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Apple just told the world it has no idea who the Mac is for (medium.com)
320 points by uptown 387 days ago | hide | past | web | 311 comments | favorite



The article's inclusion of this quote from Tim Cook comes pretty close to summing up the whole situation:

“I think if you’re looking at a PC, why would you buy a PC anymore? No really, why would you buy one?”

– Tim Cook, talking about the iPad Pro

It's time to face the fact that Apple doesn't care about professionals and never has. With the release of the original Intel MacBook Pro in 2006 they created a near perfect computer that would come to dominate the market amongst developers for the next ten years. What we don't acknowledge though is that this was purely an accident. While Apple had intended to build nice hardware and a stable OS, the Unix-y nature of the OS that that helped capture the hearts of developers was never exposed in an intentional way.

What we're seeing with the new MBP is a regression back to the core Apple value that are already so prominent on the iPhone and iPad: form over function. Why have a headphone jack when you can make the bottom of the phone more symmetrical and shave 0.2 mm off the case depth? Why do you need a physical keyboard when the iPad's virtual one is just fine for writing emails? Expect more of the same on future changes to the lineup.


Given all the Apple bashing, I can not see a decent alternative being mentioned? Everybody is furious about the new Mac, where does this expectation come from?

I need a new laptop, my older MBP had some unfortunate accidents. I tried to find a better one than the new MBP. I honestly could not. This new MBP seems to be the best ever laptop I can buy at this moment. I guess it would be better if it had 32gb ram option or a newer gen CPU. Still, nothing else seems to come close.

If you don't agree, please help me with my decision:

  - Unix. Linux is fine though but I prefer macOS.
  - A high resolution display.
  - A good, large trackpad and good software support for that.
  - I can work with ~4-5 hours of battery life.
  - Something portable. Been carrying this thing all day every day.
  - Don't really care about graphics performance.
Any suggestions?


Lenovo Thinkpad T460s can go 2560x1440 (so not super high resolution, but not really bad either), 10 hours battery. Certified for RHEL 7.2 and Ubuntu 14.04. For more portability, the X260 is good too (1920x1080 in a 12.5 inch screen), and currently certified for Ubuntu 14.04. See https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/documents/pd031426 for certification information.

I've been using the X230 as my daily driver for a while, and it's held up quite well running Fedora. The trackpad was a bit jittery, but that just required a quick parameter fix in Xorg.conf (I don't think that is even required anymore).

The only complaints, are that Lenovo has pulled some stunts before, mostly with their non-thinkpad line, such as Superfish. Or the recent issue with a Microsoft-specific release of one of their Yoga machines. But, stick to the models on the Linux certified list, and it should be OK.

Other than that, it would be nice to get a 3k or 4k screen, but I'm having a hard time seeing how that would be a big deal on a smaller sized screen. As long as it is above 1080 vertical (I have issues with some IDEs default layout on my current X230 with a 720 vertical resolution screen). But the newer models are available with at least 1080.


Wow these look god awful but they weight a lot less than the MBPs so that's a huge selling point for me. Thanks for mentioning these.

However, after all those shady stuff they did, makes it hard to go for Lenovo.


I used to love Lenovo - I had a T40, T60, T420s, T440, and a T460. Each one, in the first year I had them, were awful with Linux, but over time they got better. Under Linux, no Lenovo matched the battery life, screen quality, build quality, or touchpad quality of my MacBook Pro. They were usable, but nowhere near as intuitive to use as my MBP. Example: Sleep, on the Lenovos w/ Linux, is a crapshoot. There seemed to be a 50% chance that any time I pulled the Lenovo out of my bag that it would be dead because it never really slept. I never had this problem with any Mac laptop. Battery life, which is a similar situation, also can't be compared. I remember once having to crawl around on the floor under a table at a client site because my Lenovo was dying mid-presentation. All the clients laughed because they had Macs, and only plugged in at night to charge.

Windows is a non-starter for me, and even now Linux is just not well supported enough for a daily driver laptop. I'll gladly remap caps lock to avoid the certain bug-opening that comes with a Linux laptop.


Counterpoint, I think they look great! They're boxy but keep a rectangular profile. They keyboard feels smooth with just enough resistance and plenty of tactile feedback. The matte black isn't showy but it gets out of your way during use.

They're plastic but personally, and in my office, we've actually found them to be more durable and easier to repair. Sure, they're different aesthetics but they both look and feel solid.

They're basically 'no-frills' laptops made by people with very different ideas about what the frills are.


unfortunately most enterprise/workstation grade notebooks from Lenovo are ugly, talking from my experience though they are workhorses and can take a lot of misuse before anything breaks. their consumer models tend to have better aesthetics.


Respectfully, this is difference between you and me. I prefer 100% reliability when I am buying something for working. I cannot accept jittery trackpoint or wireless driver problem or low battery life.

This is what makes Mac perfect laptop in comparison to what you mentioned.

I do see what you saying , but I don't agree with you.


In turn, I can see the value in having it "just work". In my case, I'm satisfied with "I can make it work without doing too much". So if I have to put in an additional parameter in a config file that isn't a big deal for me. But if I need to do something like trace down a binary-only module that breaks on kernel updates, just to get a wifi card going, that is where I personally draw the line.

But on the other hand, I like having enough choice. And, I like the ability to customize after purchase (that is, buy with lower amount of ram, and upgrade it in a year or two). So it is just a matter of where each person puts their priorities (too bad we can't all have everything, at least not yet).


There is no one Lenovo's laptop on the market with Thunderbolt 3 support, so not an option at all.



I was wrong, I have never considered heavy P/Y series.


I'm not sure its pure bashing, I think its just general frustration.

Using a mac was always involved a level of trust. They made machines that were good enough to keep buying. They were pricey but always had good connectivity, even if it wasn't always a standard connection (firewire...). But if you want a mac, its not like you have a lot of other options besides what apple puts out.

The new machine is not completely terrible though it means dongles.. Lots of dongles. Needs more RAM, the SDHC slot (every camera still uses these) and a couple plain usb3.0 ports (external drives are useful and aren't all usb C yet). I use my machine portably and "docked attached to monitors" at work. The new function keys bar is useless to me when at work.


What the article misses is that the new connector is a new way of working:

At your desk you have some mini docking station that powers your laptop and connects it to monitors, wired mice, the Wacom tablet, the network, the thumb drive, speakers, cameras, mobile phones and everything else.

Then, on the road or at home you just have the one dongle that you plug normal USB stuff, the ethernet and maybe an SD card into. You power the computer with the adaptor it came with and not the docking station.

In this new future there is one or maybe two leads connecting the computer to stuff. It does not have a forest of leads sprouting out of every side except the front, everything is neat and less likely to break. I am not an Apple fan and I prefer mini USB to whatever it is those Apple things have. However I think Apple are right to sort the ports out properly.

The other oft-quoted problem with the new Apple machines is the max memory, I feel that some explanation is needed for that as quite a few Intel high end low power CPUs are limited to 16Gb RAM, as are their own NUC computers. So there is nothing sinister going on here, it is just a choice of low power/battery life/cooling that Intel have forced on their customers where the compromise is the 16Gb max RAM.


What you're describing is actually a longstanding way of working, called a dock. Docks are fantastic when you don't have a proper desktop computer - drop your laptop in, and have all that nice desktop hardware.

But, besides having a singular environment, a dock isn't so useful when you have an actual desktop computer. Especially these days when laptops top out at half the RAM and cores as a baseline desktop.

When my laptop is functioning as a laptop, I still want connectivity. Both routine (SD/USB drives, headphones, HSM if I ever find a good Free one), and all the useful ports for ad-hoc situations (eg wired ethernet). Some of these do go away with time (eg RS-232), but prematurely deprecating still-popular ports and pretending that dongles are a decent solution for portable connectivity is ridiculous.


Except the IO is split between two sides of the new machine. Maybe each connection has its own bus, but if its like thunderbolt on the MBPs with a physical FW800, those two ports share a bus. That still means half of the IO would not be useable in a 'dock' situation.

No more docking to one side of the machine...


Not that I have any opinion on whether you get a MBP or not, but have you tried the Dell XPS line: https://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Dell-XP...

Obvious it doesn't run OSX. I run Linux on mine and it works great.


I gave the XPS 15" a serious consideration. Wasn't gonna wait for the Apple event and buy one a month earlier. Then I read a lot of horror stories. Couldn't be sure about reliability.

Doesn't really offer too much over the MBP I guess? It was faster as month earlier but the new ones should be on par. If my main OS was Linux it could be the best choice.

I wonder if my concerns about reliability is bogus. Gotta check a little more about reviews.


I've been using a Dell XPS 15 as my daily work machine for the last few months and I can say I've had all of those problems. The machine has really loud coil whine even after contacting Dell and having them replace the motherboard and other various internal components (I think they practically replaced the entire laptop at this point). The trackpad is definitely not great and I used an external mouse to do any serious work. I had the touchscreen variant and while the resolution was great I never once used the touchscreen. Overall it feels like a product owner at Dell wanted to match the MacBook Pro's specs but forgot to think about how all the parts fit together. For example, both laptops have backlit keyboards, but only the MacBook Pro can automatically adjust the backlight to ambient light (if the Dell can do this, I've never seen it work).


The stories online about coil whine and inconsistent battery life between units scared me away. The last Dell I had also had bad coil whine--I'm not putting up with that in a laptop that costs almost as much as an MBP.


I've got the XPS 15, and it is the best laptop I've ever owned. I actually opted for the lower resolution screen because it is matte, and you get more battery life.

Windows 10 is actually pretty great, it gets out of your way for the most part. Linux runs perfectly as well. The hardware is flawless, great GPU (Nvidia), nice keyboard, and probably the best touchpad I've ever used on a Windows laptop.

I also own the XPS 13. It's great in all the same way, too, I just found that I prefer the larger screen.


