Thank you for making my MBP faster
April 3, 2011 10:18 AM   Subscribe

What's an appropriate thank you gift for a friend who will be upgrading the memory in my MacBook Pro?

A friend is upgrading the memory in my MacBook Pro for me. She won't let me pay her so I'd like to get her a nice gift as a thank you. Complication? I don't really know how much of a hassle this is so I don't know how much the gift should be worth. Any ideas of a good price point? She doesn't drink so wine is out - any other gift suggestions are welcome.

In case it's relevant in terms of assessing hassle level. This is a 3 year-old MBP 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (15.4-inch). Love the machine and in most ways it's better than my year-old work desktop (Dell) but recently it's slow. I know Firefox is a memory hog but I think this is made more prevalent by the upgrade to FF 4. I did a crucial scan to find the right kind of memory and have purchased 2 2gb from a 3rd party because I know that price-wise, Apple isn't competitive for memory. So the upgrade won't cost her any money, just time.

TL DR: Reading about upgrading memory to try to get an idea of time/hassle results in conflicting info on how hard this is.. So how much should I be looking to spend for the gift?
posted by TravellingCari to Computers & Internet (18 answers total)
Best answer: $10 iTunes giftcard would suffice, I think. If she's done it before, the work will take under a half hour.
posted by nathan_teske at 10:23 AM on April 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Your MacBook Pro has a removable battery? In that case it is a 5-10 minute job.
posted by birdherder at 10:33 AM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think I have the same MBP as you, and have replaced the memory myself once or twice. It doesn't take very long at all (birdherder's correct--about 5-10 minutes) and the most difficult part is working with those tiny screws. A $10 gift/giftcard would probably do nicely!
posted by covert werewolf at 10:40 AM on April 3, 2011

Response by poster: @nathan_taste: yes she has done it before. She works on computers professionally and also personally has had Macs for years. This is why I'm sensitive to not taking advantage of her willingness to do this for me. Too many people get their professions exploited by friends for free.

@birdherder/@covert werewolf - good to know, thanks. I wasn't sure how easy or hard it might be as this is my first Mac. I have replaced PC memory before but didn't know where to star on this. Yes, there is a removable battery. Oh how well I know this from replacing the battery twice. I love AppleCare.

iTunes is a very good idea. I'm also going to look into Amazon as she just got a Kindle and might want new books for that.

THanks all!
posted by TravellingCari at 10:45 AM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: Different models of Mac laptops are wildly different in terms of how hard they are to open up and work on, which is probably why you're finding contradictory information.

But it's not too difficult in general, assuming she has the right kind of screwdriver handy. Buy her dinner? Owe her a favor? A sixpack of her favorite beer?
posted by hattifattener at 10:47 AM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: Pay next time you eat out somewhere. I do stuff like this all the time, mostly because I can't stand the thought of a friend paying through the nose to have Apple do something so simple. I never expect anything in return.
posted by devilsbrigade at 11:04 AM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: Does she have a MeFi account? If not, should she?
posted by Room 641-A at 11:11 AM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Different mac laptops have had RAM with varying levels of accessibility over the years. iFixit has a good collection of detailed repair guides to get an idea of how hard things are, or if you want to do them yourself. It looks like a RAM swap for your model is trivial, with a door right on the bottom of the laptop, and should only take a couple minutes.
posted by JiBB at 11:14 AM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: A happier version of prison's "snitches get stitches" axiom is "favors get flavors." Any kind of food is a good answer. A home cooked meal or dinner out, cookies, cupcakes, booze: whatever you think your friend would like best.
posted by phunniemee at 11:20 AM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: This is a simple process. I have one of the latest MacBook Pro's which have, I believe, some of the hardest to access RAM, and it took me less than 15 minutes.

More importantly, as a friend who would replace RAM for my friends, I think it would be awkward to put a monetary amount on this. Then again, all of my friends contribute to each others' lives in non-monetary ways. I'm not saying that your group does not, but being good with computers is one of the things I contribute to the group.

Since you really want to give your friend something, I'd agree with "favors get flavors".
posted by 47triple2 at 11:26 AM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: Personally, I feel that all favors should be remunerated with cookies if at all possible/appropriate.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:45 AM on April 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: thanks all! Lots of very good ideas.

@JiBB - thanks for that link. Very helpful.

Favors get Flavors. I like that. Interesting to see how many don't think something would be necessary. I suspect she feels the same which is why she won't let me pay her to do this. I still want to do something to say thanks. I tend to think showing thanks encourages favors going forward too so I don't mind.
posted by TravellingCari at 12:04 PM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: A six-pack of her favorite beverage.
posted by Wild_Eep at 12:26 PM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: In lieu of wine, get her a bar or two of really high quality chocolate. Whole Foods and farmers' markets often have good selections. It's a low key gift, but (assuming she likes chocolate) it's something she'll appreciate.
posted by DeusExMegana at 1:02 PM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: A sixer is the standard payment for a small favor.
posted by General Malaise at 1:16 PM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: Another vote for a 6-back or baked goods. Echoing that as somebody who works on macs for a living, this would take a couple of minutes for somebody who knows what they're doing. For a friend, I wouldn't be expecting any kind of payment to upgrade their RAM or hard drive. But I always accept beer & chocolate.
posted by jmd82 at 1:52 PM on April 3, 2011

Best answer: As someone who is often asked by people (friends and people who just know me through work, school, etc) to do computer things since it is my profession, a $10 iTunes gift cert or a six pack of beer or whatever for 5-10 minutes of work is super appreciated. A burger from the nearest Five Guys, a coffee roll from the cafe downstairs, it's all appreciated. Most people who ask me to do favors don't return them and don't think that asking 10 minutes of my time is worth saying thanks. Once, I did get a handwritten thank you note from an entire family for fixing the family PC (about 15 minutes of work) and that was nice. So many people don't do any of these things and if bugs me. Thank you for being so considerate.
posted by Brian Puccio at 4:30 PM on April 3, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks all. Best answers (and a six-pack since that seems to be winning :) )all around.

Writing this from a much speedier machine. Don't even think it took her 15 min even with us talking. I enjoyed watching so I'd know what to do in the future - not that I expect to need to upgrade memory anytime soon.

I couldn't find somewhere to get iTunes card locally (even CVS and Duane Reade which usually stock didn't have) so I went with a $10 Amazon GC for her new Kindle and a jar of pepperoncini-long story, but it ended up with my being tackle hugged nearly off my feet. She told me to call her with any issues so I think she appreciated the token thank you.

Thanks again!
posted by TravellingCari at 4:40 PM on April 3, 2011

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