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Preserving Laptop Stickers on MacBooks (grh.am)
612 points by graystevens on July 10, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 334 comments

This is nifty, but I don't really see why this beats using a case. I've been switching laptop cases for a while (actually need to get a new one) and I put them up on my wall when I'm done.

Checkout a photo - https://imgur.com/a/nWz95Ex

They're like $15 on Amazon and I honestly don't mind that people can see them since the laptop is going to be covered in stickers and won't be looking like something off the shelf anyway.'

A case makes the laptop thicker and heavier. My wife and kids have cases on their MBAs and I don’t care for them at all.

Damn that's harsh. They're still your family!

Why do you need a case for your laptop? I've never dropped a laptop in my life (I have tripped over cords before but the magsafe has saved me every time). Shit, I bought the very first iphone the day it came out and I haven't used a cased on any of my phones either and still have never broken anything despite dropping my phones every once in a while.

I have a ThinkPad, so I need to protect whatever else is in my bag...

Seriously though, I often carry my laptop in a sachle bag. It doesn't have a dedicated laptop pocket, and often I like to ram it full of stuff. If I didn't my devices would end up scratched easily, and probably full of dust from whatever is lurking at the bottom of my bag.

I'm also a no case person. I don't remember ever dropping my iPhones. But it is not for everyone. Once a friend took my phone to look at something and he dropped it, shattering the glass. I was more amazed that in its entirety of 3+ years, I never dropped the phone once but it slipped my friend's hand in just that few minutes. :-)

I’ve broken several iPhones including one the same day I got it. The breaks always seemed to happen randomly. Relatively low impact. But once I dropped one, tried to grab it, and ended up flinging it up and across the room where it hit the wall about ten feet up then fell anyway... it was fine. Another time I was hiking and stupidly had my phone out. I fell, landed with the screen side down beneath my hand onto pebbles... not a scratch.

Anyway... I always buy a case now.

My case on my 6s finally broke a few months ago after 3.5 years of (ab)use. In the whole time I had it, I dropped it maybe 5 times. In the week after the case broke and I took it off, I dropped it hard at least 3 times.

Suffice it to say, I got a replacement case real quick after that.

How sure are you that it was an accident?

LOL. He is a really really good friend, a really good person and someone doing a lot to help curb climate change. We were both nervous after YC Interview that day in Mountain View (2018).

He insisted paying for the screen replacement but I didn't let him. I got the battery and screen replaced and my iPhone is on to its 4th year. :-)

Well, good for you, I drop all my devices every now and then. Or the kids do.

Personally, I don't have any kids to worry about, and I never drop my laptop; maybe I'm just careful with it.

My phone, however, gets dropped somewhat frequently, since by the nature of its use, it's exposed to much rougher handling than my laptop (which generally stays at home, or in my padded laptop backpack if I'm traveling). So I have an Otterbox Defender on that, which I'm sure has saved those phones many times. I would never go caseless on a phone; that just seems like signaling "I'm so rich, I can afford to be reckless with a $1000 phone".


Did you just “whoosh” yourself?

I think the case he's talking about adds about 150g or so. If you're an ultralight hiker who's counting the grams, there are probably better options on the market. Otherwise I don't think many would notice during their daily routines.

Something like this right?


That's what's on the 11" MBAs my kids have. It's 8.3 ounces (235 grams) and quite noticeable. I guess you could use just the top shell.

I used one years ago (2011 MBP 13), it made the top case top heavy for the screen hinge to support which made the screen a bit floppy.

Those are cool looking cases; makes for an interesting wallpaper. The problem I have with laptop cases, and phone cases too, is that it simply ruins the slick look and feel and makes the device feel clunky, and I don't really care about scratches either here and there. But if there was a skin tight case then I'd consider it.

Were you in the HH facebook group back around 2016? When I read this article I was thinking of some guy there who said he got a new case every year and preserved the old ones as a memento.

I tried this with a transparent case but the result was kinda meh, made the macbook feel weird due to the way the case wraps around the screen to clip

Off topic, but I also went to Junction! What year were you there? I'm guessing you're with MLH?

You didn't leave any room for the Apple logo to shine through ...

I miss MagSafe from a practical standpoint but the non-lit new MacBooks pro was a real heartbreaker. It looked great / was iconic on its own but there were great mods over the years

Why would you want that?

It's sad to see that in this thread most people jump in conclusions because they only assume there is only one reason why people put stickers on laptops.

Without giving it much thought you place people in a 'category' that only exists in your mind.

There are a million reasons why people put stickers on laptops. And also a million why people don't.

I guess it's best to keep an open mind and don't think you know why people sticker.

>There are a million reasons why people put stickers on laptops. And also a million why people don't.

Well, let's not get carried away. There are a handful of reasons at best:

1) they feel the laptop is drab/empty and want to decorate it

2) they are fans of an artist/band and want to promote it

3) they want to broadcast the world the company they work for and/or their choice of frameworks and tools

4) they want to cover some scratch

And that's pretty much it

There's at least two other options. Once, a friend of mine came from a conference, he was really excited about his stickers and gave me one. I thought it'd make him happy if I sticked it to my laptop, and so I did.

Some time ago a work colleague went on this rant about how stickers are dumb. Only to find a sticker on his laptop when he got back from lunch. He thought it was funny and it became a running joke for a while that everyone who went to a conference would add a sticker to his collection while he was not looking.