That laptop is beastly. It's served me extremely well. The super thin bezels (infinity display is the term, I think) make it that much more of a productivity machine.


I have an XPS 15 9550 with the 1080 display. Its fine.

Honestly for me nothing compares to the experience of a Mac trackpad in macOS (gestures, tracking, palm rejection, etc). I got it a year ago and had to wait months for Linux support of the Skylake CPU to get mainlined. Battery life is much worse under Linux than Windows neither of which compare to macOS and the default Windows 10 install is garbage using Software raid even if you only have one drive.

The Windows 10 drivers and bios updates also took months to resolve. When I first received it it had loud fan noises when charging and buggy suspend and resume. Also I had intermittent blue screens until I did a fresh reinstall without the raid setup.

Sure its cheaper (I got mine for $1600) and some people may find the hardware equal to the MacBook (I wouldn't say so but it's a matter of taste I guess?) But, in no way does the set it and forget mentality apply.

Of course if you are thinking about running Linux as your daily this may not be a big factor for you to begin with.

Edit: I wonder if the people who have had good experiences with it have never owned a modern MacBook. I see some comments who match my experience directly for instance the comment that mentions no automatic brightness/keyboard backlight controls. Something you don't even think about until you try to switch away from the Mac.


I own the new xps 15.

Best laptop I have seen yet. No complaints. Great screen, color calibration, cpu, size, weight, good keyboard when on the lap (could be better on a desk), smooth trackpad.

Battery lasts about 4 hours of programming work, 6 or so browsing.

What horror stories have you heard?


Mostly about poor external display connectivity, poor trackpad accuracy and annoying coil whine. I saw 2-3 people mention the trackpad as a con and that was actually enough for me to keep waiting for Apple's event.

Maybe those were isolated incidents. Also there are a lot of XPS models, gotta check for a specific one I guess.


The trackpad is pretty good for a windows laptop, maybe the best aside from the Surface Book, but still not as good as a MBP. It also has problems registering two finger right click. I had some driver issues on my XPS15 that led to dispay flicker, and also Windows is braindead when it comes to external display management, even though OSX isn't perfect either. I had no coil whine. It's not bad, but when you're coming from a MBP, the XPS15 still needs refinement. I will admit that I might just be used to all of OSX's little quirks and issues, and that the new ones seem more painful on the XPS15 just because they're new. But I don't know, I have Win10 on my desktop and it's fast and I love it, but on a laptop it's pretty annoying. I just feel more expressive on a OSX laptop. I can't get over switching from cmd-stuff with my thumb to ctrl-stuff with my pinky.


There used to be issues with external monitor flicker in the xps 15 but they were solved some time ago, the only issues I know of that remain (and they drive me crazy) is connecting external displays through a usb-c dock (such as the dell TB15) - but at least in my case it's not so bad.

Trackpad is excellent - responsive and smooth. two finger scroll, pinch to zoom and just normal delay and sensitivity is great. Not sure what more one needs (I don't use 3 or 4 fingers really).

Never had coil whine.


Strange feedback about the trackpad, I actually think this is the best I've ever used on a Windows laptop.

FWIW, I've read a lot about the 'coil whine' too, but neither of my XPS laptops have that problem. Not sure what to make of it.


Only? My 2013 rMBP lasts a solid 8-9 while browsing.


Yep, Battery life is a big disadvantage.

I rarely go 3 hours without charging anyway, so this wasn't a problem for me.

The 1920x1080 version is supposed to have better battery life.


I have an XPS 13 "developer edition" (comes with Ubuntu installed).

It's mostly good, but 1) doesn't have an ethernet port and 2) only one of the USB ports delivers enough power to connect a USB ethernet adapter thing.

Keyboard's a bit rubbish, but then laptop keyboards just are.


I run Windows 10 on my XPS 15, hooked up to a 42" 4K TV for a monitor using HDMI - it works great except for a couple of Windows programs that don't scale up correctly. I run the 42" TV at 200% because I don't want to squint all day.


I know they are designed for the niche of gaming, but Razer has a line of laptops that are very well designed, and if you can handle the black-and-green, almost as nice looking as macbooks. And Linux should run fine on them.

http://www.razerzone.com/gaming-systems/razer-blade-stealth-...


I recently tried to switch away from my MBP. I boiled down the options to the xps 15, razer blade, and the surface book. The SB didn't have enough gpu for my needs, and the other two looked good online until I went to use them in person. It was immediately obvious that the xps 15 was the better machine. The razer blade still has two mouse buttons and you can't click on the trackpad, this is a huge deal breaker for me. I'd try to use one in person before settling on them. Also the gigantic bezel on the screen looks super dated. They look better online. I ended up using the XPS15 and it was pretty good for a windows laptop, but ultimately I returned it too. Haven't found a solid windows laptop I liked. If I didn't want to do a touch of gaming on it, I think the next-gen SB will have a ton of potential.


With any luck, someone will release a compact external graphics chip/card for TB3 in the near future — and then you'll be able to get any TB3-sporting notebook you like without having to worry about graphics perf for gaming.


It's actually already on the market - Acer Graphics Dock, size: 245 x 130 x 22.8 mm (B x T x H), Weight:700 grams, review - http://www.notebookcheck.net/Acer-Graphics-Dock-with-Nvidia-...

I hope Acer is going to update it with newest Nvidia/AMD cards which will make it a perfect graphics dock choice, not so large and expensive as Razer, AKiTiO Thunder3 and other ridiculous boxes.


That's really neat, and certainly a step up from Razer's monstrous GPU box! I think my ideal eGPU, though, would be something less powerful, but roughly the size of a Square card reader. Then I could just throw it in my bag every day and not have to worry about it.


> though, would be something less powerful, but roughly the size of a Square card reader

That might happen soon, since Thunderbolt 3 has come to the mass with Kaby Lake CPUs (looks like no addition chips needed like it was with prev Intel's CPUs).


I'd like Razer ship to the marked 14/15" frameless laptop with NO graphic card, mate screen, 32GB RAM and Thunderbol 3. I can get for games something like this if needed http://www.notebookcheck.net/Acer-Graphics-Dock-with-Nvidia-...


I bought a Razer Blade a couple of years ago (switching from a late 2008 MBP) and it's served me well. I run Windows 10 and Ubuntu (dual boot) on it.


When my current MBP eventually dies, I'm seriously considering going back to windows. With the new Windows Linux Subsystem, it removes the biggest issue I had with windows. Apple hardware was always superior for a long time, but PC laptops are finally becoming just as good (maybe because of the strong push by Microsoft Surface).


I brought up the Linux subsystem on my Surface book, copied over all of my embedded systems development tool chains and it just worked. (previously I'd boot a Linux VM and run from there). So for that limited test case it worked flawlessly and it means I don't need putty any more (just use ssh out of the shell).


Wow, can you let me know which Surface book and Linux distro? I like the look of the new Windows laptops too but figured they would never run Linux :)


The unexpected thing is that it isn't a "distro" it is part of Windows 10. Microsoft created a kernel shim, which is part of the standard release now, that creates a Linux ABI into the NT kernel. As a result, Linux userland code just assumes its running on Ubuntu and as far as I have been able to ascertain it just works. All my bash scripts, all my perl code, all my python code, just runs.

That said, I've not used tools that open windows so I've been all command line.


I have it running on my Windows machine, and I've definitely hit some big limitations. I don't remember offhand what they were, but there was some software that completely failed to run. I do remember that tmux is completely unable to figure out what the current working directory is, which means when I restore my tmux session after restarting, all of the panes are reset back to the home folder.

Additionally, the terminal that comes with it is pretty crappy, but my internet searches don't turn up any way to get a better terminal that works with it. I also can't figure out where the Linux Subsystem filesystem is stored on my drive.


Yeah, terminal is a pain. You can try something like [Cmder](http://cmder.net/), [Babun](https://babun.github.io/).

If you are willing to build it yourself, [HyperTerm](https://hyper.is/#installation) is good.

For running GUI apps from within the subsystem, take a look at:

[1]: https://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/WinCoder/XMING--Bash-on-Ubun...

[2]: https://www.reddit.com/r/unixporn/comments/4ye1gq/xfce_using...

[3]: https://www.reddit.com/r/Windows10/comments/4ycxaz/the_new_l...


Thanks! I'll go check those out sometime today, hopefully one of them does what I need.


Gotcha, but you haven't tried a GUI or anything?


Nope, there is no xserver so really nothing to talk to locally. For grins, and because you asked, I did an install of gimp and verified I couldn't figure out how to get it to run :-)


> Nope, there is no xserver so really nothing to talk to locally.

I think the relevant Google keyword for this is "vcxsrv", an X server running under Windows. I saw something about people using it in WSL to launch regular Unix applications talking to X, but don't remember where.


I actually have a license to xwin32, I wonder if I can get it running under windows 10 ...


What's the package manager situation in that subsystem?


It's more or less a headless Ubuntu install, so you have apt for package management.


Yeah I also considered that. Got a VM instance and tried a couple of times. It works when it works. There are a lot of rough edges.

Now, if we give that a couple of years to mature. I might go back to Windows too. Seems like a reasonable setup if it works perfectly.


It depends on how nitpicky you are, but I switched to Windows 10 and like it a lot. I haven't tried the new Windows Linux Subsystem because I've been using Cmder since I switched, and for -my- needs (ymmv), it's just as good as Terminal on OSX. My overall workflow on Windows is about the same as it was on OSX.


Get the 2015 MacBook Pro. You retain HDMI, SD card port, and normal USB ports. It's cheaper and the processor is so close to the new one that you won't notice the difference. If GPU performance is important, then I might consider the 2016 one. But then you still have to ask yourself if the price increase for the 2016 model is worth it over the 2015 model.

Wait a few years for USB-C to become a more widely used port. I can't imagine that Apple won't soon move the iPhone to USB-C (or they're waiting for wireless charging to get better).

