The Problem with Apple

Apple hardware/software and related topics.
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:58 pm

I've taken a look back at some things I wrote and I want to clarify something:

About 2011 is when Apple's quality began to slide - right around the time Jobs began to die. Do I blame Cook for it? No, but I just noticed a decline.

Take the 2011 Mac Mini. The optical drive had been removed compared to the 2010 model. That's fine. The 2011 Mini has quad core CPU as an option.

The next iteration glues the access port shut and solders the RAM to the motherboard. Removing any sort of serviceability.

I have some old Apple gear right now actually - a Mini G4 I picked from a recycler for $5, an Apple Cube that I got from an estate sale for $10, and a G4 Quicksilver (And I've owned the MDD before!)

These are well built machines. They don't do much anymore unless you wanna run MorphOS or Mac OS 9 (not that there's anything wrong with EITHER option, just saying!) or 10.4 Tiger (I think Tiger is pretty godawful, just in terms of looks) or, in the Mini's case, Leopard. Leopard is alright - as is Snow Leopard. If I'm honest, as I owned an MDD, a Mac Mini Core2Duo, and a Retina Macbook, the high point is Snow Leopard, followed by a slow slide into Lion and Mountain Lion before it completely slides into shit with Mavericks. Fuck Mavericks and beyond MacOS.

Part of the reason I realize I developed a hatred for Apple is the new elitist, status toting userbase happy to pay thousands for poorly engineered dreck. The older stuff is alright, and quite well engineered. The only major failure my MDD had was the PSU, which when replaced with an OEM AcBel Unit (quite expensive, IIRC) and the Powerbook/iBook's HORRIBLE power connectors (If someone wants to mod the old ones with magsafe I'd be all over it!) they weren't so bad. Oh, and in the FreeBSD community the Apple-derived developers of FreeBSD and its MacOS masturbating userbase fuck the OS over a barrel. FreeBSD doesn't even fucking have proper ASLR - and even MS beat them to the punch!
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby japes » Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:10 pm

I'm convinced a big problem they have is over-engineering looks over all. And a key theme in Apple products is thinness. Thinness caused the MagSafe to be removed for USB-C power, so once again power connectors that are stressed, and can take your laptop to the ground. On the iPhone we get lightning connectors because OMG, thin. I kind of wish they'd just put USB-C on the phone.

Thinness sucks for cooling so now we have "Pro" laptops that spin fans up or thermal throttle if you push the cpu. I was happy to use my iPhone without a case, but the last few phones are so thin I have to have a case on it or it's so thin and slick to hold the thing.

On one hand I don't care much about RAM being soldered in and the computer being the replaceable unit, other than having to order what I need for the entire predicted lifecycle of the machine. But I do not like that the SSD/HDD is not easily extracted, I might have data leakage policies that require control over the storage media. So full disk encryption becomes part of running macOS going forward I think. Additionally, if part of the motherboard fails it would be nice to not start over if I'm lazy about backups.

On the other hand I don't like the environmental aspects of everything being a sealed unit...$100 hard drive died in your $2500 iMac? Toss it all away and replace it - I don't quite understand how that makes sense under warranty (I guess they can remanufacture to keep up the warranty replacement stock). Outside of warranty it's a big slap in the face to the consumer.

I believe if you are going to choose to use a modern Apple computer you need to have AppleCare and not keep the computer more than about 3 years, sell them and replace them - cost of being in the Apple ecosystem. Or don't get AppleCare and cycle quickly, like 9-18 months. I'm figuring the latter will be my path once my late 2011 MBP upsets me enough to replace it. In the past the 1st year depreciation wasn't too bad so it might work out to always have the newest and sell them quickly, the lifecycle issues can be some other guy's problem (sadly).
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:55 pm

Here's my issue with it: Jobs was always about style over expandability or serviceability. Cook seems to embody the same philosophy. I'm more of a Wozniak guy myself.

This is a guy you're talking to who at one point used a Pentium III 1GHz from 2000-2007 consistently as his primary machine, and I did it by incrementally upgrading the machine until the point that it would not be upgradeable anymore. By the time I sold it, the computer had 1GB of RAM, three 100GB HDDs, two floppy drives and two DVD-RW drives, a high end Audigy SB card, some kind of high end Radeon (for 2003) that fit in it that I don't remember the name of, etc. In otherwords, besides the CPU, it was still a respectable machine. The CPU was laughably underpowered, running Windows 2000.

That's what I do. The only reason I'm selling my Thinkpad is that I bought it for a specific purpose (when I lived in a 70 sq ft room with a 10amp fuse. Yes, a fuse, not a breaker) that soon became impractical (I have a much bigger place now with a lot more space) and the only reason I got rid of my 2006 Mini was my friend needed a cheap computer and I gave it to him for free.

