I’ve had my 13″ unibody aluminum Apple MacBook since 2008, making this the longest ever I’ve held on to a single computer. I’m a bit of a geek at heart and computers were always getting too slow and out of spec fairly fast. Then again I’ve always had PC’s in a mid-tower configuration where swapping out the CPU or any other part of the computer for better, faster, more expensive… was just a matter of a single screw or two.
The MacBook wasn’t my intro to Apple computers, and it wasn’t my first Apple laptop either, but since getting it almost four years ago now the thing simply worked and did everything I threw at it fairly well. Naturally the tech world moved on, files got bigger, movies got better resolution, websites got more complex, and stuff started lagging just enough to where I wanted to spruce things up a bit. Not being in a position to buy a whole new computer, and by that I mean getting a new MacBook, I tried to give the old machine a new lease on life.
The late 2008 Unibody MacBook is fairly locked down when it comes to upgrading. I already have the maximum 4gigs of RAM, already have the 2.4ghz Intel Core 2 Duo processor that was the fastest for this series at the time, and I swapped out the original 250gig drive for a 500gig Scorpio Blue drive a long time ago. So my four year regenerative upgrade consisted of a new battery and a 128gig SSD hard drive to speed things up operating system wise. Not wanting to let go of my 500gig drive, I decided to get rid of the SuperDrive DVD burner altogether and with the help of an aftermarket caddy I now have a 500gig drive where the DVD burner used to be. The new 128gig SSD went in place of the main drive.
New battery swap is the easiest, I mean what’s there to expect, right? Wrong. In Poland the only place to get genuine Apple parts is an iSpot Apple retailer, no Apple Stores here. But they no longer have batteries for my model, so I turned to Allegro (Polish eBay) to find a new one. There’s plenty out there to choose from, most say straight out that they’re refurbished with new cells inside, but I managed to buy one that was listed as brand new and original. Or so I thought. The first battery I received never even made it into my MacBook. The battery was obviously used; it had scratches and signs of being taken in and out of a computer. I sent it back immediately and received a new-er one, though it too didn’t look ideal. As I type this I have an estimated 3 hours 15 minutes of charge left at 83% capacity which feels about right from what I can remember, and while a battery software cycle counter says it’s brand new there’s no doubt in my mind I got a refurbished battery here. Which is fine since it performs well, just don’t shaft me telling me it’s brand new and original. End of rant.
New 128gig SSD hard drive with a fresh OS X Snow Leopard install, a 500gig hard drive swap in place of the SuperDrive DVD burner, and a refurbished battery. To top things off I ordered a few MacBook decals and for the time being went with the Ironman sticker for the Apple logo lid. It’s a perfect cherry-on-top. Results are pretty awesome. The computer boots up much faster, I get a much better time off of the AC cable, and a cool look to boot.