I think that is why this story is getting so much press. People have been waiting for Apple to refresh Macs with something meaningful and all we got is a digital menu bar that could turn out to be a total gimmick (or developers never adopt it) and a substantial price increase from the previous generation. And on top of that, it just appears that Apple has no cohesive strategy for how Macs fit into the Apple ecosystem.

I have been using Macs since the 90s but this is the first time I'm thinking about switching to PC hardware and just running Linux. I have the 2015 model so I'll probably just wait for that to die and then switch.


Why not reuse your older hardware and use a linux distro on the MBP?


If I can get everything to function in Linux and it not be unstable or buggy, I will do that.


I'd suggest taking a look at https://system76.com/laptops


As former customer I don't recommend them. They have an excellent hardware inside but very bad quality for chassis and assembly.


Completely agree. I'd love a laptop that performed as well as the 2012 MBP I lug around, with updated ports, less weight, and more RAM. I don't need a touchscreen function row. I don't want Windows, dropping Linux on an Asus or HP mid- or high-end laptop might suffice but there are enough stories about malfunctioning wifi or sound to ward me away from that.


I think you're right in thinking about this. Something to keep in mind is that Apple bashing/second guessing has been going on for a long long long long time. (Other companies, too. It's not unique to Apple).

Do you agree with what people are saying about the new MacBook Pros? What are your specific needs? Does it look like the right machine for you for the next few years? What are you going to be using the machine for? Given the list you've provided, I think it's likely the MacBook Pro would work for you. But like I said, it matters what you're using it for.

Yours may not be the same as those who believe the new MacBooks are not right for them. It's really what's right for you.


I've had a lot of luck with Sager. Previously alienware was a good fit, though you lost the 'cheaper than a mac' advantage most others give.

I don't get the battery life, and I imagine some tweaking would be required to do so.

I've not had a problem with trackpads on linux, after accounting for the 'set up synclient to run on startup so I don't accidentally scroll' that's been annoyingly necessary forever.

In the end, with Sager I get more memory + more max memory, faster CPU, larger SSD + secondary TB HDD for quite a bit less than a maxed out MBP. I haven't compared against the new specs yet, but I imagine it'll be consistent. My machine also typically outperforms mac-using coworkers for common dev tasks, but this is anecdotal and not measured.


Curious, which Sager and what config do you have?


Dude...get a Dell:

http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/555/campaigns/xps-linux-lapt...

On another note, System76 has great hardware support...but outsources their hardware to Clevo:

https://system76.com/

I have owned both. Battery life on the Dell, even with the 4K touchscreen shocked me (in a good way).

Both come with Ubuntu pre-installed.


Without getting into the weeds of OSX license compliance, if you absolutely must have macOS but want to use something else as hardware, you can try Hackintoshing it [1].

You can also consider running an OSX VM, but the same licensing issues apply, plus consider the fact that OSX guests on VMWare don't support graphics acceleration. You also have to patch VMWare to support a non OSX host.

[1] Hardware compatibility list: http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page


I can't imagine a worse idea for a system used for business than a Hackintosh. Does the thought process really go like this: "Hey, let me load totally un-trusted, un-signed drivers onto a system that's not licensed to run the OS! It could break at every upgrade! I could be installing a keylogger that sends my credentials to Russia! What could go wrong!"


I don't like them because they require a lot of time and patience, but if I'm not mistaken, if you pick the right set of hardware, you don't really need any additional drivers, and those machines can update fine (or at least they used to - it's been over a year since I checked this stuff out).

Most people use the OS installers downloaded from their own App store account and make a boot key so those should be safe too.

TonyMac makes a regularly updated list of hardware components [1] (mostly desktops) that should provide the fewest compatibility issues for those who are interested in making a Hackintosh.

[1] https://www.tonymacx86.com/buyersguide/october/2016


MacOS has special hardware checks that prevent installation on non-Apple systems. The "installers" used to build the installation USB drives insert kernel modules that fool these hardware checks. Do you trust the installers not to root your system? How about the 3rd party kexts? Is saving a few hundred or thousand bucks worth risking your data security?


I have a Dell xps 13 with skylake. I absolutely love it. They even have kabylake now and it's cheaper than the mbp.


I am just curious why so many devs seem to like MacOS more than Linux and what's with the need for super high resolutions.

On the other hand, I really agree with your points about large touchpad, good battery and portability. Also include SSD and the ability to swap out the CD/DVD for another disk drive.


The super high resolutions are just a pleasantry - I don't think you get any more screen real estate on a Retina display, but overall it's just easier on the eyes. Easy on the eyes is a pretty nice thing to have in something you stare at all day.

Beyond that, I think it's just some of the subtle ease of use things. I strongly prefer OS X's implementation of virtual desktops over anything I've used on Linux; the UX is just smoother. All in all, all the Linux desktops just end up feeling a bit more fiddly to use, which leaves me feeling like I'd rather have Aqua than any Linux desktop as my main UI.

Installing userland software also gets a bit obnoxious on Linux, owing to there being eleventy-seven different package managers to deal with, none of which include everything you might want, so you're inevitably stuck dealing with some bits manually, which, again, is just an annoyance. And heck, 20something years since dpkg first hit my radar I'm still having to fiddle with dependency conflicts, which is something that I've never experienced with OS X style bundles. I'll gladly swap the minor loss of disk space that comes with not relying on shared libraries for the convenience of drag-and-drop installation whenever possible.


I agree about the HiDPI issues and userland software that is not packaged.

I find the best Virtual Desktop (Workspaces) implementation to be that of i3wm. I can spin up as many as I want, on the fly, using a keycombo and even ask apps to open up on a specific workspace.


I prefer Linux to both, but the desktops universally suck. The closest one to being decent is Ubuntu, but forcing the app bar to be on the side of the screen is a non-starter to me, and every single third party bar in existence is terrible.


Use GNOME and Dash To Dock. Unity sucks big time, is slow, very heavy and doesn't offer much more from GNOME.



I'd like all that AND the ability to know with confidence that I can plug into any HDMI/Lightning projector and it will just work. As much as I prefer Linux I don't really care about programming on laptops, I like laptops as portable projector machines.


Dell XPS 13 is what I have and it's okay. I would prefer the trackpad have buttons instead of just being a single surface, but I can't find that on any laptops anymore.


Already proposed a few laptop models here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=12816033


The Dell XPS 15 9550 is a solid option.


Agreed, I have one and I love it.

By the way, the XPS 13 has been upgraded to intel's latest (Kaby Lake?), but the XPS 15 hasn't yet. It's probably coming any day, so if you're thinking about purchasing you might want to wait a couple weeks.


I don't think it'll be "any day", from what I've heard online it's more likely to be Q1/Q2 2017.


There isn't a better option, people are just mad that they did not get X feature that they really wanted.

Come this time next year 90% will be using the new MBP because it's a damn good machine and developing in MacOS is simply more comfortable.


It wasn't an accident. Steve cared about the Mac much more than Tim does. Steve, also, understood the value for IT professionals to have an operating system that is based on Unix and offers modern commercial software, such as Photoshop et al. It's best described by this ad:

http://forums.macrumors.com/attachments/apple_unix_ad-s-jpg....


>It's time to face the fact that Apple doesn't care about professionals and never has.

and yet despite this, professionals around the world use the Macbook Pro. The user base that apple doesn't care about, and never has cared about, is "power users" - the people who have strong opinions about how their tools should look and behave. There's tons of professionals out there, in many different industries, who simply want a computer that works reliably and that they don't have to think or worry about, and that has always been the segment apple has served. They've never catered to the die-hard macbook pro fans. Function over form has never been the goal. They build laptops with broad appeal that make the compromises that work for a large number of people, and they balance form against function. And yes, sometimes that means form wins out over function.

Apple is just continuing to do what they've always done. They haven't lost their way, people have just been expecting stuff from them that was never realistic.


>> It's time to face the fact that Apple doesn't care about professionals and never has.

> and yet despite this, professionals around the world use the Macbook Pro.

The problem is that everyone including people on HN have different ideas as to who these "professionals" that Apple serves are.

Creatives? Programmers? Salespeople? Accountants? Architects? All of these users are power users in different areas.

As a general purpose computer, Macbook Pros are good for most "professionals". If you're talking about more specific professions, then yeah, there's going to be a lot of debate.


100% agree. All the time I hear "it's not a pro machine if it doesn't have 16GB of RAM" or "a pro machine needs firewire and HDMI out and a headphone jack and real function keys" and I think... am I just not a professional? Because I rarely use an external monitor, rarely use the function keys as actual function keys, and I'm fine with 8GB of RAM and a core i5. But my MacBook is 100% my work laptop, and I get paid a heck of a lot of money, so...?

I mean, professionals are the most likely to use dongles and attachments. We sometimes have esoteric needs (I very frequently require a serial port, but I'm not crying that Apple doesn't include one), we can commonly get our work to pay for them, and we generally have a desk to put things on and a bag to carry them with. Consumers wouldn't put up with that nonsense, they just want to use Facebook and Netflix.

We've already established that I am not a professional because I don't need HDMI or function keys, so all I can say from the outside looking in is... man professionals are seriously whiny. Also can we start a campaign to get Apple to put a full-size serial port back on their laptops? That's something a real professional would use.


Function keys? How do you step into a function in xcode? F7? Continue? F6. What about in Windows? As the right-click menu button doesn't exist, shift-F10 does what you want on a mac. But apparently this is now impossible. And I wouldn't like to imagine the wasted time in Visual Studio trying to click continue and step into etc compared with F10 and F11. I would get zero work done all day. Also on the Mac I use ctrl-F2 for the menu bar etc etc etc I cannot imagine life without function keys.

I drive projectors with my display port. I record my band with the FireWire interface on mine. I copy files off my camera with SD card (it's a Sony HX60). I use 16GB of RAM because I develop under OSX and Windows at the same time, given that Windows is running in a VM and running Visual Studio.

