MacBook Pro 2020 shell

Apple computers left South Africa during apartheid (as did IBM, Kodak, and many other groups), so PC was always the way to go when desktop computers became the norm. Once apartheid fell, Apple found it difficult to get a foothold in the new South Africa, and PCs dominate to this day. Interestingly, the iPhone has never managed to gain market dominance there either, though Blackberry was HUGE.

I taught journalism in the 1990s and if you worked with desktop publishing, film editing or graphics, Apple was the industry standard. So the university I worked for imported some Apple Avid suites for film editing and some desktops for DTP.  Part of my job was maintaining them. I hated those things with a passion. Apple support was dismal, nothing worked between PC and Apple so the students were always having difficulties. I had to teach people how to use things I couldn’t use myself – the interface was easy to find your way around but nothing worked with the PC and hardware that every single other person used. The internet was in its infancy so there was no buying parts online either.  When I left that job to come to Sweden I vowed never to use Apple again.


Since 2008, I have used only Apple products. I use PC when I have to, but I love my Apple ecosystem. Apples are expensive but they just run and run. They are also very intuitive and user-friendly and if you have more than one device, integration is seamless. There are no extra costs, and no huge worries about viruses. The computer does everything for you.

All my old MacBook Pros still work, so at the moment I have about 6 I can still use – you probably couldn’t say that about PCs. The oldest is a 2008 17″ I use to watch movies. Then there is a 2011 15″ in which does not have enough memory to run multiple newer apps but works for basic tasks, and an 12″ from  2015 which works brilliantly but has a crack in the display which cost too much to fix for an old computer. These things just keep going. My ancient iPad and iPhones still work as well, though they don’t have much memory.

Over the past few years I reduced the size of the computer I used, which allowed me to do away with my iPad. I carry my computer everywhere for work. Together with my iPhone (I upgraded from a 7 to an 11 in April) it does everything. I teach, have meetings, watch movies, listen to music, read books and magazines, translate, blog, shop, bank in my little ecosystem. I can change from one to the other instantly. The iPhone takes brilliant photos.

In January of this year I got a 2019 13″ model which developed a hardware problem last week and was replaced by a midrange 2020 13″ with the new Magic Keyboard (yay!). Luckily transferring everything over is easy and the new one ends up just like the old one, but better.

The strange situation I am now in is that the model of computer I have is only 1 month old and there are no shells for it yet – it is slightly thicker than the older models due to the new keyboard. I have never ever owned a computer so new that there are no cases for it! I have always bought an older model cheaply when a newer model has come out. This feels really strange! If it goes the way my others have, I will still be using it in 2025. It may outlive me! I can strongly recommend buying the best one you can afford because if it has good storage and memory, it will last for ages.

I never use a laptop case, opting instead for rubberised silicone shells. This means that my computer is protected from bumps and scratches all the time, and not just when in my bag. I really battled to find shells but eventually spotted this one on Amazon that looks like it may fit. It’s not rubberised but it is the only one I found. And it looks pretty. Here’s hoping!

UPDATE: it did not fit. Boo.

So – of my readers, who is a Mac user and who is a PC user? Which do you prefer? And how old is your computer? Any of them from before 2010 still running?

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

12 thoughts

  1. I have a Dell laptop from 2001 that is still running and used for documents, spreadsheets, movie watching, etc. It gets new software installed regularly, runs beautifully and it is the longest lasting and cost me a small fortune to buy but I love it. Anything that came after it has come and gone. Even my husband an Apple fan is impressed.

    1. This is amazing Paula – and of course one positive thing with PCs is that you can upgrade hardware – add more memory, bigger hard drive. That is one thing I don’t like about Mac. I would still be using old ones now if I could add more RAM.

  2. I’ve only ever had Macs. My LCII from about 1990 and the turquoise eMac still work, although you couldn’t get them online! I’m typing this on a MacBook from pre-2010 which is still hanging on grimly! I also have a MacBook Air, which I love.

    1. This is amazing Sharon! People often wonder why I keep my old ones but they all still work for basic things. PS Remember when Mac had groundbreaking computer designs? Now they keep the same old look forever. I don’t really mind but those old ones were really eyecatching.

  3. Been using Apple computers since ’86…..remember the black & white display of the all in one Mac SE?

    Currently using a mid-2012 15″ MacBook Pro. Great computer. Never any problems.

    In the offices I worked that used Macs we did not need an IT dept to support the computers.

    In all the places I’ve worked that use PC/Windows computers, they all have large IT dept’s……hmmmmm…….

    Don’t count Apple out….they are still leaders with iPhones, iPads, watches, and Macs….and you will very likely see some significant improvements/changes to the Macs over the next year or so…..


    1. I loved my 2011 one most of all, but El Capitan killed it. I needed El Capitan to run the apps I needed for work, but the RAM couldn’t cope. It still works for everything else though. I loved it so much!

  4. I had to use PCs at work and hated the time hou have to spend keeping the machines free of viruses. Also the software works better on some makes than others. The fact that the machines and software are made to integrate more fully by Apple was always attractive. I feel the concentration on the iPhone has had a negative effect on their computers. I have migrated to android for mh latest phone and tablet. They are little different from the Apple products, and in fact my phone has a better camera. Because the tablet and phone are from different manufacturers the integration between phone and tablet is not seamless. I may well return to Apple in time. It rather depends on, if they keep their products updated over long periods, or begin to follow the Microsoft pattern.

    1. I think Apple have fallen into the M & S trap. They are so used to being a market leader that they have stopped making the effort to be groundbreaking and develop their products. Or else Steve Jobs took their innovation with him when he died. I find the design of the MacBook very dated and they don’t really offer anything new. Luckily in my case they are brilliant for what I need. But the days of them shaking the world with iPods and iPads are long gone. I am keen on the Samsung at the moment but I like the ecosystem so I stayed with iPhone. I don’t do anything groundbreaking with my phones though.

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