The Problem with Apple

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

Unread postby uunix » Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:57 pm

My 2009 Mac Mini Server runs El Capitan albeit a bit slow now.
I had a dog called Jake, a Westie, he was blind and deaf in the end, he lasted till he was 26 human years and 182 in so called dog years (1=7). I suspect my Mac Mini is probably about that age now. Funny thing is, he could use the dog flap and find his way around the garden and come back in through the flap even when he was blind. In contrast my other two Westies, Steve & Colin look upon the flap like it's the wardrobe in 'The Lion the witch and the wardrobe' and they're only 8! Dumb-Asses!
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby jimmer » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:41 pm

OMG! enough of the whining already.

Apple sucketh all the week long. GNU/Linux sucketh on Mondays and Thursdays, SGI gear sucks when you want to browse porn on that lonely Sunday evening. Pick a time and day of the week and something will suck. Dead bunnies through bent straws. Now man up and move on.

Next.

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby guardian452 » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:23 pm

But But kid buys thing because of shiny advertising and not based on true wants & needs so now all of capitalism is evil!

Computer I was not going to buy anyway has a hardwired disk and superglued shut battery so therefore Apple is the creamy jizz of satan!

I cannot use the same repair techniques on a 2016 laptop that I used on a 2006 laptop therefore everything today is disposable consumer garbage and I will only buy antiques and antique-like devices rather than learn new repair tricks or pay a professional!

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:51 pm

guardian452 wrote:But But kid buys thing because of shiny advertising and not based on true wants & needs so now all of capitalism is evil!


What. The. Fuck. That's not what I said at all. There was not a shred of capitalism mentioned anywhere in my post. And while I admit I gave into the marketing pizazz, I was 13 or 14 years old. Do you expect a 13-14 year old kid to have all of his shit together and be able to tell what is truth vs marketing on the TV? I'm pretty sure you couldn't/didn't. That's been almost a decade.

guardian452 wrote:Computer I was not going to buy anyway has a hardwired disk and superglued shut battery so therefore Apple is the creamy jizz of satan!


No, but it does make their computers disposable, overpriced and impossible to repair

guardian452 wrote:I cannot use the same repair techniques on a 2016 laptop that I used on a 2006 laptop therefore everything today is disposable consumer garbage and I will only buy antiques and antique-like devices rather than learn new repair tricks or pay a professional!


"Pay a professional" Look, now I do pay professionals for things like plumbing, electrician work and other sorts of things but I, and probably everyone else here, can take apart a computer, a car, a dishwasher, an oven or a washing machine at least half as good as a repair tech. I know because I've done it.

With Apple, they've eliminated repair techniques, and opted for the most cave-man esque ways of doing things. They could do a hundred non-permanent ways to attach a battery to the case, including:

Clips
Screws and a frame
Magnets

And so-on. One does not buy a thousands of dollar machine with the expectation that it is going to be glued together. Look at a fucking Octane. Every component is assembled with care, heavy duty components are bolted in. The O2? Latches. Personal Iris? A catch on the back and it opens right up. Even a Dell tower can usually be opened without tools, several designs have clamshell openings, some have little latches that move, others have thumb screws.

Apples used to assemble systems with care and make them easily serviceable. The iBook G4 had two latches to remove its keyboard. The battery came out with use of a quarter. The entire case could be apart in minutes with a handful of screws.

None of the modern Apple machines can be removed with that little effort. My W530 would be fully apart by the time you crack open a Mini's case.

Anyone who thinks the future is integrated and disposable components at thousands of dollars marked up is on drugs.
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby foetz » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:21 pm

Raion-Fox wrote:What. The. Fuck.

you might have missed the irony of guardian452's post

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby Elf » Sun Mar 05, 2017 9:34 pm

I think it is an interesting discussion, but nothing for anyone to get bent out of shape about.

Besides, it came with a disclaimer:
Raion-Fox wrote:I've been wanting to make a rant about Apple for awhile now. I'm going to cover many topics quickly in succession and it will come off ranting.


But, what is the engineering justification for soldering memory and hard drives onboard, or gluing in batteries? I can see it going either way based on the product, with a "design for manufacturing" perspective.

For example if you are making a phone or tablet, a slim single board design with expandability concerns being in the <1% edge case, it absolutely makes sense to solder the RAM directly on the board. It removes a manufacturing step, removes a point of failure (increasing reliability), and allows for a smaller overall physical profile.