You see, I'm not tolerant of not being in control of my data, my hardware that I paid money for or anything else like it.
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby japes » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:32 pm

heh, reminds me of my P-II machine I had from the beginning of P-II 100 MHz FSB parts until well into P4 days when I moved to AMD for a while.

Jobs definitely liked style and not a big fan of expansion. But he also liked things to work. Cook I think is hands off and the ship is being piloted by Ives who only cares about getting the parts in a more stylish case, not if they even work, and certainly not if they can be serviced.

I'm sure I said it before, but Apple can't handle a lifecycle that doesn't end in waste bin but they'll innovate the crap out of whatever they're putting in the bin. Microsoft, for all their flaws can't innovate out of a paper bag but they can put a product on life support like no one's business.
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby JacquesT » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:22 am

japes wrote:heh, reminds me of my P-II machine I had from the beginning of P-II 100 MHz FSB parts until well into P4 days when I moved to AMD for a while.

Jobs definitely liked style and not a big fan of expansion. But he also liked things to work. Cook I think is hands off and the ship is being piloted by Ives who only cares about getting the parts in a more stylish case, not if they even work, and certainly not if they can be serviced.

I'm sure I said it before, but Apple can't handle a lifecycle that doesn't end in waste bin but they'll innovate the crap out of whatever they're putting in the bin. Microsoft, for all their flaws can't innovate out of a paper bag but they can put a product on life support like no one's business.


Heartily agree with the above. My current 2013 13" Macbook Pro and 2010 dual 6 core Mac Pro will for the foreseeable future be my last mac purchases. I hate my iphone 5s - actually, I like the phone, just not the OS running on it. My MacPro will take latest Pascal gfx cards and happily run anything I throw at it. I don't want faster or thinner, I want to be able to keep my hardware for at least 3-5 years and be able to upgrade key components. I don't for one second believe in throwing away hardware because of forced obsolescence.I'm a bit ecologically minded and don't appreciate wastage of natural resources for the sake of pure greed.
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby guardian452 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:39 am

japes wrote:I'm convinced a big problem they have is over-engineering looks over all. And a key theme in Apple products is thinness. Thinness caused the MagSafe to be removed for USB-C power, so once again power connectors that are stressed, and can take your laptop to the ground. On the iPhone we get lightning connectors because OMG, thin. I kind of wish they'd just put USB-C on the phone.


A USB-C receptacle (e.g. the entire assembly inside the device) is actually smaller than lightning even tho the plug and receptacle are larger, because the pins are in the middle, not around the edge. We get lightning because apple says so. The nice thing about USB-C is that the plug wears out and not the receptacle, unlike lightning. Ask my wife, who is on charger #3, she is really hard on charger cords, no fear about shoving them up against the side of the couch or dragging the power brick by the laptop... but the receptacle in her blade stealth is fine for close to 2 years now. Also razer charges a more reasonable price for a replacement, although with apple you can only replace the cord and not the brick. I put two new barrel receptacles in her old VAIO over the course of it's lifetime. Which is a $7 part, but opening a VAIO is no picnic.

japes wrote:Thinness sucks for cooling so now we have "Pro" laptops that spin fans up or thermal throttle if you push the cpu.
Thermal limiting a 23w CPU, on any 13" chassis WITH A FAN regardless of how thin it is, something is rotten in the state of Denmark...

The only reason I'm selling my Thinkpad is that I bought it for a specific purpose (when I lived in a 70 sq ft room with a 10amp fuse.
The W530? Why? I still love my w520, tho it's been relegated to gaming and video editing duty at home now. (and movies and TV in bed, got a nice big screen even if the resolution is on the low side it's fine for movies). It is a helluva brick tho, so I understand if you need to take it with you.

I think the bigger question is for those of us who dont like apple anymore is why do we have to stand on the roof and beat the drum like a madman? You don’t like it, don’t buy it. Other people like it? Be happy for them :)

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:41 am

The W530 has been very good, but with everything else I have now (HP Z230 workstation, X1 Carbon) for both general computing and travel use it's overkill. I made it so I could have a fast desktop replacement AND have a portable machine.

