Like many entrepreneurs, I began my startup (in October, 06) with a MacBook. I had rejected the shackles of Windows, with its endless patches, wizards, and flakiness, for a personal computer that "just worked". Icons that bounced up and down, a better aesthetic, solid battery life, and a beautiful chassis made better by a Hokusai print from Gelaskins.
But Apple suffers from infant mortality. 1 week after my 12 month warranty expired, the hdd failed. This was before Time Machine and I lost everything, except that I didn't because what mattered was in the cloud. Corporate email hosted by Google, photos on Flickr, spreadsheets on Google Docs, memos on BaseCamp, and even a handful of important presentations on Slideshare.
Now I build myself a new PC nearly every week and everything is in the cloud. I've learned that all hard drives fail. I'm lucky though - I have a 20Mb connection that costs me £18. Our partners in West Africa pay 100 times that for a VSAT that's a 40th as fast. When you can't back up to the cloud, you can't trust a component that's spinning around 7200 times per second. It will fail and everything is lost. Go Solid State or RAID it.
And now two years in, my MacBook's fan has died. It was a sudden death - for months it has been so clogged with dust that it was slower and noisier and so when the processor started heating up, it would kick into 6000 RPM and you could hear it in the bedroom or throughout a starbucks. Absurd.
But then it failed. I would open smcFanControl (a popular OS X app), and watch the temperature rise from 35 C to 90 or even 92 C (practically boiling!) before it would shut off, an increase that took about 40 minutes if you were using Firefox or 5 minutes if I was having iPhoto resize photos for an iPod. And then you'd have to wait 3 hours for it cool down (I actually considering putting it in the fridge.)
Luckily I could buy a spare on eBay (£23) and install it using a tutorial on iFixit. It's now load at 6000 RPM but not nearly as loud.
But what if I live in Yola, Nigeria (where 30 Aleutia E2s are installed)? No Apple store, no eBay seller with free Naija shipping...
Our B2 features a ridiculous Quad Core CPU and it has a massive 50mm heatsink on top but it still needs a short (though very wide) 1000 RPM fan on top. Silent but not fanless.
I'd love to offer serious performance but without the need for fans, whether water-cooled, or by using humongous (like more than a foot tall) heatsinks and custom cases. Or both perhaps.