Those are great. One more boring one: you're tired of picking up the wrong laptop, when they all look the same!

That’s exactly why I started putting stickers on mine. I had a personal 2015 Macbook Pro, a 2013 MBP for work, and my wife has a Macbook Air. They all look exactly the same. So I put a sticker from my company on the company laptop and a sticker from a local brewery on my personal laptop and the confusion went away immediately.

My kid stuck a white Apple sticker dead center on my X220. Funny for a minute. When I peeled it off, it left a ghost apple in residue (or maybe a clean spot) that’s resisted further removal attempts.

My favorite hammer has a Windows (3.1x) sticker on one side and a 1st gen Intel Inside on the other.

Those "Designed for Microsoft Windows" stickers are best placed on trash cans.

Try anhydrous alcohol and if that doesn't work try d-limonene.

I think of them a lot like bumper stickers on cars. If someone stuck a bumper sticker on my car, I'd be pissed.

That's as many reasons as you can come up with. That doesn't mean there aren't more. For example, my reason is to give my laptop more grip so it doesn't slip out of my hands. Nobody can imagine everyone's needs.

You don't need stickers for grip (and fact they're not ideal for that anyway). You can do it with a laptop cover (still a sticker, but not of the kind we're talking here), tape, and other things.

Still, sure you can come up with a few more reasons (hence my "pretty much it"). But I don't think you can came with 10 reasons, much less "thousands", never mind millions. And 95%+ would still fall in the categories mentioned.

> You don't need stickers for grip (and fact they're not ideal for that anyway)

You don't need to eat chocolate cake for sustenance (and in fact it's not ideal for that anyway).

It's a minor practical benefit to having a sticker collection on there, which is different to covers, or tape, or other things.

There probably aren't millions of discreet reasons, but there are millions of people with their own reasons, even if they largely overlap, the rationale will be slightly different.

I use stickers to keep track of my laptop at airports. When you put your machine through the scanners you have to take it out of your bag which makes it look just like everyone else's Space Gray MBP. With some personal stickers on it, it's much easier to make sure I grab the right one when I rush to gather my things and get redressed. :/

Same! Identification. Except at work mostly, as there is an ocean of identical machines.

> which makes it look just like everyone else's Space Gray MBP

makes me think of the old "think different" ads.

Haha, this would be an ideal example of first world problems!!

Personally I wanted to cover the Apple logo when I had a Macbook air from work. I don't want to do unpaid advertising for them.

Just another reason, for my part I put a sticker because the translucent apple used to let the sun shine through to my screen while outside. It actually took me a while to understand that it wasn't a screen defect.

I put a layer of aluminium foil (held by double faced adhesive tape) because that's the thinnest completely opaque material I could come up with, and put a sticker on it because it was quite ugly otherwise.

Another, I want to be able to easily recognize my laptop on a table with other, similar, laptops.

Also surprised to not see this higher.

It's practically the main reason in companies with standardized equipment.

Or at programmer conferences, where today almost everyone is carrying one of a small handful of nearly identical MacBook models.

There are only 7 colors at best: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. That's pretty much it.

I use stickers to differentiate two laptops I have that are otherwise externally identical. I also like to cover the logos with other things instead.

At my previous company we all had stickers on the laptops that showed they were company property.

5) - 2)/3) while signalling that you've "earned it", and there's a story behind it.

You could easily order any kind of sticker printed and put them on your computer, but that would be cheating. Back in the days when I interacted with the tech community in my city more, there was this assumption that any sticker you have is a proof that you've been somewhere, or hanged with some crowd.

(I sometimes miss times when I had a laptop. I have a collection of stickers with stories with nowhere to put.)

n) I can easily recognise my MBP in a conference room full of computer scientists' laptops when we return from lunch.

It’s fun and makes it recognisable easily. Same reason I do it.

5) Everyone at the company has the same laptop and they want theirs to be distinguishable so they don't accidentally pick up someone else's. This has been my only reason for putting stickers on 2 work laptops.

21) They think the sticker is funny

43) They want to cover up the manufacturers logo on principle

43.5) They want to cover up the brand logo because people keep asking what "yoga" has to do with a laptop.

46) They figure it's a good idea to look "patriotic" about their company (but unlike 3 their work laptop is basically never seen in public)

I put stickers on my laptop from people or companies I care about, or from times that are special to me.

My girlfriend hates the glowing apple logo so she puts a sticker on it.

I just use it to mark my ownership and I like to see them as a visual marker of the times and places I had been to during the usage of that laptop.

There are many more reasons to put stickers on stuff.

Barcoded and company-branded stickers for internal inventory tracking.

Yet another reason I haven't seen listed in the dog pile of reasons on this comment: lo-jack stickers; I have one on every laptop I own and one I'm borrowing.

you'd be wrong on all points when it comes to my mac. A closer inspection would reveal that the stickers aren't really stickers, they are concert tickets, train tickets and basically memorabilia I collect as I go along and it has little to do with promoting any company.

Being a software dev has taken me around the world and given me many opportunities, those "stickers" are to remind me how lucky I am.

> And that's pretty much it

uh, honestly, i put a stick on my laptop just so i can tell it apart from the other macbooks in my office.

n) My company hands out stickers for certain accomplishments (being part of a launch, hitting a certain milestone, attending internal events etc.) and seeing the pastiche of stickers on someone's laptop gives you a rough sense of their history with the company and complex signals of social status.

