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[flagged] Be angry with yourself, not Apple (germano.io)
51 points by tyrion on Oct 30, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 25 comments

Sounds like a post by Richard Stallman. I understand the argument but there is an element of practicality involved here, is there anyone out there who buys absolutely nothing from corporation? Very few I would think unless you own your own farm and never leave it.

Unless you build your own laptop/desktop from raw materials, you are buying from a corporation. Anyone is free to buy a laptop with a physical escape key.

The point is: the more you invest in a propriety ecosystem, developing for a certain company's products on that same company's products, the less flexibility and freedom you have to change.

Apple's primary goal is consumer adoption; developer needs are necessarily secondary. To demand that Apple cater to the latter misunderstands the company's priorities.

Fundamentally, this sounds like a generic 'anti-corporation' rant. "That's what you get for trusting The Man, man!"

It's an anti-idiot factory rant. In the tech field, it's a fact at this point, you cannot trust the man. It's demonstrated almost daily. It won't change though, it takes about a decade of getting burned before getting fed up with it and by then you're outside the target market, but the next round of idiots are already in line.

I do not think it's about buying nothing from corporations, but rather having put all of your belongings into the basket of one company.

That's the argument: either suffer intensely once/twice with Apple or spread your suffering evenly over 10 years with Linux.

> Therefore what happens when the new CEO decides something that you don't agree with? When they release a new product that you don't like, because they removed the Escape key? Nothing. You are in deep trouble. You start complaining. No alternatives. Either you accept their word or you are out.

Well, the same applies to ANY OS out there. I can't complain if Canonical decide to switch to a new desktop UI. Same with any other "free" distro. In the end, it's people making decisions. It has nothing to do with being open or closed source.

The only relative advantage for open source software is that given enough people with the same problem, someone might dedicate some time to fix that issue. But a lot of times you might be left on your own.

The point is: if you choose a Mac and you work on it for years then you are not only becoming dependent to an OS but also to an hardware platform...

> Therefore I feel like it is almost morally mandatory to continue to use GNU/Linux, otherwise in the long run we will all lose our freedom to choose.

Yeah, like the freedom to choose our own init systems! ...... oh wait.

Software simply being free or open doesn't automatically mean we are given choice. We are dealing with a steady erosion of choice in open source software these days, too.

Mozilla decides to drastically redesign their user interface, removing tons of flexibility, and next on the chopping block are their more-powerful extensions. Gnome decides to totally throw out the old paradigm of desktop user interfaces with version 3. Every major Linux distro jumps on board with systemd. It's great if you like these changes, but just like with Apple's changes ... it sucks to be you if you don't. No developers, whether the apps be proprietary or open source, seem to want to give the users any choices anymore. No, they always know better than their users.

Just look at browsers alone: today we have about as much choice in web browsers as we do in cable companies to provide us with high-speed internet access, or in which cola brand we want at restaurants. The open source status of the two most popular ones doesn't amount to much.

The world is increasingly being consumed by software monoliths that want to control the entire experience from top to bottom. The idea of doing one thing and doing it well, and letting people build systems out of smaller components mixed and matched to their liking, has been dying a long, slow death.

There is still, of course, choice. You can run Pale Moon, or Openbox, or Haiku. But you pay dearly for being on the fringe of the fringe. 99% of the market is wrapped up in ~3 choices. And Linux as a whole isn't faring much better than Apple these days.

We can't even really fight against this with our own code because everything has been steadily soaring in complexity. Nobody can write a modern browser on their own anymore. Hell, you can't even write a web server on your own anymore -- HTTP/2 and TLS are frighteningly complex. That used to be a ten minute task back in the day. Want to write an OS? Good luck even getting a USB stack up and going on your own. Forget about accelerated graphics, that's never gonna happen.

> Mozilla decides to drastically redesign their user interface, removing tons of flexibility

Or you can just use Pale Moon which is literally a Firefox fork without the Australis UI.

> and next on the chopping block are their more-powerful extensions

They're not "on the chopping block". If they stop working, it's only because they haven't been maintained for a long time anyway. Mozilla doesn't break backwards-compatibility for the heck of it, it needs to do these changes to get to the same level of security that's offered by Chrome (with its multi-process architecture), to get to the next level of performance that's hinted at by Servo, and to get rid of the massive maintenance nightmare that is XUL.

(I don't say that the transition won't be painful at places. I'm very worried that Vimperator does not support Electrolysis yet.)

> Gnome decides to totally throw out the old paradigm of desktop user interfaces with version 3.

Or you can just use Mate, which is literally a Gnome 3 fork with the Gnome 2 UI.

> Every major Linux distro jumps on board with systemd.

Yes, because it has tremendous technical advantages for distributors. And it's also good news for independent software vendors because it steamrolls over a lot of useless incompatiblities between distributions, so if we see more commercial software for Linux in the future, systemd might play a small part in it. (Of course, stuff like that doesn't make the frontpage.)