Basically what we're expecting is a full useful laptop that is capable of a variety of uses without additional dongles and hardware. What's the point of a slim laptop if you need a thick bag of dongles just to use it? It's truly stupid. My Mac isn't just for web browsing. And this isn't whining - it's having expectations of a device that it is not some form of glorified etch-a-sketch. If you stick the word "pro" on it, it has to be more than a consumer device.

What's next? The enter key is redundant?


There's the single biggest problem I have with people complaining about this on behalf of all professionals everywhere: we're not all programmers. I don't step through code. I don't. Never have.

There are some valid complaints. I use Ethernet and VGA a lot, and the dongles I already bought are useless with the new machine since it doesn't have Thunderbolt ports. Kind of annoying, but everyone kind of accepts that Ethernet and VGA are gone now. No one sheds a tear for them, but I still have to use them. No one sheds a tear for serial, but I still have to use it.

I really think it's hilarious that the one thing everyone seems to agree that we like about the Mac is that it's Unix, and Unix is all about small, single-purpose modules that work together. Yet when Apple creates a laptop that's the embodiment of that philosophy, it's the end of the world.

So yeah, you can keep acting like it's not a pro machine because you can't step through code with your function keys (which I'll remind you, still fucking exist), or you can realize the "pro" world is a lot bigger than your needs. At least your function keys are still built into the laptop. I have to carry an Ethernet, VGA, and serial adapter with me everywhere. It could be worse.

But I wouldn't saddle your machine with my particular needs, because not everyone needs what you need. Pro doesn't mean "specifically tailored to your particular needs".


No need for the profanity.

I am stating that if a replacement machine doesn't do what the previous generation did, its user base will shrink as it will no longer be useful to the same user base. This is precisely what everyone is upset about - it isn't an improvement if we can't use it in the same situation.

Certainly, we have different requirements from the machine. But whilst stating that my user requirements shouldn't be your requirements and that I shouldn't expect them to be, you are then asserting that people who don't fit into your happy requirements set are all "whining"?


Obviously there is a need for profanity or the entire concept would never have been invented. It's actually quite perfect for this situation to emphasize that the function keys you're complaining no longer exist? They do still exist. So... yeah, you're whining about nothing. Oooh, they changed the kind of key, so what? They're still there. You can still use them. They didn't take them away, so your entire point is completely gone.

I'm not even sure where this idea of "the function keys are gone" even came from. Apple showed them on stage for crying out loud! They're still fucking there. How do you step through code? THE SAME WAY YOU DID ON THE OLD ONE.


In this context, I would say that there is no need for profanity. I wasn't questioning the invention of profanity itself.

You sound an angry person.


> everyone kind of accepts that Ethernet [is] gone now

I just want to emphatically disagree with this particular point.


Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's not generally accepted. When was the last time a MacBook had one? And they still sell like hotcakes. Ultrabooks are selling pretty well too, without Ethernet. Even the Dell XPS that everyone recommends doesn't have Ethernet.

It's generally accepted that Ethernet is gone now because people have been buying laptops without Ethernet for years now.


Is that because they are selling laptops without Ethernet? We may be confusing the effect with the cause.


As a professional myself, I don't like dongles, especially if I'm travelling.

I don't want to worry about forgetting or losing a critical dongle if I need to connect to a wired network, projector or whatnot. I also don't want to have a USB dongle if I know a client is going to be giving me a USB key to exchange some files. Having the right built in ports means you have less to worry about when you're on the road, and visiting a client in the middle of nowhere. The last thing a professional needs to happen is to get into an embarrassing situation because of their hardware situation. No thanks.

Having said that, I'm not really dependent on any particular OS any more, so it doesn't matter to me if Apple, Dell, or Lenovo make a design decision I don't like. There's a pretty good chance that someone out there makes something that satisfies the majority of my needs.

If I was dependent on macOS and ready for a hardware upgrade, however, I think I'd be pretty grumpy about yesterday's announcements and non-announcements. Because of that, I can sympathize with the uproar.


No, this isn't that hard. You could design two lines of products and satisfy almost everyone: MacBook and MacBook Pro.

The MacBook line would be optimized for mobility, for pros and college students who need a real computer (not an iToy) with them all the time to do serious work of a general businessy nature: organize projects into folders, use apps like a browser, Keynote, Excel, Word, lightweight photo apps, media viewing, a good text/code editor, a terminal, etc. Lots of reading and writing work, software dev on the road, email, checking flight status, giving presentations (in the office, in class), etc. It would be designed to have battery life extended significantly via 3rd-party USB-C batteries, so you would have the mobility of a light machine with the option of significantly extending battery life when you needed it. Lightweight, mobile, untethered, pro work.

The MacBook Pro line would be optimized for computer power that was still portable: NVidia GPU, lots of RAM, lots of internal storage, big screen (17" version available again), serious battery life, no connector shortage. The words "thinner" would never be uttered. Instead: "more powerful". By allowing it to be a little thicker and heavier (not huge, maybe 50% thicker than a 2015 MacBook Pro), you could use less compact, previous gen RAM and SSD, thereby getting much more for the same price. It wouldn't actually be very thick and heavy except relative to the lightweight line; it would just be optimized for how much of a serious computer you could deliver without making it too large, rather than the current "how thin can we make it without rendering it useless?" This machine would often be used docked to large monitors as a full-powered desktop but could be taken on the road (these things wouldn't be any larger than every laptop used on the road a few years ago.) Photoshop, 3D graphics rendering, serious gaming, video editing, serious software dev docked to large, desktop screens that could be continued on an airplane, number crunching AI and big(ish) data without having to offload to a server farm, having 100 tabs open in Chrome while editing 4K video, having a full library of books and 100 videos on the internal drive for use when traveling, etc.

These two lines could share most design and mfg yet satisfy pros of all sorts without needing much of an increase in number of models made.


I generally agree with your segmentation.

Unfortunately Apple does not (well, not any more). And there is a huge contingent who still wants the thinnest possible Pro model.

I would suggest further breaking the Non-pro line into super thin (New Macbook) and thin (Macbook Air) models, and the Pro line into super thin (2016 rMBP) and not-so-thin (the model you describe).


The problem here is that the thinnest possible Pro model is not Pro. You can call it Pro, but it's not Pro anymore.. it's Thin.


"compromises that work for a large number of people"

I'm not sure how removing all of the ports that my existing devices plug into is a compromise that works for me, let alone my mum or anyone else I know. Carrying a bag of dongles is not my idea of the future. Is it yours? I can no longer plug my SD card in from my Sony camera. How exactly do you think this is a good compromise? It isn't a compromise at all - it's dictation or an ultimatum, really.


This is not the future, it's the temporary present. This is a uncomfortable transition period, but it won't be too long until USB-C is ubiquitous and you're not carrying dongles anywhere.


At the current situation it isn't a transition period - the available hardware now dictates that USB C should be used. So there is no transition; transition would imply that the two port sets existed side by side (unfeasible I know).

Let's hope that this jump to USB C encourages the rest of the industry to move along. Given that fuzzy VGA is still on many PCs and displays, I can only imagine how long this period will be.


First, OS X isn't "Unix-y"; it literally is Unix. Second, you actually can say with a straight face that the MBP 2006 design was "purely an accident"? No. It wasn't. It was the result of hundreds of small and correct choices, not all of which were obvious at the time.

How precisely is the new MBP a regression? I think it's telling that you cited two examples to back this up—but oddly, neither of them were about the MB Pro. They were about iOS devices.


What initially attracted me to the MPB (around 2009) was:

- great input/output hardware

- solid build

- little design touches like the magsafe connector, sleep light, and battery indicator

- Unixy, well-designed OS with some really great 3D party software

Besides the solid build, all of these are now either gone or in decline. The touchpad is still OK, but the quality of the keyboard has been crippled. The OSX App Store still doesn't support demos or upgrade pricing. Magsafe is gone - for no apparent reason.

All of this is mostly in service of gimmicks - the biggest of which being "thinness" which I really don't care about. I'd be buying 17" MBPs if they were still available.


True. I have never said "what this laptop needs is to be thinner" whilst working on it. I have never ever said that, and I was happy with thick laptops a million years ago. We want features, not just slimness.


> We want features, not just slimness.

You want. Please don't generalise. Personally, I have always wanted my laptop to be thinner. And I am a "professional" who hates dongles by any possible definition.


I stand corrected. I was meaning to express that slimness and features need not be mutually exclusive, yet we are seeing features cast aside to make way for slimness, as if slimness were the only thing that all should strive for.


He never said the design was an accident. He said that the fact that they were able "to dominate the market amongst developers for the next ten years." was an accident


No, their wording is too ambiguous to make that distinction, and your interpretation seems to be the less-likely one.


I'm sorry, but I can't disagree with you more. I see no ambiguity in there. In fact, he never even uses the word "design" in the original post.


>> First, OS X isn't "Unix-y"; it literally is Unix.

OS X was Unix-y until Leopard (2007), when it got certified.


> Second, you actually can say with a straight face that the MBP 2006 design was "purely an accident"?

Ok....but then you contradict yourself...

> It wasn't. It was the result of hundreds of small and correct choices, not all of which were obvious at the time.

I'd call that fortuitous which is being accidentally lucky.


> "It's time to face the fact that Apple doesn't care about professionals and never has."

I'm a professional, and the MacBook Pro continues to suit my needs extremely well. Perhaps the problem is that "professional" is too vague a term to have any useful meaning in this context. If you mean developers, fine, but I'm also a developer and the MacBook Pro continues to suit my needs extremely well. What exactly is the use case that the new MacBooks fails at, and is this a widespread problem among all professionals, all developers, or a particular segment of developers?