I put stupid stickers on mine to mock people who put stickers on their laptops. And also i love recursion.

You pretty much forgot fatuity and territorial pissing.

Maybe this is a reaction towards the people who often do this?

After all, we have seen both kinds in our workplaces and they sometimes have certain attributes?

In all seriousness, what attributes are you talking about? Pushing hard for certain software/tech/orgs that they like?

Quite young, impressionable, early adopters/zealots, with the fashion sense to match the stickers?

People who want to give the perception of being different?

'Obnoxious zealots' is probably a more common perception of these people

At work a lot of people have stickers on their laptops (myself included, but I don't put them on my personal one).

I've never _ever_ had anybody preach to me about some tech/event/company that they put a sticker of. My laptop is mine and I don't give a damn about what others think about it. I assume that this is the case of the vast majority of people who put stickers there.

This whole conversation reminds me of people complaining about vegans preaching.

what a weird thing to get hung up about

At face value, yes, but the obnoxious zealotry often has further implications. I mean, how much of the technology baked into your average web project these days is chosen out of fashion rather than utility? Definitely too much.

Almost all of it.

pretty much the same issue exist for using stickers on automobiles. I am of the opinion, your property, your choice. plus sometimes it can be very creative or just get a chuckle out of you during the day and that is always a worthwhile endeavor

Good to see a fellow stoic in the thread.

Oh I've seen this plenty of times when it comes to the possible idea of one being influenced by a brand to the point of carrying their logo/promoting them for free.

Like those who do it are shills, easily influenced, sheeps, etc - and the ones who don't are completely immune to any branding/advertising/marketing, because of reasons (usually there's a sense of superiority bound to it).

Funny enough, this is just an illusion to them, because it doesn't matter what they think, they're still influenced by brands, by the simple fact that every single product/service is branded and signals something to someone, even if the signaling is "I don't buy into corporate brands". Because that's how humans work, with symbols and signals.

To make matters worst, it's when you think you're immune to such thing that you're most vulnerable. It's like you're a sitting duck.

The sooner you embrace we're influenced everyday, the sooner you'll be more aware of it and prepared for it.

I have a Totoro sticker on my notebook. Does that mean I'm a sitting Totoro?

To me it means you liked My Neighbor Totoro, you probably also like most of the Hayao Miyazaki work, and probably you like other anime movies.

Other people they might see you as a weeb.

When in reality maybe someone you like stickered it there, and you just know that the name of the thing is Totoro. Only you know, yet it's still a signal to people who interpret that symbol.

Now depending on your laptop brand you could be a major asshole or a normal human being! (This one is a joke, kind of)

In my company I introduced stickers on working machines. We have a lot of developers with different skillsets spread over the entire campus. There are many departments sharing similar technology stacks and needed skills. This helps people to get together if they have questions or ideas they want to verify or share with others not in their department for example. Got a problem with a particular thing in Erlang, Redis, Yocto, NodeJS, Go, Linux or something else? Just approach the guys that have appropriate stickers and get together and exchange some of that sweet knowledge. While on it they might notice yours and do the same.

Not exactly. The nice thing about Merit Badges is that they're standardized: they're all the same size and shape, and they're not very large (around 1.25" in diameter IIRC).

Also, when you put your merit badges on your sash, they're placed in an orderly fashion, 3 per row. They aren't just slapped on there randomly, some partially covering others, oriented in different directions, etc. With stickers on laptops, they always just look like a big jumble.

If this company came up with merit badge-like stickers for all these technologies and had people place them on their laptops in even rows, oriented the same direction, then I would be for it. But the way I see people use stickers on laptops now, it just looks trashy.

Only those are earned

> * Resale - By putting stickers on my laptop, I am either going to have to try to remove them again once I come to selling it, lowering my resale price because the laptop isn’t in near pristine condition.

> * Damage - There is a worry that some stickers may leave a horrible hard-to-remove residue, or maybe leave a discolouration to the aluminium.

To which may be added a third - your Mac gets sent off for repair, but repair nowadays means "we take the hard drive out and put it in another Mac because even we can't fix them"

Or the repair person might helpfully "clean" the case. Like what happened to this poor guy and his autographed XBOX 360 case: https://web.archive.org/web/20080302171919/http://hawtymcblo...

That one ended up with Bill Gates autographing a case: https://www.engadget.com/2008/03/22/even-happier-ending-for-...

I guess the takeaway is that if you document everything and complain loudly when something goes wrong you might actually get decent customer service.

> Taking it apart would have voided the warranty

Rrr... We must extinguish this lie! It is illegal in the US for companies to do this.

That was in '08. I think that might have been before the decision came out about that.

I'm still trying to figure out how it happened. Did they have some kind of automated case cleaning system or something?

Most likely it's standard procedure to clean every unit that comes in for repairs.

> repair nowadays means "we take the hard drive out and put it in another Mac because even we can't fix them"

Even the SSD is soldered in now

Likewise; half the laptop repairs I've gotten involve screen replacements.

3M adhesive remover is amazing stuff. It beats Goo Gone by a wide margin, I recently used it to remove PETG residue from my 3D printer bed and that stuff is gnarly.

3M 38983 General Purpose Adhesive Remover - 12 oz. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004EBNTYK/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_cU...

Helpful tip, thanks. Here's the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) in case anyone is curious what's in 3M 38983 General Purpose Adhesive Remover[1]: Mostly methyl acetate, with some naptha, xylene, and a small amount of ethylbenzene. Definitely worth heeding the precautionary statements...

