I need exclusive use of a Mac laptop for a weekend in NYC. But how?
January 8, 2019 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm planning to participate in the Global Game Jam, from Jan. 25-27, at one of the New York City locations. My metier is electronic music/composition. I use Ableton Live 10 on my home iMac for this; it's a tool I know an order of magnitude better than all of the alternatives, so I'd like to use it for the jam. However: hauling my iMac to the jam location is not an option, and I don't have a laptop. So: What's the best way to get a weekend's use of a Mac laptop made sometime in the past 4 years?
posted by Sokka shot first to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Best answer: Apple has a lenient 14-day return policy. You could buy a top of the line Macbook Pro at the Apple Store once you land, do your things on it, wipe it, and return it for a full refund. You just need return it undamaged with everything it originally included: https://www.apple.com/legal/sales-support/sales-policies/retail_us.html
posted by xtine at 11:13 AM on January 8, 2019 [6 favorites]

Computer rental places exist, often set up to serve business users. I can't recommend anything specific in New York (the place I've worked with before is local to the midwest) but a quick internet search shows a lot of potential options.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'd probably just do what xtine suggests - rental places are almost certainly going to prevent you from adding software to their machines.

That's another potential wrinkle actually, your license probably only allows two installs max.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Actually I can throw one partial recommendation out there - Adorama is a reputable company that I've purchased things from, but I can't speak for their rental process or rental price competitiveness.

On preview: Computer rental places I've worked with in the past just wipe the machine between users. They give you full admin access, assuming you want it, so you can install whatever you need since businesses often have special programs they use.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 11:31 AM on January 8, 2019 [7 favorites]

Yes, on the licensing thing: Ableton permits two activations per license - if you log into your account, it will tell you if you have any remaining activations available. In the past when I've upgraded/replaced machines, they've been pretty good about granting extra activations, but you need to email them and explain, and I'm not sure if your use-case would be one they'd give an extra license for.

However, Ableton also has a 30-day free trial, so to save using one of your activations on a machine you'll only have for a weekend, it may be worth signing up for a trial using a throw-away email address.
posted by parm at 10:50 AM on January 9, 2019

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