You can tell your old man
You’ll do some largemouth fishing another time
You just got too much on your plate to bait and cast a line
You can always put a rain check in his hand
'Til you can’t

Dear Emily,

A builder needs his hammer, a fisher needs his net and a teacher needs her chalk. So it has been for ages. A programmer needs his computer, is something I could add to this list. And of course, a running JVM on top of it in my case.

You know, you don’t think much about this most of the time. My old faithful macbook, from the year of the Lord 2017, has always done me great service. Maybe it has gotten a little slow lately, but the old beast has never let me down. Until it did.

It was a couple of weeks ago. I was working with gladdened heart, because it was lovely day. Everything worked out as I wanted, the Spring Boot 3 migration I was doing was going great. And then the tester on my team told me that some other feature I was working on contained a small bug. So I changed context, left the migration for what it was, and got to work fixing bugs.

To do so I had to start docker next to my running IntelliJ to run the app locally. So I booted it… and all of a sudden my laptop screen went black. One second later, it flashed on again and showed:

macos kernel panic

Until then, I wasn’t even aware macOS did have a blue screen of death. Well, it was neither blue nor showed a skull, but girl it did scare me! The system did boot up though. A quick Google session learned me I experienced my very first kernel panic. Wow, bad luck for me!

I thought it was just some glitch in the matrix. A thing not even worth mentioning to anyone. But I was wrong (otherwise I wouldn’t journal about this stuff of course ๐Ÿ˜‡). As soon as I went back to work and booted IntelliJ, more crashes happened. No kernel panics now, but a JVM failing all over the place. IntelliJ stopped working completely. My goodness…

At that very moment, I had to think of the song "'Til You Can’t" by Cody Johnson. You take so much for granted, until the situation changes. And then, only then, do you really understand how much you truly have. Even if it’s 'just' work. Anyway, let’s not stray too much into sentimental thoughts ๐Ÿ˜œ.

Back to the story. I tried to locate the problem, but couldn’t really find it. So I did the did-you-turn-it-off-and-on-again thingie. I uninstalled and reinstalled IntelliJ. Booted it up and it was running fine as before. O yeah!! And now, back to work.

'Til You Can’t

NO. NO. NO. Not again… More JVM crashes. And then even more crashes when I started a huddle with my camera on.

Ok, time for the big guns. A total reinstallation of my Macbook. I gathered all my files and wrote down all the apps I used. Most of my apps are installed with Homebrew, so running brew list --cask gave me nice list ๐Ÿ˜Œ.

Now the waiting game begane, a reinstall of macOS does take some time. So I gave my laptop a nudge and headed to the gym when the system was busy. After I lifted some weight, and my laptop pulled some strength as well ๐Ÿฅ, the installation was complete. Once the system booted up, I was able to install my stuff with just a few commands:

# Install apps
$ brew install --cask google-chrome rectangle whatsapp jetbrains-toolbox slack lens spotify onlyoffice

# Install sdkman, java and maven
$ curl -s "" | bash
$ sdk install java 17.0.7-zulu
$ sdk install maven 3.9.4

# Install nvm and npm
$ touch ~/.zshrc
$ curl -o- | bash
$ nvm install --lts

Boom ๐Ÿ’ช๐Ÿผ, installing your apps by terminal is clearly the way to go. Now my sweet diary, I hoped for the best. Some days went by; nothing special seems to happen. Slowly I gained confidence the reinstallation of macOS worked out pretty well. I was quite glad I could work again normally.

'Til You Can’t…

That dreadful day! I opened some Java project and the screen froze for a second. Then the screen turned to darkness. And lo, the hideous kernel panic letters appeared on the screen.

I tried to forget it. Maybe, just maybe it was just some bad luck. But burying one’s head in the sand has never worked for anyone. More days passed. Sometimes there were no crashes at all, other times there were multiple crashes on the very same day.

The obvious question now, isn’t it time for a new shiny MacBook? Those M1/M2 are the real deal, right? I was really hoping I could wait for the M3, some older sources said it would come out in October. But those rumors turned out to be false, but still I had hope I could manage until its release.

'Til You Can’t

After another crash during a video call, I couldn’t take it anymore. Enough is enough. The fear of opening an IntelliJ project or starting a video call was taken hold of me. Plus, I began to feel a little uncomfortable towards my colleagues. So I pinged Erik about this. His advice: let’s just buy a M2, it’s quick enough for me ๐Ÿ˜‡.

Yeah, if you got a chance, take it (take it), take it while you got a chance

So that’s where I am at. The laptop has yet to be purchased, so I am writing this right now with my unstable laptop (in IntelliJ, for goodnessโ€™s sake!). As consolation, it makes up for a great story. And soon, very soon, this trouble will all be over.


In retrospect (it is now November 3), the older rumors about the M3’s release date were true after all. I got the M2 and Apple released the M3. Ah well…​