With a reputation for regularly upgrading and extending the lives of several laptops, on average one or two friends/acquaintances will ask me for laptop upgrade recommendations every month. But the first hurdle I regularly face while trying to help people weigh options – usually RAM or internal hard drive replacement kits – is determining which model they're using...
Being in the design realm it should be no surprise the majority of my colleagues and friends work from Macs, so almost all the upgrade queries I'm sent relate to a MacBook, MacBook Pro, Air, and the occasional iMac. But you'd be surprised how many people don't really know or remember which machine they use every day (or maybe not, acknowledging the half-deserved stigma Apple users carry as a tech-ignorant demographic).
Some people are prepared enough to keep their computer make/model/year and serial number written down or stored away safely as a retrievable (encrypted) data file. This makes it easy to hunt down and match upgrade parts, fill out AppleCare warranty and replacement forms, and keep personal records of possibly one of the most valuable items in your household.
Here are two ways to find out all the pertinent information about your machine with as little hassle as possible:
The Easiest Option: One easy way to determine which Mac you're using is to download the free Crucial System Scanner tool. Launch it, and the small application automatically recognizes your computer's specs, including available RAM module slots, alongside storage options. If you're looking to get right to upgrade options to choose from without hassle, this is probably your best bet, and as a longtime Crucial customer myself, I've sent my fair share of business over to this Apple-centric upgrade source (Otherworld Computing is another personal favorite)*.
The Easy DIY Vocal Option: okay, maybe you don't want to use the Crucial tool above, but still want to know which model you're using for future reference, including your computer's all important serial number.
Almost every seasoned Mac user already knows to check "About This Mac" from the Apple Menu located at the upper left. From here users can review which version of OS X they're using, which processor their machine uses, how much RAM/memory is available, and the Startup Disk. Press "More Info" and then you can get more specifics, including the machine's serial number.
But did you know you can make your Macintosh literally speak out its serial number? From the System Report screen, choose the drop down from "File" and choose, "Speak Serial Number" or use the shortcut key, " (Command key)+4", and the Macintosh will verbally dictate the serial number connected to your machine, ideal for note taking dictation.
* Note: I have no affiliation with either business except as a customer.
(Images: Gregory Han)