My set of Early 2011 17-inch MacBook Pros are no longer my latest and primary computers.
I actually didn’t acquire them until early 2012, and snagged them when the next model was already having its own successor mentioned in Apple advertising. So I’ve been using this model for nine years. As nearly always, it wasn’t my dissatisfaction with the performance and capability of the machine, but compatibility with something that someone else needed me to have, that pushed the update.
The replacement (just one individual computer so far) is a 15" 2018-vintage MacBook Pro. It has an annoying lack of ports — nothing but a headphone jack and four Thunderbolt 3 ports. But my workplace changed their minimum OS guest policy, has to be Mojave or newer, and I can’t run Mojave on the old boxen except in virtual machines. Which didn’t pass performance muster. Well, umm, actually I found a patch that let me coerce Mojave into running on this model anyway, and I did try that, but the performance of that also doesn’t cut it. Either the things they patched make it inefficient or Mojave is too much for a decade-old processor to push around efficiently. I got a slew of adapters so I can plug in an array of USB devices and ethernet and two external DVI monitors and I’ll be using the new box tomorrow.
The previous season of computer-replacement was January 2006, when I acquired a 17" G4 PowerBook, the last of the PowerPC laptops. That one was underpowered from the start, faster than the computer it was replacing, but not by a spectacular amount in an era where Moore’s Law still held. It did have a gorgeous 1680 x 1050 screen though, a rather dramatic upbump from the 1024 x 768 laptop that preceded it.
And the laptop it was replacing was a “WallStreet” 1998 PowerBook G3, my first laptop ever, which was one beautiful machine. Old-world ports (ADB and SCSI instead of USB and FireWire), and no wireless internet, but an upgrade-capable processor on a daughtercard let me bump it from 300 MHz G3 to 500 MHz G4.
~ 23 years from three models of laptop isn’t doing too bad, I guess. And I’ve still got the old ones in working order for nostalia