For contrast, "Goo Gone" is mostly naptha-like light petroleum distillate with small fractions of limonene and orange extract[2].

1. https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebserver?mwsId=SSSSSuUn_...

2. https://googone.com/mr_sds/data/2018-06-14%2013:44:51/GG_Ori...

This stuff is basically Goo Gone without the plant goodies and some aircraft paint thinner. It will remove most paint and clear coats so be careful!

edit: I misread xylene as toluene, whoops! It still isn't the most paint-friendly if you don't have a durable surface though.

3M adhesive remover will not remove paint. I used gallons on cars to remove plastidip. It says right on the container, safe for car paint and clear coat. Advertised to remove bumper stickers.

Yeah it worth trying Goo Gone first and reserve this for the really tough adhesives. There can’t be many laptop stickers that can’t be removed with Goo Gone plus patience (which BTW also works wonders for removing road tar from car paint).

For dealing with milder adhesives, try peanut butter or vegetable oil. Let it sit overnight, then wipe off. The only reason for considering peanut butter is that it doesn't drip off while the oil does its work.

I'm not averse to "chemicals" per se, but I like to minimize the number of different specialty liquids I have to find a place for in my house.

Yeah its awesome. Just make sure you have an organic solvent respirator on when you use it. Its pretty nasty stuff.

Does it have the same plastic-eating properties as Goo Gone?

Goo Gone isn't all that strong, are you sure you're not thinking of Goof Off? Goo Gone is a fairly average citrus-based cleaner, where as Goof Off is based on acetone. It'll melt many paint and plastics on contact. Certainly has it's moments, though, and it's far stronger than Goo Gone.

Indeed I was, or rather I assumed they were both maker-specific names for the same thing. Thank you for the explanation.

Yeah that’s a good point. It’s pretty strong stuff. I’ve used it to remove decals from cars and it hasn’t damaged the clearcoat but modern clearcoat is an epoxy anyway so it’s not all that surprising. It will destroy polystyrene based plastics and I’d be careful around others.

Having said that it works fine applied via a rag so you can avoid overspray issues.

I have devoted my life to removing stickers from all my computers. The first thing I do with a new ThinkPad is remove the Intel and Lenovo stickers from the palmrest.

(Tip: If you have a Swiss Army knife with the plastic toothpick, the flat point of that toothpick is a perfect tool for lifting a corner of a sticker.)

The one exception was when I realized I was using my late 2013 MacBook Pro in Windows more than in OS X. I thought it would be fun to turn it into a WinBook Pro, so I got a Windows 10 decal for it:


I lined it up just right so the machine lights up the Windows logo as if it had always been there.

I guess this wouldn't work so good on the new MacBooks...

I have found it similarly satisfying to remove the dealer decals from every car I buy. Although it's probably easier just to make them remove it as a condition of sale.

I have a prediction to make. Let me know if I'm right or wrong: These cars with dealer decals are all from dealerships located outside of California, yeah?

I ask because I have a suspicion that CA law bans them. Either that, or our culture is so anti-dealer-decal that none dare try to add them. (Every decal I've ever seen has been from out of state)

You got that right. I'm from Georgia and when I bought a new car I had to get firm with the sales guy wrt no stinking stickers.

But I'm in CA now and no one has stickers; the tactful substitute is a "complementary" plate bezel with some dealer details on it (name, city). Those are subtle and I kind of like seeing where people are from.

Back in GA we have very legible county (2cm font) stickers on all the plates so that's how to geo-locate other cars there.

Thanks for indulging me. I’m still trying to figure out why this is. I searched the state laws for any references to dealer decals, emblems, etc. and came up empty. But there’s obviously something that causes the statewide practice of no decals.

The Swiss Army knife flat toothpick (Victorinox) is also the perfect tool to get dust out of USB-C sockets. If your USB-C cable doesn't "click" in to your phone anymore there is probably dust stuck in there deep.

Our old toilet had a "Designed for Windows" sticker from an old ThinkPad, and the current one has "Intel Inside".

I used to put "Designed for Windows" stickers on the trashcans at work.

Call me weirdo but I never jumped on the sticker wagon. I don't see the point of advertising companies for free. My support would be more in terms of using their services (paying, yes) than paying and also putting stickers on my laptop. Is just because fanatism or feeling proud of using something? I'm not trying to be jerk, but I never understood that movement.

Most of my stickers aren’t really related to IT or a business or anything, save for some nonprofits. It helps me differentiate my work laptop from personal (similar looking thinkpads) and to enliven an otherwise dull but functional design in a way that is pleasing to me by virtue of it reflecting my interests and tastes, if these are ones that I feel comfortable sharing. What would be a good reason, in your opinion?

>Most of my stickers aren’t really related to IT or a business or anything

This I think people have less of a problem with, as your stickers add a bit of personality.

The guys with GitHub, redis and a chrome logo however...

I just want everything colored as to hide the maximum amount of crud that tends to build up. Usually black.

Stickers are purely a way to identify your laptop in a sea of otherwise identical MacBook pros.

Stickers are purely an extension of one's ego.

A few years ago I even saw an Ad[1] from Apple itself showing a lot of Macbooks with different stickers their owners have pasted on it, depicting something on the line of : " the Macbooks are so much loved that people just can't resist to personalize them."