If you were designing a device for a high vibration environment, I could see using glue or silastic on a battery to keep it from abrading against other surfaces. You might even pot the entire thing in epoxy. Although I think we all know that this would be a joke as far as the iPhone is concerned, so I am not seriously suggesting that is the design reason for it.

Phones are generally sold in one or two configurations and have no expectation of being physically fixed or extended. Like it or not, they also, practically speaking, have a limited lifespan and are designed as such. Computers on the other hand come in many different configurations, have a longstanding tradition of being upgradeable, and whatever the manufacturer's wishes, tend to have a long service life.

I can see things like a chromebook (or Macbook Air) reasonably being designed as a single board, with on-board flash storage, CPU, and memory. These devices are closer (e.g. in number of available configurations) to a tablet or phone. I think you could make the case either way for something like a Mac Mini. But an iMac or Macbook Pro? It doesn't make any sense. If you consider just the pure number of combinations of RAM and hard drive a user can select, soldering these elements in place makes no sense from a manufacturability standpoint, with the assembly line for each product having to be forked off that many times. At that point it becomes a significant extra cost, not a cost savings. It also means a cost increase (at least in the hard drive case) from foregoing off-the-shelf components. It only makes sense to me if you consider the other motives for such a change.

I'm not afraid to get "into the modern era" in terms of tools and techniques for repairing things. Coincidentally (for reasons completely unrelated to PC repair) my next major purchase is a top-shelf Ersa Vario 4 SMD rework station, so I am not exactly afraid to desolder things. But if the position is that it isn't an attempt at planned obsolescence, what is the engineering justification for the changes?

In any case I sort of miss my iBook G4, except for the power adapter that caught on fire (because the form over function people apparently thought proper strain relief was unsightly)...
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby spiroyster » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:00 am

josehill wrote:
spiroyster wrote:OSX Lion was hardcoded not to install on a colleagues 2009 unibody MacBook with better specs than my Aluminium MacBook, blatant built-in obsolesce?

That doesn't sound right. All 2009 MacBooks, MacBook Pros, and MacBook Airs can run Lion, with most able to run all the way to El Capitan, and the late 2009 MacBook can run Sierra. Are you sure it wasn't an older model?

Hmm don't know. All I remember was it was a white unibody Intel machine clocked higher than 2.0 GHz (which my Aluminium MacBook is). I think it was clocked at 2.2. Installer came up with a message saying that particular model couldn't install Lion, it was currently running Snow Leopard since it was used to download Lion from the App store?

Digging around now, it may have been a MacBook4,2 as these needed more ram (than stock) for Lion (they were shipped with 1GB, enough for Snow Leopard, but not Lion). It was unlikely the 'collgeague' would have upgraded that and I recall him saynig he took it to a 'genius' who told them to buy another (maybe the generic/loosely translated 'upgrade' word was used without specifying what was actually required for the upgrade). My colleague was from 'sales deperatment'.

I must say at the time it didn't make sense that they would deprecate the 4,2 while allowing my Macbook to have a clear upgrade path.

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby guardian452 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:37 am

32-bit CPU support was dropped in lion.

32-bit EFI support was dropped in mountain lion.

They drop machines based on the minimum gpu, too. Esepcially the crap intel jobbies. But if you ugrade the gpu the OS would still install.

Example, my mac pro had nvidia 7300 as the base option and the os support was based around that, even tho you could BTO or upgrade later and newer OS would install fine.

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby josehill » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:40 am

Elf wrote:But, what is the engineering justification for soldering memory and hard drives onboard, or gluing in batteries? I can see it going either way based on the product, with a "design for manufacturing" perspective.


Here is something I posted to another forum a while back regarding a potential (but presumably rarely needed) security benefit that comes with soldered RAM:

Reader 230034 wrote:I've also looked at iFixIt to see what is involved with opening and upgrading PCs from HP, Asus, Dell, etc. and see that many have their RAM soldered in too -- they must be copying Apple.
josehill wrote:While I personally prefer systems with upgradeable RAM instead of soldered RAM, a major driver (if not the main driver) of soldered RAM across the industry independently of Apple is the need/desire to support various "trusted computing" security specifications. For example, full device encryption (as opposed to more traditional disk encryption) of Windows devices requires adherence to Microsoft's "InstantGo" spec. An important component of InstantGo is the use of soldered RAM, which is a key defense against so-called "cold boot attacks." While "InstantGo" does not apply to Apple hardware, it is an important Windows feature that hardware manufacturers like HP, Asus, Dell, and Lenovo definitely would want to support.

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby guardian452 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 10:58 am

Elf wrote:But, what is the engineering justification for soldering memory and hard drives onboard, or gluing in batteries? I can see it going either way based on the product, with a "design for manufacturing" perspective.