I rant about Apple because so many people seem proud to toot the horn of MacOS (which is eye candy the OS - nothing special at all) and still sing the praises of long dead hardware. Yes, the PowerPC and pre-2012 Intel eras were awesome, but that's ages ago in tech. PowerPC Macs are outclassed by SGIs and modern POWER and SPARC units unless you want to run MorphOS or have a specific need to run classic MacOS software, and are dropping like flies. Pre-2012 Macs will slowly slide into obsolescence before likely becoming a lot like early PowerPC Macs (i.e. the 601/603/604 based ones) forgotten by all but the most hardcore collectors
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby GIJoe » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:08 am

ok, so i'm not exactly informed about the current state of OSX (not changing habit here just because they fancy renaming the product so it matches their phone) - my most recent one is 10.9.5 - planning to upgrade one machine to sierra soon. it might have gone downhill since mavericks for all i know.

but if you say nothing special - what do you compare it to?

as a stable, pleasant to use operating system without mandatory phone home and snooping policies (as far as is known anyway) that doesn't start to mysteriously choke when you have lots of background apps and things going on on virtual desktops and that also has decent commercial/popular app support i can not think of anything better really. for running on contemporary hardware, anyway.

btw. i do use windows for the day job. it can safely be ruled out as a contender. ;)

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby josehill » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:07 am

GIJoe wrote:as a stable, pleasant to use operating system without mandatory phone home and snooping policies (as far as is known anyway) that doesn't start to mysteriously choke when you have lots of background apps and things going on on virtual desktops and that also has decent commercial/popular app support i can not think of anything better really. for running on contemporary hardware, anyway.


I won't comment on the "phone home" stuff, since pretty much everything contemporary seems to do at least some of it. Mac OS X (or macOS, as Apple wants us to call it now) remains my preference for general end-user computing, though its lead over Windows is much less than it use to be. Recent versions have become considerably less friendly to power users and administrators, especially people with strong Unix backgrounds, because of changes in the logging architecture (troubleshooting is much more difficult than it used to be) and dumbing down apps like Disk Utility.

For an end-user, Sierra (10.12) probably is the best macOS release since Snow Leopard, and it's what I use on my main home and work machines. I've loaded High Sierra (10.13) on a test machine (2009 mini with an SSD and 8 GB RAM), and performance is quite good, but I haven't come across anything in High Sierra that would make a positive difference in my daily use. The High Sierra version of Safari has some nice new features, but most have been added quietly to the Sierra version, too.

I've avoided upgrading to High Sierra because the likelihood of breaking something that works is non-zero, especially if you have an SSD and it gets converted to a new filesystem, while the practical benefits (for me, at least) are minor or very non-existent. Assuming that all of your apps are compatible, upgrading to Sierra (10.12) probably would be worth it, but feel free to hold off on High Sierra. No matter what, make sure you have a good backup before upgrading.

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby guardian452 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:22 am

GIJoe wrote:ok, so i'm not exactly informed about the current state of OSX (not changing habit here just because they fancy renaming the product so it matches their phone) - my most recent one is 10.9.5 - planning to upgrade one machine to sierra soon. it might have gone downhill since mavericks for all i know.

but if you say nothing special - what do you compare it to?

I use the included "windows 10 home" on my razer @work and it has been much more pleasurable than the macbook, tho there was a decent learning curve for me getting to know windows for daily use. Not having to run Solidworks inside a Vmware, being able to run a display at more than 30 Hz, even basic stuff like having a decent keyboard and trackpad and a built in display that is modern and wasn't high-tech back in 2012 (was using the macbookpro11,1 previously). The battery life, not needing a separate magsafe charger, having a machine that actually looks and feels good and not some cheap aluminum box with a fruit logo that the IT dept. dredged up from the shopping mall.

The macbook was fine when I first started this job, perfectly serviceable for basic tasks, but I'm glad I paid for my own computer so I can use something better. But back then the choice was win 8 or mavericks, kinda no-brainer back then.

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby GIJoe » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:12 pm

josehill wrote:I won't comment on the "phone home" stuff, since pretty much everything contemporary seems to do at least some of it.


definitely. even some linux GUI's do it by default for their search functionality - the question is if you can disable it or not. in all my usage of OSX i've always done that wherever possible and also ran little snitch to e.g. prevent apple's daemons and updaters from accessing the web at their leisure. i'm not aware that it sends usage statistics and whatnot like that certain competitor though.

i had also heard that they make certain admin tasks harder these days, along with gatekeeper getting locked down further which is a pity. i'd very much like it to behave more like IRIX in some ways. always wanted to be able to just take it down a runlevel to fix something. for my taste too much rebooting to solve problems (e.g. zombified processes).

and i'd agree that there is no need for becoming a beta tester for high sierra ;) filesystem sounds cool but would not affect me much and i'll be happy to let it mature on other people's machines. i'm pretty sure i'm all set and ready to install sierra (fresh). it's just all the defaults i've set via terminal over the years for all sorts of things that keep putting me off. hard to remember the important stuff.