And I still miss the previous work Macbook that I put Portal video game sticker on. :)

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZT4ZbwgIK3w

No, they are our industry's equivalent for prison tattoos.

> prison tattoos

Pretty much. They reveal what tribes you’re a part of and your history, allowing others to identify and categorize you. And they’re inappropriate in a traditional professional setting, requiring sleeves to cover them up.

True that. I usually put stickers on just to identify my laptop if everyone is using the same model. A small one in particular corner isnenough. Once I used a large corporate logo sticker diagobally across one corner and cut everything too large. Looked quite nice. My boss wasn't so happy as it turned the sticker I used should have been used for one of the meeting rooms. Not my fault if people are leaving it lying aroung for at least two months, is it?

Tattoos are in most West Coast tech companies, so don't worry.

Nope, they are a way to show that your are indeed different and special.

(since everyone in SF have the exact same laptop)

And usually the exact same unrelated tech company stickers...

Ah, the "I grabbed a handful of stickers from a conference / meetup" look.

No, this is what an naive outsider might think looking from the outside, thinking the “hipster” Mac users are just feeding ego, missing completely that they are only doing it so they don’t pick up someone else’s computer at work.

I didn't interpret the GP post to mean ego in a toxic way. I certainly put stickers on my laptop to express myself by sharing a bit of my interests and identity.

I never hand picked any computer in a job. I carry mine everywhere. I never leave my computer alone out of my section and, more over, if i leave it in my desk I don't need to identify it differently.

I can say by looking at my keyboard I can detect if it is mine by looking the most used keys, :)

I put stickers on my Dell, too.

Or a need for identity? Expression of your interests to an otherwise largely not-caring audience? I imagine having the best conversation at some point when some likes my openbsd sticker...

If you have a tux on your laptop I feel inclined to talk to you. If you hate my stickers (because you hate stickers), you feel less inclined to talk to me. Win-win.

What about funny stickers then, not branded ones? No fun allowed?

Isn't fun or humor projected outward - via a sticker in this case - an extension and illumination of one's ego?

Nothing inherently wrong with having an ego. It’s the inability to detach from/silence/deprioritize it that tends to cause issues.

I use a sticker to cover the manufacturer’s logo for various reasons. My choice of sticker was only an extension of ego insofar as it happened to come with a product I purchased around the time I got the laptop.

Razer? On some models their logo was backlit by the screen backlight- people using their laptops in a business setting seem to love to cover it up.

I always wondered how uptight people would have to be in a meeting to even give the slightest damn about a glowing green snake logo.

So like anything else they own?

lol, or a way to express themselves


A way to piss of IT departments

I put gaffing tape on mine for grip since we have to key card in and out of doors on the floors of our non-shared office. I kept dropping a new-ish 15” they gave me as I often had to juggle things while getting in and out of heavily sprung doors. IT hates it but they hate dented aluminum cases more.

>I kept dropping a new-ish 15” they gave me as I often had to juggle things while getting in and out of heavily sprung doors.

Why do you walk around with your laptop in your hands? For meetings?

>IT hates it but they hate dented aluminum cases more.

Even if it's a company issued laptop, what it's to IT whether you have stickers/tape or not?

Makes it harder to re-issue it out once you have left.

Aha. For shorter term employment makes sense. Usually in these hear parts the laptop will be deprecated/replaced before the employee (e.g. after 4-5 or so years).

> Why do you walk around with your laptop in your hands? For meetings?

Yup. Lots and lots of meetings.

> Even if it's a company issued laptop, what it's to IT whether you have stickers/tape or not?

No idea.

What's to hate about gaffers tape? Doesn't even leave residue

At work, my laptop is the only one with a Ryzen sticker.

Does it have a Ryzen chip? Or just a big AMD fan? :)

I'm excited to see more Ryzen laptops on the market, especially since Zen 2 is looking pretty nice on performance per watt.

Both. I bought the laptop because it has a Ryzen chip.

Figured that would be it. How do you like it? Do you think performance is solid?

For light gaming, it is miles ahead of my old Intel one. The Radeon card is just much, much better than Intel integrated graphics.

For normal browser use, I think it hiccups a little bit more than the Intel. It has twice the cores, but each core is not as fast as the Intel cores.

Isn't that a bit like putting a BMW sticker on a Toyota Auris?

No, more like putting a Michael Bubble sticker on Frank Sinatra.

Dell put the stickers, not me.

I keep an EFF bumper sticker on my laptop for that very reason — advertising for non-profits or causes. I’ve had a surprising (or not?) number of people ask “what’s this EFF thing?”, and in turn had many good conversations with folks about privacy, encryption, Etc. I know of at least one person who dug deeper after our chat and ended up donating to the EFF.

All of my stickers are for companies I've been directly involved with (eg past employers), FOSS projects (Python/PyCon, PostgreSQL), charities I'm active with (EFF, FSF, etc.), or services that I personally use a lot (Mastodon, Twitter). They're kind of a way of saying "I like these things".

I have googly eyes on mine. Not only can I definitely find my computer in a sea of identical MacBooks, people across from me at meetings seem to enjoy them.

You don‘t seem to be the only one https://devlids.com/lids/stevenjudd

There are dozens of us!

My laptop googly eyes tend to get dented when things press against my laptop lid, and then sort of disintegrate. I need extra-thin googly eyes.

Damn this seems fun.

