I hope that it will be possible to boot stock Debian on them without the need for binary blob drivers or userspace programs.
However, with 2D drivers things are quite OK. This is a humble machine, so 3D acceleration is not that useful.
I was slightly surprised at the setup needed, but once I understood why Debian don't want the default install to source non-free packages, it makes sense that you have to jump through that extra hoop.
Does the scaling work okay? (I'm on a retina mbp)... IIRC the camera was another issue for recent macbooks.
Sorry, just noticed you're on a 2010... :-) ...I had an early 2011 before my current one, it was stolen a couple years ago. Used a chromebook for a while, even with RDP, but couldn't get it to VPN to work, so went back to an MBP.
Wifi doesn't work out of the box, but it's just a matter of putting the packages on a USB stick, and installing them.
I'm not sure rMBP users are the target audience for Ubuntu. Many people buy those machines in part due to the Apple ecosystem, not just for the nice hardware, so they wouldn't switch regardless of how easy the installer is.
I really don't like being so dependant on Apple, a company that has decided to optimize its product designs for thinness, fashion, and ways for people to whom folders are "rocket science" to buy stuff and amuse themselves, for our client-side *nix workstations, but desktop Linux isn't as attractive a competitor as I keep wishing it were.
I'm not sure, though, that easy installation would make desktop Linux much more attractive for most users.
The GUI experience in osx is the most off for me. I'm used to hitting the super/win key, typing in an appname, then enter to open... similar between linux and windows... OSX doesn't do that... though my most-used apps are docked.
Not to mention my muscle memory is really pc centric, and going back and forth sucks. Even when I switch keys around, ctrl/cmd are backwards in terminal.. then to top it off, my work issued mbp is locked down so I can't use most of the apps that could switch it around per-app.
Looking back, it's obvious that Microsoft dropped the ball on that one. They could have made iWindows for people willing to sacrifice power, flexibility and freedom for mobility, reliability and ease-of-use.
Hypothetically speaking, if I was a super-paranoid type who wanted to build my own laptop from scratch so that I trusted every component installed, how would I go about verifying the CPU / SOC was not a threat?
I guess I'm asking if there's anything equivalent to an MD5 checksum for hardware?
It seems that backdoors are being discovered in parts as esoteric as hard drive controller firmware, so I'm wondering if it's practical to believe I could build a personal computing device that is trustworthy.
Practically speaking, you can verify that it's unlikely that there is no backdoor, but it'd take a fair bit of effort.
Lets just leave it at you don't posses the budget to make any reasonably legitimate claims about your op sec.
If one of your use cases is browsing the internet, you might as well just give up.
If they can put stuxnet on Iranian PLCs you're fucked, however, in reality no one really gives a shit about what porn you might be watching or whatever other irrelevant activities you might be doing.
Needless to say, if you run Microsoft software, you're going to have a bad time.
Regarding why it might be the only hardware, I'm probably not as extreme on that front, but I think I can understand the motivation. With a choice between the slick user experience of a well-integrated touch device or the hacked together experience of roll-your-own Linux on roll-your-own hardware, I'm not sure how many kids would voluntarily choose the harder (but ultimately more rewarding) road. A certain amount of struggle and adversity seems to be important for making knowledge seem worthwhile and for pushing kids to explore. My own kids are most proud of themselves when they do something that's not easy for them, even though they usually complain the whole time they're doing it.
Having severely-limited hardware made me invest lots and lots of time into figuring out how it worked. I would like to pass that experience on to my kids, so they can be masters of their own technology world instead of passive consumers of other peoples'.
Did you screw up your machine? Do you know how to re-install the OS? Here's a printout of the page that tells you how. Have data you didn't back up? Well, here's a protip, you can mount the hard disk on another machine, maybe your sister will let you use hers.
My brother let me tinker with his C64 (when I was about 10 years old) and that started my career in programming.
This is huge. As a kid, this would motivate me to learn everything about X. Heck, for many values of X, I would find this motivating today!!
But how did he handle the knowledge gap, where he could help but you would benefit from working through it yourself?
Something like a Thinkpad 701C or the Zeos Pocket PC would be my dream for a portable note taking device.
Hope to see more about this :)
Having said all that:
- I have a Samsung Chromebook 2012 which is dual A15. It still has great battery life.
- What's really going to be interesting are laptops based around the 64 bit big.LITTLE, for example the Snapdragon (either dual or quad A57 + quad A53), where, if the kernel is smart enough, you can trade battery life for performance depending on what the user is doing.
Now this would be very interesting indeed!