Jan 132014
 January 13, 2014  Posted by at 8:24 pm Finance

National Photo Co. “Dog Funeral, Washington DC” 1922


Sorry, no article(s) today, my MacBook died earlier today. I’m writing this from a very old one I’m trying to restore to some kind of functional health, but it has severe limitations, it’s definitely on life support, no battery for one thing. I have no choice but to try and get a new one tomorrow, and that’s the last thing we need here at TAE these days, major expenses; we’re only just now beginning to get our heads back above water, and we’ve been working our behinds off through the holiday season to get there.

So maybe I should set up a whole new fundraiser right now, on the spot: “Get Ilargi a new Mac”.

I’ll be back as soon as possible.

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    National Photo Co. “Dog Funeral, Washington DC” 1922 Hi, Sorry, no article(s) today, my MacBook died earlier today. I’m writing this from a very old o
    [See the full post at: Mac died]


    Hi Ilargi

    I have donated maybe 1/100 of a MacBook

    I reckon a couple of dollars per lurker and you’ll have one in no time!

    All the best!




    Do not turn off your Mac using the power button!!!
    Use the screen “shut down” commands!!

    Using the power button causes a sudden stop of the hard drive
    before the reader arm can park.


    yeesh. Sorry to hear. All I can offer is- we’ve bought 2 used Macbooks on ebay over the last year; and they’re doing the job. Enough of them out there that the older ones can be pretty cheap – and still pretty functional. I think we’re harder on our Macs than most users are (we USE them) – so. If you’re careful – you can do ok with used.


    Hi Ilargi,
    Sent you maybe 1/30th of a new computer.
    Thank you to James for getting this rolling!


    Ilargi, we need to get you back up to speed (for OUR sanity), so I just dropped some coin in the hat… Hope we can keep this ball rolling.

    Nicole Foss

    Thanks Doubled. My Mac is fine at this point, thankfully, but I do have a habit of switching off with the power button and now I’ll know not to do that.


    Hey Ilargi,
    Sent a donation just now toward the MacBook. By the way I have not stopped laughing since I saw the picture.


    We’ll come up with about one fifteenth of a Mac.


    Holy crap Ilargi.

    No offense, but maybe you should consider not buying an image-focused over-priced consumer product like a Mac!

    I’ve had a few computers die on me over the past few years, and now I just jump onto Kijiji and find heavily discounted laptops for sale by people who are looking to upgrade to something silly like a Mac.

    Maybe you’re doing something crazy that requires a Mac, but if it’s just your basic web surfing / emailing / word processesing / spreadsheets / etc., I’ve found most cheap/used computers are more than capable of handling this. Best purchase I made was about a year ago – a 2-year old used HP with an SSD drive and Ubuntu installed for $100!!! Pretty sure it can do most things any 2-3 year old Mac can do.

    Again, not to be rude, but maybe a World of Change should begin with lowering our consumer good expenditures… hmm?



    What V81 said is worth considering unless your locked in with expensive platform dependant software (Like I am with PC). Linux distributions like Ubuntu work very well and have most common tools like spread sheets, word processors, photo editors, disk burners, torrent clients and heaps more all included in the system which is pretty much free. (Just in case you are not aware of it.)


    Hi Ilargi,

    It seems to me that your reliance on Mac hardware completely contravenes the principles espoused by The Automatic Earth. Given that your Mac has died, it is a good time for you to reconsider your choice of computer platform, as others have suggested.

    Since the key principles of The Automatic Earth are to prepare for a state of depression in which money and credit are very hard to obtain and to prepare to be self-reliant, such as by developing key survival skills, it seems to me that learning the art of open source computing, such as using a Linux computer, would be an example of a core skill that would be supported by The Automatic Earth.

    Further, the open source movement’s tradition of helping each other dovetails with The Automatic Earth’s purported principle that we should form networks to help each other.

    Hence, with all due respect, your use of a Mac appears to be a blind spot at best, and borders on hypocrisy.

    Tao Jonesing

    My bet is that your hard drive has died, and replacing that is a simple, inexpensive fix. I would look into that possibility before investing in a completely new machine.


    Hi Ilargi

    I use Xubuntu on my 9 year old pc. It does everything I need it to do. Xubuntu is lighter then plain Ubuntu and is not integrated with social media and google search as Ubuntu now is. I turn all the desktop effects off so it feels a bit like win 98.
    This computer does not work well with Win XP. It is too old, It can’t manage streaming video with Windows. It can with Xubuntu.

    I think you should use what compluter you like. We don’t want you to have productivity issues!



    I think we should give ilargi a little credit for knowing what he needs to do his job. Whatever platform he decides works best, what he needs most is financial support for TAE. Put out the word to any friends you know who are lurkers.


    Guys, first of all of course thanks for your kind donations, do keep them coming, cause we’re not there yet by a long shot, and as per the Mac vs PC thing, I’ve only ever worked with Mac, and converted many who would never ever go back, and the best price for your buck discussion is up for grabs and by no means decided. Macs tend to last longer, and all of TAE’s history is Mac, and transferring all of it to PC would be a nightmare, so all in all, I don’t see Mac as elitist or anything at all, they’re simply a tool, and a tool that so far has given me no reason to doubt it’s up for the job. The Mac that died went all over the world, and I should have replaced it sooner, but our present financial situation makes that hard, so I waited. Until I no longer could….