Yeah I know what I'm doing this weekend... I want eyes on everything

The only reason I put a sticker on my laptop is to identify it out of all the other identical laptops at work.

I generally don't get a tech related sticker either. Instead I buy a sticker of an animal or something. Of my current laptops, one has an owl, one has a cat, and one has a flying fish.

Many to most typical laptop stickers don't advertise companies. Also, if you stick one over the glowing apple, you disable some rather obnoxious advertising.

New MacBook Pros no longer glow!

To be entirely honest, I miss the glow. I thought it was a cool little feature, even if it didn't do anything much other than look pretty.

It had the downside that if some bright light was coming from the other direction, the Apple logo would shine through your display.

Example picture: https://www.reddit.com/r/mildlyinfuriating/comments/1ruc03/m...

Now consider someone who isn't a particular fan of Apple sitting opposite of you in a dark room. It is shouting "APPLE! APPLE! APPLE!"

I’m not a particular fan of Nike and I can’t avoid people with Nike t-shirts, so what?

The Nike logo is not shining into your eyeballs.

Except wasting electricity (probably not much, but a minute or so of battery life sounds more useful than a glowing apple)


I enjoyed finding a foil sticker at jwz's club that turned the glowing apple into a glowing double helix.

https: //www.dnalounge.com/store/stickers.html

Jwz redirects links from HN, so you may want to cut and paste that link to avoid a NSFW image.

I've also never put stickers on my macbook. And not to keep it pristine either; it's collected plenty of gunk, and I use my macbooks up completely (my 2011 MBP is currently on its deathbed), so resale value is no issue.

For some reason I just don't see the value in covering it with stickers.

Although I did put two stickers on the laptop I'm using at a client's office. Maybe they'll help draw some attention to our team and product, and inform people which department I'm working for.

I keep all my macs. I still have my 2003 iBook. But that one had 2 stickers I remember that it took me a good afternoon to remove completely the crap of it.

How else do you identify your mbp going through TSA. Call me laptop roulette paranoid.

Mine is the one with no stickers

What is the likelihood of seeing another macbook with no stickers compared to the one with the exact same stickers as yours arranged in the exact same way? I think that should address the issue with your argument.

Mine is the one with the gunk.

It's the one next to my shoes and my wallet.

I think that's how pretty much everybody does it

Though every MacBook has some small details that can be picked up even if "identical"

I usually put my carry on (a rolling bag) and personal item (backpack) on the bookends of other bins/belongings on the belt, s.t. all the bins are between two large, distinctly-mine items. It also makes pointing out the items which are mine to a TSA agent significantly easier.

I live in Europe, you need to put the laptop into a plastic box, with all the cables, etc. It's easy to identify it. I put also personal belongings

Precheck saves that hassle.

I'm working with >100 engineers in my team and >1000 engineers in my building, and nearly everyone has a mbp.

We usually just drop our macbooks somewhere if we attend an event, or a meeting, or go for lunch in our building.

Not having stickers (or any other unique feature) makes it very difficult to find your computer.

Stickers definitely make it easier to find one's computer.

Funny enough, for me, it depends on the "thing". Laptop or car? No dice; but water bottle and home PC, stickers on them. I don't go out of my way to sticker them up, its mostly a collection of stickers I think look "cool" or hold sentimental value. For example, I have the skydiving bumper sticker on my water bottle cause, while it is rather bland looking, marks the skydiving trip I took two years ago. The Hot Ones sticker on my tower is because I really like hot sauces.

Overall, I like to do it because I've done it since my high school folders. I used to tape magazine clippings all over it and even made a small amount of money doing it for others at my school.

On my old machine, I had three mission patches from space missions I was (a small) part of.

On my current machine I have a Rick, the Micropython logo and a sticker from my Moped gang.

Stickers of companies are not the only ones existing.

I use stick figures, shadow shapes, etc. This differentiates my laptop from all the others in a crowd of them, and does it with my taste.

I’m with you on advertising - not interested.

Usually when I see people put stickers on laptops it's just for stuff they like or things they think looks cool. Maybe sometimes that ends up being a company they like for whatever reason. It's the same reasoning someone would use picking out t-shirts. The goal is to not give corporations free advertising.

But there is so much more you can put there.. mine has:

Kids sticker my daughters put there, cartoon like power rangers(some new one but same concept) Trail running club that I ran some races with Some star wars sticker Friends startup company Postgress meetup(cool design) Few coworking spaces I been to Muai Thai stadium in Bangkok Couple conference stickers(swift and ml) Running sandals that I like Couple ski resort stickers that I bought for my kids and they put it on my laptop Climbing festival Canadian Alpine club

Only one that is company advertisement for free is Mammut outdoor brand. I really like their branding for whatever reason, so I have few of their things

> I don't see the point of advertising companies for free.

I feel the same way. I also stopped using T-shirts with stuff related to companies, technology and any kind of pop culture for the same reason.

And, aesthetically I find the clean laptop more elegant.

I just care about some visual distinctiveness - useful for both identification and aesthetics. Never put them on for a company I don't work for, though, just little bits of art from assorted Etsy shops.

This behavior isn’t isolated to stickers. It’s no different than wearing a Star Wars shirt. It does seem silly though when the sticker is for a company that like, sends emails for you or something

I've put stickers on laptops before but it's always been OpenSource projects which I use and only to cover scuff marks as the laptops age.

Commercial products to me seem similar to wearing brand names.

