Automattic Life

My anniversary laptop

At Automattic, you get to change your work laptop after 18 months. The old one can be bought by yourself or your family or friends, or you send it for resell. You then spec your own replacement and get it ordered. It’s an Apple, unless you have a good reason for choosing differently.

At my previous employer, they had a policy of doing it every 5 years. It was usually 7. Even by 5 years, it’s slow and buggy and really impacted your work capability.

Anyway, once you’ve been at the company for 4 years, you get a special “anniversary” laptop (assuming you order a laptop) – this goes away to a third party company to have one of the company logos (you choose which one) etched into the lid, with a backlight put behind it, much like the old Apple Mac lids of yore. When it’s due for replacement 18 months later, it’s yours to keep.

How To Life

The trials of a new(ish) MacBook Air

At the grand age of 7 years, my original MacBook Pro has died. Kind of. My wife enheritated it a few years ago but it’s got to the point where the constant crashes make it a problem to use (particularly when my wife is working from home and relying on it for remote teaching). In that time it’s been through 3 batteries, 2 MagSafe chargers and 2 SSDs.

The SSD failure occurred only just recently and required a full rebuild, yet the crashes that were being experienced before this continued. I think the software has been pretty much ruled out and I suspect it is hardware related. Anyway, it was time to get my wife something else.


Trigger’s Broom – my MacBook lives!

My 2012 MacBook Pro lives on, despite coming close to what appeared to its final demise at the weekend.

I gave the MacBook to my wife a couple of years ago and she’s loved using it – but before I did, I’d replaced the battery and the hard drive. But, at the weekend, the diagnosis didn’t look good.


So, this happened…


Yesterday I noticed that grey gradient at the bottom of my Macbook Pro screen – it's the 2016 model and just 11 months old. For clarity in the screenshot I've hidden the dock and put a white background on.

It appears over the top of anything on the screen but due to its relevatively small size it's not (yet) a bother. I assume it's backlight issue of some kind but not sure what exactly would produce that kind of pattern – consistent right across the screen.

Thankfully my employers swap out our devices after 18 months, so I've only got to live with this (if I want to) for 7 months. The majority of the time I use an external monitor and only really use the laptop screen whilst mobile. But, still, it's a little odd!

How To

How to replace the battery in a mid-2012 Macbook Pro

Some time ago, I detailed how to replace the hard drive in a mid-2012 Macbook Pro and, now, after 4.5 years of use, it’s time for the battery to be replaced.

Apart from the battery you’ll need 2 screwdrivers to do this – A Phillips #00 Screwdriver and a Y1 Tri-wing Screwdriver. Some kind of plastic “spudger” will be needed as well.

The battery I purchased from Amazon came with both the required screwdrivers and I had a spudger from a phone repair kit.