    Hi Ilargi,

    At the risk of belaboring the point, the issue is not about “the Mac vs PC thing”: the issue is commercial software platforms (such as OSX and Microsoft Windows) vs. free software platforms (such as Ubuntu Linux). Moreover, this issue is not about whether Macs or PCs are “elitist.” Instead, the issue is whether the choice of Macs are consistent with TAE’s philosophy of preparing for a deflationary collapse. Given that teaching people how to prepare for a deflationary collapse is central to TAE’s mission and information technology is a significant expense of modern life, it would seem that the issue of whether to embrace the free software model would be an important consideration for TAE.

    Put another way, after the collapse, are people really going to be buying Macs? Should they pay $2,600 for a laptop, just to get a laptop with a discrete graphics card? Or would they have been better off having invested the time to learn the art of free software, so that they could perhaps make do with a $300 or $400 machine.

    Further, if the future really holds the deflationary nightmare that TAE predicts, it seems to me that it will substantially shift the “time vs. money” equation towards spending more of one’s time to save money (I believe that is what many of the articles on TAE advocate). Hence, that shift towards using one’s time to save money should be taken into account when you conclude that “transferring all of it to PC would be a nightmare.” If TAE’s predictions are accurate, after the deflationary collapse, it will be a “nightmare” for people to purchase expensive hardware instead of using free software systems. The smart ones will have gotten off Apple’s and Microsoft’s drugs and will have learned the valuable skills of using free software. The foolish ones will remain addicted to Apple’s and Microsoft’s drugs and will not be able to afford their fix if TAE’s predictions are accurate.

    Given that you are asking people for donations for your Mac–from people who should presumably be saving up for the deflationary collapse–these are not frivolous questions.




    I think you may have just convinced me to look into the cost of taking a few courses on Linux at my local college and/or possibly look for other free software tutorials online. Tip of the hat to you and your thoughtful/succinct comments, sir.


    I have to say I agree with a lot of what AutoMan is suggesting, and I think he’s been fairly respectful about trying to get his point across. I’d actually much sooner support you in taking courses on free software/operating systems to support the overall TAE movement than support your purchase of a new Mac – especially when one considers you could probably afford both the training and a replacement computer running something along the lines of Ubuntu for less than the new Mac.

    I’d also be happy to know that TAE isn’t supporting a commercial organization when free solutions which can make peoples lives easier through community and sharing of ideas are available.




    You have an absolutely great point. Would you consider writing a guest post about the topic?


    I believe the talk is right about technology dependence being linked to complexity and why then be in so much need of Apple. I have been working on problems of complexity and chaos theory when I came upon something a little different.

    Sony came up with a walk man. Almost no buttons and nothing to special but it worked well. Google came up with a site that had almost a blank screen and nothing too special. Apple’s first ipod had very few buttons and was really simple to work with. Turns out they all were dealing with complexity and chaos within the device world.

    Apples big concept, the angle they have on the rest of the industry, is the ability to deal with complexity and chaos. By making options that branch out from a relatively few options and dealing with making devices intuitive they have reduced some complexity.

    I am a linux user and have been stunned that the level of complexity on many new devices. Walk up to a machine on an operating system you have never seen and attempt to find out how many steps it will take to write a document. Further how long will it take from pressing the button to turn on to getting into the word processor to type hello world. Depending what you are looking at you may not even succeed until you purchase some software.

    My latest purchase is an Andriod Gemei G9. Its a 10″ tablet that cost me about $100. Problem was it was intended for the Chinese market. I was kicked off of Google play or any other place that had software for the machine. Eventually I found out the problem was the devices settings and government security software added. I systematically removed all software that had been placed on the machine but nothing seemed to work.

    Finally I placed the machine into the developer’s side. I instantly got an icon I have not seen before and the screen looked foreign literally. My little android icon was lying on his back and a door opened over his chest with large Chinese lettering above. After this no part of the device worked, not even the power button. I gave up hope realizing I have lost $100.

    An hour later the device suddenly came back to life. Stunned and happy I immediately began working on the device when I came up to my new problem. Everything had be reset and the language was set to Chinese. After much searching I found out over the net the G9 symbol that appears when you are changing the language.

    The device works now relatively problem free, it doesn’t have any options to place it geographically within North America so the time tends to drift out of sync. But to get it working took a good background in linux/android and days of headache. Making my point about complexity and chaos. Nearly so high with this little device came close to death.

    I recently purchased a case for it accidentally buying an ipad instead of android. Someone at work laughed and said he had done the same thing saying that it does not work until he saw my little device sitting inside. I began doing some research on just what I had. Turns out its a modern cpu hooked up to a screen from the last generation ipad with similar cameras. All production has over runs and I guess it would be nice to get rid of these new parts some where.

    My point is the components are there cheaply. What costs is complexity in the hours making this device do work. You can pay nothing and spend your time trying to start getting to work or purchase simplicity initially and get to work.



    Thank you for your kind words, which are appreciated. Your decision–“to look into the cost of taking a few courses on Linux” and/or looking “for other free software tutorials online”–made my day. IMHO, one of the best approaches to learn about Linux is to take an old computer or buy an old computer (such as on Kijiji, as you mentioned) and load Linux on it. Then, find a useful job for the machine to do, such as serving as a file server. In that way, one can learn the pros and cons of running Linux. Best of luck to you.


    Thank you for your invitation to write a guest post about this topic. I would be honored. I will forward the post to you directly in a few days, for your consideration.



    Great! I’m looking forward to it.

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