I had forgotten my laptop while going through security at the Detroit airport. So when loudspeaker announcements happened, I went back to collect the laptop. The security guy asked "Why type of laptop is it?" intending to check if it's really mine, I replied: "One with lots of stickers". "There you go" he said handing me my laptop that was inside a protective cover.

Have you considered putting art on your machine?

>I don't see the point of advertising companies for free. My support would be more in terms of using their services (paying, yes) than paying and also putting stickers on my laptop.

So you won't advertise for free, but you'll pay the company to advertise for them?

random stickers (that don't have to be corporate) make it easier to tell whose machine you're about to grab.

That could mean yours, or your rival's; I leave that part of the decision to you.

I have 3 on mine: our company sticker, and 2 satirical ones related to what we do (we audit Fedex and UPS accounts; I have a "FedUp" and an "Oops" stylized like those logos)

> I don't see the point of advertising companies for free

What if I'm covering up the free advertising built into the machine? I like how my triforce sticker looks a lot more than the dell logo it replaced.

> What if I'm covering up the free advertising built into the machine?

This is what I do. My current MacBook has a single unbranded sticker of a hop (from Double Mountain Brewery) to cover up the Apple Logo.

Bash nor Linux nor BSD nor "anti-NSA" are companies...

Putting anti-NSA stickers on your laptop is the same as tweeting Rape is bad, which I've seen quite a lot recently.

What's the point? Everyone already agrees with you. You're just patting yourself on the back for thinking correctly, like the 99% of others.

> Everyone already agrees with you.

That's really not my experience. A significant portion of people I meet, including technical people, articulate some form of "I have nothing to hide, so I don't care" when the topic comes up.

Well, the stickers are not for you then. But like saying: "Snowden is a hero", there is a certain feeling of bravery, in the face of the biggest bully the world ever knew, don't you think?

I don't use stickers either but with this technique, I could give it a try for a few months.

Totally unrelated: I feel the same about tattoos.

My two stickers cover a scratch and a tampered badge on a top-end, used ThinkPad X1 Carbon. Stylish and serves the purpose!


I saw the same thing. If I am going to be decorated like a NASCAR driver, I would much rather paid for that.

Except you won't. And the EFF, Linus Torvalds and OpenBSD will probably never. Yet, I feel like I could give them some free advertising.

I used a flat white Dbrand skin and put my stickers on top. My stickers have 100% coverage: https://twitter.com/rxcs/status/888214143097987072. No problems after 2 years aside from some slight fading of the colors on the reflective stickers.

If OP is in this thread, check out 3M 1080 (or newer) series. It is used on cars, designed to not bubble or leave residue, and comes in clear.

3M 1080 is great stuff - I avoided clear vinyls however as i found they lost the metallic look due to them being a little too glossy, even with the matte ones.

Nice, how do you keep the Apple logo clear? You just cut the stickers carefully before applying? The shape is still quite well defined.

The Apple logo is recessed enough that I could trace it easily with an x-acto knife. The stickers I used didn't stick to it very well, interestingly, and just peeled right off.

Are you not afraid to damage the logo with the knife?

Another option: If you have a Cricut or other cutting machine, you can buy the vinyl and cut your own.

That looks absolutely amazing!

wow, i find that amazingly stupid-looking

Small nitpick, but "orange peel" refers to the texture of clearcoat resulting from not spraying it properly, not anything to do with an orange hue.

Example: https://cl.ly/f5e28bc2db85

small nitpicks on your nitpick, but

- orange peel refers to any paint layer, not just clearcoat. (almost all, if not all, cars today are shot with at least 2 stage, but older and maybe some cars may be a single paint coat, where orange peel can still be exhibited).

- it's not from spraying it improperly, which can be a cause, but more typically that the spraying conditions (from paint mix to atmospheric conditions, even inside a booth) aren't "ideal". most new cars are robot sprayed with perfect spray control, and almost all new cars exhibit a small degree of orange peel.

even ferraris have orange peel from the factory. this is why high dollar detailers do a "paint correction" as part of their work, even on a brand new car.


My alternative to slapping them on a laptop or laptop case:


Grab some magnet sheets, place sticker, and cut out. Makes them a bit more durable in that you can move them around, rather than only being able to stick once.

Do magnets do horrible things to computers? Or was that only CRT screens?

Could possibly fuck with a HDD if your laptop has one.

Has anyone ever tried this with ThinkPads, with the rubberized matte coating?

I was looking at the skins sold on eBay, and wondering whether they'd mar the coating. The old coatings hold up very nicely for over a decade, and I don't want the skin to react with the coating, nor to later leave behind an adhesive that can't be removed without ruining the coating.

I'm also wondering whether the skins could be transplanted, like if one laptop breaks in a hard-to-repair way, so you move your SSD and skin full of decals to the replacement laptop.

(I have an unapplied backlog of nerdy decals, to make the perfect social nerd cafe laptop out of a spare Coreboot X200. So long as being social doesn't mar the coating, because priorities.)

I've pretty much had a ThinkPad with me since the mid '90s, and, and used to carry them everywhere with me, usually one or more trips a day. One of them I got a custom printed skin, it wasn't that expensive, maybe $50... I peeled that skin of ~3 years later when I got a new laptop, and the top looked PRISTINE. I realized at that time: While the normal finish wears pretty well, it does wear. The skin totally protected it.

