Old Macbook -- What to do?

nope7308

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 6, 2008
1,040
537
Ontario, Canada
I have an old 2008 Aluminum Macbook that's still kicking around. The battery is swollen/shot, the case has a few dings, and a few of the keyboard buttons are sticky. Other than that, the machine still works as expected.

I'm wondering what I should do with this thing. What do other people do? Sell them for parts on Craigslist/Kijiji? Upgrade components to extend operating life? Designate the machine as a media server or something? Use it as a gigantic paperweight?

I could probably fix it up myself and install Ubuntu or something, but I don't really have any use for the thing -- so why spend money on it? I've also grown accustomed to the retina screen, so going back would be difficult. If only Apple offered a trade-in program...

Anyhow, I'm just curious to learn what others have done with their old machines; perhaps I can find some inspiration in all this.
 

Samuelsan2001

macrumors 604
Oct 24, 2013
7,694
2,121
I have an old 2008 Aluminum Macbook that's still kicking around. The battery is swollen/shot, the case has a few dings, and a few of the keyboard buttons are sticky. Other than that, the machine still works as expected.

I'm wondering what I should do with this thing. What do other people do? Sell them for parts on Craigslist/Kijiji? Upgrade components to extend operating life? Designate the machine as a media server or something? Use it as a gigantic paperweight?

I could probably fix it up myself and install Ubuntu or something, but I don't really have any use for the thing -- so why spend money on it? I've also grown accustomed to the retina screen, so going back would be difficult. If only Apple offered a trade-in program...

Anyhow, I'm just curious to learn what others have done with their old machines; perhaps I can find some inspiration in all this.
My old machines get reconditioned as much as I can and passed on to members of my family, they appreciate them as great random presents and they get things they wouldn't spend that sort of money on themselves.
 

nope7308

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 6, 2008
1,040
537
Ontario, Canada
That's a good suggestion, but there's really no one in my immediate or extended family that could make use of it. I don't have many younger relatives, and nearly everyone works in the trades (i.e., anti-nerd). Any other suggestions?
 

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
478
Hi,

If you are currently in need of a laptop, why not repair it? Assuming everything in it is stock, get a new battery (try to get an official Apple battery if possible to avoid battery-ception, if not check out OWC) and a cheap 60GB or 120GB SSD simply for the speed. You'd be in it about $100 given the smaller storage SSD option, and you could still get quite a bit of use out of the notebook.

I hope this helps.
 

nope7308

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 6, 2008
1,040
537
Ontario, Canada
I already own a late-2013 rMBP that's currently in for repair (don't ask).

I think I'd be more inclined to repair the 2008 Macbook if the keyboard was in better working order. Is it feasible to replace the keyboard? What would be the approximate cost? I would only fix up the computer if it cost me less than $150 CAD all-in. I'd probably try for cheaper waiting for deals or used parts.

Given the low quality screen and iGPU, though, I have to seriously question the return on investment here. I would probably install Linux as I doubt this machine could run newer versions of OS X respectably. I think I'm getting a bit nostalgic with this machine -- probably because it's user upgradeable, unlike the newer stuff. That really grinds me gears.
 

Dark Void

macrumors 68030
Jun 1, 2011
2,614
478
I already own a late-2013 rMBP that's currently in for repair (don't ask).

I think I'd be more inclined to repair the 2008 Macbook if the keyboard was in better working order. Is it feasible to replace the keyboard? What would be the approximate cost? I would only fix up the computer if it cost me less than $150 CAD all-in. I'd probably try for cheaper waiting for deals or used parts.

Given the low quality screen and iGPU, though, I have to seriously question the return on investment here. I would probably install Linux as I doubt this machine could run newer versions of OS X respectably. I think I'm getting a bit nostalgic with this machine -- probably because it's user upgradeable, unlike the newer stuff. That really grinds me gears.
In that case, I would go ahead and sell it. I didn't expect you would be looking to do more in depth repairs to the keyboard, it was conveyed as something you're basically going to live with in your initial post. The keyboard is clearly a more inclined repair than other hardware swaps but it isn't that difficult. You need the proper tools and iFixIt more than likely has a guide to follow. You can always get a decent amount for it though, and most would advise you to sell it considering you have a rMBP.

I understand your nostalgia with it, though. My main laptop is a 2010 model and I am not keen on the direction things are going in notebook wise over at Apple, but it is what appeals to most.
 
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