While working in a company back in 2015 the IT guy sent an email to the staff offering to anyone interested one of a few old mac book pros. The company were giving them away because they were no longer good enough for their needs. I thought, “hey, free laptop!” so I got one.
It’s a late 2006 mac book pro. The first thing I remember when I opened it –the IT guy had put a fresh install of its operating system for me because he was cool and he liked me– was the chrome browser notifying that it was going to end its support for the existing operating system in the next few months. The laptop was running MacOs 10.7.5, the so-called Lion, and this was the latest system that this machine supported. It was released on October 2012, so I leave it to you to decide if 3-4 years of support is enough or not.
When I left that job and returned home I gave the laptop to my mother and told her to avoid clicking on fancy colors on the internet. Every now and then I had to help her with problems that arose randomly, for example the wifi would stop working or various applications were popping up at startup without her will. Basically, the system lagged, and during winter you could avoid turning the heating on and rely on some internet browsing from the mac book pro to keep your house warm. The laptop was running the operating system provided by the company that manufactured it.
Could I install linux on it? A quick internet search suggested that holding down the “option” key would make it possible to read from a usb stick with a linux image flashed in. Ha. I’d wish. I had several attempts trying every key on the laptop’s crappy keyboard. I tried every combination of them that could make some sense. Basically, I spent a lot of hours trying every suggestion and every idea I could find online. At some point I was so pissed off that I just deleted the operating system and left its recovery partition only. No system was available to boot, but still, no way to install something else. Apple had closed every road to something other than what they designed for it. Of course, I do not hold on high regard their “security through obscurity” and “it stopped working so buy a new fancy one” policies and I am not surprised they stick to them since there are –unfortunately– plenty of victims brainwashed by their superiorly designed crap.
Last month I did the only thing I had not tried before. I unscrewed the laptop, took out its drive and plugged it in my old desktop pc. Its motherboard has 8 lovely SATA conections. I plugged the hard drive containing the remaining macOs recovery crap on one of them, I formatted all of it to ext4, installed linux mint 19, the goddamn latest version running the latest stable linux kernel and well, it works so perfectly fine I won’t give it to my mother. It feels better than new.