Criticisms of the iPhone are entirely valid. I upgraded from the 6s to the 7 yesterday through the iPhone Upgrade Program. I've only noticed three differences so far:

1. No headphone jack. I only brought my new iPhone 7 headphones to work today, and I can't plug them into my laptop to watch a video. >_<

2. The Capacitive touch home button. Unlike the capacitive touch trackpads, the tactile feedback for this button is not convincing or satisfying at all. It sucks.

3. They moved the camera slightly, so my existing case doesn't work.

That's it. I don't notice any improvements. It's a strict downgrade so far.


<SadMac>

I'll reserve judgement on the new TouchBar, since I haven't had a chance to play with one. I'll say this, though, what they've done is dipped their toe into the fully programmable keyboard space: http://www.geeknaut.com/cool-computer-keyboards-2219350.html

This could be a stepping stone to a fully redrawable keyboard. Not saying I want such a thing, but it's interesting. imagine the entire keyboard surface being the TouchBar? It would suck (I think) for typing, but it would certainly differentiate itself from the iPad, and would start making for custom controls that augment the display.

In some cases I could see this as a better experience than just a pure touchscreen (though it would probably be very niche).

Anyway, even with all of the negatives you mentioned, it's still going to be the best Unix laptop out there. My dream is that HP or Dell find a backbone, and starts pitching supporting and building a perfect Linux (pick any distro really) laptop to devs, or maybe Google makes ChromeOS, that perfect OS. Until then...


The only way I can imagine a fully-drawable keyboard working is if they perfected one of the haptic feedback technologies like ultra-sonic keys or something crazy.


the fully drawable keyboard is already here. expect apple to perfect it in three years one the other OEMs rush it to market and fail.

http://www.theverge.com/circuitbreaker/2016/9/2/12769094/len...


They already have, I think. The force touch trackpads don't move - they give the illusion of clicking using haptics. Don't see why keys would be much more difficult.


What I was referring to was technologies that give not just the illusion of some click but of physical texture before a key is even clicked. If your fingers can't feel the keys before you even click them, IMHO it's a no go.


Well it would have to be much, much better than any haptic keyboard I've used so far. Those that I've used may give feedback, but it's nothing like using a keyboard.


I don't think the haptics are fine enough to allow for feeling the key boundaries with your fingertips.


I'd bet they will be one-day, or perhaps they are in a lab, but they can't achieve it at-scale, or at an acceptable cost. It's likely why they're trending the existing keyboards towards a flatter profile -- in preparation for the sensation they know they'll be able to pull-off in 3 or 5 or however many years it'll take to deliver a haptic implementation on their products.


Given that they have gone out of their way to create actual keyboards for the iPad pro line I don't think Apple is convinced a fully drawable keyboard is the way to go either.


>imagine the entire keyboard surface being the TouchBar?

It seems very likely to me that apple is moving this direction. They continue to pour resources into "taptic" feedback, to make flat fixed surfaces feel like buttons, and at the same time are decreasing the travel of their physical keyboards. They're definitely converging on a full touchscreen keyboard.


> HP or Dell find a backbone, and starts pitching supporting and building a perfect Linux laptop to devs

Dell has been selling a beautiful developer Linux laptop for a while, http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/productdetails/xps-13-linux


> This product is currently unavailable. Please find our recommendation for a comparable system below.


Yeah that project has been falling in and out of the store for over a year and a half.


I fixed the link, thanks


This could be a stepping stone to a fully redrawable keyboard.

There was one (not redrawable, but who looks at the keys anyway), but Apple bought it and killed it: http://ergocanada.com/products/keyboards/fingerworks_lp.html

I had one. It was not good for typing.


Buying that company is what got them multitouch, which is what made the iPhone and iPad possible.

It's funny, but they're really just closing the loop on that acquisition by making a programmable keyboard.

By the way, a friend of mine had the Fingerworks (I use a Kinesis Advantage) and in the winter it would always go wonky because of static. He wound up having the company buy a humidifier... for his keyboard. I thought it was a neat idea (especially switching between typing and mousing by just sliding around) but I found the lack of feedback jarring and didn't fall in love with it.


Just an anecdote: I typed pretty decently on it and used it for years for everything including programming. (For reference sake, I've never timed, but I'm one of the fastest typist among people I know when not using the Touchstream)


I agree. It was not good for typing. I gave a good 4 months before i gave up.

If someone made an e-paper optimus style keyboard, i would definitely give that a try.

Little animations are neat. they pop. i really like them. for about a day. Then they're just annoying.



Fully redrawable touch keyboard exists. It's in the iPad.


It'd be nice if you could take old "obsolete" iPads and turn them into dedicated control panels for other devices. Better that than in a dump.


I'm doing that with my old android phones. I've got a home-automation server setup, and the phones are all able to control lights, speaker volume, etc.


> This could be a stepping stone to a fully redrawable keyboard. Not saying I want such a thing, but it's interesting.

Something to be approached with caution. There may be an appropriate programming metaphor for the opportunities and risk, somewhere between operator overloading and self-modifying code.


I can already imagine websites placing the "Buy now" button where "Esc" used to be.


> While Apple had intended to build nice hardware and a stable OS, the Unix-y nature of the OS that that helped capture the hearts of developers was never exposed in an intentional way.

No, it was pretty intentional. Apple has a history of appealing to power users for a few years, then kicking them in the nuts. First, they did it to professional artists. Then they did it to professional video editors. Now they're doing it to software developers. It's just our turn, I guess.


But will they run out of people to kick?


So long as Apple has iOS devs by the short and curlies, they'll have power users to kick in the nuts.


The Greater Fool Theory says "no."


Doesn't anyone else remember that these early intel units had overheating problems? Later versions had GPU failures en masse and had a recall. Not to mention that pre unibody the cases were fragile and able to be bent unintentionally. The optical drives basically all failed from poor design on these units as well.

These were not as well designed as we like to remember.

I still have an early one I keep on hand to tinker with from time to time and love what they represent but let's not kid ourselves. The MacBook Pro had come a long way since then.

That said how they decided not to offer a 32GB ram offering on a MacBook Pro in 2016 is beyond me.


Yes I had an original MBP, I had to get the repair done with the thermal paste replacement due to overheating issues. That mostly fixed sudden shutdowns but it still ran very hot.

The most perfect MBPs IMO were the 2008 model (pre-unibody) and the first rMBP. The 2008 was fast and fluid; the rMBP introduced me to high capacity SSD and the high res display. Both were hardcore professional workhorses.

The lack of 32 GB on this one is profoundly disappointing but I am hearing it has a major impact on battery life. I'd have to test an equivalent XPS 15 to know, but it's telling that the Surface Book Performance Base (most comparable with this new MBP) is also limited to 16 GB, though they claim some crazy battery life numbers (16 h?).

I'm curious the impact of the new generation SSD and DDR4 RAM will have in overall experience.


>> That said how they decided not to offer a 32GB ram offering on a MacBook Pro in 2016 is beyond me.

I'm the first to join you in this critique (I jumped off the Mac bandwagon a year or so ago), but in fairness, macOS does do memory compression where I don't think the other major OSes do. 16GB goes a little further (in theory) on macOS than it does on Windows.


Also, maybe paging to a super fast SSD is good enough to justify not having more memory.


Easy - they ran the numbers and saw the engineering benefits for keeping a simpler chipset that only supported 16GB outweighed the value of a few people getting pissed off that there's no 32GB option.

Frankly, if I need more than 16GB of RAM, I'm going to want to develop on a box in a datacenter somewhere, not my laptop.


I assume they designed the board to accommodate 32GB but couldn't get adequate supplies at the low volumes expected. 16GB is still more than most people need (me included).

Also, adding more memory will shorten battery life.


>> It's time to face the fact that Apple doesn't care about professionals and never has.

What does Johnny Ive do his work on? Does Tim Cook use an iPad Pro exclusively?


> Does Tim Cook use an iPad Pro exclusively?

The answer is almost certainly yes. I've noticed this trend for a while now -- all the execs at all the big tech companies are moving to an iPad only experience, since it does email and web and that's all they need.


During Tim's Pre CEO days, he was known to be a heavy user/lover of spreadsheets[1]. With a special affection of making the cells really small. (could not find the reference for that, but it was another Apple CXO who said it)

Not sure if he still makes/checks spreadsheeets. I find it hard that a long time spreadsheet person could quit and not get his hands dirty with the numbers.

And if he still gets his hands dirty with the numbers, I would expect it to be hard restricted to an iPad.

[1]https://brooksreview.net/2011/01/cook-numbers/


It's actually really easy to do spreadsheets on an iPad with a keyboard case. My wife does it all the time. It's just like on the computer, but you can touch the cells you want to look at.


I think you're absolutely right.


Probably the phone and paper, mostly?


I think the only ones to loose are the UNIX developers that don't breath the Apple culture, as it as already before Jobs returned to Apple.

Apple developers, as it was already in the older OS versions are right at home.

Speaking of which, just check the recordings of Jobs doing NeXTSTEP related presentations on YouTube, and you see how little relevance is given to UNIX.


When Tim Cook was asked about the Mac after the iPhone event awhile back, he said something like “stay tuned”. Well, unfortunately, post-Mac-event, I am still “staying tuned” because I can’t believe that this is what they meant. How can there be nothing else in the pipeline?

A new Pro computer and Pro presentation should look something like:

- Sensible flexibility: while some “forward-looking” port like USB-C is expected, there should also be at least one present-day port. No “dongles by default” in a Pro.

- Top-line option with significantly higher maximum memory than other available machines, fastest processor options, and even “unnecessary” extras like 16-core or whatever crazy stuff is available.

- The entire presentation should focus on the damned Mac. I don’t care about your Watch or your TV because I can look those stats up. I counted, after HALF AN HOUR he started to mention the Mac. Come on.

- Every demo should focus on PRO features. I don’t want to see a single consumer item. Show me the crazy performance comparisons of years past. Take the latest, greatest apps and make them scream on stage.