Yeah the freedom only exist as long as one is willing to ignore the rat race of shinies that is modern consumer computing. Unless one do that, the entities that can produce the most code the fastest is the ones that control the market, even if the code if "free".

Considering how little apple gives away for "free" and how much they have pushed about user privacy and doing privacy invasive things on-device or encrypted end-to-end, it seems odd to call apple users "the product".

It's just someone who doesn't understand what people mean when they say that you aren't a Google customer, you are Google's product. You are absolutely an Apple customer, in fact this is a screed against being too much of an Apple customer, not one against becoming a product.

"Their philosophy is to believe they know better than me what is good and better for me without giving me the chance to choose or opt-out." is true with Linux as well: KDE's rewrite for 4, the whole shift to SystemD, the mobile-first retooling of Gnome, etc. You're one person; every provider of a platform you use will ultimately make decisions for you, and you get to choose again whether to accept or move on.

And besides, no one is that locked in to Apple. The HN rage is all about being forced to make that choice and potentially spend time moving on switching. Welcome to life.

tl;dr The article basically says: > If you don't like Apple's decisions, then switch. But it's really your fault for using their products for years because you've locked yourself in.

There's really nothing new here. The article doesn't present any arguments for why you should actually be mad at yourself and also fails to suggest alternatives.

While Apple is not your typical computer hardware company, there's nothing here that doesn't apply to ANY company.

I don't think he is arguing against Apple. He is arguing to stop unconditional devotion to a single corporation and start investing time to learn transferrable skills.

That is a good point. Basically, you've abstracted the argument away from the Apple focus and applied it more generally to any proprietary technology. If one takes this proposed abstract perspective, I think it becomes clear that this isn't even just an issue of hardware or consumer products, but likely applies to nearly every product, service, ecosystem, network or tools provided by third parties -- if their goals and interests diverge from yours, you might be left in the dust and they likely won't care.

Exactly. Just like SystemD. It's caused me to walk away from Linux and on to BSD. Lock-in can happen even in non-proprietary, non-vendor scenarios. The moral of the story is you always need to be prepared to move on.

Yes, but in this case I am sure you were able to reuse a lot of your knowledge.

I'll ignore the fact that OSX was the most stable and integrated OS for years, and attracted commercial software that people often needed to use. The fact it was built atop BSD was a bonus. Personally I'd have been happiest if it had been running on Thinkpads rather than Macbooks. It's never been about Apple's software, or even the best hardware, but the whole ecosystem. Even then they've made some horrible choices with the GUI, especially more recently.

FOSS is hardly free of similar issues. Linux wasn't always a mostly smooth installation, it used to be firmly for tinkerers only. Not everyone was able, or willing, to spend the time making the broken things just work. More recently Gnome 3 springs to mind, and resulted in a similar scale of angry reaction.

I used to wonder why no company had tried to make something as well integrated as OSX for their own laptops. Most of the core is FOSS. Someone like Dell or even IBM before selling off Thinkpads could have achieved something significant with Linux or BSD.

Edit: I'm interested - what's worthy of downvotes here? Have I got something wrong or is it merely difference of opinion?

First off, I'm not angry, but I do have some right to complain. There is not really an alternative laptop of the build quality of the mac book pro, and they are degrading it! This is a hardware issue, I never liked Apple software, only forced to use it as an annoying shell for doing my work. I do have a powerful HP laptop too, but man that thing is heavy and the battery doesn't last..

I agree—it's not about buying from one company or another, it's about looking at your options. Yes, Apple does excellent hardware, can hardly argue about that; I'm not too fond of their software, but there are options.

I bought a laptop on 2012 and it's been going strong since that day. Its price was ~$1,200 USD ($12,000 MXP) and since then I've invested ~$150 USD on its maintenance. Altough it's old, it remains fast (Ubuntu boots in 13 seconds), usable and it's been a great investment, also it's very lightweight. And its brand is Samsung. I'm really sad they've shifted focus on their business to tablets and hybrids.

I've heard the Dells are quite good too, as well as the Lenovo. There's a world outside Apple, and I think that would be good for the market—maybe if they didn't have such a massive monopoly, they would think more of other markets, including power users.

"Their philosophy is to believe they know better than me what is good and better for me without giving me the chance to choose or opt-out."

How are they supposed to allow all of their customers to choose their preferred hardware? They don't have to, and it would be wildly inneficient to try to do so. That's what the free market is for. People wanted a different/smoother experience than what Linux was giving them, and were willing to pay for it. Some of us were happy messing around on the command line, and didn't need to buy Apple products to be productive. It doesn't mean they have to be everything to everyone.

"Why you have no right to complain about the new MacBook"

In fact you do have a right to complain. And if you enjoy using Apple products, you ought to do so in the hope of influencing future Apple design decisions.

If someone can crack the code on a buttery smooth track pad experience like that of Apple's track pads, I'm in. Until then, any mobile computing experience for me that involves interacting with a gui and mousing device will be a jaw-clenching experience at best. Same goes for their iPhones.

Is it merely genetics that make the Apple touch experience so much more intuitive than the competing products, or is it truly superior?

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