For example if you are making a phone or tablet, a slim single board design with expandability concerns being in the <1% edge case, it absolutely makes sense to solder the RAM directly on the board. It removes a manufacturing step, removes a point of failure (increasing reliability), and allows for a smaller overall physical profile.


I don't have the numbers on what tiny fraction-of-a-percent of computer users ever consider upgrading or replacing components in their machines, but Apple does. At Nekochan we praise the ancient, the hack, the "rig". But even tech-savvy users often find this unattractive. It's an investment into an old computer which has little residual value and pales in comparison to the latest models.

So apple forgets those people. They are still bragging about how long their old mac pro tower lasted anyways.

A monolithic device saves Apple money. The machine becomes cheaper to build because there are fewer parts, fewer configurations, fewer assembly steps, fewer connectors, and fewer electrical interfaces. They were never using any COTS parts like SSDs anyways. When you work with their scale, they make *everything* themselves.

It becomes more reliable, because connectors are another point of failure. Unseated or loose components also cause failure even if it can be easily fixed by reseating it's another warranty ticket at the genius bar and another failure in the eyes of the customer. Worse, a loose component can cause a intermittent fault difficult to diagnose. A more reliable machine saves Apple money in warranty repairs. I'm certain they have done the numbers and found that a rare replacement of an entire logic board is cheaper for them than many more component failures as mentioned above.

Specific to batteries, if the battery assembly is not user-replaceable it does not have to meet stringent safety standards when removed from the machine (e.g. crush, bend, short-circuit, etc) requiring a second bulky enclosure within the enclosure of the machine. It doesn't require additional circuitry for cell balancing and management and remembering SOC, instead this can also be built into the main logic board or wherever the VRMs are. It doesn't require complicated physical latches or other mechanisms to hold the battery in place but can instead be screwed or glued in at a fraction of the cost.


Once you understand that you are in a tiny, tiny, tiny, TINY, minority for wanting to upgrade a laptop in the first place, it makes perfect sense. Most people replace the whole machine because of software problem (virus etc) or because they spill coffee in it or drop in the toilet. If it does become "slow" and require an "upgrade", they are going to want the new shiny anyways and throw away or sell the old one whether or not it is "upgradeable".

If the machine is portable in anyway it will be subject to drops and vibrations just like a cellphone and you just answered your own question there.

Our parent company has a large IT demand (hotel management company). IT leases whatever the cheapest imac or ipad, occasionally a macbook air, plus an ATT iphone for the majority of our employees. After 3 years it gets replaced anyways. The iphones are swapped out when they break or the employee complains enough that they want a new one. Nobody leasing them cares whether they are "upgradable". The users don't care so long as they can do their work which is typically light office stuff in our field.
Last edited by guardian452 on Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby robespierre » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:04 am

guardian452 wrote:They were never using any COTS parts like SSDs anyways. When you work with their scale, they make *everything* themselves.

Apple uses overseas contract manufacturing, the same as any other company. Their largest ECMs are Foxcon, Quanta, and Wistron, the same firms used by Dell and everybody else.
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby guardian452 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:10 am

It's their own designs. Even if they are using a standard interface (e.g. SATA, PCI-express) it is with a custom form factor and connector. The actual manufacturing is meaningless to them so long as it is the lowest bidder and meets spec.

So I should have said, they *design* *everything* themselves.

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby robespierre » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:17 am

NIH is a bug, not a feature.
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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby guardian452 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:34 am

robespierre wrote:NIH is a bug, not a feature.
True, but it can be worth it when you had e.g. magsafe vs. a generic barrel connector. It was worth it when they were pushing 1gb/sec over a pci-e x4 SSD and everybody else was still using SATA SSDs or spinning disks.

Apple has always been about doing things differently. I understand the appeal of a monolithic macbook pro to apple and to their target customers but I must say it's not for me. There's nothing wrong with them, just not for me. They have done nothing to hurt the OP because he's not buying one either (just a guess, here...)

They make a physical product you can spend your money on. Or not. It comes with some software you can use, or replace with something else. Ranting of biblical proportions just seems silly when I sit back and look at it :oops: I see no deceit on their part. You could argue their business ethics or environmental impact, at least those issues seem reasonable to be upset about.

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Re: The Problem with Apple

Unread postby commodorejohn » Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:37 pm

guardian452 wrote:You could argue their business ethics or environmental impact, at least those issues seem reasonable to be upset about.

That's what we've been doing.
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