- The web site for a Pro computer should be free of animations, with a big fat “Tech Specs” button in large print at the top that links to an ordinary white paper and some performance comparison tables. (The Mac Pro web site has always failed me; took forever to figure out what the thing could even do.)


    Show me the crazy performance comparisons of years past. 
    Take the latest, greatest apps and make them scream on 
    stage.
Problem is they decided two things and remain committed:

1) Touch has no place on PC screens

2) GPUs aren't that big a deal

Intel has only been able to make the slightest performance improvements for years now, combined effect is now Apple get no 'free upgrades' invented by the PC industry to integrate cause all the cool stuff coming out on that side is touch, VR and AR.


Are GPUs not a big deal only because they refuse to release a modern OpenGL version on macOS?


Aside: I thought the OpenGL API antiquated, basically replaced by Vulcan.

Last I gathered Apple chose not to support Vulcan and instead went with the Metal API?[1]

[1] http://www.insidemacgames.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=4780...


Yes this is precisely the situation. So instead of shipping Vulcan, macOS comes with a really old version of opengl. I am not convinced this is ideal.


I've been reading (and editing and publishing) the same "When will Apple once again start caring about high-end creative professionals who put serious demands on their machines?" article for over a decade, now.

I mean, I agree with a lot of what's in this piece. But this idea of the Mac as cutting-edge creative powerhouse with tons of horsepower under the hood is a fantasy that dates back to the PPC/RISC days.

Every now and then Apple comes out with a new Mac Pro design, or the XServe, or another new Mac Pro design, or manages to cram a leading-edge CPU or GPU into one of their computers. But those rare moments of genuine high-end leadership are the exception, rather than the rule.

All of Apple's innovation eggs are in the iOS basket now. All of them. And before that they were in the "creatives who work out of Starbucks" basket. They haven't been in the "I need to crunch serious numbers to make cool things" basket since before the Cold War ended.

Apple has been a lifestyle brand for creative types and creative type wannabes, and not the heir to, say, SGI, for a very very very long time.


I think this an accurate summation of the state of things. It just took some of us longer to realize it than others.

Apple and I simply don't agree on what matters in a computer anymore. My current MacBook Pro will be my last. I've purchased a ThinkPad and am beginning to transition my work over to it.

My ThinkPad isn't the sort of machine that most people need or want, and certainly not the sort that Apple is interested in building these days, but I think it will meet my needs perfectly.

It already feels nice not needing a dongle just to plug in an Ethernet cable.


I think you're right, although I would say 2012 was still a good year for devs, given Snow Leopard and the Macs they released then (my 2012 is the last with all the ports and a DVD drive, for example). It was before the iOS features were heavily pushed to OSX. I think it is very sad but I too am considering migration of my life to a ThinkPad after this MacBook dies. That'll be a really sad time for me because I don't fully understand Microsoft's vision for the future, and certainly don't want to go back to Linux (I grew tired of everything breaking all the time and incessant change for no reason).

Out of interest, what ThinkPad are you looking at?


>> (my 2012 is the last with all the ports and a DVD drive, for example)

Don't forget that you can replace the RAM and HDD with commodity parts. And you can also remove the DVD drive, drop in a cage and stick another sata drive in there too.


I did indeed upgrade the RAM to 16GB. It is the top i7 model, so has the Intel and nvidia GPU for graphics switching.d I am looking to upgrade the 750GB to a 1TB SSD as the only thing holding it back is the very slow disk bottleneck. Having said that, it is a very capable machine and covers all my needs (I record my band's gigs using the FireWire interface and an external audio interface, and can burn the recordings to CD for my computer-shy drummer, who is in his 50s), and it makes a good dev machine with OSX and Windows 10 on bootcamp (and in parallels when under OSX). Although the only sore point about it is the resolution, I cannot see an equivalent or replacement machine in Apple's current offerings, which says an awful lot I feel.


I went with the P50, as connectivity options were more important to me than weight or thickness.

Agreed that the Snow Leopard era was a high point.


Agreed. Snow Leopard was the pinnacle of OS X for me. I grow less and less interested in each subsequent version.


"It already feels nice not needing an external device just to use a goddamn 3.5in disk" (iMac, 1998)

"It already feels nice not needing an external superdrive just to use a DVD" (Macbook Pro, 2012)


a metric shit-ton of execs all over the globe are now using MacBooks of all sorts. and iPads.

see for yourself - sit down in any airport lounge in big hubs and observe.

i have seen so many presentations go haywire because windows machines started updates, etc - execs got seriously tired of that shit.

the touchbar, if paired with the Ribbon interface in MS Office, is going after exactly that user group. and they have the money.

see also IBM's press release this week how Macs have far better TCO than windows machines within IBM (50k Macs in an environment of 400k employees).


"Apple doesn't care about professionals"

Everyone who states more or less this sentiment is stating an absolute and speaking for an entire demographic when really they should be saying:

"Apple doesn't care about a certain type of professional who happens to think just like me"

I am a professional: a web designer, a programmer, as well as a musician and occasional video editor. I make a living using my MacBook Pro. I'm typing on one right now. My life wouldn't be possible without a Mac to use for my creative profession.

I love nearly everything about the new MBPs and hope to get the 15" as soon as funds are available. I think the Touch Bar is one of the most exciting UI upgrades to macOS in a long, long time. (For reference, I like the Force Touch trackpad but I almost never use the force part of it and think Apple's really dropped the ball on that particular feature.) I can't wait until Logic Pro X supports the Touch Bar, as well as other music apps like Ableton Live.

Even the fact that Xcode, Terminal, etc. have extensive interactions on the Touch Bar is impressive. This, THIS is how you roll out a new integrated hardware/software UI feature.

Are there some issues? Sure, but what major upgrade doesn't have issues? I still remember when Apple's iOS device lineup was a mess because some devices used Lightning and others used the old 30-pin connector. Heck, the transition to Intel itself was painful back the day...it took years to get the entire Mac product line up to date with all the major software properly compiled.

The switch to USB-C/TB3 is huge...the capabilities and bandwidth of that single type of port is staggering. (I'm still in awe that the new MBP can drive not just one, but TWO 5K displays simultaneously.) Instead of being upset with Apple's changes, we should be clamoring for them to upgrade their other Macs (iMac, etc.) to USB-C as fast as humanly possible. Need a dongle or two to get through the transition period? So what? I've needed dongles for one thing or another at almost every stage of the Mac journey (FW-400 to FW-800, anyone?)

Apple has not lost their way. Perhaps they've lost the willingness to push out Mac hardware on a more frequent basis, which is a shame. But their ability to innovate and come out with a great product when the time is right should not be up for debate.


This. This is me in a nutshell. In fact, I just ordered the new 13", with touch pad. I never use the F-keys and am genuinely excited by the touch pad - I think it's going to be one of those features that after the fact you just can't believe why no one did it earlier. I love touch id on my iPhone, and can't wait to use it on my Mac – it'll obsolete my Yubikey. This feature alone would be enough to get me to upgrade.

To me, the MBP I just ordered will pay for itself in no time, so it was a no brainer for me.

To me, the MBP just works, often in really subtle ways too that I just don't notice until I'm not on a Mac.

To me, my current MBP is the best laptop I could possibly have. When I bought it, I even said that I don't even know how Apple could possibly top it. It's the best computer I've ever used, my livelihood depends on it. I probably could do the same things with other hardware, and other software – but man, it just works and that's worth every premium I paid for it.

To each their own but to me, Apple just made this thing that couldn't possibly be better, better.


> The switch to USB-C/TB3 is huge...the capabilities and bandwidth of that single type of port is staggering.

"All USB-C/TB3" is going to be a disaster in the short term and nobody with an investment in external peripherals is going to move for at least a year, maybe two. This ALONE would make me sit this refresh out. Apple's history with driver stability lately has been not good.

I'm also skeptical about how "professionally" you use your laptop.

Even TB2 on the previous gen Macbook Pro was unstable when you plugged in an audio interface and a 4K monitor. I had to move the 4K monitor to the HDMI port so that the audio interface wasn't interfered with.

The problem is that things that use bandwidth interfere with things that die based upon latency.


Do you do a lot of your creative work right at the MBP keyboard/touchpad? I can't imagine doing too much highly creative/productive work without an external monitor and peripherals. I wonder if they will be building an external keyboard with the Touch Bar.


I do a fair amount at a desk with external monitor/keyboard/trackpad. So, yes, it will be interesting to see how the absence of the touch bar in that context will feel after getting used to it on the MBP directly. I have a feeling I'll want to get away from my desk more often. :)

However, I have no doubt Apple is working on a external version of this, though after hearing about the complexity of this solution inside the machine (using a variant of watchOS, ARM chips, etc.), I suspect this is a ways off.


Putting whole operating systems into peripheral devices is not particularly outlandish. The external keyboard on which I'm typing this has its own ARM chip and memory to drive its programmable backlight. The engineers at Apple will surely have designed the T1 chip and appendices to be easily transplantable from an MBP into an external keyboard.


There are indeed many professionals that don't need high specs, and could even do their work on a 12" MacBook or iPad pro.

The Pro in MBP refers not to them, but rather to those needing powerful CPUs, GPUs, large amounts of memory and compatibility with various hardware. I'd have added upgradeability, but the MBP has been a complete failure at that for a long time.

Who defines "pro" like that? The internet. It became a synonym for heavy duty workloads.


I've been reading the comments on this thread and others on HN. I'm equally dismayed by the 'New Normal' with regards to Apple's offering, the bizarre design decisions (remove the USBs on the base Macbook, 16GB max RAM on the new Pros while Lenovo has been offering 32, the gimmicky top bar that will change the world, etc.)

