At some point in November 2011, while working on a graduate paper in a seminar course entitled, “Problems in Modern Chinese Historiography,” the MacBook Pro in front of me started slowing down. The annoying pinwheel whirred at the user, and this created all sorts of technical problems in writing papers on the problems of historiography and China (there are more problems than one would at the outset think).
After contacting Josh (honestly, I don’t always just contact him when I need something), he said let’s have a look at the laptop. After a few key strokes he quickly diagnosed the problem: not enough RAM, or random access memory (Josh and I discussed this while eating sandwiches). Initial groans reflected the stereotype I had toward RAM upgrades, yet these groans gave way to enlightenment, especially after realizing how easy Steve Jobs and Company made it to upgrade the stuff. Better yet, Chinese manufacturing must be cranking RAM out left and right because it is incredibly affordable.
The first step is to find RAM. There are several companies that deal in it. After hearing back from Crucial that MacBook Pro RAM was on backorder, I went through another company, Kingston, found through Amazon.com. Kingston shipped the RAM from where-ever they ship RAM, and it arrived within a couple days.
I also used this as an excuse to purchase a set of small phillips head screwdrivers, since the MacBook Pro’s aluminum frame is held together with tiny screws. A pistachio next to the screw gives a person a sense of scale.
So, to replace RAM in a MacBook Pro, turn off your computer (I inadvertently left mine on during the process). Flip the computer over, and with a tiny screwdriver start unscrewing (righty-tighty, lefty-loosey). Keep the little screws on the table next to where you removed them, because they go right back in once this minor computer surgery is complete. Next pull off the lid and locate the RAM. There are two little clips that need to be pulled back for the existing RAM in the computer to be released. So do this. One chunk of RAM sits on top of another, so remove that too. Then put the new RAM in, gently pushing it into its slot and pressing down on it to seat it. Once it is seated, put your aluminum cover back on, secure it with the screws, and push the button to turn on your MacBook Pro. Your are done with the RAM install. You can keep reading if you’d like.
Since humans decided to write stuff down (rather than us just blathering on uncontrollably), numerous technologies have preserved our thoughts — on tortoise shell, papyrus, in book technology form, then in increased numbers with the Gutenberg Press, then the typewriter, and now semiconductor-driven computers. The technology of language first had to be created (processes in and of themselves). I found that in order for someone to put the technology of language into Microsoft Word eventually requires an individual to understand the technology of computers as well. Also, humanity first produced history in the area we know of today as China, and China today cranks out RAM so that I can update my computer and continue writing about the problems inherent to modern Chinese historiography. At least that was my take-away.