Or just buy Goo Gone


Agreed. I really don’t see how removing stickers off an aluminum case is really that difficult.

Even for the “bad” ones that leave residue there are plenty of products for this purpose that won’t damage the metal.

The idea is to keep the stickers when you have to change laptops or something, not keep your laptop clean when removing them

I used to be in the anti sticker camp, but then someone nearly walked off with my identical MacBook Pro at Newark. After that, I've gone through three laptops and each one ends up caked in stickers from various customers and conferences. I don't have to risk someone picking up my MacBook unless they have the same arrangement IP video tech and Seattle sports stickers.

Another way is to just use a body case or "shell" and applying the stickers to that. It may not perfectly match the original aluminum look but it provides more protection and personalization.

I got an Incase one from the Apple Store:



Aren't these transparent film like the vinyl that one can use?


Putting stickers on my laptop is the closest I’ve come to getting a tattoo.

I just put a hard shell case on my MacBook and cover that with stickers. The MacBook stays pristine and unaffected underneath.

I use a hard case on my work laptop for similar reasons - it's not my laptop, and when I give it back I want to keep the stickers! (I get a bit attached after using a stickered-up machine for a while.)

The framed set of stickers at the bottom is kinda what I have in mind.

IT departments at larger tech companies may be interested in this. Every time an employee leaves or they recall equipment they need to remove stickers, a manual and time consuming process. The key question is whether the amount of time to apply this coating is significantly less than removing individual stickers later?

Only for the record, there are already people selling laptop wraps.

leather and wood: https://www.rvinyl.com/Laptop-Wraps

Various skins, already tailored for specific models:


And you can even create your own design:


Another one (Macbook):


And yet another one:


Any transparent ones, or ones that match the color of the laptop exactly?

I bet Louis Rossman would have some thoughts on this. He had a customer who became a local meme after having a tantrum about sticker residue. These things can be trivial or impossible to remove depending how much you know about the adhesive and removal methods.

And you have to be thoughtful with removal methods too, some like rubbing alcohol for example, can damage certain surfaces.

i would like to see some proper psychological research on why we put stickers and brands on our pretty and expensive laptops.

Some keywords cones to mind based on my own feelings;

- software tribalism and identity signaling to peers. like a mini resumé.

- idealism and dreaming, the cool stuff I wish I was using (Who sticks a .NET logo there, right?)

- added uniqueness, my laptop is mine, my special tool, it is set up as an extention of my unique set of skills

My hobby project is collecting photos of stickered laptops [1]

From my impression and experience, it‘s like saying „I am root. This is MY device“ more than anything else. So I‘d say your last point applies in most cases. Although Salesforce-people seem to have a special relationship with their stickers [2]. They have tons of them, but usually none from other companies. They seem to be achievment-badges.

[1] https://devlids.com

[2] https://devlids.com/all/tag:salesforce

Yeah, I think you mostly got it. Same reason people wear clothes with large, prominent brand names on them, or movie references, or whatever. Legible clothing generally. Bumper stickers. Same stuff.

Easier to spot/identify.

I can spot mine easily at a distance, and it's very unlikely that someone else will have theirs marked similarly. Useful in situations like security lines at airports (Please step to the side sir, while we pat you down and someone nicks your laptop from the baggage scanner), or even in an office where everyone has the same laptop.

It reminds me a lot of bumper stickers on cars or tattoos on skin

- conversation starter ("woah, that's a cool sticker, where did you get it?")

But yeah, mostly what you mention.

> Resale - By putting stickers on my laptop, I am either going to have to try to remove them again once I come to selling it, lowering my resale price because the laptop isn’t in near pristine condition.

Small remark, I've been rocking stickers on my macbook for years now and have "clean" periods in between, you can take stickers off the aluminum without any issue, and the few times I've had residue left it's easy to take it off with some alcohol or iso. After this it's 100% clean and you can't see there have been stickers on it, it's no issue at all

I’m disappointed more laptop stickers don’t adhere to this standard...


That really seems like a solution to a problem that no one has/cares about.

It's weird that this is being talked about as if it's not something that companies/sellers have been offering for ages.

This "special" car vinyl with the air channels is 3M's Controltac product. You can find many sellers on eBay/AliExpress [1] or the myriad of other Chinese web stores offering this product.

[1] https://www.ebay.com/itm/Surface-3M-Skin-Decal-Sticker-Cover...

Wonderful idea! My friends drew some brilliant illustrations on my Macbook Pros ( https://i.imgur.com/O4mGZqZ.jpg ) using marker, directly on the case. Not soon afterward, the anti-reflective coating went bad and I tried to took it to Apple Store and was predictably told it's not possible to repair the screen without swapping out the entire screen. So 4 years later I am still using a never paired machine. I wish I knew about this kind of wrapping earlier.

I just buy some dbrand skins for mine. I have no idea if other manufacturers' stuff is good, probably is but I've had the best experience with them so far. I buy and apply whichever skin I like the most at that time and put stickers on it to my heart's content. Plus the skins are pretty tough so I get scratch protection and it comes off without leaving a mark in case I need to sell it. The guy who bought my old MBP didn't have anything to complain about.

this is essentially why i have a dbrand skin (aka a piece of textured vinyl) on my macbook pro

But that's almost a harder decision - you can certainly buy a bland colored skin to put stickers on, but if you're going to the effort of skinning your laptop, why not pick an interesting skin?

I currently have the Hex skin. They have a pretty big selection.


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