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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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik