. The more my fingers get used to alt-tab and ctrl-tab, the more painful coding over SSH becomes. (I’ve since forgotten all the fancy emacs/vim commands for multiple buffers.) And coding over VNC is an exercise in pain.

      What I’d really like is for this Air to hold out long enough for a clear new-laptop answer to be apparent. I’m still torn between the Air and Pro, but if a “convertible” came out (like a few vague rumors predict), that might be the best of the iPad/laptop worlds and be a single gadget to take the place (size+weight) of two that currently live in my messenger bag.

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