However, to keep in mind here is that for us techies (and for design folks) Macbooks seem as standard as ranger boots in the military, but for the rest of the world, it's a vicious fight for market share and Apple is near the bottom of the 'big ones'. For one of the wealthiest companies in the world, Apple is still behind HP, Dell, Lenovo, even Acer and ASUS in marketshare! [Source: http://appleinsider.com/articles/16/05/11/lower-macbook-sale...]

So, it's not a surprise that our needs are cast aside in the grander business scheme of capturing wider audience by casting a wider net. There's no need to psychoanalyze Tim Cook and pray for the Second Coming of Jobs. It's the widening of the net that we're experiencing as pain.


> So, it's not a surprise that our needs are cast aside in the grander business scheme of capturing wider audience by casting a wider net.

They just canned their cheapest notebook, the Macbook Air 11" and bumped the price on their other models by a few $100. On top of that the only port on their new notebooks is Thunderbolt 3.

What sort of mass market appeal are they going for exactly?


Maybe they are banking on the hope that enterprises that are already 'locked in', will continue to purchase and refresh inventory with later models.

And trying to appeal to the wider audience with gimmicks like the touchbar at the top.

Also, I have to say, how many of us, with our complaints, are going to bite our lips and buy a new model anyway. I'm on the border, myself (although refurb'ed has been a go-to for me for years in the Apple space).

Innovation has gotten pained across the board - a separate rant, a separate disappointment for me was the new Pixel. I can't use it to replace my 5X because it costs double and doesn't offer much hardware-wise, but the 'Assistant' is supposed to enter that other gimmick captivating the imagination, the AI.

In Apple's case they're calculating that their changes will expand market share and profitability. I don't have an MBA (the degree, not the discontinued model of laptop) so my brain is too small to comprehend the greatness of the decision-making in the design, but I'm guessing it has to do with the 'thinnest, lightest ever' and 'the stupid bar at the top' bulletpoints.


I don't need a new laptop right now, but I was planning on ordering the 2016 model. After seeing what they offer and the substantial price increase, I'm waiting. And if there isn't anything better in a year or two, I'm going to start looking at PC laptops and switch to Linux.

I just think this is another sign that Apple either doesn't care about Mac or they don't know what to do with it. It's felt like a second-class citizen to iOS for a very long time.


Unfortunately I went from trigger-happy to hesitant, and re-thinking my "Windows = Games, MacOS = Unix shell + Adobe" strategy. See, the problem is that Adobe is the 'killer app suite' that forces me to use one of the platforms. Linux is what runs on my NUC, cloud VPSes and places where stuff serves stuff. Now, I'm re-thinking that strategy.

I'm thinking about Linux as a primary workstation, using the dreaded Gnome UI on a regular basis. And fighting with driver issues. On the other hand, the Thinkpad Linux support talk has me very interested because it sounds solid.

I wonder how many people are investigating other options at this point in time. This is prime time for other vendors to continue to trounce Apple in market share (see the link in my message above for those skeptical about that claim).

I'm tempted to say, Apple doesn't know how to take the Macbook to the next level, which is what they're constantly trying to do.


> using the dreaded Gnome UI on a regular basis

I suggest that you also check out some of the other popular desktops (Plasma, Cinnamon, Mate, XFCE), for example with live media.


That doesn't make sense. Market share is only one metric; profits have been more important for Apple in most cases. Apple is well behind in market share on mobile too, but the profit they make on phones is substantially more. I think I remember reading that they make more profit on the iPhone than all of the other major android manufacturers put together. That is not to say that there aren't signs of Apple's growth stagnating, but to judge success on market share alone is a bit silly.

Also, what about this new MacBook Pro is "mass market" ? I don't know a lot of people that today will spend $2500+ on a computer if they don't need to spend that much. So the article has a point -- who is this laptop for? It's in the price point for "professionals" but what professionals are they going after? It's not clear at all. Losing the function row and most importantly, the escape key, seemed completely unnecessary.


You could make the same argument ("it's expensive and thus not mass-market") to IPads and iPhones, consistently (well, until this year perhaps) drastically more expensive than their Android competition, respectively.

Don't forget the power of marketing. Is it just me or are there Apple logos every time a character in a TV show pulls open a computer?

"It's the thinnest, lightest ever, and the bar at the top has UNLIMITED CAPABILITIES." There's your mass market. Think most people care about the ESC key? I do, but most don't.


If they want enterprise market share, they need to lower prices by a lot.


You're thinking about the consumer IT market, where people tend to buy the cheapest up-front price. In most enterprise shops, people recognize that the purchase price is a small part of the total cost of ownership and favor things like durability, support, etc.

I don't want to derail into yet another argument for whether Apple is better or worse on those points but the cost gap between a business-quality PC and equivalent Mac historically has been much narrower than for the cheaper consumer-grade PCs and the buyers have fairly different priorities.


No, I'm definitely thinking of the several Fortune 100 companies I worked for in the past. They did indeed include TCO in their checklists. They did not actually understand or care about the daily experience of the people using the computers. The decision matrix abstraction really missed a lot! Yes, the CEO had MacBook Pro. The rank and file got a "refresh" HP or Dell once every 5 years. Niceties such color gamut, gpu performance, or keyboard travel never showed up on the feature checklist.


> us techies (and for design folks) Macbooks seem as standard as ranger boots in the military, but for the rest of the world

the rest of the world => enterprise IT => techies


Like some sort of Eternal September for hardware :)


Almost as soon as I heard the sad news about Steve Jobs I feared this would happen. It also coincides with the 15-year cycle that seems to happen in tech and certain financial markets. Let's face it, Apple can't be top dog forever. Google has lasted longer than it should have. And if I were Zuckerberg I'd be concerned what's around the corner.

And without the visionary leadership of a Jobs, a Gates, a whoever, these companies stop innovating and change into something else. At least this is the second time round for Apple. But I fear that without Jobs there may be no way back.


That's why Zuck has been very aggressive with acquisitions, to future proof the company. He's bought two of his biggest competitors, Instagram and Whatsapp, and Oculus which could be the future. I'm pretty pleased with his corporate foresight.


You can only find your way out by buying and killing your competitors for that much time.

Sooner or later some one will do something you won't notice and suddenly you will be irrelevant.


Yes and Internet users are very fickle. In particular, users used to a free product evaporate when charges arise. The endless struggle to stay relevant kills them.

For examples see MySpace, Friendster, Bebo, Twitter....


When Steve Jobs died, Apple was worth $300 billion. Now it is worth $600 billion.

So far, not only did Tim Cook live up to the expectations in Apple under Jobs (which would mean to keep the company value at the same level) but he even overperformed 100%.


Remember, this is the same investors who couldn't be arsed to check Pokemon Go's ownership before they overhyped (and subsequently crashed) Nintendo's stock.

Market valuation does not indicate anything about the inner workings of a company, nor about its long-term prospects.


There is a strong path dependency to how Apple is able to pull in record amount of profits. The fact is that any institution with considerable resources will be able to coast for a long time.

Mediocrity can easily sustain Apple on Wall Street for the next 10 years.


I read somewhere recently that the exact same thing happened when Ballmer inherited Microsoft. As others have intimated, profits != future growth. The new owner can be very good at making money but will not tend to take risks, and there's the problem.


But I think Tim Cook is taking some risks, big ones even. That might backfire, who knows.


Worth has a low-pass filter. The effect of change takes time to determine.


I think you're mistaking interia for vision.


Jobs left behind an inertia which these people sit and ride on.

The true measure of the post-Jobs era will be when they will run out of that inertia and will be on their own. Which seems to be happening around these days.


Has nothing to do with the CEO and everything to do with QE by the Fed.

Many tech and near-tech companies doubled and even tripled in value since 2011.


Apple should've made Elon Musk its CEO as soon as it could after Steve Jobs passed away. Now it's likely too late with the merger of Tesla and Solar City happening, and the merged company being on an explosive growth path. Musk is also likely too busy now with SpaceX's ITS system and the landing on Mars to worry about making great Macs and iPhones.


This is surely some markov-chain HN parody account. Do I win anything if I'm right?


You win 3D-printed augmented-reality goggles so you can relax in your self-driving car built on the blockchain.


Needless to say, the goggles are powered by scalable microservices written in Haskell, Go and Phoenix on a serverless, containerized architecture with a React/Redux front-end.


Musk is a good CEO because he his passionate about what he does. I'm not convinced he is that passionate about computers / gadgets.


Not to mention, deleting oil as an energy source is a far greater benefit to mankind than any possible innovation in computing.


Is this satire?


I don't think so. He didn't mention Javascript, Rust, or Go.


This surely wasn't an event that deserves 'hello' line. Unless Apple starts using 'hello' each year from now on it should be reserved for truly earth shattering visionary events.

Touch Bar is ergonomic catastrophe. Tiny flat screen hidden behind the keys -- at the event all the people demonstrating Touch Bar had to stand, lean over keyboard and crouch in order to use it. Doing that while sitting and doing some serious work is usability nightmare.


For added irony, the opening ad was all about accessibility. I would love to see how the hell that touch bar is going to be a good accessibility experience.


It took them about 25 minutes before they even started talking about Macs.


The whining and moaning about dongles is exactly what people said about the original iMac and USB.

If you think Apple is going to make room for your old crusty ports when there is a new standard you're crazy and haven't paid any attention to Apple at all.

Here's a question: When did HN lose the ability to appreciate awesome technology? Thunderbolt 3 is awesome. The new MBP has four ports. Each port can charge the laptop, supply 15w of power to devices, supports USB 3, a 5K 16bpp deep color display at 60hz (!!), and extends the PCI Express bus to external devices.

Yes the transition period will be annoying.

Once we get there it will be amazing. TB3 is what I've been wanting out of a connector for a long time. One sturdy, reversible, and universal plug that handles everything in a backwards-compatible way.


Thank you !


