Pröper Gander

Macbook Necromancy

A couple of weeks ago I found our old aluminum unibody Macbook from 2008 and wondered if there was any way I could get it working again. Unfortunately, one of our cats1 had chewed up the MagSafe cable.

However, I was able to order a new cable and battery from Other World Computing, and the parts arrived today. The old Macbook is running again, but needs a RAM upgrade and a solid-state drive. 2GB of RAM and a 250GB drive was miserly in 2008, and it's pathetic today.

Of course, upgrading spinning rust to solid-state will require trying to install OSX on bare metal, unless I go with a Linux or a BSD. And since this machine has Nvidia graphics and a Broadcom BCM43xx wifi chipset, using a FOSS operating system is going to be a pain in the ass.

The upside of getting the latest possible OSX on the new drive is that I'll be able to use standard publishing tools when I'm ready to publish stories and novels again. The downside is that I'll be using a proprietary OS on personal equipment again, albeit one partially derived from BSD. In the meantime, Debian 10 works reasonably well, aside from the flaky wifi.

Regardless, I should wait until I get paid again before buying more parts. In any case, the trackpad doesn't seem to work properly; pressing down to click doesn't do anything. But at least USB mice are cheap.


  1. Virgil was the best cat, but he had expensive tastes! ↩︎