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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

How I went from an iBook G3 to a brand new 15" MacBook Pro for $50.

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Member Since: Jan 23, 2012
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TeeJaye is on a distinguished road

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Hi everyone, I'm brand new to this forum - I signed up just two days ago but have been browsing on them for the past year or so. I just wanted to take a moment to share my experience with Apple and how I switched from a PC to Mac, and over the course of three years, ended up with a brand new MacBook Pro for just $50. The story spans over about four years, so it's pretty detailed, but read on if you'd like. Note, I did not scam anyone at any point in the process - I promise!

So, after graduating high school in 2006, I took all the money I had been saving for a laptop for college and bought a brand new HP Pavilion dv6000 special edition since I had always used Windows, and never even considered a Mac mainly for the price, but also because I had always been a Windows user. At the time, it was a pretty high-end laptop and came with Windows Vista since it had just been released the month before. Needless to say, it had a TON of problems. Luckily I purchased a three-year accidental warranty from Best Buy at the time, so the problems were covered, but I began to get sick of having to send out the computer for up to two weeks at a time while they repaired it.

While I was without my HP, I was aimlessly browsing on eBay one night and found a G3 clamshell iBook for $60 with the yo-yo charger. For the heck of it, I figured I'd give Mac a try and see what the fuss was about, so I bought it. When I got it a few days later, I had found that the computer was maxed out with RAM, had a bigger hard drive than the listing explained, and even had an Airport card! I took time to play with it and got used to OS X almost immediately and eventually got a friend to upgrade the OS to Tiger for me. After getting back my HP and it had been working okay at the time, the iBook was just sitting in my closet, so for some extra money, I listed it on eBay. It ended up selling for $250 with all the upgrades, which shocked me. Sure enough, the motherboard in my HP died shortly after. I took some of the money I got from selling the iBook and bought an iBook G4 off of Craigslist for a good price.

Eventually after getting used to Leopard, the G4 became my daily user and I ended up ditching the HP. I used the G4 for about four months and then ended up graduating college and got an apartment of my own, so I decided it may be time for a desktop. I listed the G4 on eBay to see what I would get for it, then take that money and see what iMac or Mac Mini I can get with it. The iBook sold for $400, and I bought an iMac G5 off Craigslist from an older lady for exactly $400, so I broke even! The G5 worked great for me for almost a year, then all of a sudden the logic board started to fail and I was experiencing a lot of graphics issues. Since the computer wasn't under warranty, I was quoted a huge amount of money to replace it, so since I needed a computer and couldn't afford a new one, I bit the bullet and posted the iMac on eBay for parts and would use that money to buy whatever Mac I could find.

The iMac sold for $380 (WITH THE FAILING LOGIC BOARD!) and I found a black MacBook with a Core Duo and 1GB of RAM for $350, so I scooped that up. The black MacBook served me very well for a pretty long time, and over that time, I upgraded the RAM to 4GB, hard drive to 250GB, and loaded Snow Leopard on it. Last month, my uncle had told me over Christmas dinner that his 15" unibody MacBook Pro had bad screen flicker issues, and that the Apple store replaced the display assembly under his extended AppleCare, and when he got it back, the flicker was still there. He told me his job was giving him a new MacBook Pro anyway so he wasn't going to worry about the other one. I figured since the MacBook was still under AppleCare until March of this year, they're going to repair it until the flicker problem was fixed, so there was no sense in giving up on it. He told me he would sell the MacBook to me for $600 if I wanted and worry about trying to get it fixed before the AppleCare ran out.

A 15" unibody MacBook Pro for $600? Heck yeah! 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, 250GB hard drive and discreet graphics chip - heck, even if Apple didn't get it fixed, I can live with the flicker by switching the graphics to the discreet chip, because the flicker was only there when the shared card was being used. I gave him the cash for the MacBook and later posted my blackbook on Craigslist for $600, hoping I can break even. Unfortunately, no one wanted it for $600, even though it had been upgraded, but I did sell it to a nice man who was buying it for his daughter for $550. Oh well, I didn't mind spending $50 on upgrading to a MUCH, MUCH better machine.

