While doing some Spring cleaning, we came across a forgotten MacBook Air. No one remembered if it worked, so I decided to have a look and give it to the kids if it could get back on its feet. That's where the rage began...

Before I begin, it's important to let you know how much of an Apple fan I once was. When the first iPhone came out, and hadn't gained it's now notorious fame, I was first in line to shell out $600 plus tax. There was no App Store or connection speed to speak of, but it was incredible for it's time. Every year after that, I continued to shell out hundreds for the privilege of owning the latest and greatest iDevice. It was a good run up until Steve Jobs passed away, but since then they've quickly turned into a garbage company that makes expensive trash products.

My road to get this machine up was a long one, but here is a TL;DR on my experience getting an SSD-less MBA running:

  1. The SSD has a proprietary connector. Only one retailer sells them, and they're considerably more expensive than standard options.
  2. You need a Mac to make a bootable usb drive. When replacing a hard drive, this is generally not possible unless you're a "Mac household."
  3. The model number applies to a 3 year range of laptops. This made finding exact specs incredibly difficult.
  4. There's a large matrix of which device is compatible with which OS version.
  5. Using my work computer, I had to download the bloated "Big Sur" at 12.5GB (WTF?!).
  6. After downloading it, I needed to run numerous terminal commands to get the OS bootable on USB.
  7. I formatted the USB to (default) APFS. No where does it say APFS isn't compatible with an OSX boot USB. It needs to be HFS+.
  8. Reformatting from APFS to HFS+ inside OSX failed numerous times with no explanation. Popping the drive into Linux and using gParted was successful though.
  9. After getting it to start, the fan was stuck at 100% speed.
  10. Apple Support is awful. "Bring it into an Apple Store" and "Reset the PRAM/SMC" are their only suggestions.
  11. If this was a newer Mac, I would have also needed a USB-C > USB-A hub to connect basic devices.

It would be ignorant to say I'd never buy another Apple product, but at this point it's relieving to say this work FartBook is the only one I have. At least neither of them have that ridiculous touch screen crap.

[update] Battery doesn't hold a charge. Fuck.

[update 2] It's dead. Fuck this piece of shit.