Lauren Goode

Recent Posts by Lauren Goode

White MacBook, It Was Good Living With You

It’s official: The white MacBook is now really, truly dead. Apple is said to have notified resellers that its white plastic 13-inch laptop will no longer be available to educational institutions. MacRumors first reported the news on Wednesday.

The white MacBook’s availability to the public actually ended last July, on the same day Apple introduced its new MacBook Air for just $999, but Apple had kept the distribution channel open for schools.

(Now, it seems, Apple would rather have those schools buy lots of iBooks-equipped iPads – or stripped-down MacBook Airs!)

As I sat here writing this, I realized that I have one of these relics lying unused on the desk next to me — or rather, next to my shinier, newer laptop.

First launched in 2006, the MacBook was, as AllThingsD’s Walt Mossberg put it, a “low-end portable computer aimed at average consumers” — and the best-selling Macintosh in history.

I bought a 2007 model of the white plastic MacBook in early 2008, and it was the first Apple computer I’d used since my elementary-school computer classes, in which we used (I’m fairly certain) the Apple II. It had a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor! A glossy display! A built-in iSight camera! Six hours of battery life! Smooth, clean keys — and at five pounds it seemed so light (though hardly by today’s laptop standards).

But things change. And I eventually graduated to other laptops.

Oh, white MacBook: You couldn’t handle heavy video editing, and after a while, your battery wouldn’t hold a charge and your keys never, ever looked clean, no matter how hard we tried. But we did have some good times. Au revoir.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work