Well, the graphics issue was pretty serious, so I took it in to the Apple store in Ardmore, Pennsylvania. They immediately saw it flickering and ordered a new logic board and another display assembly for it. The Genius told me that there is actually a pretty big chance it may not fix the problem, because the late-2008 unibody MacBook Pros suffered from a problem with their NVIDIA chips causing the flicker. Sure enough, three days later I get the laptop back, take it home and yup, screen flicker was still there. I call the Apple store and explain the situation, because the drive to the store is a huge pain, not because it's very far, but the traffic there is terrible. They wouldn't help me over the phone and told me to bring it back in. I set up an appointment for the next day (which is yesterday) and showed them the problem and paperwork proving I just got it back from being fixed. The Genius wasn't very sympathetic and said that the parts they got may have just been defective and wouldn't do anything else for me other than order new parts and try again. I asked him, "Well, what happens if you replace them AGAIN, and the problem is still there? I can't keep coming back here just to keep getting parts replaced all the time, this is my daily computer, just saying." I was being very friendly and patient, and the Genius, Evan, must've been having a bad day or something because he was just being robotic and kept reiterating that they'll replace what they can until the problem goes away and that they won't give it back until it passes all tests. So, I left the store that night without my computer again, not knowing when I'd get it back.

The rest of that night, it was bugging me a lot, so I called the AppleCare support hotline and spoke with a really, really friendly and understanding representative by the name of Geoff who said he was going to contact the store the next morning and find out what they did, what they were going to do, and what can be done. I wasn't expecting much, other than having them expedite the process so I can get the computer back a little bit quicker this time, so we hung up after he advised me he will keep me posted through e-mail.

The next morning, literally just about nine hours after speaking with Geoff from Apple, I got a call from the Apple store saying they weren't going to bother fixing it, and they were replacing it with a new 2011 15" MacBook Pro with an i7! I couldn't believe that they were doing that, so I drove to the Apple store after work today and sure enough, they brought out a brand new MacBook Pro for me and already had all my files and settings transferred! I signed a couple papers and was all set, left the store with a new 15" MacBook Pro 2.4GHz i7, 4GB of RAM, 750GB hard drive.

Just wanted to share this with everyone - buying and selling on Craigslist and eBay, as long as you take good care of your products, keep them as up-to-date as you can and explain everything as best as possible in the listings, you can get great deals and upgrade from an older machine to a newer one by keeping an eye out. Apple's customer service is definitely top-notch, and while I really did just get lucky by having them replace it, it was a fantastic stroke of luck that left me very, very happy, and I won't be looking to swap this computer out for a new one anytime soon.
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Wow, what an amazing story and history of switching to the Mac! Very COOL!
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Welcome to the forum TeeJaye and yes what a amazing story and journey to join us on this side

Good to see Apple support reputation still stands


Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!!!!!
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Gee whiz!!! Great read. Very good encouragement to take care of our stuff. I can share the same feelings as you have for Apple care and their Customer Service. Multiple times I have been impressed by the lengths that they will go to to replace or fix a product. You may be paying more up front but over time it definitely will pay off

Help your fellow forum members out and use the Reputation system EH?
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Member Since: Sep 21, 2011
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Excellent post, and I'm actually quite jealous of your good fortune!

Welcome, enjoy your new Mac, and if you give it the respect it deserves as I'm sure you will, it won't cost you much to upgrade in the future either!

Play the guitar?! Check out the [newly created]Mac-Forums guitar thread!
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Wow, that's really a great story. enjoy your new MBP!

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WOW!!!! Thanks for sharing!

Use the reputation system if a post helps you!
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kudos to the tech support at apple, man - can't go wrong with some of them.

Yesterday, I met one on the other end of the spectrum -
someone had hacked my iTunes and jacked up my Mac ID. I worked with this gal for about 2 hours and got nothing but some major attitude. She did try, but sometimes, you HAVE to think outside the box, which she didn't.

However today really made up for it...
my lil aluminum MacBook (late 2008) decided to commit suicide after I tried to upgrade it to Mountain Lion. I worked with this one fellow on the phone today for no less than 5-6 hours, trying everything either of us could think of.
It's out of warranty, of course, so thought crap - this is going to be costly.
The fellow is covering the cost of replacing the hard drive for me.
REALLY restores your faith in mankind.

Now, if I could talk the techs into doing it while I wait, would save me making a 4 hour round trip twice... LOL~

There are some awesome Apple techs out there, isn't there?

MOTTO TO LIVE BY..... Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well-preserved body... but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming... "WOW, what a helluva ride!"
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