Stockholm syndrome. That's what it is. If you have memorized that F5 is step (over, into, who knows?) then congratulations, you have passed a test that no one should have to take. Do you know about the slide rule or log tables? The function keys are not a good interface to anything. Good riddance.

Now, what are the escape sequences to access the Touch Bar from the Terminal so I can add some much needed usability to emacs/vi?


Now that you mention it, it would be very neat for something like htop to put all its F-key interface stuff on nicely labeled toolbar style buttons on the Touch Bar. That would improve the interface tremendously.


I agree the function keys are not a good interface.

It remains to be seen if the touch bar is an improvement.


I saw someone say they modified vim to use the touch bar.


Tim Cook seems to be one of those CEOs who sits in his office doesn't participate in the innovation process, while Jobs took a more hands on approach to drive innovations to its ultimate form.

I can't imagine someone presenting this "touchbar" bullspit to Jobs and not getting fired right away for such a dumb idea.


Its hard to give a meaningful critique of Tim Cook as CEO online since you are attacked either by the fanboys, shills, or haters.

However, I think its becoming increasingly clear that Tim is "not a product development CEO". He is clearly, by far, probably one of the best COO's of the last 100 years (yes, I'm totally serious).

Apple would've never had its rebirth if not for the duo of Jobs as product visionary and Cook as executor. Sadly with Jobs passing, Apple is slowly sliding back to the confused, overlapping, inconsistent product catalog circa 1998.


Relevant article[0] with same critique of Tim Cook (!= visionary product CEO) and what that means for Apple

[0] https://steveblank.com/2016/10/24/why-tim-cook-is-steve-ball...


I agree they've generally gotten more inconsistent.

But this is an example of the opposite. It'd be MORE confusing to have the only difference between the Air and the Pro be the Touch Bar, as the author suggests. How does the a touch bar make it "air?"


While I think Jobs was not perfect in many aspects it seems that Apple is unfortunately suffering from his absence. Ive and his team no doubt knows industrial design, perhaps better than any company right now. Yet they can't seem to connect with the needs of real users, their decisions seem more grounded in design "purity" and sometimes there's a disconnect between that and reality.

Tim Cook seems very competent business person, but has little vision on his own. He'll not risk the bottom line out of conviction like Jobs did.

Say what you want about Jobs but it seemed he was driven by a true sense of what users "should" want... the current leadership seems more to be about stock prices and retaining market share.


> Ive and his team no doubt knows industrial design

That's the conventional wisdom, but I dispute it. Ive and his team seem to have lost sight of some of the most basic principles that made the Mac great in the first place, like: it should be easy to tell what parts of the screen contain things that you can click on.

I'm still running Mavericks because I want buttons to look like buttons. Is that really too much to ask?


Buttons on 10.10 and newer still looks like buttons…


We'll have to agree to disagree about that. The flat colored circles at the top left corners of windows don't look like buttons to me. And the OS is chock-full of clickable text that is visually indistinguishable from non-clickable text, and hidden controls that only show up when you hover over a magic area of the screen, again with zero visual cues that there is anything there. I like a good easter egg as much as the next person, but not when finding them is actually crucial to getting things done.

There may be some widgets that still look like buttons, but that's not what I'm talking about.


yeah sorry that was what I meant: they know industrial design in itself but failed to understand what users actually need for that design to provide functional benefits. Either their understanding is lacking ... or they're targeting different users


I think Jobs was driven by a genuine desire to make products that were cool, fun, empowering, and elegantly engineered.

A lot of that drive was motivated by unpleasant personal narcissism - he seems to have had a strong need to feel cool, fun, empowered, and elegantly engineered himself.

But still - it pushed computing in directions that were really positive.

I have no idea what Cook is motivated by. I suspect not even Cook knows what Cook is motivated by.

He knows what Jobs looked like from the outside, and he has some ability to follow some of the moves. But it feels as if there's an aloof and maybe even slightly hostile detachment that Jobs never showed much evidence of.

Unless he has an epiphany and understands that user benefits matter more than manufacturing margins, Apple's future is going to look increasingly unexciting.


Yeah, no doubt Jobs was driven by his demons and desire to prove himself ... but layered on top of that seemed to be some kind of genuine ideology and good taste. Say what you want about him but if the choice was between earning a little more or doing what he thought was "right" I think he'd go with the later... and he probably believed it led to the former.

Big companies are so difficult to steer and be allowed to do so, and in an increasingly complex world it's only getting worse. I'm not sure it's feasible for much longer for a person to have the amount of power and charisma needed to steer a company off the beaten path. The ever increasing entropy of modern time complexity is not all encouraging.


But the scary thing is if the current leadership was interested in retaining market share they wouldn't have made niche product out of their most popular mac. So they are failing at industrial design and mass marketing.


Well, there's a few options why they did what they did, to be honest I'm not sure which might be true or if I missed any

a) Leadership is smart and actively dismissing portion of the market that's vocal but the largest one

b) Leadership is dumb and misjudged what their users want

c) Jonathan Ive has a lot of internal power and is dictating industrial design changes being disconnected to what their users want

d) They see PC sales slumping anyways and is targeting their efforts where they can earn the most money

e) Internal strife and confusion leading to a muddled product

f) Following an internal strategy road map and being so focused on it that they're discarding any signs that they're wrong

g) They're right and this will be a commercoal successful product... but they might lose their professional segment

h) We're all wrong, it will be a commercial and overall success. We're a loud minority


Like Bret Victor? Who seems to have been involved in presenting this to Jobs? I'd say he's a pretty interesting guy and probably not worth firing even if you don't like one of his proposals.

https://twitter.com/worrydream/status/641705818585337856


C'mon. Someone presented the hockey puck mouse to Jobs and not only survived, but got it into production.


Not to mention the Mighty Mouse with the lint-magnet scroll ball, their entire server strategy, and countless software decisions like the iTunes UI, multiple generations of cloud services which were clumsy and confusing, etc.

Jobs was good at what he focused on and other things tended to languish. For the last half decade, everyone has been focused on iOS. Cook seems to be getting the blame for basically doing roughly the same thing while not being Steve Jobs.


Touch Bar is in the same 'spirit' as sending heartbeats in watchOS, the Digital Touch in iMessage. Things that looks cool at first, many viewed as gimmicky, and very un-Jobs.


I'm not a fan, but the touchbar will end up being accepted just like the dock eventually was.


The touch bar was prototyped 8 years ago: https://twitter.com/worrydream/status/791767756928462848


> At the iPhone event in September, Apple told the world that headphone jacks were dead because wireless headphones are superior — so why is there a headphone jack on the Mac?

Because Macs are much larger than iPhones, so the trade-off in battery life/other components is less significant than on an iPhone.


Back when Steve Jobs was around, there used to be so much talk about how well and tightly he controlled the media. Guaranteeing he would have many positive stories out there on the day of launch. People would also talk about the Reality Distortion Field. And Gruber would right some well-logicked defense of criticism.

Where is the positive PR army? I did not see one single positive story about the recent announcements, following a short Google search!


Almost everyone who actually used the product (tech journalists) have said that they liked the touchbar. I've noticed the negative feedback loop happening on HN and some parts of reddit - it was overwhelmingly positive elsewhere - from Product Hunt to people in person.

I know why it's happening as well....a lot of us folks waited pretty long for an upgrade and what we got...it was not what we wanted/hoped for and are left stranded of sorts (do I continue and buy the new laptop? do I move to linux? do I get a windows device? - such questions were never an issue before....want a new device? get the latest macbook pro).


There are plenty of professionals buying Mac who are not the same customer type as most of the professionals here. They can't touch type. Arguably they have always been Apple's core market.

For ones saying they don't care about professionals, it's likely to remain a strong, well-designed and productive machine. Maybe a few will leave the walled garden due to this, but I think as many or more will appreciate it.


I bought a Macbook Pro in 2015 and I really, really had to train myself not to touch the display, despite no previous laptop having a touch display in my whole life. Don't ask me why, but the Macbook display already feels like it should be touchable for years it seems.


I feel like the touchbar is going to make this worse. You will get into the habit of touching it and since your hand is already near the screen....


All this "why isn't it better" foot-stomping. "Why isn't it as good as Microsoft" more foot-stomping and perhaps even some sulking?

I don't really get the emotional expectations people drum up about what the tech giants should or shouldn't be doing with new releases.

I like it when computers last years and years and fulfill a purpose for our life and work-life. If your Mac is from all the way back in 2012, don't feel bad! If it does what you need then keep it and ignore the latest product releases this year. Next year might have something more to your liking.


I think people waited a long time for a refresh of that product line and now that it didn't pan out, they're frustrated because they don't know what their next computer will be or if there even is one they'll like as much as what they have now.

People don't suddenly need a new computer right now just because these were announced, but will all these laptops from 2012 last until 2020 when the next refresh might happen?


> People don't suddenly need a new computer right now just because these were announced,

Depends on the computer. I know of many people who, after declaring the iphone 6 the greatest thing ever, suddenly realized that they were completely useless upon the arrival of the iphone 7.


It is a tool I use 8-12 hours a day, with real impacts on my life. It isn't something sitting on a shelf where I can ignore the problems.


I have a Mac Pro from 1996. It's been running great, but hampered by Apple's unwillingness to support it with the newest releases of OSX/macOS. I've been hoping for a similar Mac to replace it with, for several years. And the trashcan Mac Pro is not what I want/need. So, I've been following your advice for years, with nothing to look forward to. Every year I've thought "Next year might have something more to my liking" and every year I've been disappointed.


Out of interest, what are you looking at to replace this Mac? I'm keeping my 2012 with upgrades for as long as I can.


I'm hoping it survives until Apple releases something with replaceable internal disks. Realistically I don't expect them to do that, so I'll probably look into a home NAS for storage and use an iMac 5K or so. I have that at work and love it.


You call it foot stomping, I call it expressing disappointment.


Ditto.

Living room judgements cost you nothing.

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