windows ... seems different. :roll:
i think the main issue i have with it apart from what i consider lesser multitasking capabilities (quick to swap, mouse pointer getting stuck during rendering, etc - is the endless nagging it subjects me to - popups for the people! your security might be at risk! clean up those two unused icons on your desktop! your firewall - is on fire! in OSX that's the work of the notification center and that is the first thing i tend to take out back and shoot right after installing.

but in windows - even if i try to shut it up as much as the configuration allows, explorer still finds plenty of ways to stop me in my tracks. this bitch is more chatty than maya's log window and that's quite the achievement. move or copy?! ooohh it's unsafe on that network drive! warning, warning, warning! haha - file is in use, no rename for you!

so yeah in short i think the user experience is rather horrid. and that's not even taking registry troubleshooting into account or the split between old and modern preference dialogs. or how windows update quietly resets preferences and sometimes screws things up. or how you are unable to customize the simplest bits of the look and feel like back in windows ... NT days ;) . or how ever since windows 7 there's been this eternal struggle between wacom's tablet driver and the semi-mandatory builtin pen tablet support that causes so many grey hairs.

applications do run well enough though which is the main thing. verdict: for work only - never for personal use again.

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby commodorejohn » Thu Nov 30, 2017 12:32 pm

MacOS back in the original era was something interesting - not without its flaws (*cough*multitasking*cough*memoryprotection*cough*) but it brought its own set of unique(-ish) ideas to the table and offered what was at the time one of the most consistent user experiences available in an OS. OSX, on the other hand, is just Yet Another *nix with a pile of proprietary frameworks larded on, and while there's areas in which it represents an improvement over generic *nixen, it doesn't have enough to offer to be worth putting up with all the ways in which they've been making it progressively worse over the last ten or twelve years.
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:04 pm

GIJoe wrote:ok, so i'm not exactly informed about the current state of OSX (not changing habit here just because they fancy renaming the product so it matches their phone) - my most recent one is 10.9.5 - planning to upgrade one machine to sierra soon. it might have gone downhill since mavericks for all i know.


Do you enjoy masochism? That is what modern macOS is for a power user.

but if you say nothing special - what do you compare it to?


Let's see:

Windows 8.1 Embedded (my daily for the last 13 months)

PC-BSD (if I'm hating windows that day and need to spin it up quickly)

AIX (as a server OS, I should say)

... A stable, pleasant to use operating system without mandatory phone home and snooping policies (as far as is known anyway) that doesn't start to mysteriously choke when you have lots of background apps and things going on on virtual desktops and that also has decent commercial/popular app support i can not think of anything better really. for running on contemporary hardware, anyway.


Any proprietary consumer level operating system isn't secure from privacy violations. As far as it being stable, I beg to differ. An upgrade of my old Retina Macbook (which my mother got for her birthday after I ditched it) to Mavericks destroyed the SSD and required replacement. Later that year the same.SSD was replaced again under warranty. And again at the end of the year it failed. I paid this time for an OWC SSD. And that worked. But now my mother complains that the Apple store told her that the battery's degradement would not be repairable (because they fucking glued it in!)

Visual appeal is not a valid reason in my opinion to consider an OS. I prefer function over form, and I'm sure you would too.

Windows 8.1 and 10 are far better at management of memory than their predecessor OSes, not that it makes them saintly. But with the neglect MacOS has had to its under the hood components (obsolete userland based on GPL2 coreutils, Core audio is even outdone performance wise by PulseAudio, and that is saying something, and a decay of the power user aspects for dumbing down into a big brother of iOS makes it absolutely horrid garbage. Same with the hardware. Gluing shit in is something one expects on knockoff products, not fucking highend equipment.

Windows 10 is not a horrible OS, though I do not use it for privacy reasons.
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby guardian452 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:32 pm

Raion-Fox wrote:But now my mother complains that the Apple store told her that the battery's degradement would not be repairable (because they fucking glued it in!)

Who glued it in, you or your mother ?!?? It's not much more expensive than the 44++ battery I just bought for my X220 ($159) considering there is a service involved I think it's fair.

https://support.apple.com/mac/repair/service

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:17 pm

guardian452 wrote:Who glued it in, you or your mother ?!?? It's not much more expensive than the 44++ battery I just bought for my X220 ($159) considering there is a service involved I think it's fair.

https://support.apple.com/mac/repair/service


She uses the 2012 Macbook Pro Retina I used to use (This is not replaceable due to being glued, from the factory, by Apple!
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