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No mojave on this machine

brandelune profile image エラリー ジャンクリストフ Originally published at mac4translators.blogspot.com on ・2 min read

I bought this MacBook Pro in July 2011. It is a 13" machine, to which I added 16gb of ram from the start.

A few months ago I removed the hard disk that was getting really old and seemed to have issues, and put an SSD drive instead. The speed bump was immediately noticeable and it really felt like this machine was getting a second life.

Now I had one issue left. Battery life.

The original battery served me well for 7 years. After more than 1300 cycles, the capacity was down to about 50% of the original battery, which meant 2h30 of autonomy at best (unless you cut wifi and a number of services that run in the background). I started putting a recharger in my bag a few weeks ago but that was not a really satisfying situation.

This week, I decided to get a new battery. The difficult part is to identify a maker that sells good products, at a reasonable price. I eventually found a seemingly good product for about ¥8000 and installed it right away.

It looks like the battery sensors needed some time to get used to the new data. At first they were struggling to reconcile the legacy data with the new battery performance. Eventually I am at a point where I get at least 5 hours on a charge. That's a huge improvement since I'm seldom far from a power cord for more than 5 hours, and I usually don't work on the machine for that much time in a row.

So, now that my machine is almost like new (except for the bumps and scratches on the aluminium cover, for the keyboard keys that seem to have taken a hit from my nails after so many years, and for the screen that seems to have some imprinted key shapes on it that I can't remove), I was thinking that a software upgrade was in order. But I knew from when mojave was announced that High Sierra would be the last macos version I could install on that machine.

I think it's the first time my work machine is too old to support the latest version of macos. But after the hardware upgrades, and the fact that 16gb makes it run extremely smoothly even for a 7 years old machine, I don't feel like I need a new machine.

I heard stories about the touch bar and about the keyboard on the new MBPs. I wouldn't want to spend money on Apple hardware if I were not sure such issues were solved. Also, if I were to buy a new laptop, it would probably be a super light and thin machine. So unless something bad happens, I guess I'll wait for a few more years, when the applications I use require frameworks that do not support this High Sierra machine anymore. Then, I'll buy the equivalent of what the current Mac Book is. A super tight (is "tight" a contraction of "thin" and "light"?) machine, with nice specs (and they will feel especially nice after having worked on this MBP for about 10 years).


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Posted on Sep 30 '18 by:

brandelune profile

エラリー ジャンクリストフ

@brandelune

In Japan since '97. Translating and localizing on Mac since 2000. FOSS advocate and user. Super proud that I have some code that's been accepted in Emacs :^)

Discussion

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Honestly I think the the new Macbook Pros aren't worth the purchase anymore (and I have bought into the Apple ecosystem since 2004.) The touchbar is, at best, a gimmick rarely utilized, and for me, at worst, a nuisance since my fat fingers trigger the ultra sensitive touch bar way to much when I access the number row keys. Also there are a number of other issues to consider:
1) the hd is now SOLDERED in to the logic board.. meaning if logic board breaks down for any reason, you are out of luck in recovering any data. Of course, I keep regular backups, but still.
2) the keyboard are not great.. this is a subjective thing, but much prefer their previous generation of keyboards.

For one of my projects, I was loaned an XPS13 Dev laptop. Believe in the hype, that was a sweet machine (ran linux on it. haven't used windows in years). I'd definitely look into that if you were lookng for a purchase.

 

I think I would have moved to Linux a while ago weren't it for the clearly superior i18n of Mac hardware and software.

On any Mac I've had since I started working on them (ooops, not really, back in 95 with system 7 you had to buy separate l10n packages, but still), I've been able to use the same keyboard layout to type French/Japanese/English out of the box. That means that I do not have to learn a new kb layout and blind type on key that are not labeled the way they output, that means that I also do not have to hack a system that won't be portable over machines and distributions, etc.

There are other things that I find extremely valuable (AppleScript for one) but I'm sure I could find other ways to automate my processes on Linux, or maybe Windows.

Right now, I don't plan a purchase. And unless my machine dies, I'm pretty sure that I'd rather have an extremely portable solution, like a tablet, even if it doesn't run Java (for my pro apps), so that I could keep the MBP with Java for work and the tablet for the non-Java tasks... But I'll see that 2-3 years from now I guess.

Thank you for the input !