Won a Mac. Sold a Mac.

Posted: January 15, 2010 by ralliart12 in 1-hour notebook
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

This is the survey that won me a MacBook

I’ve won a MacBook. It all started when I participated in this survey issued by SingTel as part of their “Mo4U” campaign. Right before (like 1 day before) I left for Taiwan, I received a letter from SingTel informing me that I’ve won a “MacBook 13″ New Aluminium cover“. That is the exact phrase printed verbatim on my notification letter (verify this line against image of survey above) & one can see why I’d the impression that I simply won a MacBook accessory, i.e. a laptop external protective casing of sorts. Hence, I wasn’t all enthusiastic about the prize & even joked about it with S while we were en route to the airport the following day.

A few days after my return, a very nice “Ms Clarice” called & encouraged me to collect the prize as she thought either:

  • the letter she dispatched didn’t reach me, or
  • I’ve clean forgotten about the prize, or
  • I couldn’t be bothered to collect

My 1st official Apple computer!

Nonetheless she was rather excited & emphasized that donating my prize to charity due to my non-collection would be a waste since this item is one of the top-tier prize. I wasn’t very impressed with SingTel’s generosity if a laptop accessory can qualify for their top-tier prize. However, I do intend to collect since I can sell it for some spare cash. As it was a cover, I decided to collect it on my way to lecture on one of the school days.

Despite Ms Clarice’s worry, I had no trouble locating “ComCentre III”. As per previous, she was all smiles & excitement upon our meeting. Me, on the other hand, was nonchalant at first & displeased afterwards when I saw the huge package on her office table. Displeased, as I was very concerned about the difficulty involved in lugging this “supposedly-less-than-$100” prize back via public transport amidst the lunch-hour crowd. I signed the collection acknowledgement form & noticed a Dell laptop & a XBox 360 amongst other collected prizes. “Great“, I thought to myself, “a laptop & a branded game console & the next tier is a laptop casing?!“. One can imagine I didn’t exhibit much care in the bulky item along my way to school.

These strings were how I found out my pleasant surprise!

While waiting for lecture to begin, I decided to do some research about the casing model online, to determine how much I can sell it for. Luckily, I spotted the part, & model no. of the item outside the box & could do so without tearing the packaging apart. Interestingly, the string “MB466ZP/A” & “A1278” kept pointing me to websites displaying MacBook models. It was only then, that I realized what I’ve won. Excitement finally overwhelmed me. I even clarified with Ms Clarice later on & she explained the “…- Aluminium cover” referred to the MacBook with the aluminium unibody! In other words, its one of the newer series of MacBook.

Excitement Excitement Excitement. Frantic Calls. Amazement from peers. Excitement. Blah blah blah.

Now, I’ve to decide what to do with it. & here’s where the hassle bit comes in. I could:

Option A: Retain & replace my current notebook with it

Keep it. But that means it has to be put to good use. Which means it must succeed my Samsung notebook as main production laptop. Which means initialization of another operating system & in fact, to fully exploit its performance, I’ll have to convert to Mac OS X platform. Which implied learning curve. There’s almost no turning back, as I have to convert the folder hierarchy of how my music & other documents are stored. Not to mentioned getting tools for OS X to read NTFS. I was in the midst of a major iTunes music library revamp & unwilling to commit to an overhaul of how my music will be organized the Mac OS X way. Furthermore, Mac accessories, from my personal (window) shopping trip that ensued, cost 6 arms & 7 legs per item. Therefore, I couldn’t afford to appreciate the beauty that is the Mac lifestyle. Besides, my main notebook, though ailing, is still chugging along. The specific MacBook model I received has hardware specifications that are of inconsequential improvement over my current machine in some aspects; & poorer rating in others (i.e. hard disk capacity). So, despite my principle to always keep items that I’ve won through events/competitions, Rationale took over & I decided to

The specs were just “okay” but definitely inadequate to qualify as the successor to my current production machine

Option B: Cold hard mac; cold hard cash

Sell it. Got a hefty $1300 out of it. This is amazing considering my unit:

  • Has no warranty (when Ms Clarice emphasized there’s no warranty on my prize at that time I was puzzled why warranty for an accessory is worthy of her mention)
  • Is not the latest generation of MacBook (though I must say, Apple return to polycarbonate (read: plastic) housing for its latest MacBook is a downgrade that’s specific purpose is to distinguish the status of MacBooks & MacBook Pros)
  • Is still on Leopard (not Snow Leopard, which is the latest Mac OS X)
  • the latest entry-level MacBook is only $288 more (latest: $1588 Sold mine for: $1300)

Technically speaking, there’s still close to 2 months’ worth of warranty; just in time to buy AppleCare. Which costs $388 for this model. Which is totally not worth it.

And that is how my 1st Apple computer entered & exited my life so abruptly. It’s a nice machine, I can attest to that when my buyer unboxed the unit for inspection, but this Apple Computer, has found me at a moment when there is no way I can introduced it into my home computing environment. I would keep it if it’s the latest 13″ MacBook Pro. I would keep it if my main laptop is on the verge of expiry. I would keep it if I have time to spare for learning a new platform. But since none of the above “if”s are true, the wise decision, albeit a painful one, is to extract as much non-depreciating value out of it (before new computers get announced via the January 27th, 2010 keynote address).

UPDATE: the following 2 videos showcased the selling transaction of the MacBook. As always, I will review the contents & status of the merchandise so as to prevent any loose ends after a sale has been committed. For electronic devices, I even ensure the unit is able to reboot once for everybody’s piece of mind.

P.S. Personally, I feel that the last series of MacBook (non-Pro), which includes my unit, are more premium than the latest polycarbonate version since metal, to me, is more “solid, expensive to mill” than plastic, but some people would argue my unit is not the “latest & greatest’.

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