Meanwhile my 2012 MacBook still has a perfectly functional keyboard and has never had these sorts of issues before...
All on a brand new $3k laptop. This computer has caused me so many problems.
Improving reliability is hard and this is HN, so I'm in favor of gently reminding consumers that a basic understanding of how things work is useful—in laptops, in cars, in home improvement. And I wish companies would make more maintainable and repairable products. I've been using old Thinkpads for years since I can replace individual parts that fail. I also bought an old Jeep Wrangler to learn how to do the same with cars.
The keyboards TFA discusses are all under 18 months old, some under 6.
I'm currently typing on a wireless Apple keyboard I bought in 2009 which I don't think I ever did any maintenance on aside from changing the batteries. I'd be aghast if I had to "do maintenance" on a keyboard less than 2 years old.
I think that's a big part of the issue here, Apple's previous keyboards worked and were reliable (possible dislike of short key travel aside), the replacements were not exactly appreciated when released, that they also turn out to be pathologically unreliable compounds the problem.
 which IIRC they used from the first polycarbonate macbook up until they replaced it in the first-gen touchbar MBP, both on laptops and on "standalone" keyboard products
Why don't people change their car oil on their own anymore? Probably because you need expert knowledge and a few hundred dollars worth of equipment to do it, depending on your car make/model.
Changing ram and cleaning your keyboard isn't what it used to be. You need tiny spudgers and tiny tiny screwdrivers with non-standard heads and (occasionally) willingness to void your warranty.
Those aren't the same consumers. There are more of them now.
Edit: in retrospect, that's why the "original sources only" rule is important. Half the comments here wouldn't even have been made if people had started there.
I'd argue those were still early adopters, a part of the 10% or even 5% of the world that owned a computer at the time.
That aside, I'm glad I put one of the silicone skins (from Uppercase) over my keyboard from day 1 and leave it on 100% of the time. I mostly use an external keyboard anyway, but at least I feel somewhat protected.
Normally the only reasons to read it is if you want to feel good about an Apple purchase you've already made.
I pulled these from the front page of DF today, 2017-10-18. While John Gruber clearly writes an abundance of positive Apple stories, your charactarization is inaccurate.
THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM OF USB-C
> USB-C is a dual disaster… Now that all modern Apple MacBooks are USB-C-only, USB-C’s problems are MacBook problems, too.
IOS IS RIPE FOR PHISHING PASSWORD PROMPTS
IPHONE CHARGING TIMES BY CHARGER
> I’m on the side that this is Apple cheaping out.
Cultural Insularity and Apple TV
> It’s not enough to make a better set-top box. It has to be obviously better. I don’t think Apple TV’s current lineup makes that case.
Ironically: "Maybe we expect too much from Apple’s software. But Apple’s hardware doesn’t have little problems like this."
I miss socketed CPUs on laptops, I've upgraded the CPU in many of my old ThinkPads over the years to get some more life out of them. Of course, disposable computing is more profitable...
They physical overhead (size, weight, cost) of socketed CPU/RAM/etc just isn't worth imposing on 99.99% of users who will never make use of that capability. This is exacerbated by the increased synergy of the components: a major part of Apple's success comes from managing the interconnectedness of all things, all carefully balanced for exact purposes - not generalized for 3rd-party parts swapping (for which failures get blamed on Apple, not the cheap POS part you thought might work).
You want a lightweight high-quality device with long battery life? You're not going to get it with CPU sockets and access panels.
By now, most users have learned that computers ARE disposable: come end-of-life, vanishingly few will want to futz around with upgrading parts at cost of time spent, only to extend the life of a machine straining into obsolescence. We all dearly want to hang onto those old familiar machines, but fact is by the time a product hits that point you don't want something running the best of 5-year-old+ tech, you want the next generation with better everything.
I keep coming back to a rule of thumb: for something used heavily, daily, is it worth $X/day? An iPhone X over 3 years is $1/day. A robust MacBook used for work is certainly worth $3/day. Come practical end-of-life, it has more than paid for itself. ...and that's why Apple has made it so easy to switch up to a new machine, and abandoned notions of component upgrades. If coffee costs more during that time than the hardware in question, get a new one and sell/donate the old (making the switch even cheaper).
I'm grateful for the fact that if my motherboard kicks the bucket I can just unplug my SSD and read it in another computer, my data isn't lost.
This rat race of planned obsolescence and software bloat lighting a fire under consumers asses is getting very old. A piece of hardware is obsolete when I decide it is, not the manufacturer.
I'd agree though that this Gruber post doesn't really add anything of note to the original post. I suppose the fact that even an Apple diehard like him is drawing attention to is worth noting, but that's about it.
But I can't for the life of me find anything appealing about any of Apple's Computer offering aside from the Retina iMacs.
The MacBooks just feel limiting to me compared to a good Windows laptop with multitouch trackpad. Currently I'm a fan of Dell's midrange and high end 2-n-1s
I would constantly break keys. Especially the arrow keys which were smaller. It was mind boggling to me that I was typing enough to have to replace keys. The new keyboard feels so much more robust and solid. I just wish I could put the touchbar into emoji mode after pressing a touchbar shortcut.
I'm typing from the 2014Pro and it is the best keyboard my hands have been working on. I tried the 2016 at the Store but I don't think that is eligible for a review.
I can't be the only person who remembers when a can of compressed air was a part of performance tuning, or when your mouse ball got its regular maintenance.
These things are solved problems now. Regressions are bad. If they've made the keyboard less reliable, they should fix it.
Well that's the story of almost every major company though. They make a great splash become famous and big then they start slacking off and cutting corners to increase their profits as much as possible.
It takes quite a lot of conscious effort to not fall into this pitfall and not many companies can do it.
Well, check out the response to the Google Home Mini, where they had to disable the activation button in firmware because some units were constantly activating.