RSM Experiment: Using my iPad 2 as my only computer – Background

Well, that’s done. My 2007 MacBook has finally up and died. I’ve spend the last few months trying to eek out more time with my MacBook by upgrading the RAM, then the hard drive. Then upgrading the hard drive again for more space and because that drive, at 7200 rpm, might have been running too hot for the inclosure.

It all seemed to be going just fine until last week, when my MacBook would not wake from screen saver mode. The drive wasn’t asleep. I could still access my iTunes home sharing via my Apple TV, but the MacBook itself wouldn’t come out of screen saver for me to do anything else. After trying a few of the force quit key combinations I just held down the power button to force it to shut down.

That’s the last thing she was capable of doing. Rebooting the machine brought up the dreaded folder with a question mark on it indicating that the Mac couldn’t find a system folder to boot from. Luckily, I still had my old drive in an external inclosure, so I booted from that via USB. Running disk utility showed that the new internal drive had a catalog b-tree error and would need to be reformatted.

I thought that perhaps this new drive (which had only been in the MacBook a week) was at fault, and perhaps I could fix it. If I couldn’t, then it was still under the 30 day no hassle return policy at I decided to try to boot into single user mode and run fsck and try to repair what I could. Unfortunately, the MacBook never booted up again after that. I could no longer get the MacBook to boot from the external old drive I knew still worked (I had mounted it to my husband’s iMac and verified all was well), let alone the internal new drive. There was no more question mark system folder icon on the blueish grey startup screen. There was only the blueish grey startup screen.

Since I cannot boot from either drive, my suspicion is that the mother board has finally died. Whether this is related to the rechargeable battery which had started to warp and which I had removed so I could take it to an Apple store, or it just failed because it’s almost five years old, I don’t know.  I’ve decided that it’s not worth putting any more money into this machine and it’s finally time to get something new.

Since I am fairly familiar with Apple’s typically cycle of hardware updates, I know that both the MacBook Pro and the iMac are very close to new revisions. I am leaning toward an iMac because I have found I need more hard disk space than a laptop would come with to hold movies to stream via my Apple TV. Since getting my iPad, I’ve used the laptop less as a laptop and more as a desktop machine. The currently shipping iMac was released in May of 2011, so it’s very  very close to a new model’s potential release date if Apple holds to my perception of their schedule. All of which means, that whether I replace my old black MacBook with a new MacBook Pro or an iMac, I am going to have to wait.

This leaves me with no computer for the next month or so, giving me an opportunity to test whether I can get along with just my iPad 2. I thought I’d take the opportunity to document how I use the iPad 2 and whether I really could get by without a computer. In the end, since I plan on buying a new Mac as soon as I can, I know the answer is no, but it’s going to be a challenge to see how much I can get by without one.

It is worth noting that even though I have an iPad, I still used my MacBook from time to time. To see if I can use just the iPad, I will be listing all of the things I typically use my MacBook for and go through one by one to with iPad only solutions.

This should be interesting.


About rocketsciencemom
I am a rocket scientist in my day job, and a mother of two all the time. I'm a pop culture addict and amateur artist in my spare time. My typical preferences tend toward sci-fi and fantasy genres but I love a good drama or comedy. Reading the blogs of fellow Lost fans over the years has motivated me to finally write my own. All drawings and images on this blog are property of RocketScienceMom

3 Responses to RSM Experiment: Using my iPad 2 as my only computer – Background

  1. Pingback: RSM Experiment: Using my iPad 2 as my only computer –part II podcast management Stitcher app « Rocket Science and kids

  2. Pingback: RSM Experiment: Using my iPad 2 as my only computer –part III: Editing Photos « Rocket Science and kids

  3. Pingback: The end of my iPad only experiment « Rocket Science and kids

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