Hardware Tampa Bay

Screwbox: My go-to for Mac repairs in Tampa Bay

The quick summary: If you’re in the Tampa Bay area and need your Mac repaired, Steve Bush of Screwbox will come to where you are, pick it up, repair it, and bring it back to you. I needed repairs done on my 2014-era MacBook Pros, and Steve did a fantastic job fixing them — and I didn’t even have to leave my house!

My old MacBook Pros are still solid development machines

The last time my MacBook Pro was in an office: March 2020, adding features to the Lilypad app.

Even though the new M1 Max-powered MacBooks are singing their siren songs to me, I’m still doing my independent work on my personal MacBook Pros:

  • A refurbished mid-2014 15″ MacBook Pro that I bought in early 2015 for a nice discount, back when I was working for a company that expected you to provide your own laptop, and
  • A mid-2014 13″ MacBook Pro that a client gave to me in 2016 for building an iPad app in lieu of cash. Ah, the joys of freelancing when the company you work for cuts its workforce…

They’ve served me well…

I’m still doing all my “side hustle” work on these machines, doing iOS, Android, and Python development, along with video and music production. They do the job just fine, which includes composing this post and the images that go with it.

That being said, we’re at the point where the current version of macOS — version 12, a.k.a. “Monterey” — won’t run on them (version 11, a.k.a. “Big Sur”, is the latest version that runs on my MacBooks). Between that and Apple’s move from Intel processors to their own amazingly fast silicon, I expect to buy an M1 MacBook as a birthday present to myself in November and put my old MacBooks to work as home servers.

I needed repairs

Close-up photo of a MacBook trackpad popping out of alignment de to a bulging battery

My 15″ MacBook Pro was still processing just fine, but its trackpad was no longer responding to touch or presses, and in fact, it was becoming quite difficult to “click”.

Speaker icon

The 13″ had a different problem: sound, especially once the volume was past the 50% mark, was distorting, which meant the speakers were damaged.

There were free workarounds for both issues, but I decided that I wanted repairs done, if available for a reasonable price. I asked around, and got a couple of enthusiastic recommendations for Screwbox.

My experience: Great!

I filled out the contact form at the bottom of Screwbox’s home page, and Steve Bush got in touch with me via text shortly afterward. The description of my MacBooks’ issues was enough for him to diagnose their problems:

  • With the 15″, the trackpad didn’t work because the battery was bulging, and the battery is located beneath the trackpad. His recommendation: Replace the battery. After watching this video to see what the procedure was, I opted to have Steve do it.
  • The solution for the 13″ was obvious: replace the speakers. I thought that I might want to try this myself, so I watched this video. The process is less complex than battery replacement, but in the end, enlightened laziness (one of the great programming virtues) won out, and let Steve do it.

As promised on the site, Steve gave me a flat rate quote for the work: $199 plus tax for each repair, for a grand total of $431.83, payable in advance via Zelle. He would order the parts, pick up the MacBooks from my place when the parts arrived, perform the repair at his shop, and drop them off at my place once repaired. Once you factor in the cost of labor, parts, and travel, it’s quite clear that he’s offering a deal.

I Zelled him the money, and he picked up my MacBooks a couple days later when the parts arrived. He returned my fully-functioning MacBooks a day later, and I didn’t even have to leave the house!

Steve’s service was helpful and fast, and I wouldn’t hesitate to contact him again for Mac repair. If you’re in the Tampa Bay area and need a Mac fixed, you’ll want to reach out to Screwbox and Steve Bush.

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